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From three, to two, to one .... now none?

The dwindling list of known suitors for a CFL team in Ottawa appears to be blank with talk that a Bill Palmer-led group of American investors has withdrawn its interest. According to those in the know, Palmer has balked at the league's franchise fee, which is believed to be $5 million.

"It looks like it has died an unceremonious death," an insider said yesterday of Palmer's bid. "It is dead .... there is nothing ongoing."

Palmer, a former CFLer and father of QB Jesse Palmer, did not return a call by the Sun.

The past few months have not been kind to those hoping for the resurrection of the Renegades, in some form or another.

A bid by Golden Gate Capital Corp. was pulled back in October when main money man Ernest Anderson was diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Many viewed it as the most attractive option, too, as 67's owner Jeff Hunt had signed on to run the team in a partnership with the financial services company.

A few weeks later, the football franchise ownership desires of beverage entrepreneur Frank D'Angelo were essentially snubbed by the CFL, as the league stated it preferred to focus on negotiating with the Palmer group at that time. However, the door was not completely closed on D'Angelo either, and yesterday the colorful showman said he'd be interested in re-entering the picture -- if he was asked by the league.

"They didn't tell us to go jump in the lake," said

D'Angelo would bring pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman into a football venture with him as a partner.

"But if girl doesn't want to date you, why bug her? I've got a big ego," he said. "If they call us, we will be more than happy to restart talks with the CFL," D'Angelo added. "And with the same energy and passion we started with."

It's believed that the league -- which was originally looking for a $3.5-million franchise fee -- has increased that because it is closing in an a new, lucrative TV deal.

Prospective buyers can argue that it's been decades (if ever) since a CFL team in Ottawa made a profit. They can legitimately question why they should pay millions to potentially lose millions.

D'Angelo makes no secret of his motives. As the president and CEO of Steelback Brewery, he sees an opportunity to "market his brand."

Molson had the same mindset in owning the Montreal Canadiens for years.

"I said it before and I'll say it now, there are not too many businessmen willing to lose money for five years ... but for us it makes sense," reasoned D'Angelo, who would be looking to secure Steelback pouring rights at Frank Clair Stadium -- as well as the city's assistance in some much-needed "cosmetic surgery" for the structure.

"The focal point would be to put together an incredible, phenomenal, stupendous, kick-ass football team," said D'Angelo. "If we didn't, it would affect our brand."

D'Angelo admits he has had "informal" discussions with Hunt. Is it possible that the groups could unite.

"He's a very bright guy, he has the same goals as we do," D'Angelo said of Hunt. "At the end of the day, the CFL has to be interested in us."

I never understood why they pulled the plug on D'Angelo without having a done deal with Palmer. Makes no sense, but maybe I shouldn't be surprised.
It made no sense to fire Tom Wright either.

Can't say I blame them for balking at a franchise fee in the realm of five million big ones.....I thought asking for a franchise fee was inane in the first place, considering the team didn't fold (only suspended) last season.....

Why couldn't they have stuck to the 3.5 figure but deny them any TV revenue for the first year or so in order to make up the shortcoming. This whole thing was poorly done. Why pay $5 million for something you could have had for free a year ago? Now you'll pay up front and STILL probably lose money.Does not make any sense.

no sense at all....should be FREE to the man with a good plan, and the bank account to stick around.

if d'angelo teams up with hunt, as was hinted at in the article, i say give it to him for free or just post a he can use that $5 million elsewhere, like marketing or something.

What the heck!

So what if they get in for 3.5 million and then take advantage of a new lucrative TV deal.

What? Is the Ottawa franchise not allowed to make money?


Ever think it might be good for the franchise and the league if Ottawa made some money and garnered some strength as a franchise?

Wake up CFL!

The league asked for a franchise fee because it was tired of Glieberman-type owners waltzing in on a whim, running the team into the ground for a season or two, and then bailing at the first sign of financial difficulty. I don't blame 'em. I know this is depressing news, but I'd rather have a healthy team in Ottawa than a one-year wonder that will fold or suspend operations because ownership wasn't committed.

Let's hope the Hunt and d'Angelo groups can unite and come up with a serious bid for the team.

They will IMHO or someone else will.

I wonder how much influence, if any, Molson's will have since it is a CFL sponsor.

molsons isnt a league sponsor, is it?...i thought they just sponsored the Als ( and the league during playoffs )?

cuz if they sponsored the league, they'd have logos on the field, but the bombers have labatts blue logos on thier field and the argos have steelback on thiers.

I find it pretty amazing there is no official statement from the league to the fans on this issue. It seems hard to believe that the CFL hasn't learned from past mistakes how to handle the PR on a negative issue, but this is exactly the kind of thing that the media just feasts on. The CFL should have had a statement out in the media prior to the reports leaking out explaining the rationale behind why the Palmer group is out.

