Clifford Starke Re-Emerges As Candidate For Alouettes Ownership
Montreal businessman Clifford Starke said that he has "made a new proposal to purchase" the CFL Alouettes after saying earlier this month that he was no longer in the running, according to Stu Cowan of the MONTREAL GAZETTE. Starke first made public his interest in purchasing the Alouettes in April, and said that he "hoped to buy them before the CFL season starts." Starke said that the new proposal he presented to CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie this week commits $35M (all figures C) to the project of "turning the Alouettes around and also shows his proof of funds." He added that he would own 90% of the Alouettes and has "other wealthy investors." Starke was "one of three Montreal businessmen who made their interest in buying the Alouettes public," along with Cinémas Guzzo President & CEO Vincenzo Guzzo and former Alouettes RB Eric Lapointe. Starke at times has "dropped out of contention, Guzzo got fed up with Ambrosie’s handling of the situation and lost interest, and Lapointe also announced his group was out." The CFL, which kicks off its season tonight, is now "believed to be negotiating with only one group," which could be Hollywood producer Peter Lenkov and his brother, Jeff (MONTREALGAZETTE.com, 6/12).
STEEP CLIMB AHEAD: The CP's Dan Ralph wrote under the header, "Montreal Alouettes' Ownership Chaos Clouds CFL's 2019 Kickoff." Whoever takes over the Alouettes "faces an uphill battle." The franchise has "reportedly lost" $50M since former Owner Bob Wetenhall bought the team in '97, including $25M the past three years and $12.5M in '18. The CFL has "steadfastly refused to discuss specifics regarding any proposed sale of the Alouettes." Ambrosie has said that there is "no definite timetable regarding a deal for the Alouettes, adding it’s more important the best agreement be reached and not the fastest" (CP, 6/12).