cfl

CFL suspends operations of Renegades

Tom Wright

Tom Wright

4/9/2006 8:12:23 PM

TORONTO (CP) - The CFL has put the troubled Ottawa Renegades franchise on ice.

The league's board of governors decided Sunday during a meeting at a Toronto hotel to suspend the Renegades' operation for the 2006 season and work to find a new owner for the franchise in time for a potential re-launch in 2007.

''In the end, with the scarcity in time we were not able to find that owner or that ownership group but it wasn't for a lack of trying,'' CFL commissioner Tom Wright said. ''We spoke to many really good individuals but it was their decision that there wasn't enough time to properly do this.

''The decision to suspend the Ottawa franchise was certainly a difficult one, but one we think was the right one. Right now our focus is to get ready for the 2006 season. I certainly believe an owner for Ottawa does exist, but we will only do it with the right owner.''

There's some question, however, whether Wright will be around to see a new owner take over in Ottawa. Wright is in the final year of his contract and needs the support of at least seven of the nine governors to get a multi-year extension. Wright failed to sway enough board members on a multi-year deal last summer, receiving just a one-year extension instead.


 

With Ottawa gone for 2006, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will move into the East Division to give the CFL two four-team conferences.

The Bombers played previously in the East from 1987 to 1994 and 1997 to 2001, the last stint after the former Ottawa Rough Riders folded.

Players currently under contract to the Ottawa club - most notably quarterback Kerry Joseph and receiver Jason Armstead - will be made available to other CFL teams in a league dispersal draft, although no date has been set.

''A dispersal draft will be held in the coming days,'' Wright said, adding the league and CFL Players' Assoication are expected to talk Monday and begin finalizing details.

But Renegades head coach John Jenkins and his staff might not be so lucky. Their contracts aren't guartanteed and now they all face having to find new jobs, although there are reports majority owner Bernie Glieberman has pledged to take care of the Ottawa coaches even though he's not legally obligated to.

The Renegades must refund about $850,000 in season-ticket money to their fans.

The CFL revised its schedule, with Winnipeg replacing Ottawa as the pre-season opponents for the Montreal Alouettes. The Touchdown Atlantic exhibition game in Halifax between the Als and Renegades was cancelled outright, although Wright hopes the game can be resurrected in 2007.

The revised schedule will kick off June 16 and conclude Oct. 28, followed by the playoffs and Grey Cup game.

The CFL spent two weeks desperately searching for a new owner for the franchise after minority owner Bill Smith indicated he no longer wanted to put money into the club and Glieberman wasn't willing to be accountable for more than $2.5 million in losses. The Renegades reportedly lost about $4 million last year and was projected to lose between $5 and $6 million in 2006.

Glieberman had sought a $2-million loan from the CFL to help cover the projected losses but league governors voted against the proposal, and as a result the franchise was put up for sale March 22. Shortly afterwards, the league established a committee to find a new owner for the club in time for the upcoming season.

And while the CFL spoke to the likes of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melynk, David Asper, executive vice-president of CanWest Global Communications Corp., and Anthony Primerano, the president of Golden Gate Capital, a mortgage-origination company based in Toronto, no deal could be reached.

With CFL training camps set to open later next month, the CFL faced two options: Fund the Renegades itself, or mothball the franchise for a year and continue the search for a new owner.

''We spent a lot of time analyzing and looking at the prospect of managing this ourselves,'' Wright said. ''We looked at it and said to ourselves, `Would we be able to do the product on the field, the organization and community justice by trying to manage this situation ourselves?' Again, we felt in the long-term interests of the fans and players it was right to suspend operations.''

The CFL assumed operation of both the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts during the 2003 season when ownership for the two clubs either stopped or could no longer pay the bills. But the difference then, though, was the league stepped in at mid-season.

Operating the Renegades would've meant the CFL using funds allocated to its member teams to keep Ottawa afloat, and considering the majority of league teams are already losing money, that wasn't much of an option.

Ironically, CFL teams actually stand to benefit financially from the Renegades' demise. With one less team to split league-generated revenues with, the remaining eight clubs reportedly will receive an extra $160,000 apiece this season.

''We will now move into the next phase, which is working long-term to find the right ownership for Ottawa,'' Wright said, ''We do have the luxury of time, however, and we will apply the same criteria that we had over the last two weeks moving forward.''






