Has spending war moved to football ops?

Since the inception of the Salary Cap in the CFL, in the fight to compete it appears football ops are getting larger and more expensive. Just eyeballing it, it appears Football op personnel budget has grown two and three folds since then.

Has money just been displaced from the players to management?

Is excessive coaching and player movement turning the CFL in a "Coaching league" instead of a "playmaker league" ?

Should total football operational expenditures be regulated by the league?

Should some of that money be pooled and invested in initiatives such as Quarterback Academy todevelop quarterbacks for the CFL? Officiating Development?


apine, epine, upine, ipine

Interesting questions = nice post.

"Has money just been displaced from the players to management?" ... yes

"Is excessive coaching and player movement turning the CFL in a "Coaching league" instead of a "playmaker league" ?" ...yes, I'd say a coach development league but it seems it's rather a coach pre retirement league.

"Should total football operational expenditures be regulated by the league?" ...no, increase the cap.

"Should some of that money be pooled and invested in initiatives such as Quarterback Academy to develop quarterbacks for the CFL? Officiating Development?" ...no, increase the cap.

Just my opinions.
I think increasing the cap will increase interest in the league as a whole, which will increase profits, which can be used to develop such and such but only after our beloved players start making a fair wage. Which IMO it is not close to fair.

Refereeing needs to be consistent and reasonable in their decision making .

Any money that would be available to bring this aspect of the CFL in line with a higher standard would be noticeable in the end product the CFL is serving up .

Football ops ARE getting larger and A LOT more expensive. That is precisely where all the extra revenue is going cause it sure as heck aint going to the players on the field.

Meanwhile, teams cry poor while taking their bloated football ops staff down to Florida for a "scouting trip".

The size of the staffs and the salaries have really ballooned over the last 20 years. Where teams use to carry two or three guys in their football management office and coaching staffs of 4 to 6 they now have 10 people in ops and coaching staffs of 12 and 13 coaches. I think the game now is less exciting than it was 10, 20 years ago. I'm not even sure a Doug Flutie would flourishin today's CFL. All teams are pretty much mirrors of each other. In order to keep putting points on the board, they've crippled defenses IMO.

Doesn't seem to make sense and where does it stop?

Thank you for the comments all good stuff!

The three community-owned CFL teams publicly release their Financial Statements, with the Bombers and Esks having annual revenues of around $25M (with the Riders a fair bit higher.) Despite a $5.2M maximum player salary cap ($4.6M minimum) these teams manage to spend almost every cent of that revenue.

The $5.2M maximum salary cap includes 46 roster/reserve players, 10 or 15 practice roster and many injured players' salaries. (Excluded from the cap are players injured for 6 consecutive games or longer.) It was recently reported the Esks actual payroll for football operations was around $9M last year, which included salaries for all players, coaches, trainers, etc. Not included were administrative jobs, which I surmise would make up the bulk of the extra spending.

If teams spent to the maximum on player salaries, that amounts to about 20% of gross team revenues. Should some white-collar executives and ticket sellers be fired to give more money to the players? Should supply and demand be a guiding factor in player salaries, instead of providing generous compensation to players who risk their health to provide entertainment for the fans? Would public perception of the league improve if rookies signed for $75k and starting QB's got $750k?

For myself. I'm not saying to increase the CAP. I am suggesting bringing the price of running these teams down. It makes no sense to spend 5 million on 60 players and then spend twice that on 20 to 25 "managers/support" staff.

The 5 million saving is the difference to be able tofield teams in cities like Moncton, Halifax, QC, London....in 20 000 seat stadiums.

HFX...do you think if there were a cap on ops that it would cause teams to be less cavalier about firing coaches/gms and carrying dead money for 1-2-3 years. Do you think hiring practices would improve?

Last I looked Trestman had 18 assistants of one sort or another, no doubt some at entry level coaching positions. Do you think the number of coaches should be capped? Scouts? Or just a capped $ number that falls under football ops?

