BOG has formed search committee for Ottawa/10th team

BOG has struck a new search committee to deal with interested ownership candidates for new Ottawa franchise --- as well as for 10th team.

The committee includes Bob Young, Ted Hellard, Howard Sokolowski and Tom Wright. Stu Laird, head of CFLPA, is also part of it.

Previous committe put together had included David Braley and Tom Robinson of Ssk.

Bob Irving of CJOB reports that Wright is still confident that CFL can return to nation's capital for '07 :rockin: :rockin: :cowboy: :cowboy: :thup: :thup:

Here it is, the word is out on the expansion plans, to return to Ottawa and a 10th team.
All wise choices.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 05:15PM

Commissioner introduces new Franchise Committee to facilitate expansion

Winnipeg, MB (CFL) -– The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced today the appointment of its 2006 Committee Chairs adding one new important group to the roster. The Committees and Chairs are as follows:

• Executive Committee: Gene Dunn – Winnipeg Blue Bombers
• Presidents’ Council: Rick LeLacheur – Edmonton Eskimos
• Marketing & Broadcast Committee: Keith Pelley – Toronto Argonauts
• Audit & Finance Committee: Rick LeLacheur – Edmonton Eskimos
• Competition Committee: Bob Ackles – BC Lions
• Player Relations Committee: Hugh Campbell – Edmonton Eskimos
• Rules Committee: Tom Wright - Commissioner

Franchise Committee:

Commissioner Wright introduced the new Franchise Committee that is charged with the process of leading League expansion through a return to Ottawa and to a new 10th market. Committee membership includes Bob Young, Howard Sokolowski, Ted Hellard and Commissioner Wright. Stu Laird, President of the Canadian Football League Players’ Association will also be an ex-officio member

Now with the search and this announcement, it is interesting how Tom's name is well positioned. Maybe there is the possibility depending the success of "expansion" he may be retained. That's of course, reading between the lines and the inability to be the fly on the wall during the actusal meeting.

Haha, hughie and rick get on the committee. And is that ottawa and a 10th franchise for next season? Or do they just mean "eventually".

For what it's worth, I think Wright wanted chance to redeem himself to Ottawa fans by being involved in getting CFL back there.

There may be a chance to save TW and sanity may prevail.

First Ottawa and "eventually" the 10th team.


Hugh is on Players' Relations committee; LeLacheur is on the Audit/Finance Committee.

As for Ottawa/Expansion committee, I think it's pretty clear. Ottawa first, then sonehwere else --- Atlantic Canada/QC

"Franchise Committee:

Commissioner Wright introduced the new Franchise Committee that is charged with the process of leading League expansion through a return to Ottawa and to a new 10th market. Committee membership includes Bob Young, Howard Sokolowski, Ted Hellard and Commissioner Wright. Stu Laird, President of the Canadian Football League Players’ Association will also be an ex-officio member"

Good to see they haven't given up on Ottawa. But I still won't be convinced until they secure PROPER ownership for the Renegades, not the first guy who comes along. I also wonder when they plan to have the 10th team operational.

According to CP story tonite, Wright said they can go til beginning of September and have owner for Ottawa franchise in place for '07.

But he made it a point to reiterate they want it done right, not fast.

And he confirmed that interest shown by potential ownership groups is absolutely legit.

Interesting development.

The list of names is also interesting for who isn't on it mmmmmmmmmmmm....

My God, how awesome would it be to have 10 STABLE teams? Two five-team divisions for balance, a chance to reflect regional rivalries in seasonal matchups, and more legitimacy for the playoffs since 40% of the teams wouldn't make it each year.

I am praying they secure good ownership for Ottawa before the '07 season. With the right people running the ship, there's no reason the Ottawa franchise couldn't be a contender within five years.

Amen to that

Hmmm, Ottawa returns, maybe with Halifax.... You're right Discipline....10 teams would be nice.

PLEASE!!!! Do it right!

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The Canadian Football League is seriously looking at a return to the Ottawa market as early as next season.

Commissioner Tom Wright, who's in the last year of his contract and may not be around to see it, says a decision on a new franchise in the nation's capital for 2007 will be made by September.

"I like the chances quite well," Wright said after CFL governors held their annual meeting here yesterday. "But I'm more interested in doing what's right, not doing what's quickest."

Wright says there are "several" legitimate groups who've expressed interest in heading an Ottawa franchise. He wouldn't identify them, but did say some are local Ottawa investors.

The league has struck a new "franchise committee" to pursue a return to Ottawa, as well as investigate a potential 10th franchise down the road.

The committee includes owners Bob Young in Hamilton, Howard Sokolowski of Toronto, Calgary's Ted Hellard and CFL players union president Stu Laird, as well as Wright.

"No decision to return to Ottawa ... will be made unless the ownership group we've identified is the right ownership group, with the right kind of commitment, with the financial stability, the passion for the game... to do what's right for the fans in Ottawa," Wright said.

Two franchises have already failed in that city, most recently the Renegades, who folded earlier this year.

Regaining the confidence of gun-shy Ottawa fans would obviously be a challenge for any new owner, but not an insurmountable one, according to Blue Bomber president/CEO Lyle Bauer.

"It's certainly not going to be easy," Bauer said. "But ... there are some good football fans there that have been dealt some pretty difficult cards over the last 20 years, or more."

CLEAR CAP: The salary cap CFL governors put their stamp of approval on yesterday includes a spending limit of $3.8 million per team.

It also includes transparency, meaning the public will know how much each team spends on players -- and which ones are penalized for exceeding the limit.

Penalties include fines, up to three times the amount of the infraction, and the loss of draft picks. However, the fines don't kick in until the '07 season.

The league will hire compliance officers to monitor team budgets.

HASHMARKS: Governors unanimously approved instant replay for the coming season. The system was used experimentally during pre-season games, as well as last year ... Former Blue Bomber chairman Gene Dunn was elected the new chairman of the CFL board of governors, replacing Saskatchewan's Tom Robinson.

Good call having Young and Sokolowski on the expansion committee. Who else would be as well qualified to find great owners, other than two great owners who were found? I'm sure this will work out well for all concerned.

I can guarantee one thing.

BOG/League are hyper-sensitive about doing anything wrong in this regard.

They will do everything within their power to make sure that this is done with all necessary "due diligence."

There's no way they want Ottawa to blow up in their faces again.

But I hold the faith --- esp because of who's on the search committee.

One thing's for sure: despite all the woes in Ottawa, it should be easier to sell a CFL franchise to a prospective owner now that there's a salary cap in place. What sunk Gillies and Smith was their belief that all teams would adhere to what they thought was a cap -- $2.8 million -- but what was actually a floor. For two consecutive seasons under two different owners, the Gades hemorrhaged players because management couldn't offer competitive salaries. They spent peanuts on equipment. They had ONE person manning the phones for the ticket sales. The new owners have to be willing to spend if the team is going to survive. At least with a cap in place, they'll be assured of league-wide parity.

Now that would be a best way to rebound after the Ottawa Debacle