Highlanders FC soccer club folds after six years

Owner Alex Campbell released a letter that declared the Victoria Highlanders organization has shut down, no longer financially viable

With an abrupt end to the Victoria Highlanders FC soccer organization, which folded operations over the weekend, the Capital Region’s soccer community has lost its pre-eminent men’s and women’s clubs.

Owner Alex Campbell released a letter that confirmed a financial shortfall after a hopeful “investor consortium” fell through this year. He thanked the organization’s many sponsors and spoke about the hard decision to end the association’s term.

From Campbell:

“On a personal note, we started the Highlanders out of a passion for the game and to give back to the community. Along the way I made many mistakes and unfortunately cost me tremendous resources. I was hopeful over the past year that an investor consortium would pull through and build on the legacy of the Highlanders, but sadly that has not happened and I am forced to make this difficult decision.”

Campbell thanked the coaching, employees and volunteers, and the Lakeside Buoys fan club and all fans for their support. He also made a point of naming the Hughes brothers, Tyler and Jordie, two of B.C.’s best talents, who were key members with the team since Day 1.

Shutting down is the Highlanders Professional Development League men’s team, which was the club’s bread and butter in terms of ticket profits, as well as the men’s and women’s premier and U21 teams in the Pacific Coast Soccer League.

“It’s sad and it’s unfortunate, the program in the last couple of years turned a corner, we had strong support on game days,” said general manager Mark de Frias, who also parts ways with the club.

There is some hope that the youth academies and prospect teams may be able to continue this season.

It leaves the South Island without a squad in the PCSL as the previous men’s club, United, folded operations last year.

The Highlanders started in 2009 and adopted the Victoria Stars’ PCSL team in 2010 when it ran into financial trouble, thrusting it a level up into the semipro W-League for two seasons.

“You never want to see something like this happen but in the same breath Alex invested a lot of money since 2009,” De Frias added. “It seemed as if we were building that momentum and would have been great to see where we would have taken the momentum forward.”

The Highlanders women went 12-0 and won the PCSL in 2014 while the Highlanders PDL men’s team hit its peak in 2013, winning the PDL Western Conference and playing in the PDL Final Four.

As GM De Frias knew there were parts of the program that didn’t make sense, but some that did.

“I think the a PDL program could be successful here in Victoria, with a few tweaks, and hopefully down the road a phoenix rises from the ashes.”



Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands show for 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria

New records, first-time runners, and stories of resilience

Mother of alleged hit-and-run victim hopes municipalities will work together to improve crosswalk

Young woman injured, dog killed when struck by driver on marked crosswalk at Foul Bay Road

Here comes the rain: Victoria can expect post Thanksgiving showers all week

Mild, rainy weather expected from Tuesday to Saturday

Opponents of Elizabeth May criticize her push to scrap temporary foreign worker program

May has proposed to scrap the federal program which supplies local business with temporary workers

Victoria woman uses loss to raise awareness of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

City of Victoria to recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day Oct. 15

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read