CFL Commissioner Ambrosie Reveals Pay Cut

By Ben Hamill - June 21 2020

CFL Commissioner Ambrosie Reveals Pay Cut

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie says he’s not expecting any more from the league’s players than what he himself is willing to do. Ambrosie on Thursday revealed that he has taken a 20 per cent pay cut – along with every other member of the league’s executive committee. What’s more, this has been the case since as far back as April.

Ambrosie’s comments were made in response to heavy criticism from players following the imposition of a 20% reduction to the football operations cap across the entire league, i.e. all nine CFL teams. Players also voiced extreme unhappiness over not having been involved in decision relating to a shortened 2020 CL season.

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Banking On September

According to a statement issued by Ambrosie, the CFL and CFL Players’ Association (CFLPA) have addressed a letter of appeal to government asking for certain changes to be made to government’s criteria relating to the federal CFL wage subsidy program. The appeal from the side of the league involves a scenario in which all players are fully eligible for subsidisation. Ambrosie also confirmed that the CFL is eager to work alongside players when dealing with the current crisis - not only this year, but also beyond and in the future.

It now seems as if the earliest point in time the CFL will practically be in a position to begin a concise 2020 league season will be September. Even so, stressed Ambrosie, a cancelled 2020 isn’t completely off the table either. 

Ambrosie’s statement came shortly after CFLPA director Brian Ramsay tweeted his frustration over the union not having at that point received any “concrete” ideas or indications regarding possible opportunities for a rest-of-2020 season.

Facing An Uncertain Future

Players are well within the limits of reason in voicing their unhappiness about the league’s current limbo-like state. The NBA, Major League Soccer and the NHL have all announced concrete plans for a return to play.

What’s frustratingly clear is that Ambrosie regards the current situation faced by CFL players as acceptable when compared to the difficulties experienced by some other Canadian businesses. He in his statement refers to the CFL sympathising with those Canadian businesses affected “more directly”. And while all of what Ambrosie said is inherently true, the uncertainties faced by players and their families are real too.

The CFLPA has in the meantime said it expects a CFL request to revisit things like the length of current and future agreements and future salary structures.

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