The CFL Players’ Association has been patient throughout the process to try and find a way onto the field in 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemic.
After the CFL sent out a three-sentence statement thanking stakeholders for their patience as the league continues to delay a decision, the PA provided an update to its union membership.
To CFLPA members
It’s July 31 and the League has again extended their deadline into next week to make a decision on the 2020 shortened season. We are as frustrated and disappointed as you must be. We have worked many hours to arrive at an acceptable Return to Play and Health and Safety Protocol. We have concluded most non-monetary negotiations and are awaiting the League to restart talks to negotiate an acceptable monetary package with the certainty necessary for us to commit to play a shortened season.
As frustrating as this is, we will continue to press the League to start employment programs like CEWS immediately and to make a decision on the 2020 season. We know you all hope for a 2020 season but we continue to advise you to expect the worst and seriously consider any employment opportunities available to you.
We also remind you to check with your Player Representatives or the PA office before accepting media stories as accurate.
The memo comes after a day of controversy following reports that the CFL was no longer seeking a loan through the Business Development Bank of Canada, citing high interest rates that might harm the league long term. The government assistance required to play in 2020 is still possible, but has become increasingly complicated.
The situation was made worse as players reacted angrily to commissioner Randy Ambrosie posting a video in support of the Finnish Maple League’s return to play, while his own players continue to go without pay. That uproar prompted the league’s short and non-definitive statement.
Patience is wearing thin amongst players and fans, with the CFLPA’s call to “expect the worse” ringing true for all those involved.