TSN’s David Naylor dropped a bombshell on the CFL on Tuesday.
Naylor reported that the CFL Board of Governors has approved a salary cap on coaches and football operations personnel as well as a limit on the size of staffs.
Naylor reported at TSN.ca:
The new measures will limit teams to a coaching staff of 11 and other football operations staff to 17. The total compensation for those 28 employees is not to exceed $2.738 million. Player salaries are capped at $5.2 million for the upcoming season.
These measures will go into effect for the 2019 season.
The league is also planning to enact measures that would control costs on other non-player football expenses, like mini-camps and scouting budgets.
CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie appeared on 620 CKRM’s SportsCage on Tuesday evening to explain the move.
“This was a project that we’ve been working on going back to late last year,” Ambrosie said. “The League hadn’t traditionaly had a consolidated look at its overall financials and I talked to the Governors, and we brought it all together to understand our business.
“When we did that, there were some of our costs that were out-of-control. Some moreso than others, but one was the non-player football operations costs. Once we could see the data, I had so much support from the Governors and the team Presidents because they realized that we couldn’t continue this. We’re going to make this league absolutely great and we’re going to look after all of our stakeholders: the players, coaches, management and the fans. We had to run our business in a better way.
“No one wants to be capped, but in this case, setting a tight budget, one that’s respectful of everybody else, makes sense.”
Clearly this news isn’t sitting well with CFL coaches and 3DownNation CFL Insider Justin Dunk reported the league’s coaches and scouts have already begun talks on forming a union.
“If the league wants to treat us like the players,” a source told Dunk, “we will fight.”
Ambrosie admitted that this move might not be a popular one, but it’s not a sign of disrespect.
“Look, this isn’t about being against anyone,” Ambrosie stated. “In my case, it never is. I want this league to reach its full potential and I think the world of our coaches. I respect each and every one of them, and the work that they do. But I also know this: I can’t be a leader for this league without doing the right thing for the business and that means looking after all of the stakeholders.”
There’s been growing concern amongst CFL players over the past few years, whatwith skyrocketing salaries for Head Coaches and GMs such as Marc Trestman, Chris Jones, Kent Austin, and, as far back as John Hufnagel.
However Ambrosie’s comments seemed to pinpoint that this directive comes from team brass, not from the Players Association.
“The players have been frustrated,” the Commissioner admitted. “They’ve watched as their compensation has been capped, they’ve watched us continue to add bodies and add compensation to the non-player operations. They’ve told us that was one of their big frustrations going into next (CBA). It doesn’t make sense to have an unlevel playing field. We had a bit of an arms race going on. One team adds a coach, then everybody else adds one.
“I’m not against anybody but what I am for is wanting the league to be great and reach its full potential. You have to make some of these tough decisions. Whatever comes our way, we’ll deal with it in a respectful fashion.”
Ambrosie downplayed Tuesday’s announcement telling us it’s not “big news”, but it sounds like we haven’t heard the last of it.