CFL discussion (non-Tiger-Cat)

The name change wasn't as bad as people think. The tailgate crew even renamed themselves the Elkoholics.


A wise man once said "the problem in the cfl is when one team wins the other loses"

I'd love to see the balance sheet of a guy that made $65k Canadian last year.


You're aware that if they're really unhappy with their salary, they can always do something else, right? No one is being forced to play here.

While I agree that the league minimum isn't a whole lot of money, there are relatively few players making that amount of money, and entry level salaries to the league have to start somewhere. A player can turn their entry level contract into a big payday (eg, Addison, Acklin) with good play, and many have, and higher draft picks make more than the league minimum these days.

While I tend to lean towards the players' side these days, they have to recognize that the league wouldn't exist without the owners either. They're just as important, and it's past time for both sides to see that if they don't already. Bargaining should be a lot less adversarial, but it's tough for fans to not support their favourite players, because who's going to give a crap about some exec in football ops? However, without that exec to bring in players, house them in TC, provide proper medical/conditioning/physio, you know what you've got? Grant/McDonald -style ownership. '99 Grey Cup win aside, I know I don't want a return to THAT.

The owners know they have more power than the PA, I didn't appreciate how poorly they went about negotiating this time, as I posted a few days ago. They also need to consider the players more as partners, and frickin' mean it.


My comment was more of a joke. It still astonishes me what the league min is.

The owners need to do the right things to invest in the league. And as you said treat the players as partners. Not penny pinch the players on almost every level.

I don't believe for a second that in 2019 the well run franchises didn't turn a nice profit.

The negotiating tactics are much like MLB. The owners won't share balance sheets, everything is kept private and quiet. When that happens suspicions are raised.

I don't support the players because "it's easy to support your favourite player" I support them because I see what happens when players don't have proper health insurance for example. There are former Ticats with serious injuries that never got properly looked at, and it cost them their careers.

You're right. This has been the worst one yet. The things being said in the media, the stories being leaked, all for a league that needs all of the positive airtime it can get right now.

Years ago I spoke with a PA Union rep. Asked him why they never get a better deal. His answer was simple...

"We'll never strike because too many Americans making the league minimum don't care enough to strike. So they'll just take whatever deal comes down. The owners know this and so they start negotiating at the last second"

This was like 15 years ago.

It frustrates me how the PA is treated. It's not about money for me. The owners steamroll this thing every chance they get.

For me I'd almost like to see a strike one time to see what the owners do.


That's the way I see it.
I think the league bargaining, as it loves to, right at the deadline, could put everything it wants in a proposal, even a multi-year one, and the majority of players would vote yes, if that proposal also included a 10% hike in the cap with a 10% immediate increase on all player contracts. Actually, I think 5%, or maybe even less, would do it.


Yeah, we're pretty much in agreement here. I put it clumsily when I said that fans will tend to support their favourite players. What I really should have said is that fans will always tend to identify with guys who perform on the field for their teams & aren't the spoiled multimillionaires who play in the NFL or MLB.

Kind of difficult to gauge what a "nice profit" may or may not be when we can't look at the balance sheet or income statement. Riders, Bombers, Ticats, Stamps all likely did ok, but with the shortened season, I wouldn't be surprised if their expenses didn't shrink by much, while the revenue generated by attendance impacted by covid certainly did. I'd bet they didn't do well at all, even by normal CFL standards.

When Bob took over the Cats, I was doubtful that he could turn around the business side of things, maybe because there had been too many years of declining attendance. I was pleasantly surprised that he did, but I'd bet he had years of dumping cash into the marketing budget to get the return he did. It kind of boggles my mind that the various Argo owners haven't adopted his method. If it worked here, there's a decent chance it can work there, amended for their fanbase, of course.

If that comment from the union rep is true, it's incredibly short-sighted on those players' part. After their initial contract, they're the ones who would become the ones to complain about lower-paid Americans voting to accept lesser terms. That's not something that increasing the league minimum would fix, either.

