Coaches and scouts to consider forming union after league decides to cap football expenditures

In the wake of the CFL’s decision to impose a cap on football operations expenditures, coaches and scouts around the Canadian Football League have begun discussions about forming a union.

According to TSN reporter Dave Naylor, the hard money number will be $2.723 and coaching staffs will be maxed out at 11 and front office executives at 17.

Just based on sheer numbers, there will be coaches who get pink slips when the football expenditures cap takes effect in 2019. Current coaching staff numbers across the league: the Montreal Alouettes have 14 people on staff, Ottawa Redblacks 10, Hamilton Tiger-Cats 11, Toronto Argonauts 15, Winnipeg Blue Bombers 10, Saskatchewan Roughriders 15, Edmonton Eskimos 13, Calgary Stampeders 10 and B.C. Lions 10. That means 13 coaches would be unemployed in 2019.

“Some coaches and scouts are going to lose their jobs after this season,” one league source said.

Total player salaries are capped at $5.2 million and the CFLPA has a union for the athletes. Football executives and coaches are in the process of trying to band together and form their own union. That would pave the way for having to establish a collective bargaining agreement.

“If the league wants to treat us like the players,” another source said. “we will fight.”

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (938 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

57 Comments on Coaches and scouts to consider forming union after league decides to cap football expenditures

  1. It’s about to get interesting

  2. Red White Dynamite // June 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm //

    If they are going to do it, now is the time. They have powerful and influential people in place like Buono, Huffnagel and Trestman.

    • Excellent point. These three guys’ craps know more about football than, well, say, every Rider fan ever in existence. Sorry, had to say that. (But we all know it’s true.)

      • Now there was a brilliant statement! Your momma must be proud

      • They might know about football but then you would think they wouldn’t need to have more than 11 coaches.
        It does seem stupid that CFL has 12 players on the field but 11 coaches.
        I would say cut coaches to 6 !!!

    • Buonhead will be gone, and would only be a yesman anyway..

  3. Doug Mc Clintock // June 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm //

    In my opinion, there are far too many coaches in the sport. With the average at about 12. They have overdone a good thing, the sport is so over specialized, it makes you wonder what is next !

    • Yes, I agree. A sport with 12 players on the field but they must have over 11 coaches??
      A coach for every position plus a “qaulity control” coach?

  4. MR. Green // June 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm //

    Exactly what I said in the other article. Will they make a union and people will lose jobs. I am sure someone loop holes can be found. Do trainers count? Hire a ton of “trainers/medical staff” if not.

    • Red White Dynamite // June 5, 2018 at 7:20 pm //

      and I’m sure no one will notice when the guy who hands the players water is suddenly giving signals to the secondary!
      Don’t you think most CBA negotiators have already figured such schemes out?

    • But why do you want more coaches?
      Why would you want to hire a “ton of trainers/medical staff”
      I don’t understand your post

  5. Its a good rule. Look at Calgary, 10 coaches and they’ve been the most successful team in the last 10 years. No team needs 15 coaches it’s a waste of $$$

    • If there’s no added benefit then why bother regulating it? If the Riders want to have 15 coaches, and it doesn’t give them a big, or any, advantage over other teams, then why stop them from doing it?

      • That would be the same as saying some teams could have 50 players on their rosters other teams could get away with 40.
        It’s about capping costs. If they control the costs for coaches and front office then they could give the players more money.

  6. MR. Green // June 5, 2018 at 7:19 pm //

    According to the radio right now, Toronto is actually the biggest spenders right now. Not the Riders. Wonder what Popped and Trestman make? Either way, the CFL should not be doing this. Is there a cap on commissioner Ambrosie’s salary?

    • I don’t think you get it at all do you?
      Toronto may be the biggest spender but now they can cap the salaries and maybe increase the players cap.
      Ambrosie’s salary is not paid directly by the individual teams.

  7. Asinine. The CFL is just asinine. If more coaches and more scouts means better talent and better product then f*ing encourage it. If it means innovation, encourage it. This is the same league that won’t let more than three coaches wear headsets.

    The CFL more and more stand for Commonly Foolish and Ludicrous.

    • White Horse // June 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm //

      Quaint…agreed…the league must leave the management, coaches, scouts out of CFL control. This will degrade our game and relegate bush league status on our favourite game. Who the hell came up with this stupid idea? Is there some sort of warped benefits to the league head office? Has some journalistic PHD
      Scab been paid to make money for the league some how? Come-on…get real.

