Good bargain

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:28 AM ET

Calgary Stampeders president Ted Hellard doesn't mind telling people how much money he makes at his new job.

As part owner of the CFL club, Hellard took a salary of zero this season in heading up the organization.

So with the founder and chairman of Critical Mass working about 60 hours a week on what has become his latest passion, the Stampeders are getting their money's worth from Hellard.

"The football side is a lot more time consuming than I first envisioned it," said Hellard, who took over his new job in January.

"It's time consuming because that's the way I want it. If I was just an operator and only gave a damn about the bottom line, I could get away with putting in two or three hours a day."

Hellard's main duty as president is to set the operating budget and constantly review it.

In that respect, the Stamps are doing well, which gives him the time to learn the football operations side of the business from head coach Tom Higgins and general manager Jim Barker.

"Our bottom line is super strong and we're way ahead of schedule. It wouldn't take me more than a 10 hours a week to make sure we stayed on that," said Hellard.

"Because I want to be involved on the football side, I have to learn.

"A big part of my day is spent basically sponging information from a lot of different sources.

"The closest relationship in the office I have is with Jim. It's in the player-personnel side where a lot of integration goes back into the business side because of the budgets."

Hellard, who starred with the University of Calgary Dinos basketball team from 1984-88, is part of the Stampeders' three-man executive committee with John Forzani and Doug Mitchell.

When the new ownership group was putting together its staff, it went for experience to work under Hellard.

In came Darrell Moir as senior vice-president of club operations and former Stamps president Stan Schwartz, who was brought back as an executive consultant.

With the experience Moir and Schwartz bring to the operation, Hellard is confident he doesn't have to micromanage the Stamps on a day-to-day basis.

"With the Stampeders, I've surrounded myself with good people on the business side," Hellard said.

"I give the boundaries in which they can play the game and I ask for certain targets to hit. The time they need to engage me is when they're unsure when they're going to get there.

"On the football side, I need to learn. I have a choice. I could say I'm the president and this is how we're going to do it. My choice is to come in and learn on a daily basis."


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