Agree with your last statement. I wonder what the league's contract with TSN states about interruption in the event of a labour dispute, ie would the league be considered to be in breach with TSN if there was a strike?


I guess what bothers me the most when you read about CBA negotiations in a sports, especially the COVID shortened seasons in MLB and other sports is this idea that owning a sports franchise basically comes with zero risk and profits are guaranteed.

Let's say for example using fake numbers that revenues in other leagues are split 50/50 between players and owners, we know in the CFL the number is lower (it's been reported) so why should the players be the ones to make sure the owners make a profit?

If 55/45 or whatever is a fair split is what's fair then why should the owners look to get that number down to increase profit. Go find that somewhere else.


What happened to the idea that owning a sports team was basically a philanthropic venture? It can be said that this was something from a bygone era like when celebrities like Bing Crosby owned the Pirates and Bob Hope owned the Indians just because of their personal rivalry, but didn't Bob Young come into his ownership as the saviour of the team and if there were to be profits, that would just be incidental?
I really don't think the decision to own a CFL team whether you're an individual or a corporation should be based on the profit you're going to make because the profits really aren't there. Isn't that why one-third of the CFL teams are community-owned?
Again, this is the CFL not the NFL! You can buy a Canadian team for maybe 25 million, not the 2.5 billion you probably have to layout for one of the cheaper NFL teams. It's not apples and oranges. It's apples and bicycles.


Crosby and Hope were among the most wealthy, business savvy people in showbusiness history . They got involved in baseball because they figured there was money to be made.


The point I'm trying to make is that when you run any business it comes with risk. If you think Bob Young bought the Ticats not thinking there was money to be made, you're mistaken. He knew exactly what he was doing, and there was nowhere to go but up.

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@Crash I agree with your post that I replied to first, but not your last one really regarding Bob Young. I think in the fact that he calls himself 'Caretaker,' he believes he's just investing in the team to 'maintain' the team. Such is my opinion and I don't think any of the other eight owners should expect anything but very modest profits because their investments are comparatively modest in relation to other sports leagues.


And I think that Bob Young didn't get to where he got by doing charity work.
Both things can be true. He hires people that he trusts to make decisions and leaves himself to be the "Caretaker" but I don't for a second believe he entered into this situation not thinking he could turn a profit.


League claps back:

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This is the "it's a pretty good deal so with camps set to start you should probably take it." Offer.

It's not bad.

Though the cap increases are minimal and the minimum salary staying the same for 4 years is a bit much.

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Response from the PA, deal rejected.

CFL walked away from the bargaining table and will not be negotiating per Lalji.

The unaudited revenues is classic MLB style negotiating.

I believe that the Lions don't get revenue from concessions so excluding them from the revenue sharing is fair.


I find it odd that the PA hasn't put this to a vote. With my union, I believe they're required to put offers to a vote, but not 100% on that. This could relate to your earlier point about the PA being afraid of being overruled by American players making at or near the minimum.

As an aside, all union communications that sign off by saying "In Solidarity" (my union does the same thing) remind me of the Peoples' Front of Judea in Monty Python's Life of Brian, specifically when Reg (John Cleese) sends his guys into the sewer to attack Pilate's palace, but he doesn't go "because he has a bad back". As he puts the sewer lid down on the last guy to enter, he says "Solidarity, brother", then he buggers off. The guy says "Yes....err...solidarity, Reg". Unions are largely useless these days, unfortunately.


They haven't put it to a vote because they know it will pass. This really is a very unique situation.

The union leadership isn't aligned with the 60% of the league making the league minimum.

Also, from Lalji

The latest from that guy the players' union spoke of, earlier in the week, exempting Edmonton from the no veteran QBs at rookie camps directive because of concern over "a pattern of retribution toward players by team management" ....

Now, he's cut 17 players on the eve of training camp. What a heartless *&%+, he is!