Less than a day after talks broke down between the Canadian Football League and the CFL Players' Association for a new collective bargaining agreement, the CFL issued a memo to the media stating that even their own CBA proposal would lead to three of their nine teams losing money.
"We want CFL players and fans to have the facts," read the statement, written in a fiction vs. fact format.
"Fiction: The CFL offer would set the salary cap at $5 million and the players want it set at $5.8 million, so they could just saw off the difference a little and get a deal.
Fact: The players' union's ask is actually much, much bigger. You see, a lot of player compensation does not fall under the cap. Things like benefits, pensions, pre-season and post-season pay, plus any bonus to be paid for ratifying a new agreement. If you look at everything in our offer and everything in their offer, you find that the CFL is offering to increase player compensation by $850,000 per team in the first year of a deal, and the union is asking us to increase player compensation by $2.4 million per team in the first year of a deal. Their ask is not realistic. Under their proposal, six of nine teams would lose money."
The league also reiterated that it made its best offer to the union, a response to what it calls 'fiction' - that all the CFL has to do is add a little more to its offer to get a deal done.
"It's the most we can pay," read the statement. "It was put forward knowing that under the CFL's best offer, three of nine teams would still lose money this year, even with the new TV deal in place."
After almost two days of talks at a Toronto airport hotel, the league eventually did increase its financial offer and the union removed any revenue-sharing percentages from its own proposal, but talks between both sides broke down Thursday afternoon. The current CBA expired Thursday at Midnight et.
"The players gave up revenue sharing last time because the CFL promised back then to put it back in this round of bargaining," added the league statement under the fiction heading. "That's not true. That was never agreed to."
There's been no update on if or when the two sides will meet again at the bargaining table, but the league and the union said it won't stop players from reporting when training camps open Sunday.