Braley to grab oars today, Barker too?

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:57 AM ET

The sale of the Argonauts to David Braley by David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski is expected to be announced on Monday.

The sides were hammering out the final details on Sunday night and, as long as there were no further snags, it was expected to get done.

And there's more. Jim Barker, who coached the Argos in 1999 and is the Calgary Stampeders' senior vice-president of football/director of player personnel, will be the Argos' next coach, Sportsnet reported Sunday night.

The hiring of Barker is somewhat surprising, as his name did not surface in speculation. However, there had been rumours that he might have been the next general manager had Adam Rita been let go. Braley is a big fan of Rita, but the addition of Barker to the staff means he will make an impact on player personnel decisions.

With Barker on the staff, it might be safe to assume that Rita will remain as GM.

All that would be left in the way of the sale being official is approval by the Canadian Football League's board of governors. But that should be nothing more than a formality.

Cynamon and Sokolowski searched for much of the winter for a partner and approached TSN and Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz, but were unsuccessful.

Neither wanted to sell the team, but when they could not get a new stadium, figured they had no choice.

Braley also owns the B.C. Lions, and finally there should be some straight answers as to whether he intends to keep both teams. There is nothing in the CFL constitution that says he can't, but that does not make it look any better.

The city of Vancouver will play host to the Grey Cup in 2011 and Toronto, in all probability, will get it in 2012. Back-to-back Cups could put as much as $10 million, if not more, in Braley's pocket. The profit off the Cup in 2012 is one reason why it is believed Cynamon and Sokolowski were asking for more than $10 million for the Argos.

The duo rescued the Argos from bankruptcy in 2003, and it was revealed last year that Braley helped them financially, not only then, but in the following years. Afterward, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon made it clear that teams had to be more transparent in their business dealings.


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