Gauging interest in 'Gades

PERRY LEFKO, TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

The Canadian Football League board of governors today will get an update on the future of the Ottawa Renegades situation.

Apparently there are some interested parties analyzing the franchise, which is in the process of being turned over to the CFL in an orderly manner from Bernie Glieberman and minority partner Bill Smith, who have owned the team for only a year.

CFL commissioner Tom Wright, chairman of the board of directors Tom Robinson and B.C. Lions owner David Braley are on a committee trying to attract a potential new owner.

So far, the league is remaining tight-lipped on potential nibbles.

The likelihood is the league will be looking for either an individual or group with significant capital and a knowledge of football, specifically the CFL and the Ottawa market, if possible. Even if some of that criteria is there, the league and/or the interested buyer may elect to start with a clean slate next year, which would necessitate shutting down the franchise for at least one year.

DECISION

With training camp only two months away, a decision will have to be made fairly quickly, and the odds are not in favour of Ottawa fielding a team this year, if only because a there is not a lot of time, one analyst speculated.

If the franchise is shut down, a new schedule will have to be drawn up for eight teams, a dispersal draft of the existing Ottawa players under contract will need to be done and anyone with a season ticket (apparently 2,000 have been sold) will have to be refunded.

There is also the matter of existing contracts of the coaching staff should the team fold. It became an issue in 2003 when the CFL took possession of the Argos and Tiger-Cats after the owners had the franchises taken away for failing to pay their bills.


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