New measure to deliver fiscal discipline, a level playing field and greater fairness

TORONTO (December 6, 2018) -- A new cap on non-player football operations costs is being introduced for 2019, the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced today.

“Successful businesses effectively manage their costs at the same time they deliver a high quality product and pursue growth strategies,” said Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner of the CFL.

“This new measure will contribute to the success of our league as we all work together to build a bigger, better, stronger CFL.”

The cap is set at $2,588,000 for 2019 and 2020, after which the amount will be subject to a review. 

It applies to coaches and other football operations staff including general managers, scouts and equipment and video personnel.  The number of staff is capped at 11 coaches and 14 other football operations staff.

Team doctors and athletic therapists are excluded to ensure the cap does not affect player health and safety.

 Violations of the policy can result in a team fine, a personal fine and/or the loss of draft picks.

For the first $100,000 over the cap, the fine is the equivalent of the amount by which the limit has been exceeded. For any amount over $100,000, penalties range from a minimum of a $25,000 fine and the loss of one second-round draft pick to a maximum of a $250,000 fine and the loss of three draft picks.

But in 2019, as the teams adjust to the cap, teams that voluntarily report their violations to the league will only be subject to team fines, not personal fines or the loss of draft picks.

For the purposes of the cap, expenses include wages, salaries and benefits such as health plans, car and housing allowances, and playoff bonuses which exceed the player share. Exclusions include business expenses, complimentary tickets and meals while working.

The non-player football operations cap was driven by the league’s Executive Council, which is made up of the Commissioner and nine team Presidents, with the full support of the Board of Governors.

Clubs will report quarterly to the league and file all football operations contracts with the CFL, which will audit clubs each year at the same time it conducts Salary Management System audits of player salaries and benefits.

Lucas Barrett

Manager, Communications & Public Affairs, Canadian Football League

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