'Gades deal makes no Sens

After Renegades owner Bernard Glieberman announced that he was no longer interested in owning the...

After Renegades owner Bernard Glieberman announced that he was no longer interested in owning the team, various names have come out through the media about a possible white knight to save the franchise. (Ottawa Sun File/Sean Kilpatrick)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:31 PM ET

Strike Eugene Melnyk off the list of saviours for CFL football in Ottawa.

Senators owner Melnyk, considered by many the best and only real candidate to take over the soon-to-be-orphaned CFL team, says his sports company will not expand at this time.

Possibly factoring in the decision is the unavailability of concession rights at Lansdowne Park, as they are held by Aramark until May 31, 2017.

Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli said he was disappointed to hear that Melnyk isn't interested.

"He has to make his own decisions for his business and he can't invest just because there is a wave of support," he said.

It appears the Renegades are going to need a lot of luck if they are going to live past the early-to-mid April timeline the CFL has set in its search for a new owner.

"They're scrambling," a source very familiar with the situation said of the CFL. "If you're asking me the odds (the team will play in 2006), I'd say they were slim and none, and slim just left town."

Bernie Glieberman acknowledged that Melynk was the league's primary target, but he believes there are other "prospects."

DISPUTES REPORT

Glieberman also disputed a report in yesterday's Globe & Mail that stated he offered no guarantees and no money up front in his bid to strike a deal to share losses in 2006.

He said he was willing to put up the first $2.5 million if the league would lend him the next $2 million, which he would personally guarantee to repay. In the offer, Glieberman would also cover any and all losses above $4.5 million. So for another year with Glieberman as owner, it wouldn't have cost the CFL a cent. "And then, at the end of (2006), if I don't see hope and promise, I could say at least I did what I could," Glieberman said from Dallas.

Glieberman assured he would return all season ticket money collected for the 2006 season if the team does not take the field. And he promised he will put the net $800,000 or so back in the kitty for a new owner, even though the cash has already been spent.

"I have no legal obligation to do that," said Glieberman. "But I said I was morally obligated. It's the right thing to do."

Meanwhile, 67's owner Jeff Hunt says the Renegades are "out of his league" financially. "That's how short the list is, that everybody calls me.

"The bushes have been beaten to death as far as local ownership (of the Renegades) goes. And with every failure, there's a greater reluctance for somebody to get involved."

Of heading or being heavily involved in a community-owned Renegades team, Hunt said: "It is intriguing. Because I'm frustrated as a fan and proud member of the community.

"I really believe football could fly in Ottawa. I think I have a blueprint ... and I've always said I'd be glad to give it to somebody. I think it can be a success, but there would be some rocky roads ahead."


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