Murky Watters

Ottawa Renegades and Grey Cup 2004 President Brad Watters spoke to the media and gave an update on...

Ottawa Renegades and Grey Cup 2004 President Brad Watters spoke to the media and gave an update on Grey Cup activities on Monday November 15,2004. (SUN FILE PHOTO/Errol McGihon)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:16 PM ET

FOR NOW, the Renegades will continue on without a president. And, yes, under the same cloud of uncertainty that's been hovering the past six months. Majority co-owner Randy Gillies said yesterday that there are no immediate plans to replace Brad Watters, who is officially leaving the organization March 31 to start up AWB Strategic Branding Company in Toronto.

The firm will handle corporate sales sponsorships for the Renegades with Watters -- who has been the team's president since its inception into the CFL -- serving as the account quarterback.

And for a team that concerns itself with money, the departure of Watters and former GM Eric Tillman will save Ottawa somewhere in the neighbourhood of $400,000.

Gillies said the day-to-day business will continue to be in the hands of CEO John Lisowski, while coach and GM Joe Paopao, media relations director Arash Madani and Gilles will handle spokesman duties.

The ownership picture, which has been out of focus since it became known Gillies and co-majority owner Bill Smith wanted to split last September, remains unsettled.

"We hope to make some type of announcement regarding a consolidated ownership group soon, but I'm reluctant to set a time and date," said Gillies, who added that the twists and turns of negotiations are responsible for the delay in a settlement that was expected two weeks after the Grey Cup game. "We are moving forward ... we had a good call (yesterday), and we will get it done as soon as possible. I don't want to get into any more detail than that. Things change."

Gillies ensured he will be a part of the group that will likely still include Smith, probably minority shareholder Rick Baker and possibly Brad and Bill Watters. There's speculation the Watters family hopes to follow the lead of minority partner Kevin Kimsa and get out altogether, and while that's quite plausible, the outgoing president told the Sun on Wednesday he would not be selling his shares.

Gillies refused to say whether he is currently talking to prospective investors, although he did reiterate the club continues to look for partners, preferably from Ottawa.

The notion that Watters was pushed out was disputed by Gillies.

"Brad will continue to have a role with the team, with his new organization, and we're happy that's the case," said Gillies. "We had talked ... and we both agreed that taking the opportunity Brad had was the best thing for him to do. He looked at different things and decided it was time for a change."


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