The federal government won’t provide the CFL with an interest-free loan in 2021: report

Photo courtesy: federal government

There will not be an interest-free loan flowing from the federal government to the Canadian Football League this year, according to Canadian Press reporter Dan Ralph.

The source added the CFL-Ottawa talks have been more about educating the league with not only existing federal assistance programs but also those that have been offered since August.

In 2020, the league asked for a $30 million interest-free loan, however, it was denied by the feds. That answer ultimately led the board of governors voting to cancel the season. The league has stated it never stopped discussions with the federal government since the denial last August.

There was still government money that helped the league’s franchises last year. For example, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers collected $3.1 million in aid from the government, including $2.9 million from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy.

If the rest of the teams and league office collected similar amounts, which is a reasonable assumption without seeing the accounting numbers, the total would come in over $30 million.

As the figures show, just because the government said no to the CFL’s ultimatum doesn’t mean they didn’t pitch in. Remember the initial ask from commissioner Randy Ambrosie was up to $150 million — infamously.

Any government support would be with the caveat that football will be played for years to come. And with that would come financial transparency from the CFL regarding its future.

If the CFL really wants money above and beyond the assistance made available by the government, the league should expect to show they are going to be able to remain financially solvent for years to come.