Paying the price

Bernie Glieberman (right) and his son Lonie are hoping to once again get involved with the...

Bernie Glieberman (right) and his son Lonie are hoping to once again get involved with the Renegades. (Ottawa Sun File Photo)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

Joe Paopao will officially be named the Renegades' new GM and coach this morning and Bernie Glieberman has offered to fund the Renegades for three years in exchange for 50% of the CFL club, sources have told the Sun.

Yep.

Just another day in the life of the Ottawa Renegades.

If Glieberman's offer is accepted, the Renegades' current owners -- dismayed over losing almost $2 million in the 2004 season and more than $4 million in the franchise's first two seasons of operation -- would not have to reach into their pockets again before 2008.

Despite the temptation, the ownership group has not yet accepted the Glieberman offer.

NEGATIVE BACKLASH?

Primarily, its concern is over possible negative public backlash for bringing into the fold the Detroit millionaire and his son Lonie, who were controversial and moderately successful during a two-year reign as Rough Riders owners in the early 1990s.

"I'm not going to get into specific details, but that information sounds like the parameters of our discussions," Lonie said from the family owned ski resort in upper Michigan last night. "But I think the offer was for two years, not three."

While the return of the Gliebermans might very well cost the Renegades a number of ticket holders, their marketing expertise could very well draw more fans to the games.

With the Gliebermans presiding, the Riders had a 9-9 season (the team's only .500 record in its last 20 years of existence) and consistently drew 24,000 to Frank Clair Stadium -- the kind of crowds the Renegades dream about.

DOWN THE DRAIN

And while the owners are worried about watching more money swirl down the drain (even if it would be Glieberman cash, apparently), it's hard to imagine the bottom line worse than it's been with losses in the $7-million neighborhood over three seasons.

Heaven forbid Bernie and Lonie actually take the chances that would help turn the franchise around.

Instead, the team has entered the new season still uncertain of its leadership. Primary owners Bill Smith and Randy Gillies are dickering over who will buy the other out (and mulling the possibility of co-existence for another season) while minority owners Brad and Bill Watters, Rick Baker and Kevin Kimsa sway in the wind, pending the tug of war.

NEW TICKET PRICES

Along with setting a new ticket price list that includes bumps and slashes, the club, as reported in yesterday's Sun, decided to shift gears and bring Paopao back.

Both Paopao and Watters declined media interviews yesterday.

Meanwhile, news that the popular Paopao was returning went over well with Renegades players.

"I'm happy about it," said linebacker Jason Kralt, one of 21 Renegades eligible to become free agents on Feb. 15. "It's very good for Ottawa and the team, because we're so far behind the eight-ball in terms of doing stuff.

"He's someone that's able to attract free agents that wouldn't want to come here, otherwise, because of the perceived mess of the team.

"Last year wasn't (Paopao's) fault," Kralt added, referring to the team's poor 5-13 finish in an injury-plagued season. "I realize the buck has to stop somewhere, but there were also levels above him.

"The guys love to play for Pops ... he's a great coach and a great person, and given the tools, I'm sure he'll do a very good job."


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