FILE – A football with the new CFL logo sits on a chair in Winnipeg, Friday, November 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

FILE – A football with the new CFL logo sits on a chair in Winnipeg, Friday, November 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Sources: CFL’s $30-million federal loan request falls through

The $30-million, interest-free loan request was essentially seen as the league’s last-ditch effort

The CFL’s board of governors will meet Monday to determine the fate of the 2020 season after the league was unable to secure financial assistance from the federal government.

The CFL presented Ottawa with a $30-million, interest-free loan request Aug. 3 to stage an abbreviated 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic. But two sources familiar with the situation said Sunday night the plan fell through when the assistance couldn’t be provided to the league under the terms it sought.

The sources were granted anonymity because neither the CFL nor the federal government had divulged details of the loan request.

It wasn’t the first time the CFL had been unable to reach a deal for government assistance. Last month, the league ruled out a loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada because it felt the interest rate was too high.

The $30-million, interest-free loan request was essentially seen as the league’s last-ditch effort to secure government support for an abbreviated ‘20 season

The CFL’s board of governors will meet Monday to determine its next course of action. However, it’s hard to see the league going ahead with a shortened season given the time of year and it stating repeatedly that government assistance was needed in order to stage an abbreviated campaign.

Earlier, a CFL source had told The Canadian Press that even with an abbreviated season the league would lose upwards of $50 million compared to between $60 and $80 million with no football at all.

The CFL sent Ottawa its $30-million loan request Aug. 3. It was a reduction of the $44-million amended requisition it presented last month.

The CFL first approached the federal government in April for up to $150 million in assistance due to the pandemic.

Until Friday, the CFL’s loan request rested firmly in the hands of the Public Health Agency of Canada, which had been in talks with the league and Manitoba health officials regarding the CFL’s return-to-play safety plans. The league had previously chosen Winnipeg as a tentative hub city for a shortened season.

On Friday, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, reiterated he was encouraged about the CFL’s health-and-safety protocols. However, he couldn’t say when approval of the plan might come.

That painted a rather bleak picture for the CFL as a continued delay further diminishes chances for a season to be played.

Players would need to fulfil quarantine requirements and make their way to Winnipeg for training camps before a six-game season could begin. With a three-week playoff, the league is running out of time if it hopes to finish a season by early December.

But government money isn’t the only hurdle the league faces. It also has to reach an agreement with the CFL Players’ Association on an amended collective bargaining agreement, something that hasn’t happened yet.

The CFL regular season was supposed to kick off June 11. But many provincial governments had stated there would be no sports with large crowds over the summer due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

That struck a serious blow to the CFL, a gate-driven league that relies heavily on ticket sales to operate.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie had stated the earliest an abbreviated season could begin was September but added a cancelled campaign remained a possibility.

READ MORE: CFL to continue discussions with federal government about financial assistance

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CFL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Break and enter suspect caught in the act by Saanich police, charged for seven other similar crimes

40-year-old accused of breaking into bank, restaurant, six liquor stores since October 2020

Central Saanich installed a temporary portable along Lochside Trail near Michell’s Farm Market and remains in discussion with the Capital Regional District about finding what Mayor Ryan Windsor called a ‘permanent solution’ to ensuring washroom access at the popular location. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich in talks with CRD about ‘permanent’ washroom facility near Lochside Trail

The municipality installed a temporary portable washroom near Michell’s Farm Market last week

(Black Press Media file photo)
Bylaw officers called to Saanich park for COVID-19 protocol violations on pickleball court

Raquet sport players reminded to avoid doubles play amid pandemic

The Sooke School District raised more than $18,000 for the Goldstream and Sooke food banks from the funds of 10,000 Tonight in December 2020. The funds go two- to 2.5-times further due to the buying power of the food banks. (Black Press Media file photo)
SD62 high school students raise more than $18,000 for food banks

Edward Milne in Sooke rakes in $11,000 alone

A video captured by Twitter user Teddy Jenner of a fire in Beacon Hill Park the night of Jan. 21, 2021. (Twitter/@OfftheCrosseBar)
Fire rips through tents, wooden structures in Beacon Hill Park

Emergency crews say there was no injuries in the blaze

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read