The future of the CFL

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Where does the league stand currently?

With the Super Bowl fast-approaching and all of the excitement that it brings crowning a league champion, football fans should also be wary of an inactive league here in Canada. That league, of course, is the CFL, which currently finds itself in a locked down state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, a return to play is in place for June 10, 2021, but as we only find ourselves in February, there’s still a lot up in the air.

So, with the CFL being in the state it is, a lot of questions currently surround the league and where it will find itself in the near future. Some of these questions, though not all, revolve around the financial situation that the CFL is in during a prolonged lockdown. Also, other concerns may be directed to the continuation of the CFL, or rather, how will the CFL continue when it does return? Helping to provide more insight into this subject is Regina Leader-Post’s Sports Editor, Rob Vanstone. Mr. Vanstone was able to comment on what he thought the future of the CFL would be like moving forward.


“It is challenging to discuss the future when so much can change within a week”, said Vanstone. “Or even within an hour – but I would expect the CFL to endure, albeit as a streamlined version.”

“Even before the pandemic,” continued Vanstone. “A market correction was inevitable, because the teams as a collective were losing between $10 million and $20 million.”

Although the amount may look steep, this isn’t something that will harm the CFL as a whole. This is assuming that spending is something that can be contained within the league and that overages won’t be a problem.

“What we are seeing in 2021,” said Vanstone, “with teams spending at or close to the salary floor of $4.75 million, is likely a permanent condition. I don’t envision the league’s future being imperilled as long as the teams don’t eventually resume spending beyond their means.”

Thankfully for the CFL, as Vanstone mentions below, different contracts are helping to keep certain aspects of the league afloat in troubled times. However, as Vanstone also mentions, these payments will be more effective if the league returns to play sooner rather than later.

“They have a TV contract,” said Vanstone. “That, thanks to TSN, pretty much subsidizes the player payroll. That is a nice head-start. Barring complacency, or a pandemic that extends into 2022, the CFL should be on solid ground.”

Hopefully this addresses some of the concerns that folks out there have regarding the current state of the CFL. Right now (as mentioned near the top of the article), the CFL is still not operating and, as far as the future is concerned, it’s unclear as to where the league will find itself either play-wise or money-wise.

As things seem to stand now, as long as the league can make the adjustments it needs to and ends up finding a way to get players back onto the field in a safe and secure fashion, then the CFL will continue on as it has before.

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