Renegades to FOLD before '06 SEASON?*********

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The Ottawa Renegades' ability to kick off the 2006 Canadian Football League season has been thrown into serious doubt and will be determined during a high-level meeting in Toronto next week.

Since the resignation of club president Lonie Glieberman two weeks ago, majority owner Bernie Glieberman has been waffling about his continued financial support of a money-losing team whose staff no longer includes his son. Now, Bernie Glieberman is also troubled about whether minority owner Bill Smith is prepared to fund his share of losses this season after Glieberman assumed the team's entire $3.8-million shortfall in 2005.

Glieberman recently demanded another meeting with Smith and CFL commissioner Tom Wright. The meeting, which would be their second face-to-face session this month, is expected to occur when Wright returns from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.

Critically, the parties will have to decide how to divvy up losses expected to reach at least $5 million in 2006.

Anything short of an agreement with Smith and Glieberman is prepared to walk away from the team before training camp begins in May, leaving its very existence in jeopardy.

"I have a call into Bernie, but he has not told me that," Smith said last night from his home in Orillia, Ont. "If there was light at the end of the tunnel, and the team was run with an achievable budget, I would be willing to fund my share. But am I willing to do it for a ridiculous amount of money? Probably not."

Smith maintained that he was not willing to be the club's sole financier. If Glieberman left, the league and its other eight teams would have to decide whether to fund the Renegades in 2006 or fold the franchise.

Glieberman and Smith struck a partnership last year under which Glieberman committed to funding the team. Smith had the option of either covering his share of the losses or having his 49 per cent stake in the franchise diluted accordingly.

"I don't exactly know how much of the team I own right now, but I've certainly been watered down," Smith said.

The Renegades' season-ticket base stands at only about 2,000 subscribers, and that money has already been spent.

Glieberman is currently writing cheques to cover the team's costs, and expensive items such as signing bonuses, player salaries, team travel, and training camp will come due. The Renegades have still not booked flights and hotels for 10 scheduled road games, and they still have not confirmed a training camp location.

The Renegades' precarious situation is gaining the attention of other owners, who would be on the financial hook if the CFL took over the team.

The heightened concern arose after Glieberman and Eric Tillman hit a snag in contract negotiations.

Tillman, the team's former general manager who is set to return in a senior football operations role, asked that either Glieberman or the league guarantee his base salary. That request was rejected, and talks have since hit an impasse.

Glieberman did not return several messages left by The Citizen yesterday.

Smith has long supported re-hiring Tillman and hiring a chief executive officer to run the club's business affairs. Glieberman agreed to those requests, and, since Lonie Glieberman's resignation on March 2, the duo has interviewed at least four CEO candidates while laying the groundwork for Tillman's return.

However, Glieberman also signalled an exit strategy, asking fans to to deliver a verdict on his stewardship of the franchise and wondering aloud whether he was the "right" owner for Ottawa's team.

Since then, CFL power-brokers have been operating on the premise that Glieberman would fund the team this year, but that he would likely leave after the season, meaning a new partner for Smith or someone to buy the team outright would be needed for 2007.

DONT FOLD....move to Quebec-City. ( i wonder what would happen to the touchdown atlantic game, if the gades fold? )

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Negotiations on a deal between the Renegades and Eric Tillman have hit what should only be a small bump in the road.

According to league insiders, Tillman -- who is poised to become the CFL team's general manager -- is looking for the same salary he had when he was the Renegades GM from 2002 through the 2004 season. A proposed two-year deal would probably make him the third- highest paid GM in the league, it's believed.

The uniqueness in this particular deal is the request by Tillman and his representation to have the contract guaranteed, either by ownership or the league.

While the insiders say there's hesitation on the Renegades' part to grant the request, it's believed that the deal will get done, as Tillman clearly remains the franchise's best option for the general manager's job.

I think that the league should run the Gades for a short while first to see if there is an Eugene Melynk type there. Then, if not after trying, a move to a city like Quebec City or Halifax, yes. But I hope not, I want the Gades to remain in Ottawa but they need new ownership that knows how to fun a football franchise.

The worst thing is should the Renegades find a new owner, the fans would probably not come back already. They were fooled to think problems were over when the team finally found an owner last year, but the Glieberman made it even more catastrophic.

The next owner will have to be comitted because fans will be cynical when he'll say "It's okay now. I am here."

Would I have the money, I'd certainly buy the team to move it, but I would not invest in it if I was forced to keep it there.

