TFC Republic celebrates its 2 year anniversary
On April 12, 2021, TFC Republic was officially launched. Twenty-four months later, the website is still going strong.
It’s a decision that I still can’t believe I made at the time.
In late March of 2021, I handed in my resignation as editor-in-chief of the Canadian Premier League's official website, a questionable move considering we were in the middle of a global pandemic.
It’s substantially easier and far less stressful when you quit your full-time job for another one, especially when the economic climate is shrouded in doubt as it was back then due to what was going on in the world.
But that’s not what I did. I left the security of my position at the CPL to strike out on my own to pursue a bold venture. I wanted to get back to covering Toronto FC on a full-time basis, and I had this silly idea of launching a paid subscription website. Quitting my job to pursue this idea during such uncertain times was a gamble. It was even more risky considering I had been away from the TFC beat for a year and a half.
I had covered TFC since Day 1 during my time as a reporter at CBC Sports and Sportsnet and had earned a decent following of readers who enjoyed and respected my work over the years. But I had doubts about the project I was planning to launch. Would people want to read my coverage of TFC after my lengthy absence from the beat? Would they be willing to pay for it? Would they even remember me? I asked myself all of these questions.
It turns out I was worried over nothing. TFC Republic officially launched two years ago today, and is still going strong, and I have to say that the response from subscribers and readers has been tremendous. I've been truly humbled by all of the wonderful support.
The growth of the website has been unreal over the past 24 months, catching me totally by surprise. Honestly, I didn't think we would have this large of a paid readership after two years, and it means so much to me that you have enjoyed the in-depth coverage of the club found here at TFC Republic.
When I previously worked at Sportsnet and CBC Sports, I tried to provide thoughtful, nuanced coverage of Toronto FC, as well as the Canadian men’s and women’s teams. No hot takes. No click bait. Just honest, balanced, straight-forward, credible and critical coverage. This is something I have tried to keep doing with TFC Republic. The feedback I have received from readers has been overwhelmingly positive, and that makes me feel even better about my decision to quit my gig at the CPL to start this website.
What’s been especially gratifying about the response to TFC Republic is that it’s come during a difficult time for soccer journalism in Canada.
TSN is no longer the main rights holder for MLS in Canada, which means it isn't covering Toronto FC and the two other Canadian clubs to the extent that it once did. Sportsnet pretty much ignores Toronto FC. OneSoccer does the odd online piece and TV segment on TFC, but its main focus is on the CPL and Canadian national teams. The Toronto Star doesn’t have a dedicated beat reporter covering TFC. Neither does the Toronto Sun following the recent retirement of Steve Buffery. There are fewer options you can turn to when it comes to regular media coverage of Toronto FC.
TFC Republic has tried to fill the void by providing daily and in-depth coverage of the team. As major media outlets continue to scale back on covering TFC, it'll be up to independent websites such as this one to pick up the slack and lead the way. Many of you have recognized that and have graciously backed TFC Republic by purchasing a subscription. That’s something I truly appreciate and will never take for granted.
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I also want to thank those subscribers who have signed up for the free weekly newsletter. You might want to think about becoming a paid subscriber, especially when you consider TFC Republic's reasonable and affordable pricing scheme.
A yearly subscription to TFC Republic costs just $50 (which averages out to a mere $4.17 a month). That's a year's worth of in-depth coverage of Toronto FC and the Canadian men's and women's teams for roughly the price of buying a medium latte at Starbucks once a month. If you purchase a year's subscription, you'll save 48%! Pretty good deal, eh? A one-month subscription will only set you back $8. Both monthly and yearly subscriptions include 13% GST/HST, which makes it an even better deal.
If you value independent coverage of Toronto FC and the Canadian national teams, please consider subscribing to TFC Republic. Just go to the homepage and click on the subscribe button to get started, or you can click here.
And for those of you who have subscriptions that are about to end, I want to say an extra thank you for everything, and I hope I can continue to rely on your support and that you decided to keep subscribing.
Founder, TFC Republic
(Top photo courtesy of Tudor Dinica)
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