Serious interest in Renegades

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Serious interest in Renegades
March 31, 2006 -- Sources have told Sportsnet there are two groups seriously looking at buying the Ottawa Renegades.

This includes one group headed by David Asper, whose family controls the Canwest newspaper chain as well as the Global television network. Asper is said to have already met with Tom Wright earlier in the week to express his potential interest.

The other interested party is said to be a Toronto group brought to the table by the owners of Toronto Argonauts Howard Sokoloski and David Cynamon.

Another longshot candidate is said to be Bruce Urban of Airdrie Alberta who also owns the Edmonton Rush lacrosse team.

Now i don't usually take what Sportsnet has to say seriously, but this is something that interests me big time. If we can get Canwest onboard, that would be huge, because they have very deep pockets.

I'm hopeful that the Asper family gets involved as well... :smiley:

I agree also!
And, The Ottawa Citizen is part of the CanWest family! :lol:

I posted the same thing in the CFL forum. I find the Asper interest intriguing. Probably wants to use the Renegades as some sort of a forum for CanWest. Not that I mind. :slight_smile:

Asper won't buy Renegades
(but is on standby)
(PS. Asper owns the Citizen)

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Asper won't buy Renegades
CanWest VP rules out ownership
Matthew Sekeres, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, April 01, 2006

David Asper says he is not the Ottawa Renegades' white knight. He may, however, be the troubled Canadian Football League club's safety net.

Asper, the vice-president of CanWest Global Communications Corp., which owns the Citizen, and the chairman of National Post, admitted yesterday he explored purchasing the Renegades this week. Asper met with CFL commissioner Tom Wright and league governors, but said he is no longer pursuing the team.

"I analysed the situation and did a lot of thinking about it. I believe Ottawa is a great CFL market and what is happening there concerns me," he said from Toronto last night. "In light of the fact that there didn't appear to be anybody stepping up, I considered if there was some role I could play. Since then, certain circumstances arose, and now I am not involved.

"As you know, I am a huge CFL supporter and a believer that Ottawa should, and must, have a team," he continued. "I wish all the people involved the best of success."

The Renegades are projected to lose between $4 million and $6 million this season and owners Bernie Glieberman and Bill Smith have indicated they will not foot the entire bill. The league has set a soft deadline of April 6 to either sell the franchise or proceed with a dispersal draft of Renegades players.

This marks the second time in as many years that Asper has eyed the Renegades. He met with the team's former ownership group and Wright last February, expressing his concern with the directionless state of the franchise.

Yesterday, Asper refused to close the door on an emergency bail-out should the team not be sold in the next week.

In Canadian Football League barstool conversations, it is often noted that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' financial health would be an ongoing worry if not for the presence of the Asper family.

David Asper's basement is decorated in blue and gold and he tried to buy his hometown team in 1999 when two levels of Manitoba government stepped in with emergency assistance.

Asked if he would serve as the Renegades' safety net, Asper replied: "I've asked (the league) how I can help and I continue to standby. That is what happened last year, and that is what happened this year. I will never say 'never,' but I think it is highly, highly, highly, highly unlikely."

Meanwhile, another group taking an interest in the Renegades was brought to the table by Toronto Argonauts co-owner Howard Sokolowski, who did not return a call from the Citizen yesterday.

The Ontario-based group is believed to have a connection to Sokolowski's building company, Tribute Communities, and could also have ties in Ottawa-Gatineau.

While some CFL teams believe the Renegades could suspend operations in 2006 and be revived shortly thereafter, the Argonauts are not one of them. Sokolowski and partner David Cynamon are said to be working feverishly to help put a new owner in place.

go with the guys from TO

I had heard there was a group or someone from Gatineau, what happened tot his?

i could see the gades going in the right direction