SBD/June 9, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

CFL Reaches Tentative CBA With Union, With Ratification Vote Expected This Week

The CFL and CFLPA on Saturday night "announced a tentative agreement" on a new CBA, but last night, there were "reports from various training camps of major divides in dressing rooms and that the ratification vote was no sure thing," according to Terry Jones of the EDMONTON SUN. The league "went from a salary cap offer" of C$4.8M to settle at C$5M, after last year's cap was C$4.4M. The dispute is over "because the players couldn’t afford to miss a single paycheque and the league couldn’t afford to lose even a pre-season game of gate or TV money from their new TV deal with TSN." Jones writes, "No need for this now very professional looking league, especially with all the new stadiums, to expose the naked truth that when it comes to money they’re still pretty much mom and pop shops" (EDMONTON SUN, 6/9). In Calgary, Vicki Hall writes a ratification vote is "expected in the coming days, and the players are already divided into camps for and against the tentative deal" (CALGARY HERALD, 6/9). In Montreal, Herb Zurkowsky writes it "certainly appears the union acquiesced, the only side that made concessions, repeatedly." For all the "threats about a strike, for all the talk about what might happen, it was the owners who scored the victory" (Montreal GAZETTE, 6/9). In Vancouver, Lowell Ullrich writes the league’s player relations committee "took a stick" to the CFLPA "from the outset and made only minimal concessions on non-monetary issues in the end." Teams "only gave up" roughly C$850,000 of a C$2.7 million TSN rights deal annually per club, "the central issue in negotiations, and left some players convinced the only way to get a better deal would be to walk next time but wondering if union leadership will ever have the stomach to pull the trigger" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 6/9).
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