Canadian Football League

Saturday, May 28, 2005

New Old Canadian Football League Owners

The Canadian Football League's Board of Governors approved the transfer of ownership of the Ottawa Renegades on Friday.
The new partnership structure includes current owner Bill Smith of Orillia, Ont., and American Bernard Glieberman, a former owner of the Ottawa Rough Riders.

"I am very pleased that Bill Smith will continue to provide continuity to the Renegades by maintaining a large ownership stake in the franchise," said Commissioner Tom Wright.
"He is a very accomplished and skilled business leader who is now joined by Bernie Glieberman, an individual with equal talents in this regard. Both owners are avid sports fans and long-time supporters of the Canadian Football League.
"We are excited to be back in Ottawa and delighted to be moving forward with Bill Smith in this venture. This league has come so far in a very few years," said Glieberman.
"It is strong, it is connected with its fans, and it is on the move. My goal and my commitment is to ensure that the Ottawa Renegades move quickly and responsibly into a leadership position on and off the field in this league."
Earlier this month, the Renegades revealed they have lost an estimated $6 million since joining the league three years ago. With no other interested owners looking to take over a team riddled with debt, Glieberman stepped in and began negotiating with the club.
"Bernie brings to this franchise a pledge to the city of Ottawa, to its community partners and to Renegade fans across the country to build the trust and respect so important between team and fan," said commissioner Wright.
Ottawa football fans remember Glieberman and his son Lonie as the eccentric owners of the Rough Riders from 1991 to 1993. During their time in the city, they threatened to relocate the team, fired popular general manager Dan Rambo one day before the start of the season and tried to bring in washed-up NFLer Dexter Manley.
They left the city in 1994 and became part of the league's doomed foray in the United States, establishing an expansion franchise in Shreveport, La. The Shreveport Pirates lasted two seasons.
After the Ottawa Rough Riders folded in 1996, CFL football returned to the nation's capital when the Renegades began play in the 2002 season.


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