Fans, players, media react to federal government denying CFL interest-free loan

The federal government denied the Canadian Football League’s request for a $30-million interest-free loan. The funding would have been used to cover many of the expenses associated a 2020 CFL season, including player salaries.

There were (and remain) programs designed to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 crisis, but the CFL was looking for an option that was immediate and interest-free.

Plenty of people are upset with the government’s decision, which is understandable. The CFL creates hundreds of local jobs each year, including front office positions and roles on game day. It is also a key thread in the cultural fabric of our nation.

Others supported the government’s decision, citing the CFL’s status as a private business and its lack of transparency throughout the loan application process. There were also some locals in Manitoba who expressed relief that the hub city will likely not move forward as planned.

There was also a lot of support for CFL players who have not been paid since the end of the 2019 season. With a 2020 season unlikely to take place, players are expected to go unpaid for the entire year.

Some players are wondering whether or not they are now free agents. For players who are only signed through 2020 — which many are — one could argue they should be granted their release right now.

Some are also concerned that this could spell the end of the CFL altogether.

There was also a lot of criticism of CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, whose leadership has been questioned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.