CFL and Gades looking for NEW owners??

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Where the Ottawa Renegades go from here was the question on minds around the Canadian Football League yesterday.

Following the departure of team president Lonie Glieberman, some saw opportunity, but most saw a fragile franchise headed towards an ownership change.

Majority owner Bernie Glieberman cancelled an overseas trip in order to meet with CFL commissioner Tom Wright in Toronto next week to deal with the club's problems.

The Renegades are heading into uncharted waters, and it's likely that everything is on the table, including ownership.

Glieberman is waffling, looking for a sign of faith from a grumpy Ottawa fan base, while Bill Smith, the minority partner whose links to the franchise date back to the expansion era, is believed to be soap-opera weary and seeking resolution before he becomes responsible for financial losses.

Under the deal Smith struck with Glieberman last spring, the latter agreed to fully fund the team for 2005 in exchange for organizational say. Smith acquired a 49-per-cent stake that was diluted when Glieberman covered the financial losses last year, but Smith was set to assume some of the losses in 2006.

Smith's dissent has been known since August, and it is believed he will not simply be appeased with the removal of Lonie Glieberman as team president. Should his voice or ownership share in the Renegades rise, a full house-cleaning could be in order, one that would include consultants John Lisowski and Phil Kershaw, general manager Forrest Gregg and head coach John Jenkins.

Conversely, if Smith decides he wants out, Bernie Glieberman's pending decision becomes one of whether to go it alone.

Yesterday, CFL commissioner Tom Wright was working on the premise that Glieberman would remain as majority owner and quickly address the power void left in his son's wake.

"Both Bill and Bernie understand the sense of urgency to bring clarity and stability there," Wright said. "Our position is we want to make sure an efficient organization is in place."

Smith and the league office want the current structure, headed by Lisowski and Kershaw, changed as soon as possible. Wright said he wanted no issues lingering come training camp, preventing the kind of messy aftershocks that followed Glieberman's purchase of the team last May.

The league office and governors have at least verbal assurances from Glieberman that he will unconditionally fund the team through 2006, even if he decides he no longer wants to own the club.

Beyond that there is much uncertainty.

Smith is not willing to assume total financial responsibility for the team, but he could be convinced to take on decision-making authority and work with the league to find a partner for 2007.

Otherwise, a search for the Renegades' white knight would begin.

Smith and Lonie Glieberman are also pushing Bernie Glieberman to hire former general manager Eric Tillman, who left the Renegades after his contract expired in 2004, and a new chief executive officer.

Smith supported Bob Nicholson when the Washington Nationals executive was offered the Renegades' chief executive post in 2003.

Nicholson turned the job down and it eventually went to Lisowski, who left the team last year.

Around the league, optimists hope Bernie Glieberman brings about credible changes to the team's business and football sides.

Ideally, Smith is appeased, no refinancing is necessary and everyone is left with a sense that the franchise is being rebuilt by parties who can co-exist.

Others were decrying the sale of the Renegades to Glieberman last year as "pennywise and pound-foolish," demoralized that his tenure was on the verge of collapse in less than 12 months.

some guy on tsn posts:
ok lonie leaves but thats not the whole problem here, we have a 28.000 seat stadium and 1.200 parking spaces crappy bus service after the game and they wonder why the gades are having trouble filling the stadium. not to mention the outragous prices for the food and drinks heres what has to happen for a strong and viable football franchise here lower the cost of the food and drinks and switch stadiums use the ottawa university stadium for the games its cheaper rent to pay and its on the major transitway for busses so everyone can go to the game and not take over an hour to get home as for jenkins he needs a chance and u will here of brad banks this yr for sure jenkins style of offence suits brad banks style of play more than it will for kerry joseph go gades

so does anyone know the capacity of this ottawa university stadium?....or if thats a good move?

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The official team colours of the Renegades: Black and Code Red.

CFL commissioner Tom Wright yesterday pledged the league's commitment to keeping professional football in Ottawa by finding a solution to correct the critical state of the Renegades franchise.

"People understand that there is a sense of urgency," said Wright yesterday during a phone interview.

Asked if the league itself would use the same term of urgency, he replied, "absolutely."

Next week, Renegades majority owner Bernie Glieberman and minority owner Bill Smith will meet at the league office in downtown Toronto, summoned there by Wright to discuss the affairs of the club.

Wright wouldn't say on which day the meeting would take place, and refused to provide specifics of the meeting's agenda. But he provided a few details of discussions he had recently with Glieberman who spent the week in Costa Rica on business.


They spoke with each other by phone yesterday morning, and Wright revealed he and the Renegades owner had averaged at least one form of contact daily during the last few weeks since trouble erupted in the team's operations.

