CFL, CFLPA could lower the number of Canadian starters: sources

I think that the best idea is a full-on partnership with the CIS. Have one nationally televised game of the week (TSN buys the rights for a pittance, or some channel looking for content?) every week, including playoffs and the Vanier Cup. Have each CFL ticket also be good for the next CIS home game near them, so each Ti-Cats home game would come with a free admission to the next Mcmaster Marauders home game, to drum up attendance and support (it’s not like the colleges are selling out). Leave the ratio as it is, with the exceptions of if the primary QB is Canadian, you only need 6 starters to be nationals, or if two-thirds of the roster is Canadian, you only need 6 starters.

The Swiss hockey league, knowing that they do not have the resources, nor the influence, to be the best league, only allows four import players, because they want to give their own countrymen playing time, and a dream to shoot for. This is how it should be in the CFL. I’m not advocating for only four imports, but I’d rather have 12 Canadian starters than for the league to go down to five.

Dropping the ratio would have a snowball effect. If it improves the play, why not go to 4 Canadian starters? 3? 2? None, and let the best players play? The better-developed American player pool would take up nearly every starting spot allowed them, and the mostly American coaching pool would be more than happy to give it to them.

Keep the Canadian in the Canadian Football League

If the commish wants to “build” his CFL 2.0

This would be my thought.

ADD 2 Practice roster spots for global players.

Keep the min CDN starters at 7

However, IF a global player does get a start, give the team the OPTION to start that player as a CDN, or INT.

Then in 5 or so years, see how the experiment has progressed, if at all. Revisit the ratio at that point (next CBA)

The global players should simply be mixed in with the American or international players. Common sense, maybe even raise the Canadian starters to 9 players per team. Add Halifax and Quebec, lots of Canadian jobs. , train them up.

In a perfect world YES. but the level of play would drop off dramatically if done that quickly.

My idea gives the global players a few years to acclimatize , then for sure, make them INT players.

As of right now most could barelyplay for the Pickering Dolphins, or Oshawa Hawkeyes

Dictate 7 players as starters and guess what - you will get 7 starters.

Don’t dictate any starters nationality and you will sometimes get more then 7. It’s just human nature and the coaches follow the rules so they are focused on that number. In the heat of the game the coaches will be looking for who fits the situation best and they will not be thinking nationality, just won’t happen. Game is just too fast!

Control Canadian content on the roster, CFL and PA have a natural constraint already built in.

I believe Sportsnet owns CIS football rights, throughout its purchase of the The Score.

I suspect this is more likely.

They acquired the Vanier and Bowl games afterwards though. The agreement runs out this May, so it’ll be interesting to see where they go/stay.

The cfl needs to be careful of what they are proposing, they could just very easily chase fans away by pushing the limit for Canadians down to 5 ? Thus making it more and more tougher to get local kids to develope minor football etc…

I have heard CFL coaches and GM’s comment on Canadians over the years, and many times they bring up that the issue that at the starter level is not what concerns them, its the depth. So overall, would the game be that much better with only 7 more US players starting?

I like the CFL as is with Canadians 7 out of 24 on offence and defence. It is not that large of a number. I feel if they start reducing more starters, then the next target would be the overall number of canadians on the roster.
I like the hometown stories. The BC kid playing for the Lions, or Montreal having local flavour for example.

Many home leagues around the world have some sort of national quota. Doesn’t the MLS have some quota for Americans. If a league isn’t the largest spender, they generally rely on that hometown player.
Most hockey leagues outside of the NHL (affiliates) and KHL have some sort of local quota.
The AAF even relies on “local” talent by giving each team a designated area that they get first shot on a player.

If they are looking for roster spots for new global players, just add a few more roster spots.

I do strongly agree, for its own long term health, the CFL needs work with Usports and Junior Football more. They should be involved with multiple camps at University and High School levels, and these levels should be involved in minor football.

Like many things in Canada, if we can’t get the quantity, lets focus on the quality.

I support leaving it where it is, for reasons that have been already stated in this thread.
The issue is that the CFL really needs to invest more effort in the growth of USports and the CJFL.
For the TV aspect alone, Sportsnet has been a disaster. There is no reason with all the channels we have in this country screaming for Canadian content that there can’t be a national game of the week.
Or with the regional channels, why can’t there be a series of regional games of the weeks?

I'm to understand in soccer, just about every league has a local quota of some kind. Usually 50%+1 or six plus five (meaning six internationals, five locals).The main reason being is this directly effects the level of competition various national teams bring to the table during the World Cup and the big local cups (Euro Cup, Copa America, CONCAAF Gold Cup etc). The only exception, sometimes is clubs playing outside their federation (like Canadian teams playing in the MLS, or Welsh teams playing in the English League) which usually have rules so both federations benefit.

I'm to understand Mexico has complained a few times to CONCAAF (FIFA's North American governing body) about Canadian MLS teams have too low a Canadian quota, which is only 3 required because they play in a predominantly Canadian league. I think they adjusted the rules so certain MLS players coming out of certain Canadian academies can be treated as either Canadian or American, but they are a bit convoluted.

