Renegades waiting on owner

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

The shotgun formation is one used quite often on the football field, an alignment that is effective for passing the ball and generating offence.

Off the field, the shotgun can be used both as an offensive and defensive weapon.

The Renegades are taking some heat for not making a quicker decision on the fates of GM Eric Tillman and coach Joe Paopao, but the fact of the matter is the biggest decision of all has to be made among the ownership before those trickle-down decisions can be made.

There has been lots of talk about a restructuring of the Renegades' ownership group and until that is resolved, it's going to be difficult for other decisions to be made like the fate of Tillman and Paopao.

When will the ownership issues be resolved?

Who knows, but the owners themselves and they haven't been saying much about their plans, though Renegades president Brad Watters said Dec. 1 seems to be a reasonable target.

Speaking in general terms, most groups that involve equal partners usually have as part of their working agreement a clause which at some point permits one of the partners to either buy out or sell his shares to another partner or partners.

It's called a "shotgun" clause because it's a double-barrelled resolution to a parting of the ways among partners who want to dissolve a partnership for whatever reasons.

A friend of mine in the restaurant business, who has been part of a few partnerships, explained the shotgun clause this way:

"When you have decided you want to split up and dissolve a partnership, the partner who has decided he wants a change is the one who exercises the shotgun," he said. "Let's call them Partner 1 and Partner 2. Partner 1 wants a change. He sets what he thinks is a fair value for the business. He then gives Partner 2 the option of either selling his shares to him or buying Partner 1's shares for that price. It's a shotgun for a couple of reasons. If the option is exercised, Partner 2 has no choice but to decide to buy or sell, so it's kind of like you're at the point of a gun.

"I guess it's like a shotgun, too, because there are two ways you can go, like the two barrels. Get it?"

Yup.

The Sun's Don Brennan has already reported that one of the Renegades' partners, Kevin Kimsa, who owns about 15%, wants to sell his share.

AMBIGUOUS ANSWER

Bill Smith and Randy Gillies are rumoured to each own 30%, but it's not clear if Kimsa sells if his share will be split between the two or sold in its entirety to Smith or Gillies.

There has been speculation that Gillies could be looking to get out. He came up with an ambiguous answer when asked by Brennan recently if he was committed to the Renegades over the long term.

So, putting all those pieces together, we can make a couple of assumptions:

- The Renegades' partnership must have some mechanism in place if one or more of the partners wants to move on.

- Gillies' commitment to the Renegades is up in the air, which means he could be the guy who exercises the shotgun clause or whatever exit scenario they have as part of their deal.

Therefore, three possible scenarios could unfold in the next little while:

1. Gillies exercises the exit scenario, giving Smith the option of buying or being bought out. Smith decides the asking price is too high, opts to sell and Gillies winds up the majority owner. If he's not interested in owning the team, he would be free to sell it to someone else. Chances of that happening: 14%

2. Smith joins with the Watters clan (Renegades president Brad and dad Bill own another 15%) and opts to buy Gillies out and become the majority owner. Chances of that happening: 85%

3. Nobody does anything and it remains the status quo. Chances of that happening: 1%

NO QUICK RESOLUTION

It's going to take some time to resolve the ownership situation and then the rest of the pieces can fall into place.

It might not be fair to Tillman and Paopao or satisfy those who want a quick resolution to the situation, but that's the way it is.


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