Arash Madani calls out Ticats owner Bob Young for media scapegoating

The CFL has yet to officially commit to a 2021 CFL season and tempers are beginning to flair.

After CFL insiders told 3DownNation’s John Hodge that guarantees by Ticats owner Bob Young, Redblacks president Mark Goudie, and Riders head coach Craig Dickenson that their teams would play were an act of resistance to the behind the scenes bullying of other clubs, Young came back at the the allegations on Twitter.

“All CFL teams are keen to play as soon as possible. Our tweets about playing are a response to pessimistic press stories!” Young wrote.

That drew the ire of Sportsnet reporter and CFL anti-hero Arash Madani, who called out the caretaker for his scapegoating of the media.

“It’s the media’s fault! Of course, Bob!” Madani shot back.

“All wanted to play last year and it was the media’s fault then, too, right??”

Young’s initial guarantee last week came in response to a report from Madani indicating some within in the league did not share Hamilton’s positive outlook for 2021.

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.

Reports indicate the same teams remain in opposition this year, with the MLSE-led Toronto Argonauts and new ownership of the Montreal Alouettes mounting the resistance behind the scenes.

While Young has promised the Tiger-Cats will be on the field regardless, those two teams have offered no such guarantees.

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 must finalize the protocols with six provinces before getting the final stamp from the nation’s capital.

There is lots of work left to be done, whether or not all teams are pulling in the same direction, but Young didn’t waver in the face of Madani’s criticism.

“Don’t worry, I love the Canadian sports media,” he shot back. “Even when they are wrong.”

On that front, only time will prove who told the truth but Madani is never one to leave the last word to his opponent.

“Were they wrong when they reported the score of the 2019 Grey Cup?” he quipped, referencing the Ticats loss to the Bombers.

“Holding you to it that we’ll have Canadian football this fall!”

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