Ricky Ray and the obvious salary cap question

Don’t get me wrong. If I was Edmonton, I would be ecstatic right now to sign Ray. What gets me is that I would be very surprised if this did not push Edmonton over the top for violating the salary cap if they were not already there. I just feel their will be long term stability in the league if a reasonable salary cap is established. Therefore, my statement is THEY NEED TO HAVE SOME TEETH TO FORCE TEAMS TO ADHERE TO THE SALARY CAP.

My reasoning is simple. There are nine teams in this league with one on what appears to be the brink. Failure to level the playing field may ultimately cause another team to fold. The last time I checked, I doubt the CFL could exist with say five or six teams. It is my contention that if the salary cap is not enforced, this could very well happen. Consider the following.

B.C. - seems to be a strong franchise and should survive
Edmonton - strong franchise and appears to have the money
Calgary - good fans and lots of money in that town
Saskatchewan - great fans, but community owned and could get forced out in extreme circumstances
Winnipeg - same story as Saskatchewan
Toronto - has reputation of wanting to abandon Argos for an NFL team. If Sask and Winnipeg were to fall, Toronto would be quick to follow.
Ottawa - Is in trouble. May fall in one or two years if CFL does not address this problem
Hamilton - I have no opinion on the state of that franchise. I would be itnerested in hearing from Ti-Cat fans on what they think
Montreal - strong and appears to be here for long haul

To those that say I just have sour grapes cause the Eskimos are going to be harder to beat now, I would be lying to say that is not part of my motivation right now. More importantly though, can this league survive if we allow this to continue? Personally, I think it could but we will have less growth and league prosperity if we don’t level the playing field.

I realize this issue has been beaten to death, but until it gets resolved, we will always be talking about this.

Honestly, I wonder how much these players are actually making? Salary figures are not publicly released so I think we are all getting secon- and third-hand info and salaries are different than reported. Also, I don’t exactly know where Edmonton gets all the money. Edmonton is community-owned, just like Winnipeg and Regina.

A couple months ago it was reported that the Esks are paying Davis Sanchez $200 000 per year. That figure has been shot down even by other owners and agents saying that it is absolutely false. I honestly don’t know what to think. Maybe the Esks are violating the cap, but maybe 5 other teams are as well? Whatever the case currently is, I am all for a strict league-wide salary cap that is actually enforced.

The good news is that no team, no matter how much they pay their players, will go 18-0 and win the Grey Cup. It is still a very competitive league (but nobody regrets being an Esks fan!).

No matter how you try to enforce the cap, teams will find creative ways around it. When I was a traveling sales rep a few years ago, One of the companies that I called on was owned by one of the CFL owners.He had a creative way to beat the rap. The team paid out a $50,000 Salary to keep it unrealistically low. Then the owner hired the player as a "consultant " for $75,000 a year at one of this private company. I was making a sales call and recognized this player, and the secratary filled me in on the arrangement. How would you police something like that? The player came to this company twice a month to “shake hands” with every one, and happily collected his salary! So his contract with the CFL is registered for $50,000 but he was also getting another $75,000, indirectly for “Shaking hands” with this private company.

There is no cap …and if curtain teams loose…they should have more people buying tickets to get better players.

A team of stars doesn’t get you a championship , just like that.

They have to be coach well , have heart ,…and have fan support.

EDMONTON , fans do support their football team.

You trying to tell me that Saskatchewan doesn’t support their team? Have you been to Regina? Have you compared the population in and around Regina to that of Edmonton? Do you realize that if Edmonton supported their team to the same extent that Regina supports theirs the Eskimos need to be filling out 100,000 seat stadiums on a regular basis? You guys make me laugh…all high and mighty! If you can make comments like you just made, then when it comes to the Oilers…Edmonton, in your own opinion…has no cause to complain. Bunch of two-faced cry babies in the Chuck I believe. I’d like to see the kind of support the Eskies would be getting if they hadn’t one a cup since '89 and had only ever won 2. The Rider’s have real fans. Fans of the Green and White and fans of the CFL…not just fans of winning at all costs…even if the playing field isn’t level. The CFL is becoming a joke and they better fix it soon.

