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RIDERS IN A STORM: 119-YEAR-OLD FRANCHISE NEARING THE END?

     The Ottawa Rough Riders lost their most promising ownership
candidate yesterday when AL-based businessman Elliot Maisel
reconsidered a tentative deal to buy the club after looking at a
league audit, according to this morning's OTTAWA CITIZEN.  A CFL
source told the paper Maisel backed out after and finding "the
financial picture of the team is worse than Maisel and the league
first imagined."  The team, which owes about C$1M to "unsecured"
creditors and C$500,000 to the league, has already spent another
C$500,000 from funds earned through season ticket sales for next
season.  The team also has committed to C$500,000 in sponsorship
deals for the '95 and '96 seasons.  A meeting scheduled for this
week between Maisel and CFL Commissioner Larry Smith has
apparently been cancelled.  While the deadline for the sale of
the team was yesterday, the team "really has until March 9-10,"
when the CFL's Board of Governors meets in Saskatoon, Sask.
Before the CFL meetings next week, The league "will likely"
approach Chicago restauranteur Horn Chen and FL developer Norton
Herrick.  "If an owner can't be found by next week, it is likely
the 119-year-old franchise will fold, or, at least, have
operations suspended for the 1995 season" (Don Campbell, OTTAWA
CITIZEN, 3/1).
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