The news around the XFL / CFL talks continue in Canada but now have focused more on if the Canadian Football League can get a season underway in 2021. The talk also focuses on is the league’s business model and if it is broken beyond repair.
Jim Lawson the former chair of the CFL’s Board of Governors and the two-time interim commissioner said this of the current economic model of the CFL on The Rod Pedersen Show Friday.
“You’ve crossed past this line of trying to decide if football is important to this country. I love the sport of football but the economic model is broken.”
“One of the first things that I did was try and understand the economic model of the league and under the current framework, I think it’s very difficult — as has been well-published –in the major cities, and in particular Toronto and Montreal. I do think that there’s a need to look at the economic model,”
We reported on the 20% pay cut asked of players this week to get the CFL season to start on time. Many players question whether other parts of the business were asked to take a pay cut. TSN insider Farhan Lalji had an answer for that.
“With CFL players being asked to take further pay cuts, I’ve spent the past week checking out what cuts are still in place for team personnel across the league. Virtually every team that rolled back salaries a year ago still has those in place. For those that signed new deals those salaries are reflective of current conditions,” Lalji explained.
“According to league sources, since the pandemic hit a year ago, pay cuts totaling approximately $6.5 million have been accepted by CFL executives & staff. This includes office & football ops for the nine teams as well as the league office.”
“In addition, 215 jobs have been eliminated across the CFL – roughly 1 in 3 positions have been cut. Some teams are operating without scouting staffs. I expect less than half the lost jobs will reinstated when a season start date is finalized,”
What if the 2021 Canadian Football League season is delayed, could there be a full schedule played? According to Postmedia reporter Dan Barnes, he believes they can.
One source suggested a July start could still allow for an 18-game campaign if the entire pre-season was scrapped, the regular-season schedule was compressed and the date of the Grey Cup in Hamilton was flexible.
They might have to move all the way to mid-July, but if that strategy results in fuller stadiums and a full season, it will be worth the delay to both the CFL and its players.
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