(The Canadian Press)

CFL to continue discussions with federal government about financial assistance

The CFL sent the federal government the $30-million request earlier this week

Discussions continue between the CFL and federal government on a $30-million, interest-free loan that, if granted, would allow the league to stage an abbreviated 2020 season.

The CFL sent the federal government the $30-million request earlier this week, a reduction from the $44-million amended requisition it presented last month. In April, the CFL approached the federal government for up to $150 million in assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFL governors held a videconference Thursday and were expected to receive an update on the situation with Ottawa. But early Thursday evening word came that no decisions have been made to date and the two sides continue to talk.

There was no mention of a deadline for negotiations to be completed in order for a shortened season to be possible. CFL officials say they’re aware fans and players alike want certainty and efforts continue to get to that point.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest an abbreviated season could begin is early next month. But he’s also said a cancelled campaign remains a possibility.

A source with knowledge of the situation told The Canadian Press on Wednesday the CFL’s newest plan calls for approximately $28 million of the loan going towards an abbreviated campaign. The CFL source spoke on the condition of anonymity as neither the league nor federal government have divulged details of the loan request.

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams did his part Thursday to try and sway the federal government, particularly Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Dear @JustinTrudeau,” he tweeted. “Please help us out and I promise to bring the Grey Cup to you first.”

This is essentially the league’s last-ditch effort to secure financial support from the federal government for an abbreviated ‘20 season. If Ottawa turns down the CFL’s request, the overwhelming sentiment is it will result in no football being played this year.

Ottawa would definitely require cost certainty from the CFL to approve the assistance. But also needed would be a specified repayment plan as well as Health Canada approval of health-and-safety protocols the league would implement during a shortened season.

And the source said it appeared Health Canada was still evaluating the CFL’s health-and-safety protocols Thursday. If the federal agency provided its approval, then the league and Ottawa could actually get down to the actual negotiating of the loan.

If there is an abbreviated season, it will be staged in Winnipeg, the CFL’s tentative hub city.

The source says the league has said it expects to lose between $60 and $80 million with a cancelled season. Even if football is played, the deficit could be as much as $50 million.

The CFL has been steadfast that it needs government money for a shortened season. Ambrosie has stated the nine-team circuit collectively lost upwards of $20 million in 2019.

And with no football so far this year, franchises have had little opportunity to generate revenue. The CFL is a gate-driven league, with ticket sales being the primary source of revenue for all of its teams.

The CFL continues to meet with the CFL Players’ Association about amending the current collective bargaining agreement to allow for an abbreviated season. The league also must finalize a deal with broadcast partner TSN.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

2020 overdose death toll rises to 73 in the Okanagan

Just under half of the deaths occurred in Kelowna

COVID-19 picture ‘much clearer,’ says Interior Health president

As fall routines set in, IH CEO Susan Brown reminds public to be vigilant in preventative practices

MacIntyre acclaimed as Libertarian candidate for Penticton

MacIntyre is the president of the Okanagan School of the Arts

Russell selected as B.C. NDP candidate for Boundary-Similkameen

The director for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary was chosen over Oliver councillor Grice.

More bats nothing to worry about, say Okanagan experts

The Okanagan Community Bat program says residents may see more young bats around

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Historic BC Tree Fruits head office in Okanagan for sale

The company’s CEO said the decision was necessary due to a fickle fruit market

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, but it didn’t happen

Air ambulance crew assists victims

Two girls were injured Sunday Sept. 20 in a ATV crash that… Continue reading

Kelowna man caught with up to 12K child porn files to be sentenced next month

Terry Krock told the court today that he is ‘very ashamed’ of his actions

30 new COVID-19 cases reported in Central Okanagan health region in August

The 30 new cases reported in August brings the total number in region to 239

Suspects steal $30,000 in glasses from Okanagan business

Jimmy Choo, Smith, Ray Ban, Tom Ford and Maui Jims taken from optometry

Shuswap man ‘started to lose it’ after learning of lottery win

Sorrento resident wins $100,000, ticket purchased at Copper Island Pub

Okanagan Beach Club fined for not complying to COVID-19 rules, tiki bar closed

Interior Health order the tiki bar closed due to non-compliance with Provincial Health Officer orders

Most Read