Well, thats it for me. I've been a huge CFL fan for 30 years, since I was a kid. But its officially over now.

I still followed the league after the Riders left in '96; and still followed it this year after the Gades left, confident the league was doing the right thing finding a new owner for '07 or '08 at the latest.

But now, by turning off great potential owners with this ridiculously high 'Franchise Fee' (uhhh, werent they only supposed to be 'suspended'??) and saying no to the ONE OWNER WHO WAS OK with the fee, well, thats it, I'm done.

I wish the league well, but you've lost one fan for good.

Later everyone!

Hey SR, I guess everyone who loves the NFL should now quit loving it since the NFL can't find an owner to keep a team in Los Angeles.

People who make excuses why not to like a league because of this or that interpretation of what is going on aren't true fans anyway. Bye, bye.

First, I can understand how frustrating it must be to be an Ottawa football fan.
The difficulties for that franchise began before the Gliebergoofs and Horn Chen got there, and seem to continue.
But that is all the more reason why the league is taking its time this time around, and are trying to make sure the finances make sense and the committment is there, ie., a $5 mill fee seems reasonable.

And besides, rumours are rumours.
Maybe so, maybe not but the Citizen reports the rumours that the Palmer group is out are unfounded:

Palmer group still in possible football bid

Matthew Sekeres, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, December 08, 2006

Both the Canadian Football League and Bill Palmer disputed a report Friday that claimed their efforts to return a professional football franchise to Ottawa are dead.
Palmer, who heads a group of investors based primarily in the U.S., said that while no formal meetings are scheduled, talks are taking place “continually.? At one time, three groups were vying for the franchise but Palmer’s consortium is the only one remaining after one was dismissed by the league and after one dropped out when its chief financier was diagnosed with cancer.
“It’s not true,? Palmer said of the report. “Productive, constructive negotiations are ongoing and I remain positive.?
The Ottawa Renegades were officially “suspended? by the league in April. Since then, the CFL has struck a franchise committee that is exploring a return to Ottawa.
“The league is continuing to work with a group that has expressed interest in bringing a franchise back to the Ottawa-Gatineau region,? said a league statement released through director of communications Perry Lefko. “Due to the confidentiality agreement that exists between the league and all parties that have expressed interest in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, specifics of the bid process will continue to be private.
“While there is hope that a team can be in place for the 2008 season, the league will only expand beyond its current roster of eight franchises under the right circumstances.?

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Mat Sekeres is the credible one here. Brennan who reported the Palmer group has backed out is only as credible as Marty York. Don't believe anything they say. This doesnt mean we will get a team or that Sekeres is optomistic either. It just means that the Brennan article is false.

My feeling about the Ottawa franchise is this: if it's going to happen, it had better be done right, and therefore, done slowly and carefully. Even if it takes them two or three seasons to find solid ownership, I won't mind if they're committed, level-headed owners willing to take losses on the franchise initially to field a team that can one day compete for the Grey Cup. The franchise fee weeds out the frivolous owners, guys who just want Ottawa as a vanity project or a novelty. They can haggle about the dollar value of the fee, but I think the fee itself makes sense. Let's face it: this is Ottawa's last chance to get a CFL franchise. If this one goes under because the league just let anyone walk in and take ownership, you can forget about a franchise in Ottawa for the foreseeable future.

Without knowing the individuals involved, one would tend to favour the Ottawa Citizen's credibility over any of the Sun papers.
Doesn't mean this Brennan guy can't be right, just the odds are....

That's it. I'm out. I've been a CFL fan for almost 40 years and I have had enough. I'm outta here. :x :thdn:

Well & are on the Ottawa failure bandwagon... I haven't seen TV sports media refer to the more positive article denying that talks have broken off..

I am all for the league on this one. If in fact the Palmer group is out and because they allegedly won't pay the $5M franchise fee, good riddence it means they are under funded.
For years, the league has under valued its product and given away franchises for nothing, $1 etc... "With a just take over the bills mentality".
If you can't pay what we have dictated, see yaa.
If the $5M figure is correct it is a bargain in this day and age of over priced franchises in other sports.
How come no one balks at Major Junior Hockey franchise now going for a reported $6M, or $1B+ for NFL. How about the money loosing propositions in the NHL with the last what going for $125M and all of the US new teams bleeding red big time.
Hey maybe Frank D'Angelo will step up as it is said with Jeff Hunt and so far from what I have read Frank has not turned down the reported asking price.
The bottom line with the CFL brand going up, the hopefully whopping TV deal which may bring in $20M annually, the $5M is too low and should be $10M plus a bond of $10M to be held in trust by the league for three years.
Good for the league and stick to this one.