the CFL's horrid treatment of players (Leader-Post)

[u]The CFL is a great game but a horrid business[/u]

[b]CFL coaches’ and general managers’ contracts are guaranteed. So if a coach signs, say, a three-year deal, the CFL team is on the hook to pay his salary for that duration, regardless of whether his services are retained for the full term.

On the other hand, the terms of players’ contracts do not need to be honoured by the club. The team is not liable for any salary or bonus money that has yet to be paid out if a player is released.

Typically, a player’s salary is divided into 18 equal, taxable parts and is payable following each of the 18 regular-season games. Therefore, if a player practises all week but is cut before the game, the team doesn’t owe that player for that week of work.

The uncertainty with salaries may not seem quite fair to the players or their families, but those are the rules of the game. When a player signs a CFL contract, he knows the risks involved. But that doesn’t make it any easier for any of the 19 players, along with some members of the office staff, who were released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week.

In addition to in-season paycheques, some players also have off-season bonuses worked into their contracts. Similar to salary, if a player is cut by the team before the date on which the bonus is due, that bonus is not payable.

It’s a beautiful game, but a horrid business.[/b]

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What isn't mentioned is the players that sit on the Practice roster for months getting $500/week for 18 weeks

Wow... this is pretty brutal.

Although the question then becomes, how do you distribute pay equally relative an amount of hours of work when you are on salary?
I guess if you worked out in that week you should just be entitled to that money.
Why hasn't the union addressed something like this before? Unions are supposed to stand up for workers rights and this sort of pay practice is some bourgeois BS.

comparing a player on a Practice Roster who makes $500 week and is contractually mandated to attend/participate in regularly scheduled drills, practices and meetings as opposed to a coach/GM/OC or other football ops who can sit at home collecting HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS for literally doing nothing is absurd.

The are also on a contract that they HAVE to honour but that a team has no obligation to

As for why has the union not spoken out my guess is they fear if they push for better fair equal payments the league wills ay ok but then we will bring in a waiver system.

THE CFLPA IS USELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not actually true. According to the new CBA the minimum Practice roster salary is $750 per week plus housing or housing allowance. There is no maximum but PR salaries count towards the salary cap, not including housing.

On the other hand, the terms of players’ contracts do not need to be honoured by the club. [b]The team is not liable for any salary or bonus money that has yet to be paid out if a player is released.[/b]
This part of the news article is incorrect. Veteran players with 4+ years experience have their salaries and incentives guaranteed in September for the remainder of each season including playoff bonuses.

If the NFL minimum is C$650,000, shouldn't CFL players be earning at least $325,000? That would seem fair considering the popularity of the game and risk to health. The problem is over 50% of each team's gross revenue comes from ticket sales (except the Riders). Would fans balk if ticket costs quadrupled to help pay for the increased salaries and benefits? The reality is the majority of CFL players are earning the $51,000 minimum (Esks A. Bowman excepted with is newly-signed $505k/2 yr deal :wink: ). With any change to that formula, ticket prices will have to go up.

If you want job stability, pro football isn't for you. Someone correct me if I am wrong but isn't the NHL the only league with guranteed player contracts? I really don't see the massive deal here, if you perform highly at your job you won't have to worry about money issues in the CFL, the league recycles through guys like crazy many of those who will be cut by the Riders will find CFL work elsewhere. If not playing pro football has never been seen as a wise choice, pro sports in general is a cruel business, especially for smaller wages in the CFL.

The CFL PA is the players. They bailed on Flory last year. They weren't even prepared to lose one week of training camp expenses. They have no one to blame but themselves.

I use to think they deserved better but they get what they are prepared to fight for. People should not feel bad for them.

...yeah, I'm not seeing what the issue is here either...if you fully understand the terms of the contract before you sign it, and you sign it, you can hardly complain about it later...

....I think what the idea of the article was to point out inequities and that maybe it should be corrected...Just how you go about doing that other than through the CFLPA, I don't know...Seems a good topic to bring up at negotiating time...Feel sorry for the 19 who were dumped in Sask. BUT like you say, they knew full well what could happen, when they put the pen to paper regarding their employment.

I will weigh in as I have spoken to players about wages . First off the minimum salary is 51,000 the same as the average salary in Canada for about 5 to 6 months work . For many of them they are now free to start that second career or complete studies during a long extended break.

The desire to play pro is on a risk reward basis . For some the love of the game and getting a descent wage is enough
for the pain or risk of injury that will be with them a lifetime . For others they cannot get by the risk part and quit during camp .

When you get to the NFL you won the lottery and you need to make as much as you can as quick you can and you will be set for life . For a select few CFLers this why they are here to someday win the lottery in the NFL . Plus the added prestige factor .

The vast majority realize that a career is short in football and are happy with the opportunity given to them in the CFL whether American or Canadian to play pro football and then move on to other steady employment cherishing there memories when they played in the CFL .

Many people equate CFL salaries and employment like real jobs in the real world but it is not . They are paid entertainers like musicians or actors . It is seasonal work which could be gone in a second with a short shelf life .
Each player needs to look and read their employment contract and decide what is best for them . These are adults who played many years in the NCAA with no pay for their risk ; so this is not new to many of them .

No, player contracts are guaranteed in most other sports. NHL, MLB, NBA, etc. Football is the exception, not the norm, and even there it only applies to players and not to coaches or others.

Guys who were prepared to fight for a better deal and got screwed by the union caving certainly can. The idea that players should get a worse deal than coaches "just because" and be happy with it is bunk.

No pro league has guaranteed contracts take the Nhl 3 things can happen you get bought out where you get 50% of you contract or your sent down to the minors and the 3rd which by far is the worse is your put on waivers.

You can only get bought out in the NHL in June, and it costs 1/3 or 2/3 of your contract depending on your age. Most players get paid full salary even if they get sent to the minors, the exception is guys with two-way contracts or guys actually on contract to a farm team and get called up. And waivers isn't some magic thing to end a contract, you get put on waivers as part of the buyout process.

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Compare to the CFL and it's "oh you're owed a bonus tomorrow? Get lost" philosophy.


What happens with waivers many times is players who older retire as they don't want to end up on a bad team or move there family.

but unlike NHL players who can afford to retire (avg. annual salary $2.6 million) under those circumstances, CFL players do not have the same financial luxury to refuse any such move whether bad team or family uprooting are factors.

...then fight the fight, if not for yourself then the next guy...again, if you sign a contract knowing what the terms are then I don't even need to complete the sentence...

...I'm not saying the players do not get a raw deal, but it's the deal on the table, and if you can't abide by it then walk, someone else will fill your spot...

...reality check: players rarely last longer than good coaches (for obvious reasons), just because