Everyone is exactly correct.
Almost every pro league in the entire world in all sports have way stricter international player limits.
The US & NFL
Canada & the CFL.
Are THE only two countries in the World that play true pro Gridirion Football.
Lets see how the NBA reacts wen the day comes wen there are higher percentage if Euro players are in the NBA than from the US.
We surely will see limits on international players then.
Just as an exsmple

CHL Major Junior Hockey has already limited thevamount of euro hockey players. Especially starting with russian goalies.
Its the best Hockey league in the world that feeds the NHL. & they got way ahead of it.

I don’t see a need to reduce the ratio personally. Certainly not by 2. IMO Canadians are more important to the league than ever because they are more likely to stay longer in the CFL and with one team and help create some roster identity. This is more important these days with how much more offseason player movement there is with so many short term deals. They changed the contracts so rookies could leave sooner. Even American vets who have been in the CFL for a few years predominantly signed 1 year deals this offseason. So let’s say you do drop the ratio. Those two spots are likely to be young players on lower end deals hoping to jump to the NFL first chance they get. Let’s say it gives your on field product a bit of a boost, does it benefit the CFL in the grander sense? I’m not sure you can grow an identity as a league build your youth fan base by having more players who don’t want to commit to the league. Besides, with the way the definition of what makes you a Canadian has been so loosened over the years, the talent level is higher than ever IMO.

The argument about quality of player if a 10th team is added is nonsense. Cutting the ratio now before the 10th team is added just shrinks the pool before an expansion draft. Any adjustment for this reason should come if/when another team is officially welcomed, not before.

I also think the notion of an anti Canadian coaching bias does exist on some level. Coaches new to the CFL are likely the ones more opposed to the idea of having to play Canadians. I think coaches who have played in the CFL or have coached here for a while are on some level immunized to the idea of playing Canadians but I’m sure would not be opposed to replacing them with an American.

The comparison to other leagues is pretty apt in most cases. Pro hockey, soccer, and football in other parts of the world have ratios. NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA are a different breed based on the global appeal and the massive amounts of money involved which allows them to attract and pay for the best talent in the world. Smaller leagues cannot compete on that level and therefore need to do things that help their appeal to and promote their local market.

I’ve seen the comments from American players on contract disparity with Canadians. This on some level does exist, but I think that the top tier non QB Americans who have been up here for a while, OL/DL, WR types are on decent contracts. The one thing I would consider changing, and I’ve said this in years past, is in some way giving some sort of roster or cap credit to an American who is essentially a CFL lifer, say over 5 years of service. In terms of face value to the league they are as important as Canadians, it would acknowledge their commitment to the CFL, and it would give that player more value and reward them by making them a more attractive commodity in free agency.

Could be the non guaranteed nature of the CFL contract dampens the enthusiasm for multi year deals. The team can dangle a carrot with the second year and still not be committed to keeping the player.

Guaranteed contracts would help imo.

I agree with a previous post.
An American that shows commitment to the CFL 5+ years should get some sort of incentive.
As well, I would rather see the CFL give “National” status to an american that plays up in the CFL for many years and may even move permanently, than a new college kid who hasn’t been born or lived in Canada for most of his life.

The only way I would be ok with a reduction if it was a temporary measure connected to expansion.
For example if Halifax were to get a team, the CFL could have a 2 year period in a reduction of 1-2 National starters, total Canadian number on roster would be unchanged. This would allow teams to coach the extra Canadians and help develop them for two years to be ready to fill the 2 additional spots.

I understand the frustrations of depth, andalso havingone player that is “better” than another, but not able to make as much, due to import status. I think everyone in this country realizes that if you want to make more money, you almostinherentlygo south. In the 21st century, I haven’t heard many heading north for better financial remuneration, for any reason.

But if we can’t pay our own people more, in our own country, what does that say about us?

Interesting question. I had to move back home to Canada as my visa expired and now I couldn't even get the same visa for my work due to changes initiated under Trump, and my income has fallen to a third of what it used to be, so I get it.

But in terms of football it says that in Canada, population size means the CFL has a smaller potential domestic viewing audience than say the NFL, fewer options for revenue streams such as corporate sponsorship's. The smaller league size and fewer sports channels also makes it that much harder to get a sizeable TV contract. We do offer a better lifestyle I think. The demands of the CFL and not the same as the NFL, and especially in recent years you've probably heard a few American CFL players comment on how much better it is here for them than back in their home neighbourhoods. But the allure of the NFL dollar will always take precedence. Those are the realities. But as stated previously, there are lessons to be learned from other pro leagues. The NHL is the top when it comes to hockey across the globe. But then you have the KHL, Swedish, Finnish and other euro pro leagues, all have their own domestic success and all have some form of rule that benefits national players. Same for the other sports. You don't see an outcry to abolish those rules.

I would be more on board with dropping the ratio if there was a solid argument for it. I can see the argument if you're a CFL team that has drafted poorly. Maybe it give an American vet player a little more money, but more than likely it's a rookie on a low contract taking that job, so how much better is that?

I know the American players are upset over the contract imbalance between imports and non imports. Maybe you put a separate cap on the National side? I don't know.

What did people say when the ratio dropped from ten to seven years back? The same we’re hearing now?

As with everything I think it all boils down to what the consumer wants. In this case if the average fan wants to see the best available players play that’s what the CFL will give them.