CFLPA believes the biggest change it has made with CFL is getting players back on the field

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CFL teams will have one less global player in 2021, but will have access to five player taxi teams when they resume play later this summer. The CFL’s Board of Governors voted Monday to launch a 14-game plan from August.

CFL teams will have one less global player in 2021, but will have access to five player taxi teams when they resume play later this summer.

The CFL’s Board of Governors voted Monday to introduce a 14-game schedule starting August 5 after the league canceled plans for a shortened 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A big part of it was that last week the CFL and CFL Players’ Association approved an amended collective agreement that the union ratified on Wednesday evening before the board did so on Monday.

Brian Ramsay, CFLPA’s executive director, said Tuesday the two sides had agreed on more than 19 amendments. Among them was the limit on the number of global players a team has to have from two to one this year, which in turn reduced the active roster by one player to 45.

However, CFL teams are also allowed taxi squads of five players (accessible to all clubs) in addition to their 13-man training schedules. Also, the league’s $ 65,000 minimum salary this season is prorated to just over $ 50,000 based on a 14-game season rather than the normal 18-game campaign.

“I think the most important part is changing it and getting our members back to work,” Ramsay said during a conference call. “That was our focus from the start.

“The deal has allowed us to ensure and work through some stringent safety protocols and the involvement of some committees while giving players the opportunity to maximize their earning potential this year.”

The CFL still has at least one hurdle before they can restart the game. The federal government has received its application for an exemption from national interest for a modified quarantine for the coming season and is considering the proposal with the provincial health authorities.

In essence, the Ottawa CFL is asking for the same exceptions as the NHL. The federal government waived its mandatory 14-day quarantine period for players dropped by Canadian NHL teams from American clubs “for reasons of national interest” prior to the league’s trading deadline of Jan.

Under these conditions, CFL players would adhere to a seven-day quarantine upon arrival in Canada and be subjected to daily COVID tests. Players would be eligible to dress up for their teams as they continued to undergo daily tests for the following week.

The amended CBA rules out exhibition games this year, and the regular season schedule released by the CFL on Tuesday provides for some quick turnarounds for teams. Both Ramsay and CFLPA President Solomon Elimimian agree that players and clubs will face challenges in 2021, but the schedule does not violate the existing collective agreement.

“I think everyone knows it’s going to be a year where you have to be flexible, you have to understand that there will be challenges,” said Elimimian. “When we looked at the season schedule, it did not violate the current collective agreement, health and safety were our priority.

“We’ll be working with different teams on things that might happen (during camp). All in all, flexibility is something the guys understand. It’s not an ideal year, but we’ll work (it) through and be happy.” to get it back to the field. “

The CFL’s decision to resume play comes less than a year after putting plans for a shortened season on hold. The league canceled the 2020 campaign last August after failing to receive a $ 30 million interest-free loan from Ottawa.

A source said it cost the CFL between $ 60 million and $ 80 million not to play football last year. The source has been granted anonymity as the league has not disclosed its 2020 financial losses.

“I think everyone understands the consequences of not having a season,” said Elimimian. “Our job is to put together the best package for the players to get back on the pitch, but ultimately this is the decision that they (the league) have to make.

“I’m glad they made the right decision, everyone seems very relieved. Everyone is happy to be back on the pitch from a player’s point of view.”

The current collective agreement expires before the training camp begins next year, which means that I will return to the negotiating table soon. In the past, conversations between the CFL and their players have been delicate at times, but given that the two sides have spoken a lot over the past two years, hopefully they will feel familiar now.

“Well we hope so,” said Ramsay. “The more you talk to each other, I think, the more you understand and in the last couple of years… there has certainly been a lot of discussion between the two groups.

“I think there is hope that we can take this dynamic with us and use it in our discussions that we know are coming.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 15, 2021.

Dan Ralph, the Canadian press



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