SunTV Lefko Video Clip: "Argos Might Be In Trouble"

In this interview on the Grill Room show on SunTV today, Perry Lefko served up some rumours about different ownership possibilities for the Toronto Argonauts:

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Lefko suggests a wild rumour involving TSN as a partner?

Well, interesting stuff I must say.

Earl: yeah...also worrisome for a CFL team in the biggest sports city in Canada.
I think the two guys who own the team right now are just looking for a way out...but other than David Braley there seems to be no interest or rumours about any major companies getting on board to provide some solid ownership.

The last I heard was that the owners wanted to hold onto the team but they wanted a partner(s). Until they sort things out, the team can't move ahead. They're interviewing potential HCs but unless Rita's job is secure, they'd be fools to hire anyone and no one thus far has given Rita the thumbs up. Free agency is coming up with no one in absolute control, providing direction. This is dysfunction at its worst.

Well mr62, as much as I respect the greatness of the Argos history and CFL football in Toronto with the most Grey Cup wins and site of the first Grey Cup, I have no intentions of worrying too much about the Argos or Toronto for that matter. Yes, I very much want to have a team in Toronto, it is good for the league. But other than that, Toronto can go jump in the lake for all I care, not talking about the Argos team, but Toronto in general with Rogers doing what they are doing with the Bills thing and no one really stepping up to the plate to make the Argos as great as they should be other than C & S stepping in of course but I question their committement and the city of Toronto making the new soccer stadium soccer specific etc. I'm at the point where honestly I can't figure out that city albeit I still love the Argonauts at heart as a great Canadian sports franchise with all the history and that. Argo fans have to be the best sports fans in Canada living in a city that as far as I'm concerned doesn't know their a... from a hole in the ground. I used to love going to some Blue Jay games but with the crap taste in my mouth from a company like Rogers owning them and Phil Lind around, I won't spend a penny ever again going to a Blue Jay game and MLSE isn't much better. Still don't know what Larry Tanenbaum was doing at the CFL awards, maybe he'll step in at the last moment and "save" the Argo franchise and become a hero to CFL fans. Maybe this is the plan all along, all a set-up game, who knows. :roll:

If you read the various comments by Cohon, other individuals involved in the Argonauts, as well as almost all the CFL journalists and interpret the comments carefully - it seems that the league has given Cynamon and Sokolowski a drop date (most likely near or at the end of January) to find a partner. If unsuccessful, the team will immediately revert fully or in part to David Braley. Football operations process (scouting, negotiation with INTERNAL FAs, coaching interviews, season ticket renewals) is continuing as per usual, but final signing has to wait until the ownership is sorted out. Although Adam Rita's job may be insecure, he is under no immediate threat of dismissal due to the importance of continuing this work while other pieces are in flux.

The current state of circumstances is certainly not great for the Argonauts franchise, especially from a competitive standpoint, the current situation doesn't even compare to the situations faced by the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts in 2003. You've got a wealthy and committed owner ready and willing to take over and maintain the team indefinitely - it's simply that the current owners would like to stay around, and are being given a chance to explore the possibility.

The conference call and subsequent interviews (as well as Naylor's and Koshan's league source reports) suggest this should be concluded in two weeks. We'll see about that. The biggest impact that delay would have would ultimately be the hiring of coordinators and assistant coaches, as well as possibly season ticket sales (but with time to recoup much of the shortfall). On-field competitiveness is a whole other question only partially linked to this question.

But no question - you can't dismiss the importance of Toronto. No Toronto franchise - it's most likely that the league will gradually fall apart - most of the sponsors and media partners would drift away. Sad fact of the state of the economy in the country - and it doesn't matter how popular the other teams are.

I agree Toronto is important to the health of the CFL. Maybe if Hamilton can't do the Pan-Am stadium project we should give it to Toronto and the Argo owners out of the best interest for the league? Get it done at York Univ. or Downsview. :?

I don't see the stadium as the make or break issue for the Argos. They manage to draw 25-28,000 for one of the poorest teams I've ever seen in any pro sport. The fans are just dying for a competitive team here. The Flutie-Argos happened a generation too soon. Had a Flutie come along at this point, I believe the fan base would increase significantly. The team's marketing people have done their jobs. The real issue is the awful on-field product.

I heard the Toronto Star writer with Mike Hogan (FAN590) this AM saying that Montreal has its off-season completely mapped out a week after the Grey Cup to the point where Popp knows where and what Trestman and his other staff will be doing on any given day. This is the kind of planning that ensures the Als are where they are every year, year after year. It doesn't just happen. The Argos are nowhere near the Al's in any department and the gap is widening while they continue to piss around.

Yes the Argos are in trouble.

An Argo-Cat fan

I don't see it as make or break for the Argos either but that being said I do think it is an issue. But the real more important issue is the ownership, when Cynamon and Sokolowski came on board and talked of a new facility and that at the Ex, Varsity, York (probably a million other places :wink: ) and you saw them in the media, well I thought wow, the Argos will become an elite franchise with these guys, up and up owners all the way with plans for a stadium in the mix possibly which I still would like to see for the Argos, I'm not a RC fan myself.

But man, after hearing about Braley having to loan them money and what has gone on, was I wrong or what. :o

The Argos are in trouble for sure.

I can't remember a time in my 23 years on this earth when the Argo's weren't in trouble.

IMO as much as a prick he is to work for Braley loves the CFL and football he's proven this time and time again. Best case scenario is that he takes over the team and possibly sells the BC Lions to local ownership out there, or allows his son (great guy) to run one of the two operations until a suitable owner can be found.
I have no problem with dual ownership in a league as long as there's no cohesion between management groups, CFL has to make sure of this, whatever keeps this league afloat.
Just get it out of these two guys hands next thing you know the Glieberman's (sic) are running the double blue. They seem to be more interested in getting a hockey team than running the one sports team they already own.

Earl: I think you should be very worried about the Blue team. If they ever disappear you can kiss the rest of the CFL (as we know it) goodbye. Which is what I was posting about.
The advertising will dry up without a team in Toronto.
However I am sure someone will step up. My problem is that if it's only David Braley who is interested (as good a CFL chap as he is) things will become pretty fragile. These two present owners strike me as being fair- weather people....they don't have the resources to create and keep a strong, competitive team. Montreal and our team are in great shape compared to the Blue team...and so are the western clubs.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for the Blue team this spring so we don't have another season of uncertainty over the team in Canada'a biggest sporting market. They are fast becoming the last story in local sportscasts. They should be up there with the Leafs.

They are the number one team in my books for news out of Toronto and always will be but I'm in the minority without a doubt.