Covid-19 & CFL News Thread

CFLPA sends a proposal to the league on an opt out of contracts if the 2020 season is cancelled.

No details on this window but it would give players the opportunity to play in any other league playing....maybe someone will buy the XFL's rights?

Either way the owners are not interested and the sides have not spoken since Friday. Contracts are not guaranteed so why does there need to be the cause for a window?

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doubt it would go down this way, but I think that if the season is cancelled, players should be allowed to play in other leagues. However, for playing in the CFL, their contracts should be continued for an extra season.

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I think that is just a way for the CFLPA to get the CFL on record in the event they try to force a new deal on the union for the 2021 season. The league should sit down with the Union and discuss all these topics now, instead of trying to create leverage with artificial windows as is their history.

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Because the players are bound by contracts ... only teams can "opt-out" by cutting a appuyer under the current system/CBA ...

But it makes some sense as it could (would?) resolve via negotiations with the CFLPA the possibility off players suing to get paid or void contracts

SOMETHING needs top get done as teams don't want to be bound to pay full contracts for a partial, or even no, season ... players should not want to push the issue those issues with CFL as most of them are out of work if CFL goes bankrupt ... only a couple of teams could fiscally survive having to pay out the 2020 contracts ... other owners would have to decide whether to stick it out.

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When do salaries start getting paid. My understanding is they start at training camp so generally mid May. If so, when was this window the PA is proposing?

If it's after the scheduled start of training camp, I don't see a scenario where the league would go from full season straight to announcing a full cancellation. Owners are not going to want their hand forced this early when say playing a short season starting Labour Day can't be ruled out....though still uncertain.

I'm pretty sure salaries get paid by the game -- players get a "game cheque" afterwards. If no games, in theory no salaries payable.

I assume both sides are aware of the potentially dire consequences of no season -- they should be working together to try to achieve the best possible outcome if it comes to that (or even if it comes to a shortened season).

Problem is a lot of players may not want to play at all for half or less of their 2020 salary, and I would imagine virtually all players would not want to have their 2020 contracts rolled over into 2021. If contracts were simply extended into 2021, that would mean pushing back an opportunity at free agency for every player in the league.

I'm already on record as being concerned the league might not be able to survive a lost 2020 season. A labour dispute won't make it easier, that's for sure.

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Much like full-time employees anywhere, players are contracted at a salary ... the contracts are not (to my uinderstanding) on a per-game basis, they are for a season ... the salary is paid out at some prescribed interval ... perhaps weekly, biweekly or monthly (I'd bet on every two weeks if I had to) ... it will have to be worked out with the CFLPA how to handle unplayed games ... the armageddon option in the event of no season and no agreement with the CFLPA --- could --- be for teams to just cut everyone ... no salaries due ... and the single greatest free agent scramble in CFL history once CFL re-opens for business ... 0.000001% chance IMO
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Agreed

Luckily I expect both sides are motivated to find a solution ... be it a shortened season or no season ... the vast majority of players would be out of work if the CFL folded and the teams won't want to get into litigation over contract terms or invcoke the above-noted armageddon solution.

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I'm pretty sure cheques are issued for (and after) game participation. It used to be like that and as far as I know nothing has changed. Guys on the 46 and IR for a game get one-18th of their salary. No salary payments are made during bye weeks, and players on PR get that stipend, which is lower than they'd get if on the regular roster. I'd be very surprised if this practice has changed.

According to this site, the salary is paid according to games being played.

https://cfldb.ca/faq/compensation/

A player's salary is divided and paid equally over the 18 games of the regular season (the game cheque). Once a standard player contract is signed, the player is entitled to the contract salary, no matter the roster he appears on (active, reserve, injured) except the suspended or disabled lists, until he is released. Players must be released and voluntarily sign a practice roster agreement to be transferred to that roster. See the CFL Roster Makeup chart for details on the CFL roster makeup.

Based on this definition, I don't see the need for an opt out of the contract. If no games are played how can the player be paid? This I guess would be the need for negotiations. 'Officially' the season would start in July at the earliest so no money would need to be paid though part of the season ticket revenue has been collected.

Players and staff can only draw so much water from that well since it's unclear if some of that will be refunded or used as credit for 2021. My guess would be a later so the league can't pay 2 years worth of salary on less than a year revenue.

