GM Gregg: 'This is war'

Renegades president Lonie Glieberman announced at a press conference yesterday that he will no...

Renegades president Lonie Glieberman announced at a press conference yesterday that he will no longer be in charge of the CFL team's day-to-day business operations. (Ottawa Sun/Tony Caldwell)

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Renegades coach John Jenkins threw a grenade on Wednesday.

Yesterday, team vice-president and GM Forrest Gregg dropped a bomb.

"They've tried to tear down what we've spent eight months building. This is war. This is survival, and you're not going to let somebody do something to you like this unless you're stupid," an angry Gregg said about the ongoing rift between his football operations and team consultants John Lisowski and Phil Kershaw.

Speaking from his home in Colorado, the NFL Hall of Famer lashed out at Lisowski and Kershaw, who have taken control over the club's operation after president Lonie Glieberman announced yesterday he would no longer be in charge of the team's daily business dealings.

The consultants successfully convinced Renegades owner Bernie Glieberman to remove his son from power, and have also attempted to remove Gregg as GM.

"I didn't ask for this treatment," said the 72-year-old Gregg. "I just know that when somebody is going to slap me, I'm not going to turn the other cheek. I'm going to slap them back."

Two days ago, Jenkins blasted the consultants for "disloyal" and "sick" attempts to undermine Gregg and Lonie Glieberman, saying the duo were putting personal agendas ahead of the club's development.

"I'm pleased that he said all that," Gregg said of Jenkins. "When you know what's going on, there's no need of pulling any punches."

At a press conference yesterday, Lonie Glieberman said the recent moves by Lisowski and Kershaw had strained the relationship between he and his father.

"We've never had as much difficulty as we've had with each other for the past 21/2 weeks," said the younger Glieberman.

SOUGHT REMOVAL

His father arrived in Ottawa last month at the request of Lisowski and Kershaw, who urged the son's removal.

"Our relationship is more important than he and I fighting over the phone every night over a CFL football team," said Lonie.

Gregg, who has worked for the Glieberman family for nearly 20 years, said it's shameful the consultants would create a rift between the father and son.

"It's hard to drive a wedge between a man and his son," said Gregg. "If somebody tried to do that to me and my son, I'd probably hit him."

Reached last night in Costa Rica, Bernie Glieberman said he and his son have argued in the past over other business decisions.

"Lonie is from a different generation. He's done things in the ski business where he was 100% right and I was 100% wrong," he said.

"But he tried to do the same things in Ottawa that he did (in the ski business). He tried to get the 'lost generation' to come to games, but it just didn't work."

The owner also said he will continue to operate the club in Ottawa, but wants to know if Renegades fans will support the team.

Meanwhile, Gregg vowed to serve as GM and would only stop if the owner made that request or "out of my own free will."

Lisowski tried to hire Bob O'Billovich as the new GM, but was turned down. Then Kershaw went after Edmonton's Paul Jones, but denied Wednesday that anything was happening with the Esks GM.

Asked yesterday if he thought the consultants would increase their efforts to oust him now that they have taken temporary control of the team's business operations, Gregg replied, "I could care less.

"Who are they and what have they ever done in their life? I don't have to apologize for who I am and I certainly don't have to apologize to them."

As reported in yesterday's Sun, the team has been in contact with former Toronto Argonauts president Bob Nicholson, currently the VP of finance with baseball's Washington Nationals, to take over the business operations.

Contact has also been made with former Ottawa Gee-Gees football coach Larry Ring.


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