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Its Time to Rip the Band Aid off CFL

Published: Sunday, Aug 2nd 2020, 5:08pm

By:Sheldon Jones

The other day I penned an article about recent CFL players going after reporters for only doing their jobs, today I take my aim at the League for not doing what everyone save for those who are extremely optimistic, knows needs to happen. Its time to rip the band aid off the 2020 season. The players have every right to be frustrated with how the CFL and Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has handled their “return to play” scenarios.

For the second time, a league-imposed deadline has come and gone with nothing but lip service to its players and fans. Today the CFL issued a statement, basically saying that we continue to ask for the players, sponsors, and fans for patience as they work together to try to figure this out. We have known for quite a while that any chance the CFL has to get a abbreviated season underway, is up to the Canadian Federal Government in what would look to some as a “bail-out”, to Randy Ambrosie as a “partnership” or to realists a loan. TSN’s Dave Naylor tweeted out that his sources tell him that the Feds have offered the CFL a “short-term loan, at a high interest rate and fees”. He followed this up stating that leagues sources tell him that this would put them in a worse position going forward. If this is indeed the case, the time is NOW to pull the plug on the 2020 season and get to work on a better business model for 2021. The fact that (if true) the Government is making this short term and high interest is very upsetting, as a low or zero interest loan over a longer period still would return that money loaned instead of putting the onus on the tax payers to cover a bailout.

Regardless on how I or anyone feels about what the Government is offering the League, this whole mess of a would-be season has been handled so terribly by not only the Commissioner, but ultimately the CFL Governors and board of directors as they, not Randy Ambrosie, have the real power. Had this been handled differently in late March, with the CFL and the CFLPA working together, not against each other, I have little doubt in my mind that they would not be playing by now. By going to the Government with his hands out without any knowledge of what they would do with the players, Randy Ambrosie and Co. looked foolish. They have now lost the players support, after an intense CBA battle just last summer, pointed out that there was certainly cracks in the foundation in the relationship between the League and its players.

I am missing football as much (or more) that any other fan, but I at least am in a position that I have a job and steady income coming in to provide for my family. Most of our favorite players do not have that luxury right now, they are in a state of limbo not knowing if / when they will need to get quarantined, then to travel to Winnipeg, to then stay in a hotel for a few months away from their families all for pennies on the dollar of what they would have been expecting to make during a regular season. These players deserve to know what happening and they need to know now. Its time to pull the plug on 2020 and hope that we still have a CFL in 2021.


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