My point is, there is still parity in the CFL. For all the whining about big salaries and signing all the best players, it’s not like the Eskimos are unbeatable and have had a dynasty recently, or anything. Two big-name signings in the last two years - John Avery and Ricky Ray were both brought to the CFL by Edmonton and were given modest salaries to start out. Ray made $30,000 per year in his first stint here. The Eskimos are not a parasite, and they are successful, but not bullet-proof.

Five years ago they were an average team fighting for their playoff lives. After two great seasons, they were 9-9 and looked very average.

Every team has been signing free agents and they all don’y go to Edmonton. Reportedly, Ottawa doesn’t have enough money to even meet the maximum limit of the cap, but that’s not Edmonton or Toronto’s fault. I don’t see anything crooked going on.

Well said.

Yes , I have been to REGINA [great place to see a game] , and rarely do their games completely sell out…but they do have great fans.

There is no salary cap…and people blame other teams spending for there football loses.

SASK. were in dept for many years…it is great , now that they are a much better team.

The ARGO spent allot on JOHN AVERY …and he wasn’t the star people thought he would be in , TORONTO…teams win championships , not SUPERSTARS…I predict that EDMONTON fans will get a BIG reality check…this season…

At least now the WEST can’t blame everything on the EAST …now. :smiley:

Do you feel better now? I hope so cause you better believe we are not two face fans. Here’s a fact for ya. Last season the Oilers sold out, I repeat full building for 32 of 40 home games. Why should we apolgize when our fan base is higher than yours. The Eskimos will average around the high 30’s to low 40’s in attendance this year. Just like we did last year with a team that went 9-9 and according to all the posters were lucky to do that because they are old and slow and on the decline

Have you ever looked closely at the SkyDome or BCPlace in recent years? Their fan base is 3x what ours is and they have to close off the upper deck in order to make the place look like it has some fans in it. Don’t get too riled up Argo and Lion fans, I know your attendance is and has been on the increase and that is due to hard work by your orginizations. Watch the return game of the Labor day classic and you’ll see almost 60,000 people at Commonwealth. How many CFL cities will draw those numbers for one game even if they had the seating capacity this year?

Rider fans are known for being boisterous, fun-loving die hard fanatical supporters of their football team and yes, maybe the best in the CFL. Now here’s a question. If that’s the case why doesn’t somebody buck up and build a new ballpark and get them out of that hole in the wall they play in?Seems to me that would address the monetary issue out there cause if the Rider fans are what you are telling me they would have no problem filling a 60,000 seat stadium and would probably even pay more money for the tickets. After all, then they could sign players like Burris without complaining about a salary cap issue.

Hell, they would probably even support piling the cost of the stadium on their taxes so that even more of the ticket revenues could be used on signing players. That is if they are truly the “real” fans that you claim. As far as the cups go, you are damn right we would be supporting the team just as well if they weren’t as successfull. It all goes round and round man. Do you think that the Eskimos would have developed and grown here the way they have without outstanding fan support? Next time you are at the grey cup check out the “Spirit of Edmonton” room.

No way we are going to apologize for having a successfull orginization and team. Good luck to the Riders this year, may the best team win.

Cheers

There is a league wide problem. Those with the privately owned support are spending like their kids in a candy store. Those that are community owned have to pinch pennies. I think the current structure of Winnipeg and Sask is old. I’m from Winnipeg and I think we need a private owner to compete. Then again, me and my season tickets will see this year if it takes money or brains to make a winner.

I think Edmonton should have to pay some sort of penalty after what? Signing 3 Qb’s that are each making at least over 200,000 a season. This is silly. The Eskimos lose money every year, the only reason it looks as if they didn’t last year was because the ownership group sold the Trappers.

I never said the Riders had no problems selling out…and I never said they sold out every game…I said that when comparing populations (fair to say Edmonton and area at least 5x Regina and area population) then the Eskimos should be filling out 100,000 seat stadiums on a regular basis (the Riders DO hit the 20,000 mark regularly). I’m saying the Riders in the CFL are in a situation similar to that of the Oilers in the NHL. They can not compete if teams are going out and signing 3 MVP qbs to their rosters just because they have the money. The Riders do not have $12 million sitting in their bank account. It’s hard enough to get players to come to Regina even if money wasn’t the issue. I don’t know…I guess I’ve always been one who finds it more fun and satisfying to win when the playing field IS LEVEL…and it definitely is not, despite all the rationalizing going on on this site.The Riders have never signed a marquee player…they can’t afford too. The get Burris from the Stamps when he was a 3rd stringer…he has a good season and then leaves for the states. Comes back has a good season and then leaves for $. Story of the Riders…a player will always go where the $ is…and who can blame him. The salary cap is a necessity for some teams…while winning seems to be the only necessity for others…way to go EDMONTON…heres to attempting to buy the Grey Cup! I hope you fall flat on your face and the Oilers never reach the playoffs again.

