DD Speaking Out

This is from awhile back but it is pretty interesting, especially about how teams are skirting the cap.

Cash on side bad business

By ERIC FRANCIS – Calgary Sun

Dave Dickenson says the Calgary Stampeders aren’t the only Canadian Football League team over the salary cap.

In fact, the former Stamp quarterback insists every team in the league is guilty of exceeding the CFL’s unenforceable payroll guidelines.

What’s more, says Dickenson, team payrolls are even more excessive than any owner would ever admit due to the large number of player payments not reported to the league.

Despite denials from various owners, Dickenson says many players around the league are quietly receiving modest gifts, cash, leased vehicles or other significant bonuses the CFL and its Players’ Association know nothing about.

“Right now, you’ve got U.S. businesses and Canadian businesses paying players on the side,” said Dickenson, who hammered out a long-term deal with the B.C. Lions worth close to $400,000 annually.

“I think the league needs to have strict policies on contracts. That’s part of why teams in Hamilton and Toronto are having problems.”

Commissioner Tom Wright and league governors have paid lip service to the importance of controlling costs by way of a $2.5 million team salary cap. Truth is, it’s little more than a gentleman’s agreement nobody adheres to anymore.

“Everyone’s over the cap,” said Dickenson, the league’s highest-paid player.

“Until owners open their entire books, we won’t know what the degrees are.”

Take Dickenson’s contract, for example. Wright was heavily involved in structuring the deal that would essentially represent one sixth of the club’s payroll. However, it’s likely his agreement will include marketing and other payment elements that will not be registered with the league and the CFLPA.

“I don’t know what B.C. is going to claim with the league but it’s pretty clear $150,000 isn’t what they’re paying me,” said Dickenson, who’d like to see player salaries made public and a return of the marquee player rule that allows one player to be excluded from the cap.

“In the long run, it will help the league if people are honest about contract details. That way, the next guy in my situation hopefully gets the same money or more. Really, that’s what we all want as players – to help one another get paid more.”

Dickenson wonders aloud what happened to some of the personal-service deals struck by members of the Ticats and Argos. One can only assume the players have no chance to collect any money owed. (One can also assume they wouldn’t have paid taxes on it anyways.) Obviously, only the money spelled out in players’ registered CFL contracts will be honoured by the league. The same situation occurred here when Larry Ryckman stopped paying team bills while also neglecting to make good on the personal-service contract he had with Doug Flutie. To this day, Flutie is still owed more than $1 million.

“We need to get like the NFL, where every contract is strictly registered with the league and meaningful fines are levied to teams that go over,” said Dickenson, pointing out the NFL can afford full-time salary cap experts in every team’s office – the CFL can’t.

“I think Tom Wright is trying and doing a pretty good job. Fans don’t trust the salary cap because they know guys are going way over it.”

Stamps owner Michael Feterik admitted as such in yesterday’s Sun, ending years of Stamps management suggesting they’d never skirt league salary guidelines.

CFLPA president Stu Laird said he has no way to know for sure how rampant side deals are. No one does, except the owners and the players they pay.

i dont see how this is relevant in todays CFL

Elaborate that for me, please.

This is an old article I presume? The only team that has refused to open their books to the league is the Lions. Ted Hellard one of the BOG's the created the cap would be foolish not too! So Dave thats get those Lions show us the money.
Now if this was a recent article it shows Dave is getting a bit out of shape over his contract empass.

i dont know why you posted an old article?

the issue in the article is lack of a enforced cap....that is no longer an issue.

also, its about hiding salary...but there are people whos job it is to find this info out now....so that is no longer an issue either.

so the issues in article are no longer relevant in todays CFL.

Piggy getting senile I am sure!

Of course its an old article but when was the last time you read something so poignant on the subject. Also, it shows just how easy it can be to get around the cap issue, even today.

there is an expert in finding possible hidden salary...so its not gonna happen.

Really and the sky is falling! The sky is falling! Nice try piggy little! :lol: :lol:

Its not going to be on the books, so there is nothing to find dg, thats the whole point of personal service contracts or working for another business, Flutie is out one million bucks that never existed to this day.


believe what u want to believe.

They dont pay tax on it, do you think its on the books, get a grip man its all right there in black and white. Stick your head in the sand if you think everything is all right now but there is absolutely no guarantee that it aint going to continue to happen. Its as much a part of the CFL as the game itself.


I’m with Piggy on this one - there are always ways to circumvent rules, if one is willing to look…

Even though this is an old article the premise is still relevant.
Side deals and or personal services contracts will continue and is difficult to enforce. Especially when dealing with private owners who can "cook" their books in their own businesses.

No doubt! It may be a little harder this season, but ways around it will (and always will) be found.

Posting this column is a bit strange. It’s like posting a news article that claims the world is flat.

Are you trying to say it isn't?

Ive said this before and I will say it again-- eventually the new SMS system will fail-- too many violations, and with at leat one owner withholding info makes it unmanageable. Full disclosure of salaries is needed to make any cap work. People will disagree and insult me, but after this system fails-- and it will-- I will be right there saying "I told you so".

Well Sambo you may be right. But the CFL BOG may have covered most loop holes. But you can bet if some one does find a new loop hole they will cover it. Ted Hellard mentioned this before. If a loop hole occurs you change it to cover it.