Appearing on The Rod Pedersen Show, former TSN Analyst Gary Lawless believes the XFL and CFL are way beyond talking and are in the process of “talking about a full-blown merger.”
Lawless is the current NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights reporter. Before that he spent 18-years as a beat writer and columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press covering the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Then later appearing regularly on TSN programs as an analyst.
“I don’t believe for a second that they are talking about talking. They didn’t talk to the players’ association when they began these conversations and they’re well down the road in these conversations, that’s what I believe. You’re not pausing your season to talk about marketing collaboration”
As part of the announced ‘talks’ between the CFL and XFL, the XFL announced that their 2022 launch planning was on hold as discussions with the CFL continue.
An update on the 2022 Season: pic.twitter.com/AnTvrKZd24— XFL (@XFL2022) March 10, 2021
“You’re pausing your season because you’re talking about a full-blown merger, what that would look like, where there is advantages for both sides in that. We can debate the logic of a merger, but I don’t think we should be debating that’s what they’re talking about because that’s what they’re talking about. That to me is plain as day.”
Just like the XFL, the CFL had to cancel its 2020 season due to the pandemic. The league asked the Canadian government for a $30 million interest-free loan but was denied. The talks between the CFL and the Canadian government brought out the financial struggles the CFL have been facing over the last 10 years.
Even with its struggles, the league has a loyal fan base that might not be open to change. The problem is without change, the league might not survive.
“I love the CFL, I wish it was viable, but it’s not viable. Toronto hasn’t worked, Montreal doesn’t work anymore, BC doesn’t work. Ottawa works, but when I say work, what’s the most money the Riders ever made in a year? That’s the one operation in Canada where if you’re a really rich guy you look at it and go OK, I’d be willing to own that,”
“It’s a shame that it’s come to this, but I think that if we had truth serum from a number of CFL owners, and I would guess it’s Montreal, B.C. and Toronto where they lose money all the time, they’re probably tired of where the business has been, where it is, and they’re looking at where it’s going and they’re scratching their heads.”
You can watch the full interview here;
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March 20, 2021 at 1:52 pm
The CFL is in a stronger position for a restart. The XFL should enter one or two teams to play in the CFL in 2021, and then enter the rest in 2022 or 2023. They’d play CFL rules. Such would grant a great deal of exposure for the XFL.