I think all contracts should be signed with the league, not the teams. GM is paid X, HC is paid X...with an escalator for years of service and bonus for success like the players get in the postseason. This way if a team no longer wants Coach X, but team Y does and the guy moves he's not double dipping or sitting at home for years sometimes siphoning money.

This way all teams would really be competing under the same rules.

Maybe I'm missing something. How would the league signing off on the contracts keep things in line? Perhaps I am not reading between your lines as intended. If so I aplogise.

Just bluntly do you think the salaries of coaches and gms should be capped ? And numbers too? Should teams only be allowed X amount of coaches?and do fired staff who do not accept other jobs but who are still collecting pay count in these numbers?

Great topic!

Capping the coaches and management would not really work. Teams need to be able to offer more to lure a quality HC or GM. Who would work in Saskatchewan if they could get the same job for the same pay elsewhere?

The reason the Riders got Chris Jones from the Esks is with money.

In an ideal world, the CFL should work out a salary cap for players based on a percentage of revenues. For example, the players get 45% of total CFL revenue. The NHL works like this, does it not? The more money the CFL makes, the more money players make.

It won’t happen, because owners in the CFL just won’t do it. They want the freedom to spend more on coaching staffs and management.

IIRC the players in the NHL salary cap is something like 57% of league revenues. So if CFL players are making substantially less than that - the CFL players have a legitimate beef IMO.

Good post

Haha...ya who would want to work for the wealthiest and most stable franchise in Canada, with the best facility in Canada, with the most passionate fans in Canada, with the highest attendance. in an affordable City.

And Jones is making a reported $750,000 for the roles of HC, GM, and VP. I'm sure he'd rather be in Montreal :slight_smile:

Probably less money spent than most teams in the league when you combine the roles.

What is it you didn't like about Sask when you were there?

I think in the most recent CBA negotiations the owners and players agreed to lower the the ratio to a 50-50% split of all revenues.

The CFLPA used to get over 50% (I believe it was 56%) but then foolishly gave that away for a bag magic beans which now sees them get as low as 38% of revenues. (depending on which calculation you use, because as the salary cap is no longer tied to revenues as it is in almost literally EVERY single sport league not named the CFL)

Not sure the CFLPA didn't see the revenues at the time as volatile and a fixed amount more lucrative with teams affording better amenities , perks and stable wages a bigger incentive .

If you can earn 87,000 $ with a good housing allowance , meals , physical therapy, travel expenses and facilities over a possible 99 ,000 $ with less it may not look as a good deal from a distance but once you uncover the layers the player is better taken care of and may actually come further out ahead financially .

You sometimes need to look beyond just the pay cheque when the numbers really don't change significantly enough if you lose in other categories . Don't know the contracts and specific details over the years but that maybe a good reason why things went down as they did . Negotiations is more than just a wage issue when dealing with a large union .

Can never forget Homer Simpson being haunted by the words Dental Plan when voting on a contract at the nuclear plant .

The players union was divided and lacked any kind of proper leadership. The owners knew it, and took the boots to them.

You can negotiate more than just salary during CBS talks. It doesn't have to be one or the other. Other sports leagues such as the NHL negotiate BOTH salary AND working conditions AND benefits all at the same time.

When the PA gave away salaries being linked to revenues they didn't get anything of value in return other than the league promising not to touch the ratio as they had been threatening to do and a couple of other minor tidbits. Its not like they gained anything of substance in place of a salary linked to revenues. The leagues revenues had grown consistently in the ten years previous to that deal, so why give it up? They gained next to nothing from the owners and followed up that pitiful performance with another shellacking during the most recent round of negotiations.

Had they stayed the course, even if their share would have went down to 50% we would be looking at a salary cap millions of dollars higher than where it is now. Instead we have bloated football ops which includes large salaries, benefits, and all the other bells and whistles while players scrape by on peanuts for about 80% of the league.