Very dangerous situation in Ottawa. If the Gades were to fold or move, that would probably be the death of CFL football in Ottawa for good...which is a complete shame. Ottawa should and must be part of a strong CFL.

Horus worte:

Ottawa should and must be part of a strong CFL.
I agree Horus that they should be part of a strong CFL, just makes sense with all the storied history of football in Ottawa. But must? Well, not sure about that, I think that the CFL can go on without Ottawa, if they fold or move to a new location. Not something I want to happen at all but not the end of the world for the league either.

I'd rather not loose the $500 I paid for season tickets. I hope everyone finds a way to keep the Gades going...

For sure High Five, the TiCats, and the Argos for that matter, well, things didn't look good until Mr. Young and Messrs, Sokolowski and Cynamon, local people (although Bob Young now resides in Carolina) came along who saw a bright future for football in Hamilton and Toronto as long as the teams were operated businesslike and professionally. Have to think there is someone with a similar sense who is from the Ottawa area who enjoys CFL football, of course.

Maybe Bob Young wants to own two teams. He alluded to that at one point in the past. Lets hope somebody steps up!

Yeah, Bob Young could use the Rens as the Ti-Cats' farm team...

Hmm, that’s an idea Third. :smiley:
But seriously, I remember way back when when the London Knights and the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL had the same owner, can’t remember his name off the top of my head. So who knows.

I volunteer to be Bob’s front man in Ottawa.

Sorry DB, I beat you to the punch! :slight_smile:

Not really, go for it man but I've heard he demands that people work very hard and have a lot upstairs, he didn't make his fortune on Linux and Lulu sitting around eating ice cream cones all day long. :wink:

....if this happens in the's tragic....the Gliebs. have once again showed what a bloody mess you can make of things....I hope someone comes in to ressurect this club...with some 'football sense'...and a little money would help....unfortunately I don't see anyone on the horizon...I see the league carrying the Rens. this year...if the Gliebs walk...and next year either the Bombers will have to move to the east again( oh no)...or there will have to be a fast-track to either case the CFL. is once again going to have to perform some fancy straighten things out.. :roll: :shock: and it's getting late in the day...

Well, at least the CFL is consistent, crisis management. We should be experts at it by now, know what to do exactly when etc. Shouldn't be a problem at all this time, right?


Maybe the Riders can trade a wad of cash for Kerry Joseph. And we will even throw in Nealon Greene for free.

Hey! I got an idea!!

How about .. We move the team to the DEEP DEEP South .. And when it fails miserably under poor management - fold the team. Then we could create a new expansion team in Ottawa .. after a few years of losing money, even after hosting the 2010 grey cup ... in desperation - we'll sell the team to the Glieberman traveling circus ... cuz this time it would be different ...

Its becoming increasingly evident that football in Ottawa will not work. It almost seems that the citizens of Ottawa are simply standing idle, and being witness to this whole fiasco. How come there isn't a grassroots effort in Ottawa to save this franchise from itself? When the Jets were rumored to have been leaving the Peg - people cared .. there were kids pan handling the streets to raise money to save them ... what is Ottawa doing?


This is totally the CFL’s fault, so everybody better not blame the Ottawa fans. The CFL was too cheap and did not want to carry the team until suitable ownership was found and accepted anybody they could find, (i.e. the Gliebs fiasco) as a quick and easy fit. Now they have an even bigger mess. Fix it right for a change. I don’t understand how the CFL supported the Argonauts and Tiger-Cats, (remember the Harry Ornest era) and when the same thing happens in Ottawa they do nothing and sit on their hands and blame Ottawa fans. SO DON’T BLAME THE OTTAWA FANS FOR THIS MESS, THE CFL CREATED IT.

Agreed 100% Ottawa, sometimes you have to wait to get quality ownership and the CFL didn't do this.

The only way I can blame the CFL for this situation .. is they should have never let Ottawa back in the league.

I wish it could work there ... But the typical Ottawa response is to blame someone else ... how can you blame the league for your shid attendance? How can you blame the league for finding a team an owner, when the team itself couldn't find an owner? How can you blame the league when your entire organization is a poor comedy act from the top to the bottom? How can you blame the league for 30 years of losing? How can you blame the league for this same situation occurring what .. 2 .. 3 times already?

enough is enough. Having a team in the CFL is a privledge, not a right .. yet the fans in Ottawa feel they are owed a team .. and the league should be the ones to spoon feed it to them? How many times does the league have to bail your team out to satisfy you? ... take some responsibility for your team ...