Braley deal nearly done

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

TORONTO -- David Braley cares deeply about his football team and wants nothing more than to win.

But that doesn't mean he sticks his fingers into the pigskin pie and tries to tell B.C. Lions management and coaches how they should be doing their jobs.

It is widely expected that Braley, who owns the B.C. Lions, soon will be the owner of the Toronto Argonauts, taking over the Canadian Football League club from David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski.

“He backs off and pays all the bills,” a CFL observer said. “He is hands-off. He got his coach and GM in Wally Buono and let him do his job.”

A source on Thursday indicated that Braley and Cynamon and Sokolowski were “haggling” over details of the sale and that for “all intents and purposes” it was done. If all of the pieces fall into place, the deal could be approved by the league’s board when it meets next week in Florida.

Under Braley’s ownership, the Lions won the Grey Cup in 2000 and 2006.

There is nothing within the league’s rules that would stop Braley from owning two clubs simultaneously.

Commissioner Mark Cohon has said he would not have a problem with it, and the board has enough faith in Braley that there would be no suspicion of underhanded dealings between the Argos and Lions. Braley also could put the Lions in trust and have his sons run the club.

Still, the optics for the league would be terrible.

The Argos like the idea of Doug Berry or George Cortez as their next head coach, but likely no announcement will be made until the ownership issue is settled. Experience is a major factor, and if Montreal Alouettes offensive co-ordinator Scott Milanovich had more, he might be at the top of the Argos’ list.

Berry, the former head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and Cortez, the Calgary Stampeders’ defensive co-ordinator, have been through the trials and tribulations, something that puts them ahead of Milanovich in the Argos' minds.

FANS GO TO OT

The CFL is asking fans for ideas on rule changes for the second year in a row, with an emphasis on how overtime might be changed. Fans are asked to submit their rule proposals, including their overtime ideas, by email to rules@cfl.ca by Feb. 15.


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