CFL writer Chris O’Leary got a chance to talk to CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie about today’s league announcement regarding the start of the Canadian Football League’s 2021 season. He was also asked to give an update on the XFL/CFL talks.
“Our discussions with the XFL have been very positive. What we’re focused on is really understanding what this opportunity might look like. If I back up from there, one of the things that I shared with an alumni group that I spoke with at their annual general meeting last night was what has become increasingly obvious to me is that the business of our league has never been as good as the players who play our game and the game itself.
What we’re looking at and what we’ve been working on on our own is improving our business model. We’ve made a lot of adjustments in the past number of months to make sure that we’ve got the best business model possible.
The discussions with the XFL are really focused on that. How would working together help to improve the business model? When you get that answer, you have nearly an infinite list of possibilities on how you would make it work. What our fans really deserve and what our amateur football partners really deserve is a business that’s as good as our game. That’s what we’re working to deliver here.
We don’t have those answers today but we do know that we are working with world class people. Every time you are on a call with them, you are struck by how genuine, authentic, how sincere they are in trying to determine if there is an opportunity to do better, do better together in some form. That’s been the spirit of our discussion so far.
It sounds from Ambrosie’s comments that talks are strictly based on helping each other run their businesses rather than a full-on merger as some have suggested. He uses the term ‘business model’ multiple times to make a point.
We know the CFL has struggled with its business model for years and the experience of RedBird Capital, Dany Garica, and Jeffrey Pollack could help both parties. If the leagues remain separated but partners rather than fully merged it could help Spring football as a whole.
What they want to avoid is being competitors. That could hurt both leagues, and further hamper Spring football. Both parties have one thing in mind, that is For The Love Of Football.
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