Asked about speculative fan concerns that Glieberman might be interested in relocating the club to an expansion site such as Halifax or Windsor, Wright said he had never heard of either scenario.

"This is a nine-team league that's going to be a 10-team league, and we're going to do everything we can to keep football a success in Ottawa, and that's the sense I get from Bernie," Wright said.

Lonie Glieberman, the owner's son, stepped aside Thursday as the person in charge of the team's business operations, allowing John Lisowski and Phil Kershaw to temporarily take over those functions.

Wright said the league has no preferred candidate in mind to assume the team's business operations, but sources say Bob Nicholson, the VP of finance of baseball's Washington Nationals and former Argos president, is being backed by the league.

"When it comes down to leadership structure, it's up to the owners. The CFL doesn't decide who runs these clubs," said the commissioner.

"I'm not going to put some sort of artificial timetable on these things, on whatever structure is right to lead the team."


Meanwhile, former Renegades GM Eric Tillman repeated during a radio interview in Ottawa yesterday that he is not interested in returning to his old job as long as Forrest Gregg holds the position.

Speaking about Gregg and Renegades coach John Jenkins, Tillman said, "I hope they get the opportunity to take this team to the field together collectively, and let the results speak for themselves."

Former Rough Riders player Mark Kosmos, a candidate to take over the team's business operations, has also gone public with his reluctance to take a job with the 'Gades.

Lonie Glieberman departed Ottawa yesterday and was en route to his ski resort in northern Michigan where he'll spend most of the remaining winter.

His father was to return from Central America to his home in Detroit this weekend.

.......not sure dg, might work similar to the McGill situation, where every game becomes a more intimate affair........I think it would be a shame to show Jenkins the door before the season even much as he made a goof of himself here in cowtown with his style of play he does deserve the second chance to see if he can make it work in bytown......jury's out on Gregg, he might be great still, he might be a liability, who knows for sure?.........hopefully this gets sorted out quickly.........

i want them to get rid of the 2 consultants, and give Gregg and Jenkins and Rod Rust a chance....then if it doesnt work out, hire Tillman next year.

.....yes, it sounds like these two consultants haven't made any friends with the football operations side of things.......they should bow out if a suitable replacement can be found to run the business operations........

as has been said in similar threads....the Gades need to talk with the ti-cats and argos owners about how to run a successful CFL team in ontario...and update thier website for cryin-outloud.

Since the U of O does not have a football team I don't believe that they have a football stadium. I pulled up a campus map of the Uninversity and there isn't a stadium on campus. When the Uof O played football I believed they played their games at FCS. Where the hell are those people on the TSN forum getting their info on the stadium at U of O???;

.........agreed, I just zoomed in on the campus using Google Earth and while there is a CFL size field it has no bleachers at all around do the fans bring their own lawn chairs?........

i wonder if he was right in saying there are only 1 200 parking spaces around the stadium, which seats 28 000?...if thats true, then that needs to be addressed.

.......that would be tough considering there is housing neighbourhoods and the rideau canal that bound Frank Clair Stadium in on all sides........they should look at public transit more.......there are tons of bars and pubs here in Calgary that offer free bus rides to and from the game, maybe that should be looked into........

One thing about the prices of food and drinks, its sky high. I'm sure that keeps some families from coming. BTW the capacity of Landsdowne park is 28,826.

oh im so so sorry....28 bad. :roll:

Just found it on another site. Couldn't find anything about parking. Didn't you ask for confirmation of the 28,000 figure????

...great idea RedWhite........transit is the way to go.....and if it is provided free all the better.....seems the business community is on the same page as the Stamps....something that has to happen with the Rens.....if all fails in rejuvenating the club....i would think it best to move the franchise and become the nucleus for an expansion team....that would put the onus on the league to accelerate the expansion move....and the downside to that is...we are back to square one as far as a balanced league is concerned....and looking at EXPANSION again....I hope they can make it work in the Cap.....the alternative is not too attractive at this time... :arrow:

no...i was asking about the parking.

Ottawa U has the Gee Gee's football team. It's Ottawa's other University(Carleton) that does not have a footbal team anymore. The Ottawa U field is for practice only as wiyd says, the Gee Gee's play their home games at FCS. Most of the TSN fourm posters are clueless....much more than the posters on this fourm! :lol:

Since when is it a problem to get to FCS? It never seemed to be before when the stadium held 35,000.

thanks for clairifying that.

Actually, the University of Ottawa does have a football team and they play their games at Frank Clair Stadium. There is a stadium on the campus, but it's more of a practice facility, it was built about 5 years ago.