After the CFL went nuclear Wednesday morning by making its proposed CBA public, the CFLPA has followed suit. They released their proposed CBA in an e-mail to media Wednesday afternoon. Here's the PDF they sent:
And the PDF of the open letter to fans they followed with:
There's lots of interesting material in there, and it will be discussed further in a later post, along with the comments from CFLPA leaders at a press conference Wednesday. There are a few key points to mention first, though. The players propose a cap of $6.24 million in 2014, then suggest using a formula to determine the cap each subsequent year, with players making 55 per cent of TV/radio/broadcast rights, 45 per cent of sponsorship/licensing fees and 40 per cent of ticket revenue. All other revenues would only go to the clubs. Their formula also would ignore the highest-revenue and lowest-revenue clubs each year, which seems like a massive win for the league given how much more than anyone else Saskatchewan makes (and it seems unlikely that the Argos or any other poor club is as far below the average as the Riders are above it, especially with big TV money coming to everyone). Interestingly enough, the players do agree with the league on setting the minimum salary at $50,000. Beyond that, though, there's a huge gap between this proposal and the one the league released Wednesday, and very little agreement on key principles.
What's really notable is that the CFLPA is following the league's strategy and taking its case public, though. Of course, they'd previously done so to an extent, leaking both some of their proposals and the ones they've received from the CFL. This is a full cards-on-the-table moment, though, and with that, they're going with the league's approach of attempting to win fans over rather than negotiate privately. That's a big change from the historical approach, especially for an organization that hasn't always communicated effectively. It also makes it clear just how wide the divide between the players and the league is, and suggests a strike may well be coming.