CFL Federal Government’s $ 30 Million Loan Request Denied: Reports
The CFL board of governors will meet on Monday to determine the fate of the 2020 season after the league was unable to secure financial assistance from the federal government.
The CFL applied to Ottawa for an interest-free loan of $ 30 million on August 3 to host an abbreviated 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic. But two sources familiar with the situation said on Sunday night that the plan failed when help could not be provided to the league on the terms it sought.
The sources were granted anonymity because neither the CFL nor the federal government had disclosed the details of the loan application. CBC Sports contacted a league source but could not confirm the information.
It was not the first time that the CFL was unable to strike a deal for government aid. Last month, the league ruled out a Business Development Bank of Canada loan because it felt the interest rate was too high.
The request for the $ 30 million interest-free loan was essentially seen as the league’s latest effort to secure government support for a shortened 2020 season.
The CFL board of governors will meet on Monday to determine its next course of action. However, it is difficult to see the league moving forward with a curtailed season given the time of year and it has repeatedly stated that government help was needed to run a curtailed campaign.
Earlier, a CFL source told The Canadian Press that even with a shortened season, the league would lose over $ 50 million, compared to between $ 60 million and $ 80 million without football at all.
The CFL sent its request for the $ 30 million loan to Ottawa on Aug. 3. This was a reduction from the amended request of $ 44 million made last month.
The CFL first approached the federal government in April for assistance of up to $ 150 million due to the pandemic.
Until Friday, the CFL loan application rested firmly in the hands of the Public Health Agency of Canada, which was in talks with the league and Manitoba health officials regarding return safety plans. at the CFL game. The league had previously selected Winnipeg as the provisional hub city for a shortened season.
On Friday, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, reiterated his encouragement by the CFL’s health and safety protocols. However, he couldn’t say when approval for the plan might come.
This painted a rather bleak picture for the CFL, as continued delay further diminishes the chances of a season being played.
Players are expected to complete quarantine requirements and travel to Winnipeg for training camps before a six-game season can begin. With a three-week play-off, the league is running out of time if it hopes to complete a season by early December.
The lack of government money is not the only obstacle the league faces. He also has to come to an agreement with the CFL Players’ Association on an amended collective agreement, which has yet to happen.
The CFL regular season was scheduled to start on June 11. But many provincial governments had said there would be no sports with large crowds over the summer due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
This dealt a serious blow to the CFL, a gate-run league that relies heavily on ticket sales to function.
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie had said a shortened season could start no earlier than September, but added that a reduced campaign remained a possibility.