Salary Cap Abuse

I haven't read all the posts, so I apologize if anyone already said this.

But here is the scuttlebutt on the salary cap.
Every team was likely over the cap this year.
But it was agreed to allow a transition period, which makes sense.
Allowing teams to give signing bonuses this year is just part of the transition period. Again, every team used that technique, so pointing fingers seems futile.
The Riders, for example, will likely announce somewhere between 20-25 signings right after the Vanier Cup.

All of this is fine.
The test will come after this transition period. Enforcement will be the key, not who gave who a bonus this year.
And enforcement will require political will.
All potential loopholes are pretty much plugged. No personal service contracts, no more signing bonuses, etc.
It is all about transparency and commitment.
If a team gets caught over the cap, penalties must be enacted, swiftly and harshly if need be.
The new commish must have the power to audit teams, and follow through. Forensic accountants don't miss much if they have access.

As for how $4 million was arrived at, I assume it was a collaborative process involving the teams and the players.
Players, and therefore the cap, will be compensated on a base % of revenues. It can't work otherwise.
So as revenues increase, so will the cap.

Good post Arius and dead on.

Again like most Edmonton fans you live in the past. Deny that access to the playing field is not an advantage every team in the CFL has complained about this situation. If there is a rule to be broken or worked around the Eskimos is the team that would do it. I find your statment on Flutie humorous as well. You are correct that Flutie was to get 1 million dollars but at the time each team was allowed a designated franchise player. By the way Flutie is still trying to collect that money.

I should say I guess that Montreal and B.C. are amongst the teams with the most to lose IMO.

I point to these teams as having the most to lose primarily because of past and continued use of the Community Services Contract. I realize that Toronto has used the PC many times and Calgary did under some past ownership(I don't believe the Stamps have used the Personal Services "out" since Doug Flutie) It is my contention that the personal services contract is the biggest abuse in the CFL because it is a route that cannot be used by all teams, community owned teams do not have a private owner who can hire Doug Flutie as his accountant or chauffer.

Montreal for instance paid Mike Pringle under a PC contract, there by freeing up money that other teams had to account for under the cap. B.C. has been a major user of the Personal Services contract in the past and they have been very good at exploiting other loopholes, like Buono's 2 way contract.

Again my only concern is that if the SMS is not a level playing field like IMO the salary cap attempts in the past have not been, then it is doomed to failure.

Most players have second jobs, they have to (ie. Bret Anderson is a fireman, Mantyka is a nurse)

What is wrong if the second job they have is working for the team in a different aspect, or working for the owner on something unrelated to their play on the field?

Players are paid to play football. That's one job. If the player in the offseason works in the front office of the team, or for the owner, I really don't see the big deal.

True enough, but what if a player in the off season received $50G from the team for "Public Relations" or in ticket sales in the off season. Wouldn't that raise some eyebrows?

The big deal is when you have a Doug Flutie, making $1,000,000.00 under the pretext of working for the owner, when all he does is play football. Again my issue with this is that the community owned teams don't have this option and that makes it an unlevel playing field.

I guess that I also have a bit of a problem with the politics, this very issue forced the stampeders to sell-out and become privately owned after years as a community owned team. The one or 2 great years with Doug Flutie(again under a personal services contract) were followed be a decade of bad ownership, shady deals, nepotism, etc. Thankfully we seem to have good owners now but there were some dark days because of making deals with the devil.

Another aspect to bring up: teams with private owners do not necessarily care about the CFL in general. Private owners purchased their teams in hopes of running them like a business to make a profit. If they think that signing more/better players will attract more fans and bring them a greater profit, then they will most certainly find ways to do it, even with the new SMS.

Not if the player is actually doing the work. PR work is very expensive when you hire a PR agency, why not, if a player has the training, have him do the PR work instead of an outside agency...it'll save money in the long run.

As it stands, no one can assuredly say that player X is not doing the work that he is being paid to do (off the field).

So!
All that being said and done then teams with the bucks can pay players to shake hands and make personal appearances for the team, and so far people seen fine with it.

Why then should they bother with a salary cap in the first place?

The new salary cap is a joke and will obviously be surpassed by probably most of the teams anyways. There is no difference between this cap and the last, except the fictional amount that it is for.

I guess the owners that voted against the cap , dont want the CFL to survive. They are playing with fire, and they are going to get burnt big time. If ANY of the existing teams fold, then the whole league goes under. Maybe a couple of the owners think that they have possbilities of getting NFL expansion franchises. If the SMS is not enforced , then say goobye to the CFL.

So far, there seems to at least be an attempt to implement the plan.
All teams have reacted to the cap in their planning, and so far so good.
A lot will depend on the new commish.

