I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help. Probably one of the Scariest Phrases ever spoken throughout Human History.
The Canadian Football League got a reminder of that with their dealings with the Federal Government. The Federal Government will provide a short term loan to help with putting together a shortened 2020 season, according to Dave Naylor of TSN. The catch is that the interest rates and fees are more than the League is willing to pay. I guess being a cult-like charity that has its perks.
In all fairness, the CFL really has no one to blame but itself. It’s lack of urgency in dealing with the pandemic is the main reason that there likely won’t be a football season this year. From a failure to include the CFLPA in the process to Randy Ambrosie being ill-prepared when he appeared in front of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, the league’s bungling of this whole situation has been epic!
Hindsight is 20/20 I know, but I was never a fan of the decision to approach the Government for aid. As you probably surmised I’m not a fan of Government, I think we need less of it in our lives, not more. But I couldn’t help thinking of all the economic benefits a CFL franchise, or any sports franchise for that matter, brings to the Economy of the cities they are located in. Surely our political leaders will see that, and lend a hand to a Canadian institution like the CFL right? Wrong. I guess I had forgotten one of History’s most important lessons. Shame on me!
So where does this leave the CFL now? The way I see it there are three options.
1. Approach the country’s big banks and see if any will be willing to loan money. I don’t think that the interest rates and fees than the banks offer would be too much different than what the Federal Government offered so this may not be the right path.
2. Start a Go Fund Me Page and hope that the fans can raise enough to keep the league afloat. With most Canadians either working reduced hours or not working at all, this would prove to be very difficult.
3. This is the Option I like the least, but may have the best chance of success. Approach the NFL about formIng a Partnership. I know, the NFL would quickly turn the CFL into its farm league, but it’s either that or face a very difficult road ahead.
No matter how you look at it the CFL is in a very precarious position right now. These are some difficult times, and difficult decisions lie ahead. If there is any consolation in this whole thing, it’s that it’s not the first time that the League and it’s teams have had to face hard times. Let's just hope that this is not the nail in the coffin for the CFL.