PFA Canada: More Than Half of CPL Athletes Make Less Than $22,000
The union aiming to officially represent all of the Canadian Premier League players has fired a bombshell line at the League Office, stating that over half of the players in the burgeoning league make less than $22,000, with many player salaries dropping below $15,000.
Earlier this year, the league had originally announced a 25% salary deferral for players (with undisclosed cuts to league and club staff) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is what first prompted the union to announce itself publicly. The 25% salary deferral was later taken off of the table and delivered as a full 25% cut to player salaries.
The union recognized that given the current pandemic situation there wasn’t a lot that it could ultimately do in 2020, but pushed to be officially recognize by the league. Thus far, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan has side-stepped questions about this, recently stating that face-to-face meetings weren’t possible as of yet due to the pandemic.
The league keeps financial details of player contracts strictly confidential, and the same goes for an as-yet-undisclosed roster salary cap that reportedly rests at around a $750,000 figure for each side.
The Winnipeg Free Press reported that new Pacific FC midfielder Marco Bustos was among the highest-paid athletes in the league, stating that the 24-year-old goalscoring midfielder earned around $60,000.
In Northern Tribune’s talks with CPL athletes, several of them did suggest that their salaries were on the lower end of the scale, with some even going on EI during the offseason to make ends meet. The low pay scale is why players like Eddies goalkeeper Connor James is also an accountant, and former Nine Stripes goalkeeper Colm Vance retired early to pursue an education in medicine.
For comparison, the minimum salary for a senior player in Major League Soccer is 81,375 in USD, though that league has had several years to build up both an established following along with sponsorship and broadcast deals. The CPL, by comparison, likely relies mainly on gate revenue. With the Island Games being a made-for-TV production, there isn’t any of that to be had for the league in 2020.
While PFA Canada continues to press for the league to officially recognize the union, it currently offers CPL athletes pro bono legal services for items like contractual disputes. It also received official backing from FIFPro, the global player’s union that represents over 65,000 players worldwide. Pacific FC’s Marcel de Jong was just announced as an addition to FIFPro’s global player council.
PFA Canada itself has several other CPL athletes on its board, including Marco Carducci, Kyle Porter, Tomi Ameobi, Dylan Carreiro, Jamar Dixon, Ben Fisk, Omar Kreim, and Roger Thompson.
With the union now publicly revealing salary statistics that were largely unknown before this, it’ll be interesting if the above tweet galvanizes a response from the league, fans, or the players in the near future.