TSN's Farhan Lalji Would Bet Money on Gameplay Between XFL and CFL by 2023

TSN’s Farhan Lalji Would Bet Money on Gameplay Between XFL and CFL by 2023

Last week the CFL and XFL communities were rocked by the explosive news that the CFL was exploring opportunities for alignment with the new XFL ownership group. On both sides there are fans that love the idea and are worried about how the other league may impact the style of play.

Money is another key contributor for both leagues. TSN insider Farhan Lalji weighed in on the situation between the CFL and XFL during hiss weekly appearance on The Sportscage.

If I had a thousand dollars — and I don’t often have that — I would bet there is going to be a meaningful arrangement between the CFL and the XFL that includes game play, probably by 2023, if not sooner,”

Last year the Canadian government refused to provide a $30 million interest-free loan, the CFL is now looking elsewhere for financial help. Due to COVID-19, the CFL was forced to cancel their 2020 season, which reportedly led to between $60 and $80M in losses. If the 2021 season is in jeopardy, the league is set to loos even more.

The league reportedly lost between $60 and $80 million last year after the Canadian government refused to provide a $30 million interest-free loan a year ago. They’ll lose millions more if any kind of season is played in 2021.

The major financial capital provided by the XFL’s wealthy backers could be the solution to that and that desperation is why the talks are so serious.

I absolutely believe there is real traction to this. I absolutely believe there’s going to be a significant connection or arrangement. I’m not going to use the ‘M’ word but that may be in fact what happens,” Lalji said referencing a full merger.

Regardless, I think it’s going to be more than some little marketing consultation, lets just exchange ideas… no, no, this is going to be meat on the bone which will ultimately include gameplay, a full connection between these two entities by 2023, if not sooner. If I had money to bet on it, I’d bet on it.”

The XFL re-launched last year after a failed start in 2001. The 2020 iteration looked to be a success, only to falter due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing them to cancel their inaugural season 5-games in and ultimately filing for bankruptcy. Last August a group comprised of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital won the rights to the XFL for $15 million. While many have assumed an arrangement would begin in 2022, Lalji believes another year would be needed.

I’m just trying to wrap my head around the fact that if this alignment does happen, it’s spring football, which means games probably get started at some point in April, which means we are virtually twelve months out and I just don’t think that’s enough time to create football infrastructure,” he explained.

Although sources close to the league indicate that the XFL is still looking to return in 2022, with the season on hold until talks with the CFL are complete; the writing is on the wall.

Some fans have hoped the arrangement might be limited to just a meeting of champions or an All-Star showcase, but Lalji thinks much bigger changes are on the way.

That could be the eventual outcome, but I believe it will be more than that. There is going to be some level of inter-league play, I think there is going to be rule changes,” he insisted

I can’t sit here and tell you what it’s all going to look like but I really do believe this is more than just an exchange of ideas.”

What do you think? Is there more the the story than the CFL and XFL are letting on? Let us know down in the comments or join the conversation on Discord.