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Report: CFL Players’ Association sets Thursday as date for ratification vote

Toronto Argonauts' quarterback Mitchell Gale (16) is sacked by Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Greg Peach (90) and Zach Anderson (44) during the first half of preseason CFL football action at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Monday, June 19, 2013

The Canadian Press

CFL players will vote on their union's tentative agreement with the CFL on Thursday.

A source requesting anonymity told The Canadian Press of the CFL Players' Association decision.

The CFL has not yet announced when its board of governors will hold its ratification vote.

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The league and union agreed to a five-year contract Saturday. However, many CFL players have spoken out against the new deal which calls for a $5-million salary cap, well below the CFLPA's opening demand of $6.24-million.

The CFL also got a major concession from the union on the gross revenue formula that would trigger the renegotiation of the cap or entire collective agreement.

The players, who initially wanted the CBA to include revenue sharing, had called for the cap or entire agreement to be renegotiated if league revenues increased by more than $18-million — excluding the Grey Cup — in the third year of the deal. The CFL wanted that figure to be $27-million and the union ultimately agreed.

The union did get elimination of the option year on CFL contracts, excluding rookies. Also, the players' practice day for the most part remains at 4.5 hours daily but can be increased to a maximum of six hours and teams will hold just one padded practice a week during the season.

A majority of players — 50 per cent plus one — on six of the nine CFL teams must support the deal for it to be accepted. If it's rejected, that doesn't necessarily mean the players will go on strike.

All clubs have held strike votes with most players reportedly in favour of going out. But TSN reports if the deal is turned down the CFLPA will notify the CFL and try kick-starting contract talks.

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