Lions owner wants Argos

The CFL board of governors would have to approve a sale of the Argos to Lions owner David Braley....

The CFL board of governors would have to approve a sale of the Argos to Lions owner David Braley. (Sun Media/Don MacKinnon)

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

David Braley owns one Canadian Football League team and there's nothing in the league's constitution that says he can't buy another.

If David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski decide to sell the Argonauts, sources point to Braley, who lives in Burlington and owns the B.C. Lions, as the probable next owner of the club.

"Braley wants the Argos," a source said yesterday.

The CFL board of governors would have to approve a sale of the Argos to Braley.

If so, there likely would be a number of provisions to ensure the two clubs would not cross paths in their respective boardrooms.

There's another theory that Cynamon and Sokolowski, who said they are exploring "different opportunities," might be looking for another investor for the club.

The thinking is Cynamon and Sokolowski, who let an ambiguous statement released by the Argos yesterday do their talking, want to turn their full attention to buying the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL through their involvement in the Ice Edge group.

“We want to make it clear we remain the dedicated owners of the Toronto Argonauts, committed to the franchise’s success both on and off the field, and particularly in the community,” Cynamon and Sokolowski said in the statement.

“However, we do explore different opportunities and are weighing what is in the best interests of ourselves, our families, and the future of the Toronto Argonauts. We will continue to keep the Canadian Football League and commissioner Mark Cohon informed of any developments, and will certainly inform Argonauts fans, the heart and soul of our franchise, of any real news. In the meantime, we will not indulge in speculation that distracts from what remains our focus: What is best for a game, a team and a league that we truly cherish.”

Braley helped Cynamon and Sokolowski rescue the Argos from bankruptcy in 2003. This past June, Cynamon acknowledged that he and Sokolowski accepted a loan from Braley six years ago, but that it had been paid back.

Braley not involved

Cynamon told Sun Media then that Braley no longer was involved with the club.

Had Braley not extended the original loan, Cynamon and Sokolowski probably would not have bought the team, and there were no other suitors at the time.

Braley, in a statement, stressed the Lions are not for sale.

The Argos were successful on the field initially under Cynamon and Sokolowski, winning the Grey Cup in 2004. But a second year in a row of missing the playoffs will be guaranteed if the Argos, 3-11 and last in the CFL, lose to the Edmonton Eskimos at home tomorrow night.

Cynamon and Sokolowski are passionate about their team, a fact not lost on the players.

“It’s not like they’re down in Yorkville or wherever their offices are and they could care less about us,” defensive end Jonathan Brown said. “We have team gatherings and they come around they know the guys’ names.

“David and Howard are two of the best owners I have been around.”


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