MONTREAL — Canadian Football League (CFL) Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has not discussed the possibility of a sale of the Alouettes with the Montreal organization’s principal owners.
Earlier this week, Gary Stern decided to step down from day-to-day management of the team and relinquish his position on the circuit’s Board of Governors. It is the estate of his late father-in-law, Sid Spiegel, who took over the management of “Als”, which owns 75% of the shares in the concession.
This situation has restarted the rumor mill regarding a possible sale of the Alouettes. Recall that Stern and Spiegel acquired the club in late 2019, many months after the CFL had to take it over from the Wettenhall family.
On Wednesday, Ambrosie met the two estate representatives for the first time. It seems that the possibility of the team being sold soon wasn’t on the agenda…
“The subject was never discussed. They are focused on this season. They told me they want to leave Mario [Cecchini, le président] continue to lead the team as he is doing now,” Ambrosie said in a phone interview on Friday.
The fact that the sensitive issue was not discussed may seem surprising, even unbelievable. However, we can understand that the Commissioner does not want to relive what happened the last time the Alouettes were sold.
At that time there were numerous rumors about possible buyers and new names were added every week. The league also seemed overwhelmed with events, while the other teams had to finance the activities of the Sparrows.
Focus on the present
Another element of Ambrosie’s speech suggests the CFL may need to find other owners for the Alouettes by next year. The 59-year-old said the property has two priorities. These are anchored in the present and do not address the tensions of the war at all: finances.
“It was very positive,” he emphasized several times when speaking about the meeting. What I appreciated most was that he had a clear message for me. The first thing I was told was that the club’s activities would continue as they had been.
“Their two priorities are winning football games and entertaining fans.”
Pretty surprising considering the organization loses millions of dollars annually. Furthermore, it was not in the plans of the current Spiegel stockholders to purchase a franchise of the CFL. All the more surprising that their priorities are exclusively football-oriented.
The Guzzo malaise
Furthermore, it was impossible not to ask Ambrosie about Vincenzo Guzzo’s recent statements. In an interview on BPM Sports Network on Wednesday, the Quebec businessman said he was excluded from the Alouettes’ sale process because he had no intention of offering Danny Maciocia a job. The club’s current general manager and interim head coach is a friend of the CFL commissioner, according to Guzzo. Visibly embarrassed by the situation, Ambrosie politely declined to bring up the subject.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to go into detail,” he said. I have great respect for Mr Guzzo. I will not reveal the details of our conversations.
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