Canadian Football League makes offer to Players | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

Dear CFL Players:

On May 15, 2014, we presented your Executive Committee with a full and comprehensive offer that unfortunately was rejected.   We believe that this offer is fair and reasonable, and we want to share its details with you.

If ratified by the Players, the CFL offer would provide the following:

Financial Terms
•    Increase the salary cap by 9% this season from $4,400,000 to $4,800,000 per team (and further increasing by $50,000 each year over the following five years to $5,050,000)
•    Effectively increase the average player salary up to 12% this season from $82,904 to $92,917 (and further increasing over the following five years)
•    Increase the minimum player salary by 11% this season from $45,000 to $50,000 (and further increasing to $55,000 over the following five years)
•    A further increase to the salary cap of $100,000 per team if the CFL receives more television revenue from TSN under a renegotiated broadcast agreement for each remaining year on the CBA
•    Maintain the $450,000 annual payment to the CFLPA for Player marketing and other rights

This has been a long and difficult process for all involved.  And when it comes right down to it, we just want to play.  So, we have also offered to pay a ratification bonus of $3,000 to veteran Players and $1,000 to rookie Players (on a team roster as at June 22, 2014) if this agreement is ratified on or before June 2, 2014.

Player Safety & Welfare
•    Immediately add two players to each team’s Active Roster
•    Immediately restrict the number of contact practices during the regular season
•    Maintain 2013 CFL policy to restrict the number of contact practices during training camp
•    Maintain all current Player pension, medical plan and life insurance benefits
•    Maintain all CFL annual payments for Player counselling and rehabilitation support under the CFL-CFLPA Drug Policy  

On May 20, 2014 your Executive Committee provided us with their financial proposal in response to our offer.  The CFLPA’s financial proposal provides for a salary cap increase to $6.24 million in 2014, as well as approximately $240,000 per team per year in other monetary increases to pre and post-season compensation and pension plan contributions per year.  From 2015 forward, significantly more would be added to salary cap based on a revenue sharing model.  We advised the CFLPA in no uncertain terms that their proposal was not realistic, and would not form the basis for any financial settlement.  In fact, it would threaten the very existence of the CFL.  We have obviously rejected the CFLPA proposal today in negotiations, and we have told your Executive Committee that we are prepared to meet in bargaining at any time once they are prepared to discuss a fair and reasonable settlement that makes sense for both the Players and the League.

Over the last five years, we have improved the foundation of our league.  However, our work in this regard is not yet complete.  Continued investment, focus and effort is required to achieve our vision of a strong, stable, and sustainable CFL.  And while we remain mindful of the additional steps we must take, we also recognize the progress, together with the Players, that we have already made.  And this progress is reflected in this offer.

The CFL offer strikes an appropriate balance of, on the one hand, providing significant compensation increases and health & safety improvements to the Players while, on the other hand, creating an environment in which the League and its teams can continue to build for a strong and stable future.  It provides a fair share to the Players, and helps us to effectively manage our businesses with a view to a strong future - for everyone.  

Over the last 25 years, with limited exceptions, CFL teams have either operated at a financial loss or struggled to generate even the slightest amount of profit.  There are numerous factors that contributed to this, but central among them was the unbalanced relationship between revenues and all costs.  Quite simply, the revenues being generated from the primary revenue streams of ticket sales, television, and sponsorships were insufficient to meet the essential operating requirements of the teams. Investments were needed in infrastructure (notably in stadiums and training facilities), and in modernizing our operations (i.e. developing our internet capabilities, and actively building competitive brands in our largest markets).  However, without operating profits these investments were either insufficient, or not made at all, at both the League and team levels.  

 A reasonable, fixed salary cap provides the foundation for a sensible business model.   The League and teams have started to invest in their own futures.  They have increased the skill and professionalism of their business leaders and staff, consistently and thoughtfully begun to strengthen their brands in their local markets, and have spent or committed $175 million in private money towards major stadium and infrastructure projects to create a modern CFL.  Instead of reverting back to the days of old – limited investment, limited growth, significant instability, and a stagnant or declining business - we have a credible opportunity to boldly look to the future.  In this new scenario, everybody ultimately wins.   

If you have any questions about this offer, please speak with your team’s Players’ Association representative or a member of your Executive Committee.

I want to thank you for considering this offer. This is not an easy process. The business side of football is never as much fun as the game itself. But we all share a responsibility to ensure that our league is strong for this generation of CFL fans and those that follow.

