Does Braley have a financial stake in the Blue Team?

Interesting article found in the Globe and Mail.

David Braley, owner of the B.C. Lions, secretly put up half of the $2-million franchise fee when David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski purchased the Toronto Argonauts out of bankruptcy in the fall of 2003, and continued to lend money to the CFL club, The Globe and Mail has learned.


Braley does not consider it unreasonable for one owner in the CFL to hold ownership in another team.

“I don’t have [an ownership in the Argos] but it wouldn’t be unusual,? he said. “The only thing you have to worry about is that football operations are transparent.?

Interesting to think there would be no conflict of interest in such a deal. Any thoughts?

I am more curious why he bailed on the Cats.

Kind of interesting though that he has such a large stake in another CFL team. Boy, could that be manipulated!

I remember the London Knights and Ottawa 67's at one time had the same owner for years. Also, what about MLB with a commissioner in Selig who used to own the Brewers I think it was? That could be a conflict of interest maybe.

One of the man's companies is a lender to a couple guys in Toronto. I don't see any issues with that. The man was willing to put his money where is mouth is. Got to admire that.

He owns nothing in the blue team. He simply lent them money. I think something like this should not even be in the media as its no ones concern but the people involved.

If you borrow money from a friend does that friend then own your house?

Sounds like Braley has loaned them money. That is very different than having an ownership interest.

I agree

Another way to look at this is that helping other CFL teams out is good for every single team in the CFL. When you only have an 8 team league all the teams need each other to thrive.

Hamilton helped bail out Ottawa years ago also. Maybe 89?? Somewhere around there.

Here is a quote from the article:

David Braley, owner of the B.C. Lions, secretly put up half of the $2-million franchise fee when David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski purchased the Toronto Argonauts out of bankruptcy in the fall of 2003, and continued to lend money to the CFL club, The Globe and Mail has learned.

His role in brokering the Argos deal occurred without the knowledge of then-CFL commissioner Tom Wright, and the role Braley has since played is unknown to current commissioner Mark Cohon.

The Globe was told Braley has covered half the Toronto club’s annual operating losses. On the flip side, he pocketed half the profits from the 2007 Grey Cup game staged at the Rogers Centre.


Said Braley: “I don’t have any ownership interest at all with the Toronto Argonauts and I never have. … There is no paperwork and there’s nothing to be able to prove that.?

Braley said he has made loans occasionally to CFL owners, citing an Ottawa Rough Riders group of the early 1990s, two groups in Hamilton during the 1990s, and former Argos boss Sherwood Schwarz, whose ownership ended in the 2003 bankruptcy.

It does seem as if this was nothing more than a loan to the blue team, which was understandable considering the team was bankrupt at the time.

But here is another excerpt from the article that I find interesting:

Braley acknowledged reviewing the Argos’ books at the end of last season, at the invitation of Cynamon and Sokolowski. He sat with their executives and accountants to inspect financial records and make budget suggestions.


When the Argonauts were searching for a head coach in the off-season, Braley made calls to people within the league soliciting names of suitable candidates, according to sources.

The Argos offered the job to Lions defensive co-ordinator Mike Benevides before later hiring Bart Andrus as their new head coach. Benevides, who rejected the Toronto job for family reasons after interviewing last December, said he spoke to Braley about the opportunity only once, at a Christmas party.

This seems to be what some here might consider controversial. I also find it interesting that neither Tom Wright nor Mark Cohon seemed to know anything about this.

Agreed. This is not James Norris owning two teams and having a stake in two others as happened during the Original Six. Braley has not been accused of making day-to-day decisions with the Blue Team.

Oski Wee Wee,

The only thought I would have about this is.....Braley had to loan money to the two guys who are supposedly looking at buying the Coyotes? Geez David......recall those loans soon before they get flushed away with the Coyotes if they are indeed staying put in Phoenix.

There is nothing wrong with this that I can see.
Again a blatant attempt by the anti CFL Globe to smear the league.
Naylor and Brunt should be ashamed of themselves.

In a day and age where govt's are up to their eyeballs in potential conflicts of interests bailing out private corporations (and not others) this is really small potatos.

Unless there was direct roster manipulation to suit Braleys' demands he should get a pass for this. I'd call it "stimulus" money for the CFL.

It's a juicy story, it needed to be told, yawn, but lets start the season.


When another owner starts making inquiries about personnel it starts to look fishy to me. The coaching search is something the league needs to investigate and clarify publicly

Without MR Braley and MR young, the CFL would be history!

Doesn't that show you the motives behind releasing this information now ?....The Globe is "manipulating" the release of information on behalf of MLSE to discredit them. Shameful.

To me this is disgusting. I didn't think Canadian media was corrupt. You see this regularly in the US. I think that is why there is so much resentment towards Toronto. Probably the greatest "US wannabe" city in the world and most Canadians find that offensive.

And what do we see now. Toronto is a city of bankers, big whore of a city living off the backs of Canadians everywhere....they bring nothing to our economy, They play shell games with Western Oil and gas money and manipulate our political system.

I'm not really sure I follow the logic of this rant. Who is trying to discredit who and for what purpose? You totally lost me

Here I was always led to believe, by the Bombers and Rider fans, that their dollars bailed out the Argos. :wink:

I think those following Braley and the CFL understand he has a deep passion and financial investment in the CFL. A team in Toronto is vital to the stability of the league. With that said many questions can be raised:

Why keep it from the league including the past and current CFL Commish?
Did any of the other teams have any idea of this relationship?
What is the long term viability of the Blue team and their current ownership if financing was needed to cover the franchise fee and additional annual costs?

Clearly, I think questions should be raised about the relationship and the potential compromise of the league. Potentially voting for certain items, like Grey Cup locations, may favour either the Lions or the Blue team. As stated in the article Braley allegedly received half the profits from the 07 Grey Cup.

And these two clowns can afford the Phoenix Coyotes too. :lol: