(The Canadian Press)

(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

A Nanaimo man is offering a $300 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who broke into his SUV and stole components from his drone. (News Bulletin file photo)
Drone owner offering reward after components stolen from his vehicle in Nanaimo

Vehicle break-in happened last month on Departure Bay Road

Regenerative farming that meets genuine needs should take priority over commercial recklessness, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Hubris, greed causing humans to live destructively

Placing the economy as the top priority is licence to destroy natural systems, says columnist

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Develop land with care and thought

It’s getting to the point that you can’t go a block without seeing more apartments, says letter writer

Nanaimo Community Archives is looking for submissions from homeowners who took on exterior renovation projects, no matter how big or how small, for the first Heritage House Renovations Awards. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo archives holding first Heritage House Renovation Awards

Judges want photos and descriptions of exterior renovations that enhanced character of Nanaimo homes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read