Marc-Olivier Brouillette: ‘2020 CFL season was dead in the water before it started’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Former CFL veteran Canadian Marc-Olivier Brouillette feels commissioner Randy Ambrosie sacked the entire 2020 season himself.

Brouillette watched Ambrosie’s plea to the standing committee on finance for financial aid and believed that abysmal performance caused the potential shortened schedule to be cancelled.

“As far as the file as a whole, it was mismanaged from the start. There was a great plan in place as far as the bubble, but that came afterwards. The plan to have a shortened 2020 CFL season was dead in the water before it even started moving,” Brouillette said on The Rod Pedersen Show.

“The wheels started to come loose when Randy Ambrosie went to the federal government asking for $150 million without a plan on how he was going to spend it, without a plan on how much of it was going to go towards the players. And the biggest of all issues, not even consulting the players in the first place.”

Brouillette played nine seasons in the CFL, seven with Montreal and his final two in Saskatchewan. Seven of those years Brouillette suited up for the Alouettes and he saw the team up-close as the radio analyst for TSN 690 during the birds 10-8 season in 2019. Head coach Khari Jones and quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. led Montreal to its first winning season since 2012.

“The loss of the 2020 season had the biggest impact on the Alouettes. You look at the season that they had in 2019, momentum was swaying there way after all the questions with regard to ownership, all that was solved. So they were primed to have a breakout season, and all of a sudden the brakes get put on and unfortunately, we’re not playing any football,” Brouillette said.

The University of Montreal graduate is a certified lawyer who has been plying the trade exclusively since retiring following the 2018 season. While in the league he served as a CFL Players’ Association team representative. He wants to use his skillset to impact the league in all areas as its commissioner.

At first it was a jab at Randy Ambrosie and what has transpired over the last couple of weeks, but I must admit there is truth to it. I’ve been speaking about it for a longtime. I was involved with the CFLPA for a long time,” Brouillette said.

“You can ask several of my former teammates, they agreed that they saw me perhaps one day taking on that role as commissioner of the CFL. I figured, why not now?”

The 34-year-old Brouillette isn’t the “most optimistic person” when it comes to returning to play in 2021. He expects the privately owned teams across the CFL to take a “real deep” look at their books and see if it’s financially viable to continue operating the way franchises have in recent years.

“Each team will have to look at themselves, do their own work and see where they go from here,” Brouillette said. “I do hope the CFL that we see in 2021 at least somewhat resembles what we’ve seen in the past.”