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Well beyond the context and situation of the CFL, any given black swan event, or other force majeure, almost always leads to a mutually-desired renegotiation of contracts between capital and labour.

Some of the underlying conditions upon which the existing contract(s) were agreed are no longer as relevant, irrelevant, inexistent, or not as desirable.

It's a brave new world yet much same ol' same ol' and all that for everybody.

You would hope, just the history of negotiations between this league and the players has been vile every since I can remember. The league is in a bit more of a predicament IMO, only because they've already taken customers money and some of that money has surely been spent (looking at your Montreal, Ottawa, BC) in particular.

I agree with the poster who said some players won't be interested in a half of a season or less. Especially Americans. Our dollar is at near historic lows. 1.45 last I looked for them to bring a dollar home.

I can't see any games being played in Montreal when all events for the summer have already been cancelled (not officially but Legault did state that and then took it back knowing that meant a lot more businesses with their hand out). Halifax is the same. All events are cancelled, Pride week for example, July 16-26 is cancelled so surely there won't be a CFL game there this summer.

The league knows it will be forced to suspend activities for the 2020 season, they know that already, the question is does it make business sense to use that opportunity to kill the CBA. From a business perspective ABSOLUTELY. From a league vs player relations it will be ugly.

They need to agree to prorate everything with half a season starting labor day weekend by the end of the month. Then get the union to vote on that. If they vote it down, you suspsend the season, declare them all free agents. if they accept and everyone rolls the dice (hoping they won't have restrictions on occupancy in the fall), they may salvage the season and then roll into 2021 somewhat as normal.

Somehow we will have some idea where this is going in the next 10 to 15 days.

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Other Player Associations in other leagues have provisions built into their agreements that guarantee compensation parameters for these unique circumstances.

Unfortunately, this is yet another example of hope the PA did not do their homework during negotiations, and the owners are rightfully ignoring them now

Per Dan Barnes, an interpretation of paragraph 16: Standard Player contracts.

To Quote
is mutually understood and agreed that if the operation of the CFL is suspended, this contract shall immediately be terminated and the remuneration to be paid to the Player shall be on the basis as provided by Paragraph 11 herein.

Paragraph 11 states players are entitled to compensation for work they have completed, meaning there would be no pay cheques if the 2020 season is cancelled.

End Quote

The term suspension relates to if the league actually folds. If they can't have a 2020 season and will play in 2021 then the league is still operating.

PA wants to use this so players have options to play elsewhere if the league isn't.

Question I have is to NHL, NBA, MLS players have options to play in other league? Since the pandemic is global, where else would they go? What other football leagues outside of the NFL can afford to play in empty stadiums?

Considering Covid helped sealed the fate of the XFL and 2 other US pro leagues folded since the last CBA, where is the incentive of the entire PA becoming free agents?

I can see why this is a non starter for the league.

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Also, states their contract is null and void and they are free as birds.

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If the league folds outright yes they would be free. A shortened or no season not so.

IMO, owners will find a way to guarantee a portion of their contracts should they're not allowed to play or play in empty stadiums. What do they players give back? Extend the current CBA by 1 year I think is a starting place. A flat salary until the end of the existing one (like what the NHL is doing) is another.

Depends on how a judge would interpret "suspending activities".

I can't see how there could be a football season this year.

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Yup. I'm sure the league's legal team has been busy on this detail. Probably a good reason why the PA is not getting a call back :grin:

If the term suspension is binding then I can see the wording it another way 'postponne' 'delay' 'reschedule' the season and let it go long enough until they can play or straight to cancel. Therefore never suspended.

Because this language was collectively bargained, any dispute over it that could not be resolved through direct discussion would be subject to arbitration procedures as set out in the CBA. Union would first have to file a grievance. The CFL is under no obligation to do anything at the moment in response to the CFLPA; the PA has the recourse of filing a grievance if it feels doing so is warranted. The collegial spirit that prevailed earlier in this situation appears to have ended, but it could reappear at some point. Both parties have rights and options under the CBA.

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Source, please? I've not read anything about any changes to NHL-NHLPA CBA.

Sorry should have clarified it's being negoiated

But nothing along of the lines of all players becoming free agents or anything silly like that