Gary Lawless on the CFLPA

Jeff Keeping is going to challenge Scott Flory for President because some players do not like the current direction.


"To me, this union is on the verge of growing up and becoming more than just a way for Canadian Offensive Lineman to keep their salary at its peak. It's gonna be more representative of the entire league."

"In the last CBA the way it was structured, you know they did all these things to raise salaries, but they didn't do anything to raise salaries for the young guys, and as a result, the minimum in the league is still very low, and it's getting more and more difficult to attract good players to the CFL. And that eventually will erode the league. You know, the union can't just worry about a few guys. They have to worry about the future of all the players and how they can get paid, and they didn't do that in that CBA, and Flory was a major piece of that."

"Owning a Canadian Football League franchise is not the road to get rich right now. Most guys break even or even lose money. There are some teams that are making some money now, but it's not a lot. I don't have a problem with where the salary cap is right now, but it has to grow. And to make that happen, they have to work with the commissioner & with the league and make good things happen for the league. If you're an American football player right now with the state of the Canadian dollar & the minimum salary in the CFL, you're talking about playing football in Canada for$30,000US for 18 professional games? Then you gotta train all year to be in position to do it. It's a losing proposition, and the players have to be concerned about that. To me, the minimum has to go up. And that would mean taking money out of the pockets of quarterbacks and Canadian offensive lineman who are getting the lion's share of those dollars right now. That to me would have (it needs to be) a very hot point issue for this union right away."

"Gates are down in a number of places last year, and as well tv ratings weren't as strong as the league would like them to be, and that affects revenues across the board. So one way to make the league better is to make the play on the field better. One way to do that is to attract better Americans. We're getting the best Canadians that don't go to the NFL. We're not getting the best Americans that don't go to the NFL. And there's a threat from another league right now which is taking a bunch of good players. That bottom salary in the CFL is a major problem right now."

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Wow. That's direct.
I agree with him, at least on these points.

Interesting how this union seems to be run by recently or soon to be retired Canadian o-line guys.

It's amazing how many guys are making minimum if you can believe some of the estimates out there.

Lawless is an idiot. Union reps are nominated by their teammates because for the most part they vote for Olinesmen are the most senior players in the league as their career is two or three times the average of other positions save maybe kickers.

Flory tried to negotiate a deal for the players and they folded like a cheap deck of cards the minute the owners offered up bribe money.

He did something extremely smart for the rookies, he got them complete freedom after one two years and got them their option window back which they have used more than ever to try their luck in the NFL.

These short term contracts are allowing these guys to cash in quicker than ever. So much so that General Managers are complaining non stop.

I don't think this union is about to take a step forward, it will just take another step backwards. Look at the players instigating the "revolt" they are long standing bag lickers of ownership.

Who are the bag lickers you are referring to? Which players are leading the revolt outside of Keeping who is challenging to replace Flory?

Bribe money?



The Cash payout for signing the last CBA, the $12 000.00 cash bribe up front for vets.

SSK was the only team to reject the contract, It was the worst example of Union negotiations ever.
To start things off they fired their Lawyer just before negotiations.
The League and Union agreed to keep the media out of it, and within days Cohon went to the media and stated the League was in trouble financially and would never survive a bad contract.
The Union couldn't take a strike vote before the pre season games because they didn't realize there were different
strike voting regulations in each province, so they legally had to play the pre season games which would have shown some solidarity. if they didn't play them.
The union consists of players, not negotiators, This is why the NHLPA has Donald Fehr at the helm.
The CFLPA needs a seasoned negotiator at the top, not a bunch of retired Canadian O Linemen
Cohon schooled the CFLPA in negotiations, it wasn't even close. :roll:

They got their veteran 1 year contracts and bonus money and got nothing else

You can have the best negotiator in the world. If the players aren't willing to let him run negotiations, they lose any leverage. They had all the leverage last time and could not show any solidarity.

8 of the 9 teams were unwilling to even lose a week of training camp stipend.

Had they taken away some of those pre-season games that all go to the teams, things would have been very different. They blew it and are looking for a scapegoat.

This is gotta be a tough union in which to expect solidarity given that most players are American and generally come up thinking "stepping stone" rather than career.

Well. Its part of it. Every group is in it for themselves and the owners know it and blow them up every time. What's Keeping and the Marwan going to accomplish more than Flory ? :slight_smile:

Last time the vets got what they wanted. Their season/wages protected and the biggest chunk of the cash up front.

The rookies and imports got what they wanted, increase in min. wage, option year back.

Teams got what they wanted. Keep most of the TV money for themselves.

So blaming Scott Flory... well that takes the cake.

How can teams keep most of TV money for themselves, when the TV money is not enough to pay players salaries on active rosters or 1 game injured lists? Excluding salaries of players on 6 game injured lists, the salaries are roughly 1 $ million more than the TV money.


I was talking about keeping most of the INCREASE in TV revenues.

But your point brings up how badly the players blew it. The total cut to the players is slightly more than the TV money in a league where TV money is a gate driven league. In cities like Hamilton and Regina the TV money isn't even the second source of revenues ! :lol:

1 million? You figure that the money put in someone's bank account is the only cost of said person's salary? The difference, assuming that they get 4 mil, is going to be easily over 2 mil, probably 2.5.

I know some hate to see clubs/owner potentially make a profit, but when a business makes a real profit in entices know....10th team being appealing and all. I see teams like Hamilton making a profit for a change and that is a good thing. Most teams are still making under 5% profit. Would you invest in something making 5 points on a well under <30mil revenue? Is this appealing to sink millions into knowing you will not recover that...unless you sell...if the team keeps its value. If you answered yes to that I feel pain for your portfolio.

If you are looking to advertise, what is more appealing...a league that members are making money or one that they are not?

The value of the contract in the 1st year of the deal made sense...other than how it was distributed with entry level players still working for peanuts and should have got a bigger piece mandated...this really hurts the league attracting players, especially with lower dollar. It stabilized things for new found money and, yes, heaven forbid, owners might make a few bucks. It allowed the league to improve medical oversight during games. It created investor interest.

The league was riding a high...look now...attendance is down...TV numbers are down...they lost a couple major sponsors. Some of the numbers people throw out there for cap would have crushed this league right now.

This contract promoted a growth opportunity, and that is good for everyone.

It is on a low because it is poorly managed. They invest zero in promotion as a league, hell they can't even put out a completed marketing campaign. TSN hasn't refreshed or invested in its broadcast in years. The constant mucking with schedules, officiating.
Bad press regarding interns, fights with doping control bodies.

None of this has anything to do with the players. Who get about 20 percent of revenues. Players are the only ones doing their job well as far as I can see.

Farhan LaljiVerified account ?@FarhanLaljiTSN 10m10 minutes ago
Jeff Keeping is the new president of the CFLPA. Defeats Scott Flory in election today at PA meetings in Vegas. #CFL

What year does the current agreement expire? I'm anticipating a lost season due to labour issues the next go-around.

The current agreement expires after the 2018 season; three more years,including 2016.


Officially, the current agreement between the CFL and the Players “will be in place until the later of May 15,2019 or the first day of training camp in 2019”.


Nah, they held ALL the cards last time, new franchise in Ottawa, two new statiums, new TV Contract... and they could not even get the players to agree to holding out a week of training camp.

Is Keon Raymond the 1st INT player on the executive?

FYI - The Salary Cap could be re-opened this season
" if the nine teams’ aggregate revenues (excluding Grey Cup) increase by more than $27 million in any year of the agreement, both sides will renegotiate an increase to the salary cap starting in the 2016 season." ... and-cflpa/