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CFL moves closer to strike

Talks between the CFL and its players on a new collective bargaining agreement broke down Thursday.

Representatives from the CFL left the second day of talks abruptly, and CFL Players' Association president Scott Flory says the league rejected a new union proposal.

CFL commissioner Mark Cohon says the players rejected a league proposal earlier Thursday.

"The Canadian Football League has sent its best offer for a new collective bargaining agreement directly to the players," Cohon said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this best offer was rejected by the CFLPA executive committee this morning. We strongly believe it is a fair and equitable agreement for both parties.

"We want football. We want our season to start on time. But not at the cost of the unrealistic proposal put forward by the CFLPA."

Flory says the CFLPA came off its original demand of revenue sharing, offering a compromise it called a "Revenue Protection Clause."

It allowed for a fixed cap, starting at $5.8 million and rising three per cent annually, for a minimum for two years.

After the second year, if there was an increase in revenue on a league-wide basis of more than $12 million, excluding Grey Cup, the parties would renegotiate the cap or the collective bargaining agreement would be jointly terminated at the end of that season.

The union also proposed a one-time bonus to veteran players of a minimum compensation of $15,000 each.

The players' association was originally asking for a salary cap of $6.24 million.

The two sides met face-to-face Thursday morning following 12 hours of talks on Wednesday.

The league left shortly afterward, presumably with a new union proposal in hand.

Representatives from the league returned for face-to-face talks about two hours later, but left within moments without saying a word.

The current collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players ends at midnight ET, and training camps are scheduled to open on Sunday. Players say they will report to camp without a new agreement.

The Canadian Press

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