NO. AUTHOR MESSAGE
1starsfanAnd the laughingstock that is the CFL just got fun ...
2donald36Sad, but necessary. Local ownership never stepped ...
3davesaskOttawa has had their two kicks at the cat. The CFL ...
4beener24ok riders, go and get joseph now, dont be stupid ...
5aday254If the CFL can't make it in Ottawa, given the popu ...
6ab608This is not surprising. There was a reason Ottawa ...
7exponutThis, for Ottawa, has to be strike 2 and you are o ...
8ticatsackattackTime for the Ticats to fleece Saskatchewan of some ...
9muff_manWell this was inevitable, although I don't think i ...
10gsmallgot to get this team up and running. Come on! Ma ...
11TooMutsthe only thing I see thats a negative about this i ...
12bbad316No offense to Ottawa..But being a HUGE Bomber fan. ...
13texas2This league is a joke. They need to find better l ...
14senssmaqIf Tom Wright has any integrity at all he will res ...
15hardtohandleSend the flowers, mumble a few nice words, and for ...
16cll805Sad day for the city of Ottawa. It really is to ba ...
17Austin3:16I will tell you what, if Shivers & the Riders ...
18oilmaniacIt's a sad day for the CFL, a league I love to wat ...
19calgarysportsfanthe CFL continues to be a joke. Why not put teams ...
20fdnypdLet's hope they find an owner...how about Melnyk w ...
21barneysaysIt's the best, for now. As excited as I was seeing ...
22daveinthebayThis is emarassing. Rodney Dangerfield got more re ...
23cprtrainThe City of Ottawa needs a team. Step and be count ...
24BobbyDigitalThat sucks. We had some good players. You won't ge ...
25TeamClark1do it right, get the name back (Riders), get Melny ...
26fieldgoalAs a season ticket holder for all the years of thi ...
27CFL_RidersStrike 3 - no more Glieberman in the CFL. If they ...
28dasGrungeIf Ottawa can sell out Ottawa Senators games night ...
29tsf80Joseph in Green and White is the only thing that c ...
30Ottawa_SanFranciscoThe CFL never gave a damn about Ottawa. Since the ...
31mj232323Everyone has a share of the blame here...this shou ...
32gillies40The Commisionner of The CFL Should resign. He was ...
33bruinsnticatsWell my worst fears are now confirmed and I feel t ...
34bewhittyEXCELLENT MOVE - now we have a solid 8 team league ...
35Bonkrrsenssmaq, talk sensible. How do you blame this on ...
36ericmilesThis is a sad day for Ottawa and the CFL. I am a m ...
37barnesbbawww, damnit. sure Ottawa doesn't support footba ...
38mido4cflWhy cancel the game in Halifax .. why couldn't the ...
39Ottawa_SanFranciscoThe following names should be held responsible for ...
40esksThis is bad for everybody. CFL - you failed!! We c ...
41robertazimmermanWhy put a "professional" franchise in a city that ...
42wdubroyI won't be back. what a joke the CFL is. Suspendin ...
43alex_n88Why is it that Ottawa is always cursed with poor o ...
44brandimaPATHETIC. I had seasons tickets and what shame tho ...
45brandimaexponutexponut .. I went to the games.. everyone ...
46sportzfreakI am not an expert on being a CFL Commissioner or ...
47nastybruinOnly the fools in the CFL could let two questionab ...
4842in66What an absolute joke! I don't know if I can ev ...
49KKEKHad to be done. The best decision was made. As a ...
50loveCFLOther pro sports leagues have had trouble with som ...
51chinbopperSad news. Wish I had the bux or I'd buy them! ...
52riderfanHey ticatsackattack who says we need Joeseph last ...
53herschelcrustofskyShivers, sick to your guns and dont sign joseph. ...
54riders674Im so sick of this constant scapegoating by Ottawa ...
5542in66Ottawa_SanFrancisco, I just read your post and I a ...
56flamingo411Its unfortunate to have to say this but this is th ...
57diehardcfltwo years from now when the next owner bails, watc ...
58sensfan1506The CFL needs to step up and find a REAL OWNER who ...
59nikpro9Lost in all this is the effect that it will have o ...
60mbombSad, sad, sad. 5 steps back for the CFL. ...
61PsychoJasonWith "that" out of the way, it looks like the Winn ...
62bomberfan40I do believe winnipeg would get second pick after ...
63goldferretSensfan1506 hit the nail on the head. Fans in Otta ...
64rhardyAll you idiots who blame this on the city of Ottaw ...
65kevin167The CFL will forever now be an 8 team league. Ther ...
66bomberfan85All the Rider fans out there who for some reason t ...
67RavenFanWhat is up with this league? I am an NFL fan and ...
68doubleblue1The CFL and Tom Wright really blew this one by let ...
69bombermitchGood. Now Winnipeg has a better chance of making ...
70tyler15Tom Wright and the Board of Gov's. should PAY dear ...
71CheesemanI swear that the Glieberman's would screw up a lem ...
72charleedogSO sad to hear this again, but when they allowed t ...
73dklusThe Bombers would be better off getting some defen ...
74maxlou Ottawa_SanFrancisco: You left one name off your ...
75don450well the only positive outcome of this ,is that Jo ...
76timmc78PsychoJason...comments like that get me angry, the ...
77maxthedogUltimately, the Ottawa fans got terrible owners to ...
78campy2k3i dont see y everyone is harping on the cfl it was ...
79lewieeThere was no other choice that the cfl could have ...
80pcgauthierSurprise, surprise. The Glibermann's were a disgr ...
81comndrI don't see why so many people blame Wright for th ...
