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CFL shuts down talks with union, goes directly to the players

(SportsNetwork.com) - Canadian Football League commissioner Mark Cohon said in a letter to fans on Wednesday that negotiations for a new agreement have broken down and the league will try to work directly with the players instead of the union.

"Unfortunately, the union's bargaining team has rejected this offer, and instead put forward an unrealistic proposal which, if adopted, would threaten the very existence of the CFL," said Cohon in the letter.

"This is why we are now communicating directly to the players," he added.

On Wednesday morning the CFL Players' Association tweeted, "@cfl broke off negotiations this morning. It was clear that they do not want to negotiate. #WeAreTheGame #WeAreUnited."

According to Cohon's letter, the union rejected an offer from the league that would increase the average player salary by 12 percent this season, to $92,917, and increase the minimum player's salary by 11 percent this season, to $50,000. Additionally, the proposal would increase the salary cap by nine percent this season from $4.4 million to $4.8 million per team, with more increases coming over the life of the agreement.

Cohon added that the league and teams don't want to go any higher than this offer because of other investments they are making into the game, stadiums and other fan improvements.

"You may hear a lot in the media about revenue sharing," said Cohon. "Our offer would share increased revenue with our players. But we cannot agree to an approach that would focus solely on our teams' revenues while ignoring their costs and the investments we must make to modernize, stabilize and maximize the CFL."

The CFL's letter to players also detailed the union's proposal, which included a salary cap increase to $6.24 million in 2014.

05/21 12:14:23 ET

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