Monday, August 29, 2022

Minority owner, away from Stern Alouettes, retains 25 percent of the team. CBC Sports

It’s business as usual for President Mario Cecchini and Montreal Alouettes.

Minority owner Gary Stern announced in an open letter to Montreal fans on Monday that he was stepping down from his position on the day-to-day operations of the club as well as the CFL’s board of governors. Obviously, this caused quite a stir but with the franchise’s ownership structure intact – Stern also said he was keeping his 25 percent stake in the Alouettes – nothing has changed with the team.

Stern and partner/father-in-law, Sid Spiegel, purchased Alouettes from CFL in January 2020, with Spiegel taking a 75 percent ownership stake. But Spiegel never got a chance to see his team play as the league canceled the ’20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spiegel died in July 2021. His age was not disclosed, but Spiegel was listed as 89 when he and Stern bought the Alouettes.

“It’s business as usual,” Cecchini said Monday afternoon. “Who will support the team doesn’t change the question.

“It’s 75 percent majority ownership and it goes on. What changes for me, personally, is that majority ownership will have to hire someone other than Gary for me as far as the team is concerned. “

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosi echoed those sentiments.

As a lifelong sports fan, my role with Alouettes was a dream come true. I loved every minute of it.— Alouettes minority owner Gary Stern

“I am in contact with representatives of the majority shareholder of Alouettes,” Ambrosi tweeted. “I am pleased to report that he assured me that ‘business as usual’ continues for the club.”

‘Very tough decision’

In his letter, Stern said his decision to back down was a difficult one.

“Today, I am compelled to share with you my current reality; I can no longer be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Montreal Alouettes,” Stern wrote. “It was a very difficult decision for me and my family, but it is a final decision.

“I love this team. I love Montreal and our fans. As a lifelong sports fan, my role with Alouettes was a dream come true. I loved every minute of it.”

Stern also said that Spiegel’s death dramatically affected his plans for the Alouettes.

WATCH l Cté scored the game-winning field goal on Saturday vs. Ticats:

Alouettes walkout from Tiger-Cats with game-winning field goal

David Cote scored a 48-yard field goal in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to propel Montreal to a 29-28 win over Hamilton.

“His death has effectively postponed the wonderful plans we have for the Alouettes,” Stern wrote. “We were prepared and wanted to make a long-term investment in the future of Alouettes.

“Due to COVID-19’s cancellation of CFL play, Sid, who owned a 75 percent majority, sadly never got a chance to see his team play. I’ll always regret it “

Stern added his ownership stake in the team “will remain.”

“Today, decisions relating to the financing and operations of the team rest with the assets of Sid,” Stern wrote. “Sid and I had a close partnership, which included our shared love of sports and our ability to grow our team, the way we have invested and developed our other joint businesses over the decades, no longer exists.

A powerhouse under ALS Wattenhall

“I wish the best for our team, our fans and our community. I am one of the Alouettes and the CFL’s biggest fans. But when I return to my role as a private citizen and step back from the edge Happy to be back. Thank you everyone in Montreal. The memories we made I will cherish forever.”

American businessman Robert Wattenhall, assisted by his son, Andrew, owned the Alouettes from 1997 to 2018, before the CFL operated the franchise while it discovered new ownership. For most of the larger Wattenhall’s tenure, Montreal was a CFL powerhouse.

From 1999 to 2012, the club finished above the East Division 10 times and advanced to the Gray Cup on eight occasions, winning three. But the Alouettes’ last Gray Cup win under Wattenhall’s ownership was in 2010, and the franchise missed the CFL playoffs in the final four years of its tenure, setting an overall record of 21–51 in that period.

And there were reports that the Alouettes lost $12 million in Wattenhall’s final season as owner. Inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2015, Robert Wattenhall died in September 2021 at the age of 86.

Wattenhall and Stern were polar opposites as owners. While Wattenhall chose to stay behind the scenes, Stern actively went so far as to become the face of the franchise on social media, boldly predicting his team’s victory.

The ’22 season has been a roller-coaster affair for Montreal (4–6), who finished second in the Eastern Division. The team fired head coach Khari Jones after the start of the season 1–3, with GM Danny Macchiosia taking over as coach on an interim basis.

The Montreal is the only CFL team to have defeated the Gray Cup-champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers this season. But last week the club suspended Christoph Normand indefinitely as he faces two charges of luring a child under the age of 18, which includes luring a child under the age of 16, or the allegation that It was held that he was under 16 years of age at the time of the offence.

Montreal hosts the Ottawa Redblacks (2-8) on Friday nights. On August 20, the Alouettes drew a season-high 21,014 fans to Molson Stadium for a 29–28 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

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