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

On Tuesday, Oct. 27, Megan Gaddy was busy sorting bottles donated by residents throughout the Shuswap to support the cost of emergency surgery required for her dog Lucy. (Contributed)
North Okanagan-Shuswap residents step up for pet owner facing emergency vet bill

Megan Gaddy busy sorting donated bottles to bring her black lab Lucy home

Mayor Terry Rysz receives the ceremonial first poppy from Legion president Bill Moore and vice president Marty Goble. (Sicamous Legion/Facebook)
Sicamous Legion adjusts Remembrance Day to pandemic

Live-streamed ceremony and changes to poppy campaign in the works

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

A four-vehicle accident on the Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous destroyed two cars and a section of bridge guardrail but remarkably injured no one. (Sicamous RCMP Image)
Sicamous’ Bruhn Bridge site of two collisions

Although a total of five vehicles were involved, no one was injured

Russ Hodgkins, left, Mayor Terry Rysz, Deb Heap, Legion Vice President Marty Goble and Sicamous councillor Jeff Mallmes meet to celebrate a Communities in Bloom award Sicamous received for work done at the Legion hall on Main Street. (Submitted)
Sicamous projects get Communities in Bloom awards

Work at the legion hall and the Red Barn Arts Centre recognized

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
UPDATE: Flames doused for second time at fatal Penticton apartment fire

The Elm Ave. building first caught fire around 4 a.m., killing two people and displacing dozens

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

Most Read