Calm before the sale?

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Calgarians interested in buying the Stampeders have signed non-disclosure documents, a crucial step in officially making an offer for the team, a source claims.

"It's obvious things are coming to a head, there's absolutely no question," one CFL source said last night.

The binding legal contracts prevent participants from discussing the negotiations or even confirming whether they are involved.

Several local businesspeople recently have expressed an interest in purchasing the CFL club from Michael Feterik, including groups involving entrepreneur Ted Hellard and former Stampeders receiver Dave Sapunjis.

A source said neither Hellard nor Sapunjis would be the principle owners if a sale to the Calgary group can be finalized.

A key shareholder is a critical issue for the CFL, as insiders indicate the league's board of governors would have difficulty approving a sale without a controlling interest.

The governors' annual general meeting is scheduled for Saturday morning in Ottawa when the Calgary group is expected to be a topic for discussion.

One source said the group would like to finalize the purchase by the end of this month if Feterik accepts its offer.

The California businessman purchased the team from Sig Gutsche in 2001.

The following three CFL seasons have been a tumultuous time for the franchise, with the Stampeders winning just 15 of 54 regular-season games, missing the playoffs each year.

Hellard was unavailable for comment last night.

Feterik and Sapunjis declined to comment.


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