This post is written by Dave Spadafora
Derek Dennis appeared on this past Friday’s episode of the 13th Man Podcast with Frankie and Shane.
The Former Stampeder, Roughrider and XFLer had some very insightful thoughts on a wide range of topics such as the XFL’s potential impact on the CFL, to who he would think would make a good Commissioner. If you get a chance, give it a listen, it’ll be well worth your time.
The thing that got the hamster wheel inside my head turning was the discussion of the CFL having one owner own the whole League. I don’t think this would be the right fit for the League for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, there is the dollar issue. Let’s not forget that the $15 million US that the Dwayne Johnson-led group purchased the XFL for was pennies on the dollar. Think about it, they bought an entire league for just $15 million!
Even in its current state, the CFL is worth more than that. Let’s use the Saskatchewan Roughriders as an example. Last year the Riders led the league in both paid and scanned attendance, they are also perennial leaders in merchandise sales and TV ratings. Their brand isn’t only the most recognizable in the league but in all of Canadian sports. They rank right up there with both the Montreal Canadians and the Toronto Maple Leafs. If the Riders were up for sale, $15 Million would only be a down payment, not the final price. Not to mention buying the Stampeders, Edmonton, or the Bombers. The interested party would need some very deep pockets.
Secondly, any time you have a centralization of power that comes with only one owner for the entire League, there is a danger in each individual franchise losing autonomy. Would they still have final say over things like finances, marketing or even management, coaching, or player personnel decisions? It would be very tempting for the person, or group who made such a capital investment to want to involve itself in the day to day business of each franchise.
There is no doubt that the CFL does have to decide what course of action to take to get out of this mess. I just hope they don’t end up selling their soul in the process.
Meanwhile, the Clock is still ticking on the CFL to decide whether they’ll have a shortened Season or not. I don’t know about any of you, but my Frustration is reaching its boiling point. Randy Ambrosie and the BOG’s procrastination in the early days of this Crisis are the main cause of the state of limbo the League is currently in.
I did see some encouraging news, however. According to a report from the Canadian Press, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer DR Howard Njoo said that the CFL’s Plan was “Encouraging. Something we can work with.” Hopefully, that’ll clear the way for the Federal Government to approve the $30 Million Dollar interest-free Loan the League has asked for.
That being said I still think that the best course of action the CFL can take will be to Cancel the 2020 Season all together. With the first week of August now behind us, there is simply too much to do to return this year, especially with a Target Date of Early September. Don’t get me wrong, I would be exhilarated if I could watch my Beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders this season, but it would be wiser if the League started to Focus on regrouping for 2021, and beyond.