TORONTO — Its season delayed by COVID-19, the Canadian Premier League has been forced to reduce wages for players and staff.
Players will have 25 per cent of their contracts deferred, while coaches, technical staff, and club and league employees will take unspecified pay reductions “during this challenging time in order to keep as many people as possible employed.”
“The Canadian Premier League and its member clubs have been working hard to minimize the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our business,” commissioner David Clanachan said in a statement Monday. “We were scheduled to start our season on April 11, but were unable to do so.
“Despite our best efforts, we are now having to make adjustments to our operations including the wages of our hard-working and passionate players, coaches and employees.”
Clanachan has said the eight-team league is running different scenarios on what the 2020 season might look. But the final word on resuming play will come from government and health authorities.
“We thank our dedicated players, coaches and staff for helping us share the weight of these difficult challenges,” Clanachan added in the statement. ”And we look forward to starting our season and welcoming back our amazing fans when authorities say it is safe to do so.”
The league said it had no further comment.
Clanachan said last week in an interview that the second-year league, thanks to the commitments of its owners, will survive the pandemic.
“As in any business, you do what you have to do and adjust as you go. But we’re in this for the long run,” he told The Canadian Press. “This is a long game here and we’re very focused about what we’re going to build and the legacy we will leave going forward. That’s not changed at all.”
And he said the league continues to hear from potential new ownership groups.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 13, 2020.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press