TORONTO, ON – With preparations for the start of the 2018 CFL season well underway, several teams were greeted with a surprise at the start of training camp upon realizing the raised minimum wages across the nation has caused several teams to exceed the league salary cap.
The Toronto Argonauts, the Ottawa Redblacks and Hamilton Tiger-cats, are both currently over the league’s maximum spending budget with the BC Lions expected to also find themselves in a similar predicament when British Columbia’s minimum wage raises on June 1st. For many players the minimum wage increase is a significant pay raise, meaning many players could quit their second and third jobs many of them are forced to work to meet ends meet. Team owners however, see it differently.
“I don’t know how anyone expects small businesses like ours to survive with such an outrageously high minimum wage. It’s pricing us right out of the market,” stated Toronto Argonauts owner Larry Tanenbaum, adding that he believes that it’s the workers who are going to suffer most. “To meet our budget under the wage increase we’ve already had to cut our punter, backup quarterback and entire offensive line. You can blame the Liberal government for this rise in unemployment.”
Hoping to cope with the decreasing profit margins, the CFL announced that helmets and jerseys will no longer be provided for the players to save costs, and all games missed due to head injuries will be considered use of an unpaid vacation day.
While some across the nation have suggested resolving the issue by raising the salary cap so that owners can spend more money on their players, the billionaire team owner was outspoken at what he called, “a ludicrous short term fix.”
“What do they expect us to do? Constantly pay our workers what they’re worth to us?” continued Tanenbaum, who is also chairman of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment. “Professional sports isn’t the lucrative business people seem to think it is, and by asking us owners to pay our employees more than you’ll have to accept that the extra costs will be passed on the the consumers, don’t be surprised the next time you pay $32 for a large soda at a stadium. You can blame failing economics for that.”
At press time the CFL announced all cheerleaders will also be eliminated from the league in another cost saving effort. An unnamed contact with the league claimed it would be absurd to expect cheerleaders to get paid as much as football players, as one is an elite athlete with a rigorous practice schedule being held to world class physical standards and the other has to catch a football without dropping it.