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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April 21, 2021 at 2:22 pm
I would vote to merge the leagues under the XFL banner. Retain 3 down football. Adjust the field size to accommodate US stadiums. USD contacts with salary cap, Revenue sharing and eliminate the Canadian ratio.
April 21, 2021 at 4:28 pm
Perhaps this turns into some sort of a hybrid-style league?
That’s one of the possibilities that I see out of this.
April 21, 2021 at 11:36 pm
Full merger 4 down football with CFL Field and endzone size . US teams need to play out of MLS stadiums to accommodate larger field size also would help splitt there stadium operating costs. Adding teams in Mexico and Europe as future growth rename league World Football League. Should offer lots of potential for sport’s betting internationally and international TV broadcasting rights would add a pretty to teams coffers if a revenue sharing agreement could be established . Lots of offense intriguing international matchups should create a new fan base for spring football not in deficit competition with NFL
April 22, 2021 at 7:17 am
Looking at the comments here everyone still thinks that a merger is imminent. It’s not. At least not yet. CFL will have their autumn season this year. The NFL will play as normal. Then the XFL will return in Spring 2022 a week after the Superbowl again. For now, in terms of playing the game. This is the best plan. Keep things simple for now with both sides helping the other with marketing, connections, sponsors etc. Do this for a few years and then look at merging the two.
April 22, 2021 at 10:50 am
Only a full blown merger will generate the excitement they’re hoping for. It should be three down football.
April 22, 2021 at 11:06 am
Randy Ambrosie did quite a bit of talking, but didn’t say anything.