The Canadian government has strings attached to its financial aid offer to the CFL.
The three-down league asked for help during the COVID-19 pandemic and it appears one option has been crossed off the list.
According to TSN reporter Dave Naylor: Sources say the federal government has offered to help the CFL with a short-term loan, at a high interest rate and fees. League believes taking that kind of loan would put them in a worse position going forward.
Winnipeg has tentatively been chosen as the hub city. However, all along the CFL has said it would need financial support from the feds for it to happen. Without the money the league would have to explore whether it’s worth the investment from owners to take the field in 2020.
Previous reports have indicated that a loan was likely to come through the Business Development Bank of Canada, a crown corporation. The BDC cannot be mandated by law to provide aid, so it is unclear if this is the loan option Naylor is referring to, or if the government offered a high interest loan from its own pocket.
For a BDC loan to happen, it would require each of the six provinces with CFL teams to sign off as guarantors, making Alberta and Ontario key to the offering of financial aid.
It doesn’t appear there will be any decision on a shortened season this year on Friday as the CFL passes yet another self-imposed deadline without progress. Randy Ambrosie did ruffle feathers by appearing in a support video for the Finnish Maple League, while he has not met with players on meaningful issues for over a week.
The CFL has historically operated on the financial razor’s edge and the pandemic has caused that delicate balance to crumble. The hope is that they can receive some form of assistance without crippling themselves in the long term.