According to Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun, there is a strong possibility that the 2014 Canadian Football League season may not start on time. On Tuesday, the Canadian Football League and the Canadian Football League's players' union met but remain far apart in agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement.
The sides are reportedly far apart when it comes to pension related matters, issues regarding player safety, and revenue sharing. Players, according to Matthew Sciantti of TSN, are now receiving strike ballots in the mail.
What is surprising is that the Canadian Football League players are considering strike action even though the Canadian Football League is planning to raise the salary cap to approximately $4.8 million from $4.4 million in 2013. However there is no secret to the fact that the new television deal the CFL has with TSN is substantial. According to Dan Ralph of the Globe and Mail, TSN's contract is worth $40 million in 2014 compared to $15 million last season.
The new television deal seems to be a sticking point for the CFL players union. The players simply want a greater percentage of revenue that the CFL is about to generate, and a significant amount of that is coming from TSN.
It will be interesting to see if there is a clause in the new television contract if TSN will get some money back if there is no football this summer or if the CFL season is delayed for any extended period of time. Only once before has there been a strike in the Canadian Football League. That took place in 1974. Three weeks of training camp was lost but no games (exhibition or regular season) were cancelled.
The Calgary Stampeders set to begin their exhibition schedule June 14 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMahon Stadium. Let's not kid ourselves. The exhibition season means nothing in the grand scheme of things. The Stampeders' regular season starts Saturday, June 28 against the Montreal Alouettes at McMahon Stadium. Game time is 1:00 p.m.