82gadesnsensn67sI am sick and tired of seeing football fans who th ...
83bm21It's sad to see this happen. The league was making ...
84loot91Ottawa needs to have a team called the Rough Rider ...
85loot91I can tell from the posts that there are some inte ...
86made_in_canada_m26AND NOW TO REVEAL THE SIMPLE TRUTH - Ottawa fans ( ...
87westsidewalkerWell it is a sad day in the CFL with the loss of t ...
88ottawarrAs a season ticket holder, I really feel offended ...
89heavyd63this just goes to show that Ottawa can not manage ...
90VILLEBARFOttawa folding (again), is not the stupidest thing ...
91kornzillaOttawa fans are fairweather fans. Once the Senato ...
92robr_ttoo bad--this is a great sport-as far as guys like ...
93dahemaWhy let the Gliebermans return in the first place? ...
94CheesemanPeople can rant all they want about the fans in Ot ...
95daveswissRenegades' second kick off was bad from the start. ...
96madslBrad Watters were here for three years and this th ...
97bartsimpson650exponut You obviously are misinformed. The CFL d ...
98percula99made_in_canada_m26 - Don't blame the fans in Ottaw ...
99habsfanbillOttawa has alwyas supported their team , and this ...
100maritimerinottawaIt's kind of like a dying grandparent when they fi ...
101BobbyDigitalWell get an NFL team Ottawa. You could get 60,000 ...
102tomhallickIn the end it was the ONLY thing the CFL could do. ...
103grampy17By the time I see these posts, everybody in the co ...
104wpg#1I don't care what anybody says, Ottawa citizens ar ...
105Smith041958CFL is a joke. In 94 when they expanded to the U.S ...
106iceman1115Tom Wright is THE best Commissioner in CFL history ...
107nuckleheadfanThis is BS! I'm sure the weaker teams like Calgar ...
108wpgtrickgreat for the Bombers! Joesph or Banks!!! either w ...
109catdiehardNot the City of Ottawa's fault!!!!!! People, he ...
110jimbrownI'm 32 years old and I watched cfl football at a t ...
111cdnguinessWEll that does it for this fan, I was a season tic ...
112alain62To all those who badmouth Ottawa football fans, ju ...
113rasta99There are a lot of opinions on why the Ottawa fran ...
114ms_conductkornzilla, you're an idiot. The team isn't foldin ...
115jemshey kornzilla, when the sens almost went down it w ...
116steven62Perhaps this is another example of hte CFL looking ...
117bobelleeHopefully the worst excuse for a professional leag ...
118Wings06Ownership has always been and always will be the p ...
119pds41maybe it's time for a Westerns style publice owner ...
120baseballntIt's time the CFL was quashed and a deal struck wi ...
121posavoieForget brining them back then! Who would want this ...
122cowboyfan2Forget about two divisions, just have one eight te ...
123tigertownEveryone blames the Gliebermans and yes they are i ...
124posavoieAll of you who say that it's Ottawa's fault and no ...
125DbuckTom Wright is the worst President the CFL has EVER ...
126geoffhI blame the fans in Ottawa for this horrible situa ...
127ravensAs someone who has lived in Ottawa for less then 1 ...
128MulletDudeSo the CFL is a "joke", eh? A lot of you guys obvi ...
1291234The CFL is not a joke league because a team folded ...
130bclionscflfanTwo kicks at the cat are enough. Ottawa is not fo ...
131chubb195 Tom Wright has to go he is making a joke out if ...
132barstool_profFor those of you want the Rough Riders name resurr ...
133mcdee1All you people NOT in Ottawa and some that are hav ...
134Smith041958For all those postings suggesting Ottawa is not a ...
135c_grismerCOMING TO HALIFAX...should have been decided soone ...
136greekgodzoficeHas this Joke of a Leauge not gone on long enough? ...
137timfrenchMove the renegades to Halifax.Sure the satdium isn ...
138joseph_gallantCould the suspension of the OPttawa Renegades be t ...
139wpelechWell another chapter in the infamous history of pr ...
140bigd08The CFL is a business and we can not change what h ...
141whositwhatnowWhat went wrong the Glieberman's went wrong. I do ...
Click here for the full TSN TV schedule

Free Agent Season

Carl Kidd is still available. Ryan Thelwell has signed in Calgary. Adriano Belli is headed to Toronto. Davin Bush is now a Blue Bomber. See if your team has made a splash in the free agent market.

Canadian College Draft

After a disappointing 2006 campaign, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hold the first and fourth overall picks on May 2nd.

TSN Top 50 CFL Players

After all the votes were tabulated, Doug Flutie stood alone as the greatest player in CFL history, according to TSN's independent panel. Check out the complete list - and see how you voted for your Top 50!

94th Grey Cup

With a convincing 25-14 win over the Montreal Alouettes, the B.C. Lions were crowned champions at the 94th Grey Cup game in Winnipeg. More...

2006 Awards Winners

Defensive end Brent Johnson of the B.C. Lions anchored a Western sweep at this season's Players Awards.

CFL Records

Who is the league's all-time leading rusher? Which head coach leads the way in career wins? Who has played the most games? Find out in our records section.

Hall of Fame Inductees

Darren Flutie, Greg Battle, Rocco Romano and Pierre Vercheval make up this year's players class at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Inductions in Hamilton. More...

stats