Thank you for your consideration and your dedication to our League.

Mark Cohon
Canadian Football League

Fan Comments
als rule
as much as posters want to believe owners build stadiums the truth is that "WE" the taxpayers ALL the taxpayers pay for the stadiums and improvements thru our 3 levels of government by grants, loans, write offs, tax breaks, business expenses along with the filings of tax returns which include the deductions for the operations of the team along with whatever amount of monies an owner has invested in his CFL team!! the free enterprise system at work in our society!!
May 25, 2014 - 9:53pm
A 50/50 split on all new money coming to each team is the ONLY fair deal that can be made. The players have given up way to much over the years to accept anything less. There are enough good players in the states to fill each roster 10 times over but not so with the Canadian players. I hope the players stay united. Some missed paychecks is a small price to pay for the greater good of a fair long term deal.
May 24, 2014 - 8:35pm
I would love to see the cfl labour dispute come to an end soon & I don't think the cfl fans would be able to handle having no football to watch on tv or games to go to for the whole season, the fans just want the cfl & cflpa to come to an agreement that works well for everyone involved & not have to lockout the players & I know there would be a lot of upset people if there was to be a lockout for the entire season.
May 24, 2014 - 6:30pm
Hope the issue can be solved soon-everyone is excited about the season after a long cold winter, so it's the fans (and eventually the franchises themselves) who will truly be affected by any delays. When it comes to revenue sharing, give it this season to study the idea-avoid soemthing hastily slapped together-and then develop a sustainable, stable, & monetarily efficient formula that will benefit all stakeholders. With franchises starting to do better financially after the woes of the late 80s & parts of the 90s, now is not the time for delays or disputes of this league management & player reps-get down to brass tacks and work together to achieve a balanced outcome-the season is approaching, the fans are counting on you....
May 24, 2014 - 3:22pm
als rule
@B & T: sorry I was wrong and you were right!! where I got the $7 million is a mystery to me!! yes owners can make money for themselves just like players can get a decent raise for themselves!! owners and players are in a partnership with the canadian public "build it and they will come"!! remember CFL football is a business that the owners have write offs on!! so what comes out of 1 pocket goes back into another pocket!! so do owners actually lose the money they say they do?!! now that's the real question and the real answer is?!!
May 24, 2014 - 9:37am
Hey fans, I know this is a contentious issue, but lets not compare our jobs and our salaries to those of CFL players. I'm willing to bet your employer doesn't use your face to sell the company. The CFL does. They use the faces of players to promote the teams, to promote the league and to sell merchandise and tickets. These contract negotiations are more complicated than most of us realize, so lets keep things in perspective.

Just saying.
May 22, 2014 - 11:59pm
This league never ceases to amaze me … honestly. Just when it´s starting to enjoy a rise in popularity, expansion etc … it finds a way to shoot itself in the foot. Both sides better com to their senses and reach an agreement, otherwise, the league´s popularity may go up in smoke. The CFL is a tremendously entertaining sport and it should be at the same level as the other major sports (NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL …) but it´s not because of poor vision.
May 22, 2014 - 6:40pm
@ fantuzfan...It may be a game to you...But I can assure you it is a job that supports the player and the players family...Just like your job is...
May 22, 2014 - 6:35pm
M. Hage "If the league loses money we're willing to lose money with them." So you're willing to throw a 101 years of great Canadian tradition under the bus, a sport that so many for so long sacrificed so they can watch you kill it, just to satisfy your own greed? You've been offered a deal that will give you more money in five months work then I get in 12, to play a GAME! We're the product on the field you say, well you wouldn't be on that field if not for the fans in the seats who spend their hard earned money to watch you play a GAME! Sign the deal and start the season before you go down as the generation responsible for killing the Canadian Football League you selfish [man!]
May 22, 2014 - 2:17pm
The average salary in Canada per province varies from 43,000-58000 a year. The minimum salary for player is going to be 50,000 per year - remember people this is only the minimum. It is more than Likely all starting players would be well above that. This offer is very fair for someone who only works 5 months of the year. If they need more money than that, get another job and work 12 months out of the year like everybody else. If the players strike I will boycott the CFL forever. I am sick and tired of athletes that GET to play a game and make a decent living whining about it! If you don't like playing football and getting paid for it, go shovel concrete for 12 hours a day and see for themselves what a real job is like.
May 22, 2014 - 9:09am
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