The ever-opinionated Arash Madani joined The Rod Pedersen Show to give an update on the latest happenings in the Canadian Football League.
The intrepid Sportsnet reporter had some disturbing news concerning the league’s revamped business plan.
“[Randy] Ambrosie presented to the governors on what his plan is for the future and, from what I’ve been told, that business plan is effectively very similar to the one that was presented 18 months ago. This look to the future for if the league comes back is essentially a tweaked business plan,” Madani said.
“There is very little in it that addressed COVID, very little on the social justice issues, very little on the XFL, which just made their announcement and the entire long-term strategy is tied to international growth. What I was also told is there isn’t much of a plan right now if there isn’t butts in seats.”
An exasperated Madani pointed out that the lack of financial contingencies if COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in 2021 lies firmly at the feet of the commissioner.
“Now look, in March nobody saw this coming. In May, the commissioner blew it with the House of Commons finance committee. It’s now October!” he emphasized.
“What have been the big hot button issues in the last six months in the world? Social justice, COVID. And what are we going to do if we can’t get customers into our restaurants, onto our airplanes, into our stadiums, into concert venues, etcetera. The real issues is this business plan that I’m told Ambrosie presented did not address those things.”
Madani confirmed a report from 3DownNation‘s Justin Dunk that seven of the nine CFL general managers are against the global initiative, referencing an unrelated video conference call last month. While the dissent among GMs has grown, Madani pointed to support from the presidents and CEOs in another video conference as the reason why it is still being pushed.
“I’m told it’s not unanimous at the presidents’ level — there is at least one team that is not in favour of globals and this international program,” Madani said.
“But for now Ambrosie has the support of the presidents, governors and CEOs when it comes to the 2.0 or whatever you want to call it.”
Should support for the global initiative waver among the presidents, Ambrosie could be out the door and the league has already looked into a replacement option.
“This is significant because it feels right now, when you talk to people around the CFL, that if at the president or governor level you say we’re on board with the globals, we’re on board with the international strategy, that it’s a referendum on Randy,” Madani explained.
“For now, at that level and on this topic, Ambrosie has the support of the presidents and governors, but there is so much more to it at the league level than that.”
Madani remains less than impressed with the initiative and the plan going forward. When asked about the latest steps the league is taking, the vocal critic and passionate supporter could barely suppress an eye-roll.
“As we speak, right now, there is a league fan research meeting happening. October 1 and it’s a league fan research meeting,” he said, flabbergasted.
“‘Unit, God, Corps, Country’ for those that remember A Few Good Men. That’s what that felt like when I got that text.”