Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young has made a declaration about his franchise in 2021.
The Ticats Caretaker stated it’s “silly” for there to be a lack of confidence in the CFL playing football this year.
Of course there will be a CFL season. I cannot speak for anyone else in our league but I can guarantee the Ticats will play. Although if no one else plays I suppose we might even win the Grey Cup this year, Young wrote on Twitter.
The Tiger-Cats finished 15-3 in 2019 but were upset by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33-12 in the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary. Hamilton is considered the favourite by Bodog Canada to win the 20201 CFL title, the Tabbies haven’t hoisted the big silver trophy since 1999 — the longest running drought in the three-down league.
Last year, the league office and players’ association had constructed a plan to play in a hub city in Winnipeg. However, after the feds declined to give the CFL a $30 million interest-free loan, it was ultimately decided by the board of governors the 2020 season would be cancelled. There were owners who wanted to play, including Young, and others against it.
“In a pandemic like 2020, it was a calculation of which bill was going to be bigger, the bill for playing in a hub or the bill for shutting the league down for a year. And without government support, the league concluded the second option,” Young said last summer.
The CFL has delayed the start date with a 14-game schedule targeted to kick-off on August 5, culminating in a currently planned December 12 Grey Cup. For the timeline to be met, the league requires ‘a significant number of fans’ to be allowed in stadiums by municipal, provincial, and federal governments.
The league and union began meetings during the second week of February with a focus on playing football this year. The two sides have submitted return to play health and safety plans to various levels of government in Canada and are working to finalize the protocols with six provinces before getting the final stamp from the nation’s capital.