The fledgling Canadian Premier League has announced that Paul Beirne will be its first president. Beirne had already been involved with the CPL since its inception, brought on over a year ago as its Project Manager (and first employee).
Beirne had a similar role when Toronto FC were founded, working with the club for years as VP of Business Operations. He was a major part of TFC’s early off-field success, particularly the club’s fan engagement in its early years.
For his role in launching the Reds, Beirne was named MLS’s 2007 Executive of the Year. Beirne left TFC in 2013, moving on to another business executive role with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
In his career as a sports exec, Beirne has also worked as head of commercial development with Brighton & Hove Albion FC, now of the English Premier League.
With the league doubling down on its intent to begin play in spring 2019, the CPL’s announcement stated that Beirne will manage the day-to-day operations and ensure things are ready to go for the organization as it prepares to launch.
Next steps for the CPL likely involve concrete announcements of member clubs. The league revealed earlier this month that its representatives will be travelling the country to speak with fans and ownership groups as they try to nail down exactly which cities will take part in the inaugural season.