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ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

Ted Hellard was not at all happy about rumours the CFL's board of governors was about to sack its commissioner.

Long before the Stamps president and CEO dialed up his colleagues yesterday to discuss the issue, Hellard insisted talk of Wright's demise was extremely premature, not to mention deeply concerning.

Following an afternoon conference call that resulted in shocking decisiveness by the league's head honchos, Hellard likely slept well last night knowing the board had put an end to such innuendo by voting to offer Wright an extension.

On a day when Wright's fate wasn't expected to be sealed either way, it was a brilliant show of support by a crew long known for agreeing only to disagree.

"Continuity is a strength of almost all successful businesses," said Hellard, making a case for keeping Wright on board well past the expiration of his contract this fall.

"Obviously, various changes have to occur over time but you try to reduce the number of radical changes."

As the league's fourth commissioner since 2000, Wright was being penciled by many this week as the latest victim of a CFL constitution that makes it nearly impossible to run the league without bowing to constant pressure from various owners. Word from several nameless team officials blamed Wright's passiveness for the current ownership mess in Ottawa.

This just two and half years after Michael Lysko was fired for being far too assertive.

The talk this week featured all the markings of yet another classic example of several owners never being satisfied with a commissioner handed the impossible task of leading strongly while also cow-towing to their every demand.

That's what makes the governors' quick decision all the more surprising, especially given the criticism levelled at Wright in the nation's capital. It's to the point Wright appears content to allow age-old CFL punchlines Lonie and Bernie Glieberman back into a league they single-handedly turned into a laughingstock their first go-round.

A large part of the Renegades' struggles have revolved around the team's inability and unwillingness to obliterate the league's salary cap like every other franchise has. Wright's failure to make progress in enforcing the team cap may be the biggest knock against him. Even Hellard agrees nailing down "fixed costs" is paramount.

"I believe it is the number one issue," said Hellard.

"If you have a cost that's constantly variable, it's hard to be successful."

That said, Hellard confirmed his relationship with the commissioner, built largely during the team's off-season purchase process, is a comfortable one.

Nothing could have been more uncomfortable than Wright having to disrupt his holiday in Paris to address rumours he'd return to Canada a lame-duck commish on his way out. However, he faced such talk head on and will now emerge a true CFL survivor, if he so chooses.

Tough to say whether it's the group of governors or the commish who are truly coming of age here.


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