The personal service contract, per se, is actually pretty simple to curtail.
Unless teams are literally handing out briefcases of cash, it can be traced. And even then, it is difficult to hide ten of thousands of dollars on a consistant basis.

The toughest call are deciding between legitimate off-season jobs and bogus ones.
If a Rider gets a job at Sasktel is that cap related?
If a Ticat gets a job "developing software" for Bob Young, is that legitimate?
Those kinds of things are difficult to enforce, but if a guy gets a job, and is being paid a credible amount of money, I don't have a problem.
No "personal service" contract for so-called PR work will be allowed.
Real company, real job is a minimum, and then you keep tabs on the practice.
Like I said, forensic accountants are actually pretty good at tracing the cash, even the stuff in brown envelopes and paid at midnight.

Why? Why would the CFL fold with a more reasonable salary cap? Say, $10 mil? All the teams have to do is get better with their marketing, and the CFL hss to get better with its marketing.

Everyone says the NFL is a league of hype, and not real football, and I agree with this, but man, the hype sure pays the bills.

We need that hype here in Canada, and the CFL, and its BoG need to figure out how to go about increasing the hype, even if it takes 10 years to do.

Sambo
Its not that the owners did not want to league to survive. They simply did not agree with the cap as it was written because it is too easy to go around it.

I agree with hwgill - it is all about marketing.The CFL see's $$ on the horizon with a new TV contract and the possibility of having someone sponsor the GC game itself. Think about it, if the league signs a TV deal worth $20 million a year, has $10 million coming in from advertising and markets the game for an additional $10 that equals $40 a year divided between 8 or 9 teams. That pays for the salaries before they even have to dig into the gate revenues for each team.Quite complaining about a few hubndred thousand dollars when there are bigger renvenue sources on the horizon.

Put in a cap exceeding revenues, say the 10 million suggested, and the league folds in 3-5 years.
Then we won't have to argue about a "few hundred thousand" any more....

The formula is pretty basic. If revenues rise, as some of you anticipate, so will the cap.
This isn't complicated stuff. No league needs a solid cap more than the CFL.
Maybe some of you don't recall the heady days of the late 70s and 80s when spending was a free for all, and the league teetered week to week on the brink of bankruptcy, but I do....
Back then, teams spent money in anticipation of huge TV revenues and then when it didn't happen, boom....

I bet when you guys decide how much money you can afford to spend in your personal lives, you do so not based on your current salary, but based on that VP job you think you will land in 10 years....?

I didn't say spend $10 million a year but I don't think you guys agruing whether the cap should be 3.8 million or 4 million makes much sense. Lets face it, if you want quality you will have to spend for it, you do it for cars, electronics and food. You will need to do the same for your entertainment as well.
I am old enough to remember when the CFL was thriving in the 70's and 80's. Actually in the late 70's and early 80's they had a tv contract worth $30 million over three years. What killed the league was that the owners didn't reinvest it in the product but kept it for themselves.That has always been the problem with the league ( except Edmonton), no one reinvested the money back into the product, but that seems to be changing.
I would say to you Arius, that you probably spent more time playing with your tonka trucks then you did paying attention to the league 25 years ago.Get your facts right. Also, I think I'm doing alright with my finances, worry about yourself before you concern yourself with others.

The amount of the cap is irrelevent if it is not a)inforced and b) universally applied. The minute you have different rules for different teams, the cap is meaningless.

I'm all for a cap providing both conditions apply. Of course what I think is moot because the CFL in there infinite wisdom neglects to consult with me on such matters.

Somebody has suggested a ten mill cap. Others say 5, or at least spend more, such as yourself. And I am capable of dealing with several points from several people at once, thanks.
The reality is, in the 70s and 80s teams took exactly the same attitude as you are suggesting.
We MAY have more revenue, so why worry about a cap? Or lets raise the cap in ANTICIPATION of those increased revenues.
The roots of the near bankruptcy of the league were set in the late 70s and early 80s when the owners deluded themselves into thinking times were good, when in fact, teams consistantly lost money.
For example, the Riders had a rainy day fund of a couple of million in the bank in the mid seventies.
By 1980 that was gone and the team was in debt until just the past few years.
And that was despite being the lowest payroll team in the league most years.
So I have my facts correct.
The league began teetering in the early 80s, and then when the revenue tap of TV and big crowds dissappeared, the league barely survived.
Having a solid cap, based upon revenues, in partnership with the players is the only way to go.
Then you can focus energy on marketing and growing the league.
And a few hundred thousand dollars is the difference between financial stability and insolvency.
You need to get the horses in front of the wagon and pull....

And I could care less how you deal with your personal finances. But it is called an analogy.....