Lonie on Public Relations nightmare as ANOTHER player leaves

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Though the Ottawa Renegades have been criticized for having absentee management, their latest public-relations challenge has not escaped the attention of majority owner Bernie Glieberman.

The Detroit businessman was in town yesterday and was fully aware of general manager Forrest Gregg's disastrous radio interview on Team 1200 two days earlier. Renegades staff briefed Glieberman on the adverse fan reaction during a meeting Wednesday, and that apparently has the boss contemplating major changes atop the organization.

It is believed Glieberman, who did not return several messages yesterday, is considering bringing in a football executive who would be responsible for communicating the club's messages to its fans. It is unclear whether the person would also replace Gregg as general manager -- in title or responsibilities -- or team president Lonie Glieberman, but it is clear that the elder Glieberman left Ottawa convinced the status quo was not working effectively.

The Gregg interview on Tuesday produced an angry backlash from callers and e-mailers to the radio station, some of whom said they would no longer be buying tickets. At one point, the 72-year-old NFL legend appeared to forget the name of starting quarterback Kerry Joseph.

Lonie Glieberman said yesterday that if Gregg were removed, he would voluntarily resign.

"If that is the case, I'll be gone also," he said. "(Bernie) could be thinking about that. There was a discussion, and my dad said they talked about all things business."

The conversation included Phil Kershaw, an ex-Rough Riders president and current team consultant, and former player Mark Kosmos, who owns the Local Heroes restaurants and has been one of the city's biggest football boosters.

Kosmos also took to the Team 1200 airwaves this week and delivered a stinging indictment of the Renegades' future. He later told the Citizen, he said he had not yet decided whether he would renew his sponsorship agreement with the club, a startling admission given that, one year ago, Kosmos was unfazed by the team's ownership tumult and pledged his unconditional backing.

That seems to have changed, and Kosmos, who played for the Rough Riders in the 1970s, wouldn't say whether he sought a role with the team, saying he wanted to help and that management is out of touch with fans.

The Renegades have been criticized because Gregg, Lonie Glieberman and head coach John Jenkins have not been in town since November.

As well, fans have been upset with the team's lack of activity in free agency. The team re-signed Joseph, defensive halfback Korey Banks, the club's most outstanding player in 2005, linebacker Kyries Hebert and others to long-term contracts this winter.

As of last night, the Renegades had not offered contracts to any CFL free agents other than Pascal Cheron, a member of their offensive line in 2005.

Last night, Cheron said he had a discussion with Hamilton head coach Greg Marshall about rejoining the team with which he played between 2000 and 2004.

"My wife has to keep her job (in Hamilton), and we have to keep the house," Cheron said. "I'm 99-per-cent sure I'll join (the Ticats). It's very easy, knowing I can stay here."

if the get rid of forrest, and Lonie leaves...does that mean the Bernie Glieb is REALLY commited to Ottawa, and the Gades have a new hope.

im sure that would send the right message to other players, who wouldnt dream of signing with the Gades as long as Lonie is running the team.

....and might win back some bitter fans.

( id like to see what happens this year first tho, since its the first year lonie will have control over the team from off-season to seasons end )

DG, the seems are comming apart on the gleibs ownership. Much like the situation that happened in Calgary with the Feterik's. Local ownership needs to step up now to save this franchise or it will be gone for good.

maybe it is better if Bernie - not lonie - pays more attention to the running of the team?

Author: William Shakespeare
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Hamlet. ACT I Scene 4.

more like "Something is rotten in the [city] of [Ottawa]" methinks

...... :roll: ........if I wanted to be literal about it then yes that is what it would be like.......the quote was mentioned not only because it applies on the surface but also plays with the intricacies of Hamlet, the betrayal, the treason, the crimes afoot......

the buffoonery....the complacency....and alas thy tumultuous end...oh wretched fools of the capital.... :!:

.....exactamundo.......

Last year while in Ottawa for the last game against the Argos, I made it to the Local Heroes and spoke at lenth with Mark Kosmos. What a great guy, he had all kinds of ideas to better market the team and despite the Gleib factor, thought it could work. There is no question how Bernie has to do something, like damage control, again. My money would have Eric Tillman come back, with his contacts and excellent recruiting ability, as GM and have Kershaw and Kosmos in the capacity of Pres and VP. Local guys with roots, history and success in their own business.

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a Lonie Glieberman radio interview was actually repeated from this morning and WOW, the Ottawa media is really going hard against the Gades and their front office doings.

Basically Lonie was questioned about Forrest Gregg's interview on Ottawa radio the other day where he couldnt remember his quarterback's name and the 'radio guy' had to answer for him.

Lonie was told about 100+ emails that the radio station received, all negative, about the current situation with the team and mentioned one email specifically about someone calling the ticket office about seasons tickets and no one from the Renegades' front office returned the call.

It went on and on for about 20 minutes long, and Lonie was basically backing up Gregg and talking about how he is a legend because of his accomplishments way back when. Lonie mentioned that they have signed many players for long term contracts (4-5 years) and that they are thinking about 2007 and not only the year ahead. Mentioned about re-signing Kerry Joseph for 5 years, Kyries Hebert, Korey Banks and Jason Armstead, who he called "an NFL player in the CFL" all for the same length of time. He mentioned that the difference with Ottawa and a team like Calgary is that Calgary had 4 free agents and Ottawa had 15.

He was questioned about the perception of the team in the last 72 hours and Lonie asked sarcastically along the lines of "the perception being negative because George Hudson signed in Hamilton?"

Lonie went on to mention that they have signed all but 15 free agents except 2 of them (Jerome Haywood and Pascal Cheron) not including Hudson and Ranek. Further to that, and this is the ironic twist, he mentioned that last year's regime traded 2 second round picks to Hamilton for Pascal Cheron ( a player that was going into his option year) and a first round pick to Montreal for Matt Kellett. He said he and Forrest Gregg would have never made those trades.

Now what is ironic to all this is that he wants the fans of Ottawa to back the Renegades and of course that is what all CFL fans would like to see, and he takes a shot at moves made by the old regime (trades), yet he said more than once how they have signed the majority of their own free agents, who came to Ottawa thanks to the OLD REGIME(S). To top that off, in off season meetings, they decided to target their own free agents rather than those of other teams, yet again were these not players brought in by the OLD REGIME(S)?

well, the old regime sucked too, the poor bugger hasnt even gotten on the field yet and already he s in a sh1t storm.....talk about a tough crowd...geez.

anyone from ottawa have the saturday citizen paper, and can scan this article for us?

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I would like to read this as well DG. Probably no different then yesterdays Sun article.
Isn't this typical of the Gleiberguys, always in damage control mode. You did not have to be a rocket scientist to know how the dinsaur was going to be a disaster as GM. While Loonie has no experience as a football Prez.

...they better get the Rens into some capable hands...or it'll turn into a nightmare AGAIN for the league.... :shock:

So he said that they signed ALL…but FIFTEEN…except TWO…not including Hudson and Ranek? Well, as long as they signed them “all” :roll:

What exactly were his accomplishments? I understand he was a player, and coached a couple of years here, a couple of years there in the NFL. But look at his CFL coaching career: 1979 Argos (5-11), 1994 Pirates (3-15), 1995 Pirates (5-13). A combined record of 13-39 as a CFL head coach. I don’t know what his records were in the NFL, but considering he was never with any team more than a few years, I highly doubt he put up Tom Landry-type numbers there, either.