    • “If more coaches and more scouts means better talent and better product then f*ing encourage it. If it means innovation, encourage it.”

      Exactly. Raise the bar, don’t lower it. Find ways to raise more money so all teams have more to spend on coaches and facilities.

    • Would you rather see players salaries capped but not coaches?
      You can have a maximum of 46 players but no cap on coaching staff.

  8. Bleeds Double Blue // June 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm //

    This will close the loophole of placing injured players such as Fantuz and Kackert in bogus coaching positions to circumvent the cap.

    • Yes, but do you think doing that gave either of those teams a significant advantage? I don’t. There are always going to be people working grey area things like that. The question should be, does it give the team a significant advantage over other teams? If not then don’t worry about it, or change the rule to allow it in some way.

      • But having Fantuz or Kackert in bogus coaching positions had nothing to do with an advantage.
        You are completely missing the point – it’s about controlling costs. The number of players is controlled and their salaries are capped.
        There is no control of the salaries and number of coaches.
        When teams hire “quality control coaches” and “psychology coaches” you know things are out of control.
        What does a head coach do these days? he has so many coaches under him he doesn’t have to coach anymore.

  9. Wonder how they came to the figure of 11 coaches. Did they consult with them?

  10. If coaches and scouts form a union then guaranteed salaries for fired coaches might disappear. Guaranteed salaries might disappear anyways unless $$ paid to fired coaches don’t count against the cap.

  11. This rule is a long time coming. The Riders broke the bank to get Jones. Toronto is paying big time for Popp & Trestman. Meanwhile the MINIMUM salary for players is $52000. Stephen Clark gets cut in Winnipeg because he is making $82000 k can be replaced by someone cheaper. Hardly fair. Something had to give.

    • White Horse // June 5, 2018 at 7:47 pm //

      Who cares if the riders broke the bank to get Jones? He hasn’t exactly been a messiah, has he!!! This will destroy our game.

      • No, more than likely make it a level playing field rather than killing it. Of course, would you feel the same way if the Riders had stolen John Hufnagel away? With a name like White Horse I doubt it.

      • Why would this destroy the game??
        When we brought in the players cap and got rid of the $million dollar individual players contracts, did it destroy our game??
        Should individual teams be able to carry more than 46 players

    • canadianfootballfan // June 6, 2018 at 3:10 am //

      I’m pretty sure the minimum is 55K now, but still low. When they made it 52K a few years back they also agreed to raise it 1K per year for a few years.

  12. Just when you thought the league was about to take two steps forward – they instead take two steps back…If some teams can afford 15 coaches let them pay 15 coaches. It’s up to the teams to police this not the league…Next thing they will do is mandate the minimum and maximum number of footballs each time can have at a practice.

    • If teams can afford more than 46 starters and more than $5.2 MILLION in players salaries, should they be able to do it?
      Teams could pay coaches $5.2 MILLION

      • Since they have a contract in place with the players union then it’s not a question that needs to be addressed.
        I’m a Lions fan but believe the lions have shot themselves in the foot. No one else’s problem but theirs. They need to address their issues – I have no idea why that’s Saskatchewan’s, Edmonton or Winnipeg’s problem. If they want to spend money they have to spend then let them. Punishing the whole league because the Lions, Argo’s and Montreal failed to address their off field issues is no one issue but theirs.

  13. oops -team not time..

  14. White Horse // June 5, 2018 at 7:55 pm //

    Each team has the right to its own payroll choices. The riders might be the most successful team fan wise but they don’t have the financial backing of the Stamps(CSEG) or Toronto (TSEG) same with Ottawa. If A community owned group like riders and Edm want to blow large on coaches…so be it…come..on

    • Then each team should be allowed to blow a large amount of money on players too?

  15. If the League can hold down money spent on coaches there will be more for the players. I am all for that. Cut the coaches by $1.0 million and raise the player minimum to $75k. Good plan for my money.

  16. MR. Green // June 5, 2018 at 7:58 pm //

    Tsn picked up an extra game, the Grey Cup almost sold out in a few days, so they decide the league is still in trouble and tell teams how much they can and can’t spend which weakens teams options. Less scouting, less reasons to attract good coaching, who coach and make our players better, making the product better. This may not be only Wally’s farewell season, Trestman and more. Chris Jones is very loyal to his staff, from coaches to scouts. Whack jobs like Kavis Reed will be the best this league can afford as the on field product gets worse. This cap does not make the league stronger. It’s on the organization if they spend too much on football operations. However it’s an investment that is now capped causing a ripple effect in talent. the timing of this is just ridiculous. Not a good league wide investment. This is as ridiculous as the Flutie/Rocket rule, ruining the league.

