Pressure mounts as CFL enters second day of work stoppage

The wind blowing against the uprights was the only action at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon Monday morning as the league enters day two of the work stoppage.

Flo and Richard Coffey have been Saskatchewan Roughriders season ticket holders for the last ten years and with the pre season just a week away, they are eager to see an agreement.

“We would like to go to the game on the 23rd but we do understand where the players are coming from,” said Richard Coffey. “They (players) do need some protection.

Seven of the nine teams have cancelled training camp with Alberta labour laws preventing Edmonton and Calgary players from striking until Tuesday.

TSN CFL Insider Dave Naylor said although discussions have broken off, it does not mean the two sides are not communicating.

“I think there is a sense that there's a bit of a cooling off period needed here and it may in fact be the mediator that has been working with the two sides throughout this process, that brings them back together perhaps later this week,” said Naylor.

While no decision has yet been made, hearing that Monday’s pre-season game between @Wpg_BlueBombers and @sskroughriders won’t happen without a CBA deal done by Wednesday. Given that’s 2 days from now and no bargaining scheduled … seems unlikely to take place.#CFL #CFLPA

— Dave Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) May 16, 2022

Naylor added there is a sense of urgency among the CFL, especially rookie players.

“Every team has 50 rookies in camp and it's hard for rookies to make a football team the shorter the camp gets because veterans know the playbook, know the coaches, and know the teammates while rookies don't,” said Naylor. “So the less time you give them to acclimatize themselves, the harder it is for them to make a team.”

Pressure is mounting on both sides to get a deal done.

Cancellation of pre-season games will cost teams $ as they don’t pay full wages for those games but receive season ticket revenue, concessions etc. #CFL #CFLPA

— Dave Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) May 16, 2022

“The longer this goes on, pressure builds,” said Naylor. “Pressure builds on the players, on the owners and this is basically the game or sport of the collective bargaining.”

Fans also hope an agreement happens soon so they can enjoy the sport they love

“Sooner rather than later, but they need to get something,” said Coffey. “They need to have some kind of protection as a player.”