Riders’ Brett Lauther 33 percent base salary offer from CFL ‘not even a conversation starter’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Canadian kicker Brett Lauther can’t even start a constructive discussion with the CFL from a base salary perspective for a potential shortened season in 2020.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL Players’ Association representative has no words for the league’s 33 percent base salary proposal for six games.

“For me, it’s not even a conversation starter. The rest of the league is being paid 80 per cent of their salaries and collecting cheques and we’re out here getting nothing and no help. Thirty-three per cent for the players isn’t enough when we’re watching the hierarchy making big dollars,” Lauther told Regina Leader-Post reporter Murray McCormick.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie stated every member of the league’s executive team voluntarily took pay cuts of at least 20 per cent back in April. There have also been pay cuts, reductions in hours and even layoffs across the nine CFL clubs as well as the league office since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. 

“The CFL somewhat admitted the business problems were its fault because they make the business decisions. It’s always the players’ fault, even though financially it’s a failing business,” Lauther said.

During Ambrosie’s plea to the Canadian government’s standing committee on finance, he revealed collectively CFL teams lose between $10 and $20 million dollars per season in recent years. If there is no season in 2020, it’s estimated the CFL could lose approximately $100 million. For example the Riders have stated the franchise could lose up to $10 million this year if football games aren’t played.

“They like to promote how the league is 108 years old and they’ve had that time to make a plan or have some savings or investments to survive one season,” Lauther said.

“It’s not my job to tell them how to run their business, but they keep coming back to the players to take cuts when guys are out there with short careers.”