CFL, CFLPA to resume talking about potential contingency plans

Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie. (Todd Korol/CP)

TORONTO — The CFL and CFL Players’ Association are going to get back to talking.

A league source said Monday the two sides have agreed to resume discussions on potential contingency plans for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The source was granted anonymity because the CFL and CFLPA have not talked publicly about resuming negotiations.

The CFL and CFLPA had originally been involved in contingency talks before reaching an impasse regarding interpretation of the current collective bargaining agreement roughly two weeks ago.

The CFL and CFLPA must agree to any changes that are made to the current CBA.

The renewed talks would be the first between the league and its players since commissioner Randy Ambrosie told The Canadian Press on Tuesday the CFL was asking the federal government for up to $150 million in financial aid due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The league’s proposal involves three phases: $30 million now to manage the impact the novel coronavirus outbreak has had on league business; additional assistance for an abbreviated regular season; and up to another $120 million in the event of a lost 2020 campaign.

The CFL hasn’t given up on staging a 2020 season but has postponed the start of training camps, which were to open later this month.

It has also pushed back the beginning of the regular season — which was to begin June 11 — to early July, at the earliest.

But many provincial governments have said there will be no sports events with large crowds this summer, and so Ambrosie said last week that, while no formal decisions have been made, it’s looking more like the league’s season will begin in September at the earliest.

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