CFL imposes football operations cap reduction for 2021 season

The Canadian Football League has imposed a reduction to the football operations cap for the 2021 season, per sources.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie mandated the cut without any consultation from football executives.

In December 2018, the CFL laid out the details for the non-player costs that were implemented for the 2019 season and stated it would be reviewed after the 2020 campaign.

Originally, the cap was set at just under $2.59 million, according to sources the league wants to shave it down closer to $2 million, trimming 20 percent or the equivalent of over $500,000 per team which combined could save franchises 4.5 million.

General managers, coaches, scouts, equipment people and video personnel count under the cap. Teams are limited to coaching staffs of 11 and 14 other football operations individuals, totalling 25.

For the purposes of the cap, expenses include wages, salaries, benefits such as health plans, housing allowances and playoff bonuses which exceed the player share. Exclusions include business expenses, complimentary tickets and meals while working.

The non-player football operations cap was driven by Ambrosie and league’s executive council, consisting of the nine team presidents, with the board of governors approval.

Capping the football operations budget was designed to improve the financial bottom line for clubs, it’s a way for teams to control costs and level the playing field. Although, the talent evaluators and developers were already subjected to a pay cut once and the second one could deplete the quality of play.

Ever since Ambrosie revealed collectively CFL teams lose between $10 and $20 million per season, he’s been open about the fact the league needed to remodel its business plan. The fact the commish doesn’t yet have a plan for potentially playing in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but constructed the mandate to slash salaries — again — tells us all about the current priorities.

Sound the alarm: CFL players, Ambrosie is coming for your money next. That’s because the once-hailed business man hasn’t produced on his promise to double league revenues or find the CFL’s Yao Ming. He’s stooped to taking more away from the people at the bottom of the pay scale instead of telling the owners to quit spending lavishly on flashy, big-name hires only to turn around and dole out millions to sit at home.

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