Maybe we don’t have to wait until Friday, December 19, after all. All signs point to the 2009 AFL season being cancelled with the hope that it is back up and running in 2010. This comes after the players’ union agreed to cut the salary cap from $2 million to $1.4 million with the hope that it would persuade owners to take a shot at going through with this coming season. While a report from last night says that the AFL Board of Directors voted yesterday to not yet suspend play in 2009, the writing is basically on the wall. Some sort of stimulus is needed for revival, or the league will take a year off.
If the 2009 season is scrapped, many football players will be left without a job. NFL Europe no longer exists, the AAFL was a waste of my excitement, and there are a couple of new leagues in development (see: United National Gridiron League and United Football League). Let’s also not forget about the Canadian Football League. Our brothers to the north are secretly excited that the AFL is having financial troubles. Three-to-five players per AFL team may strike a CFL GM’s interest. The transition would be seemless. Salaries are very similar in value and Canada is close enough to home (it’s not like playing in Germany).
“There are agents who refuse to send their players to Canada. They may not have a choice any more.” – Jim Popp, GM of Montreal.
There is one positive AFL note to report, though. The arenafootball2 league, the official development league of the AFL (which is largely considered a development league for the NFL since NFL Europe collapsed), will have a 2009 season as planned.