****Glieberman won't walk away****

[url=http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Football/2006/03/19/1494956-sun.html]http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Footbal ... 6-sun.html[/url]

DIVINE or league intervention?

One - or both, it would seem - will be required to keep the Renegades going in 2006.

But at least for the first time, Renegades owner Bernie Glieberman has acknowledged that it'll take help from his partners in the CFL to keep the team alive.

Speaking to the Sun yesterday, Glieberman indicated he's willing to burden a portion of team losses during the upcoming season and will not leave the league in a lurch by outright walking away from the foundering club.

And, while he wouldn't provide a figure on the amount he's willing to sink into the operation, Glieberman also said it's up to the league and the other eight teams to fork up the rest to keep the Renegades alive.

"I am going to try everything possible and explore several options to make sure there's a team in Ottawa," Glieberman said yesterday from his family retreat near Petoskey, Mich.

"I made a commitment when I got there at the beginning of the (2005 season) and I'm going to do everything in my power to make things work, and I'm willing to put money into it, at a reasonable level."

Glieberman will meet with CFL commissioner Tom Wright tomorrow afternoon in Toronto and a lawyer representing Renegades minority owner Bill Smith, who will not finance the team in 2006.


The meeting will give the league its first indication of how much Glieberman is willing to back up his claim of helping out for the upcoming season.

Governors of the eight other teams must then decide whether it's in their best interest to put the Renegades on life support until new ownership is established, or perhaps fold the team.

There's also discussion of a suspension of operations for the 2006 season while an ownership search takes place.

Time is a critical factor, with the CFL draft in one month, training camp scheduled to begin in nine weeks and an exhibition game between the Renegades and Alouettes set for Halifax on June 3.

Clubs would need to know soon if the Renegades were to cease operations, in order to make changes to scheduling and travel arrangements.

Glieberman made recent attempts to find somebody to buy the team.

He spoke with American businessman Glenn Staub, but the Florida entrepreneur wasn't interested.

Lonie Glieberman, the owner's son, stepped down as president of the Renegades earlier this month, a move that provided his father a reason to abandon the team.

The league will hold a conference call with team governors on Tuesday to update the situation.


It's estimated that the Renegades could lose some $5 million to operate this season, and governors need to know how much of that Glieberman would be willing to take on.

The effect of folding the Renegades on league deals with sponsors and broadcast rights holders would also be discussed.

Well, at least Glieberman isn't bailing ... but the League MUST NOT FOLD OR EVEN SUSPEND THE TEAM. If the other 8 teams can support the Argos and Ti-Cats, then they should be able to support the Renegades. For the sake of the League, the Renegades MUST play this year.

But the Argos and Ti-cats were DURING the season. This is BEFORE the season and 5 Million is HUGE! The fact that there are only 2,000 season tickets sold is REALLY bad news already. 8 Teams makes it simple again for scheduling.

What would happen to all the players though?

I guess we'll know more later today. Can't wait to hear what's up.

Its time for the Commish to earn his salary. Others were willing to step up in Hamilton and Toronto. Its time for someone to step up here in Ottawa!

All I want to say is that 2,000 season tickets sold really is bad. This isnt the OHL man, there should be at least 10,000 season tix I dont care that the team is losing. 2,000 season tickets sold no matter how bad the team is that is really embarassing.

Which brings the centuries old question of what comes first...Chicken or egg?

Do you beat the Ottawa fans to support a team thats been a Front office joke the last few years, or do you beat the Front Office into credibility so the fans will come.

I dont know the right answer!

its the eternal question. fans dont show up because of bad management, management cant do their job cause theres no money from fans. Ottawa is a special case, with their culture of losing and horrible management regimes.

I have a feeling that should the Gades fold instead of relocating or keeping their heads above water, this league may not progress past eight teams.....just a feeling I have.....

Thats understandable. CFL needed years upon years to finally get over the hump of the R_R's leaving and the "southern division" fiasco...now all it takes is one troubled franchise to take us back to the dark ages in some peoples heads (read: one Mr. Argos_Bills). It really does feel like years of positive momentum has been squashed with this unfortunate development of the Rens.

since glieberman only owns 51% of the Gades, he prolly only wants to pay 51% of the losses...51% is about $2.55 million

smith, who owns 49%, doesnt want to pay his share of the losses ( about 2.45 million. )...so i think the CFL will assume control of smiths 49%, each of the other 8 teams will have to pay about $310 000 to keep the Gades alive for the '06 season.

maybe, if CFL can sell the 49% ownership it will have taken from Smith, Glieb will stay on for a few more years....i think when smith refused to pay his 49% of losses, glieb didnt feel he should be responsible for 100% of the losses when he only owns 51% of the team....i dont blame him...i blame Smith!

As do I, but how much has Smith lost in this team already?

Whatever ends up happening this year, both Glieberman and Smith must not be a part of the franchise next season.

Agree we have to get rid of both. However the bigger picture and this is a prime example how the league should be holding some sort of escrow funds of say $5M(in addition to the paid up franchise fees etc) from new owners for a period of let's say 5 years. If no problems, unlike the Gleibs, then you get your money back maybe $1M per year. However, this mess would be an ideal case where the league would be able to dip into these funds.

True - but you have to remember they had that $99 dollar season ticket sale last May that sold 6000 seats or so - I'm sure most of those people were/are waiting for the same deal this year. To have sold 2000 already, with all thats happened from Dec-March isnt that bad IMO.....

ok good point. hope there is still the 99 ticket deal thats is a good value and is much better than an empty stadium.

suspending operations doesn't sound too bad of an idea, but what will they do to make up the loses, stopping games complete doesn't seem to help that.

good to see the G want to get involved, but he will be a figurehead at this point.

"The G" (if by that you mean Glieberman) already IS involved...up to his eyebrows. To what extent is he walking away is the real question.

True - but you have to remember they had that $99 dollar season ticket sale last May that sold 6000 seats or so - I'm sure most of those people were/are waiting for the same deal this year. To have sold 2000 already, with all thats happened from Dec-March isnt that bad IMO.....
Lowering ticket prices drastically like that is a bad way to do business. It will temporarily bring in fans, but will really tick off those fans who paid full price and they are the core supporters. Ottawa fans didn't need another reason to be ticked off.

how the league just makes him a firgue head, a pupet to be controlled untill a better owner steps in.

If you ask me, the situation should be almost the exact opposite. Where a figurehead is just a face to go with an organization he has no real stake in, Glieberman should be financing the team while someone else -- like Nicholson or Tillman -- should be the face of the franchise.

I think as long as Bernie is publicly associated with the team, people in Ottawa will be reluctant to support it. Let him pay the bills, but make it clear that it is, say, Nicholson who is calling the shots.