  17. Upon reflection I think this is just a negotiation tactic with the players union. The CFL will claim poverty (and use management salary cap as proof)and hold back on a needed pay raise for the players… once the CFLPA signs off on their contract they can go back to business as usual…doubt that the CFL has an intentions of using money saved to enhance players salaries..

  18. Those who think the coaches and players caps should be increased should do their part and fill the stadiums on game day.

  19. Jim Bob // June 5, 2018 at 10:54 pm //

    All gets back to the PLAYERS being treated UNFAIRLY as far as salary and benefits being allocated to them – ie: 53K per year for half the roster and no pension etc. The rate of INCREASES in salaries for the other guys who are NOT PLAYING has increased MUCH HIGHER % wise since the hard cap has come into play. Simple as that.

  20. We have the CFL League Office, we have the Board of Governors, we have CFL Management, we have a CFL Commissioner. Would love to open the books on these people to see how much money is wasted. Possibly a much needed salary cap increase? The CFL is top heavy in management. The Federal Government has nothing on these guys. That’s the problem with this league. Not how many coaches a team has, not what they pay them and so on and so on.

    • If they can take $1 MILLION per team from the coaches and front office staff, they can increase by $1 MILLION

  21. Astute move from purely a business perspective.
    Will ensure more parity.
    As a Rider fan though I don’t like lt.

    • If parity is what they’re looking for and they aren’t targeting anyone, as Ambrosie keeps saying, and they’re not trying to be disruptive, then the way to go would have been to cap things at the high water mark and let inflation slowly close the gap. With this proposal both the Argos and the Riders will lose over 1/4 of their coaching staff next year. That is major disruption. Craig Reynolds should be all over the news tomorrow fighting this.

      • AND, the very fact that they are placing any kind of limit on the number of coaches you can have tells you that they ARE targeting certain teams. If they were really just concerned with expenses then they would cap the amount of money a team can spend and let them spend it however they see fit. The fact that they are specifically limiting the number of coaches tells you that this is a designed attack on certain teams.

  22. A cut by $1 Million PER TEAM in coaches/front office salaries could mean an extra $9 MILLION to the players.

  23. Ambrosie is not making this decision in a vacuum. He works under the direction of the Board of Governors.

  24. Same jackass’s on here complaining about the quality of the game in one sentence, then want the number of coaches halved in the next. Someone left the gate open again.

  25. gerryblue // June 6, 2018 at 10:08 am //

    I think it is a good idea. Make all budgets the same, so a level playing field for all teams. Some people just hate the idea of fair play!

  26. They should have grandfathered this in.

    Allow all teams to keep their current coaching staff, just don’t allow them to hire any new coaches until they are under the coach count and coach salary cap.

  27. ddthoms // June 6, 2018 at 11:23 am //

    This is a terrible decision. By 2020 we will have 9 kakis reeds running the teams. C’mon CFL I know you are better than that.

  28. dangnabbit // June 6, 2018 at 11:28 am //

    The problem as I see it is that coach and player contracts are structured differently. Have you ever heard of a player getting a buyout clause, or severance pay, when they are cut from the team? If the league sets up a standard contract for coaches along the lines of the one the players get, eliminating the golden parachute, then teams who are having a run of bad luck and churning through coaches (e.g. Montreal after Trestman left, Saskatchewan after Miller left) don’t keep digging themselves deeper financially.

  29. Next up: you’ll need a minimum number of females on staff.

  30. If they form a union, look for most of them to be jobless. While the HC and GM’s are replaced one by one as their contracts expire. They can join Barker and Higgins doing HS clinics and Taman selling Real Estate or Insurance.

  31. Have any of you guys complaining about staff size every coached at the NCAA, CFL, or NFL level? Do you have any clue about the work and hours that go into the week to week operations of a football staff? Expanding staff sizes and football operations departments is a good thing. Makes the league more profession (as it is PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL) and improves the quality of the product. If you want to lose the progress the league has made over the last 20 years and go back to some dark times, keep chipping away at things like this.

  32. Howard Wulkan // June 6, 2018 at 3:29 pm //

    Good luck finding anyone who will work for two dollars and 72.3 cents. Or did you miss a “million” in there Justin?

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