Also I’m not calling Edmonton fans two-faced because they don’t show up at Oiler games…I’m calling them two-faced cause they whine that the Oilers can’t compete with the big spenders (TOR, NYR, DET)…and guys like Nedved won’t stick around. If there was a cap the Oilers would have a chance at some of the bigger names and a chance at putting out a competitive team…on a slightly smaller scale that’s what the RIders face…granted their are only a handful of players who make any money of significance but those guys will never end up in Regina…Travis Moore was argueably one of the biggest name players to come to the Riders in a while and he’s no Ricky Ray or Khari Jones or Joe Montford or Davis Sanchez or even Mike Pringle

But Rider fans have always been proud of the fact that their fans travel from all across Saskatchewan, sometimes driving for hours, just to get to Taylor Field. Edmonton doesn’t have that luxury, having to share their province with another team, and must rely on their own metropolitan area. Now, I don’t have the numbers, but I’m pretty sure the population of Saskatchewan is higher than the population of the greater Edmonton area.
But under any circumstances, I don’t think the team that had the highest attendance in the league last year should be a target for fans of other teams to ridicule their attendance.

If only Rider fans were as good as they claim then they too could sell some tickets and maybe even one day purchase a QB.

Truth is, the Rider fans spend so much time praising what great fans they are they forget to go to the games!

actually we do have great fans here in saskatchewan. you might want to take population into consideration here. there are about 1 million people here in saskatchewan and almost 200 thousand in regina. you look at a place like calgary you almost got 1 million right there, not to mention all the supporting rural towns, etc. In saskatchewan not all of the rider fans can buy season tickets just because of the fact they live to far away.the riders DO have good fans and everyone knows that.

Buddy…there are 1 million people in the entire province. There are that many in greater Edmonton. Your quote makes no sense. Look at an Eskimo vs Rider game in Edmonton. I bet 10-15,000 are Rider fans. Look at Calgary vs Edmonton…I bet 8-10,000 are CGY. Look at all home games in Regina…they are pretty much Saskatchewan fans only.

Fans this, fans that. The fact of the matter is still this. Without a salary cap, two or three teams will eventually find themselves in difficulty. If their are only 9 teams in the league to begin with, we cannot afford to lose even one team. If I was a location slated for potential expansion (e.g. Halifax), I would also want some cost certainty that a cap would provide. To me, no matter how you cut it, a true salary cap would only make our league better.

Amen

[b]People like the Gipper kill me. The last time the Esks won the cup was 93 (before 03). People like you seem to think that the Eskimos just spend until they win. The team could probably afford to sign every quality free agent in this league every year. Clearly that’s not what they do, is it ? The reason they could afford to do that, is because of ʧKÃ?MØ ÑATÃ?ØÑ. There is absolutely no doubt, who the best fans in the league are. Your little point about population is fertilizer pal. Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal all have higher populations than E-town (figures I found on-line). According to your logic. Edmonton should have the 6th highest attendance in the league. Is Edmonton 6th in the league ¿?¿ Edmonton is the flagship franchise in this league. If not for the team, and it’s fans. There would be no CFL. Keep that in mind. There is no private owner here with deep pockets. This team is community owned. The next best fans in the league, are about 300 clicks south of here. No matter what I say about Cowtown, I have ALWAYS respected Stamp Nation, and given them huge props in respect to the way they support their team. Especially, considering the freakshow they had for the last few years.

Seems to me, I remember reading that the SK Gov’t just forgave a $2000000.00 debt of the Riders. The Eskimos don’t get little sweetheart deals like that. Instead, the braintrust here makes wise decisions based on the finances that having the highest attendance in the league affords them. If Shivers worried more about things like that. Instead of throwing his kicker under the bus. You guys might have a few more bucks. So whine to someone else, someplace else. We ain’t buyin. [/b]

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…not a bad argument there…