‘Real concern about what the 2021 season might look like or if it will occur at all’: Dave Naylor

Photo courtesy: TSN

TSN reporter Dave Naylor has outlined the uncertainty facing the Canadian Football League amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Naylor wrote a column at TSN.ca which highlights the major issues for the three-down league returning to play in the future.

With the reality setting in that COVID-19 is likely to still be around in some form next summer, there is real concern about what the 2021 season might look like or if it will occur at all.

There are teams that believe it is vitally important to play in 2021 and that without a season the CFL is in danger of being mothballed. Whether every team believes that is another question. And there is a lot to sort out before anyone can accurately predict what a season might look like and how much pain the teams are collectively willing to stomach to make it happen.

Getting consensus on a best course of action won’t be easy for the CFL’s nine teams. Back in the summer, there were teams that were willing to play without government support and teams that weren’t. And just like then, the biggest challenge commissioner Randy Ambrosie faces now is finding a scenario they can all live with.

Adopting a revenue-sharing model so that each team absorbs the same amount of red ink would certainly make consensus-building easier, which many believe should be the direction for the future, COVID-19 or not.

After the league-specific financial package was denied by the Canadian federal government, the CFL cancelled its 2020 season in August when Ambrosie and the board of governors voted not to play. Winnipeg had tentatively been chosen as the hub city for a shortened schedule, but it was not to be.

There are no guarantees when the league could return to the field.