CFL to weigh 'options'

CFL commissioner Tom Wright will chair a conference call today about the future of the Ottawa...

CFL commissioner Tom Wright will chair a conference call today about the future of the Ottawa Renegades. (Ottawa Sun File/Sean Kilpatrick)

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

The fate of the Renegades has been handed off to governors of the eight other CFL teams.

And today, commissioner Tom Wright will chair a conference call with those administrators to discuss options for Ottawa's CFL club.

Then they will determine whether the Renegades will continue operating during the upcoming season.

"No decisions will be made (today) of any kind," Calgary Stampeders president and part-owner Ted Hellard said yesterday. "It is just an opportunity for the league to update the governors on what has taken place, to educate the governors on what the possibilities are, and the consequences. Everybody has to learn what the options are."

With CFL camps set to open in two months, time is a critical factor.

Renegades majority owner Bernie Glieberman said last weekend he would cover some of the team's losses should the team actually hit the field.

He repeated that pledge during a meeting with Wright in Toronto on Monday.

Glieberman is prepared to deliver at least $2 million, but estimates have the team losing as much as triple that amount during the upcoming season.

But other sources have indicated a different revenue and cost figure that would result in a significantly lower deficit, closer to $3 million.

If that were the case, the governors might be inclined to bite the bullet and finance the shortfall through the 2006 campaign while the league and Glieberman attempt to find new ownership.

Renegades fans would also be expected to shoulder some of the load, with the days of deeply discounted ticket prices a thing of the past.

Earlier this month, Wright assured the league's commitment of keeping the CFL in Ottawa after Glieberman's son, Lonie, stepped down as president of the team.

The commissioner will attempt to convince the governors to support the Renegades during today's conference call, but sources say it will be a tough sell.

The league doesn't want to bear the negative image of another franchise in Ottawa biting the dust.

Governors, however, aren't as fretful about how the public views such a collapse.

To the other teams, of ultimate importance is the amount of cash each would be required to fork over to keep the Renegades viable.

One source told the Sun that some governors view Glieberman's problems as his own and expect him to find his own solution if he wants to keep the team alive.

If that were the case, Glieberman would likely walk away, and the Renegades would die, along with Wright's aspirations of a 10-team league.

As requested by the CFL, Glieberman declined requests yesterday for an interview.

Governors also want to learn the status of the league's broadcast deal and sponsorship revenues should the league contract to eight teams.


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