Rider season is back! To stay up-to-date, don't forget to subscribe!


Quick Slants: The CFL is a Canadian business too

Published: Thursday, Apr 30th 2020, 3:04am

by Greg McCulloch (@GregOnSports)


On April 28, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie publicly stated that the CFL was in talks with the Canadian government for a loan to help in the short term with funding for a delayed season and in the long term if the season is completely wiped out due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The CFL asked for 30 million to help in the short term due to the delayed season, then another amount if there is a shortened season, and a third loan if the season is cancelled. Worst case scenario, the total would be in the range of 120 to 150 million.

The rumble in the distance wasn’t thunder but the collective sound of everyone clutching their pearls over funding football… PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL. *faint*

There were a ton of takes immediatly as the story got filtered though social media some good, but a ton of bad ones.


I saw an argument that the CFL can’t get the money because if they do it will go to the American players. “Canadian tax payer money should only go to Canadian’s dammit!”

Ok. Sure… I can kind of get behind that logic.

However, if you look at the numbers I don’t think much, if any, would go to the American players.

Since the Riders are a publicly owned team their yearly financials are public record, so we can get a good look at what a reasonably successful CFL team looks like. The Riders operating budget for last year was in the 69 million range, the salary cap was just over 5. So really 7% of their operating budget was on players, the rest was on salarys for support staff and day to day expenses.

So if we take the high number of 150 million for a cancelled season and divide it amongst the 9 teams and the league office evenly 10 ways. That is 15 million, barely a fifth of the yearly operating budget for the Riders. The teams and league would still have to make hard decisions to keep the lights on in these troubled times.


What is that you say? “There is the CERB and EI the affected CFL workers can draw from.”

Sure, but in the end that money is still coming from the federal government. So even if the drain was equal between the loan to the league and the CERB payments, although it appears the CERB is better paying than a lot of jobs, if there is no league there is a bunch of jobs that won’t come back and more people collecting government money.

As for the players I am certain there will be negotiations between the league and the CFLPA, because everyone one becoming a free agent isn’t a good thing for either side, nor is the league folding due to insolvency. 


I get that we are in a completely messed up timeline right now, we are currently in the middle of the biggest pandemic since the Spanish Flu over 100 years ago and an economic ressession just under 100 years ago. The world sucks right now.

People have lost jobs, the economy is starting to crater because people can’t leave their houses, and the government is funding Canadian companies so they keep their employees so the economy doesn’t completely fall into the abyss. Everyone is feeling this one.

So why should the CFL be treated different?

With its 9 teams and head office it employs hundreds of people, if not thousands of people and thats not including outside employment like game day staff, security, food vendors, delivery driver etc. Plus the league pays it taxes just like every other company in this country.

IT IS a Canadian Company and should be protected as one. 


All in all, the cost would be $4 per Canadian.

That’s it…. TWO TOONIES. 2 attempts on the local gas station claw machine to get that genuine “Ipord.  That’s it. Over 100 years of heritage and 1000s of jobs.

Here’s a $20.

Keep the change.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

If you're having trouble subscribing, subscribe here instead.