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WestCoastJoe
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:34 am

Thanks for that article, David. It does not make for happy reading.

http://theprovince.com/sports/football/ ... rable-year
Buono was asked if he’s concerned about the state of the B.C. Lions.

Apparently the question struck a nerve.

“If I told you ‘no’ then you’d say I’m an idiot,” said the Lions’ head coach and GM. “If I told you ‘no,’ you’d say he has to be the stupidest guy in the world. How can he be here as long as he has and not be concerned?
“Remember one thing: I didn’t come back to coach to put myself through this misery. I came back because I felt the franchise needed to be stable and we needed to win some more games. Do you think that’s been resolved?”
Loyalty.
“This is miserable,” he said. “You think I’m having fun? You think I need the money? Come on. I don’t need any of this.”
It is not just fans that Braley is torturing. Put Wally Buono on that list. And prospective buyers.
“Believe me, I know (about the problems) more than anybody. I’m the only one here. We have no president and David (Braley) has a lot of things he’s dealing with. He’s trusting me.”
Cut Braley loose, Wally. Your loyalty to Braley should not come at risk to your health and happiness.
One source said if Braley would have gotten $20 million for the Lions, the deal would likely be concluded by now. But you just have to look at the current condition of the team and their attendance figures to know the asset isn’t exactly at its peak.
That would make it about money, not some other kind of reason, such as emotional attachment, et cetera.
That leaves one other explanation, and it’s disturbing. There’s some thought that, despite his public statements, Braley won’t sell the team. Instead, he’ll hang on and try to talk Buono into another year, and that would spell disaster for the Lions.
No one owes that kind of loyalty to David Braley. Cut him loose, Wally.

Wally has loyalty to David Braley. Wally also has loyalty to the Lions franchise, and, indeed, to the CFL. It might be time for Wally to have a serious talk with David Braley about it being time to move on, for both men. If Wally moves on, for any number or reasons, I expect David Braley would decide somewhat quickly, that it is time to sell the team.

Just IMO ...
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maxlion
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:06 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:27 am

I feel sorry for Wally, having to function as a CFL governor, team president, GM and coach with little support from above.
“This is miserable,” he said. “You think I’m having fun? You think I need the money? Come on. I don’t need any of this.”
“Believe me, I know (about the problems) more than anybody. I’m the only one here. We have no president and David (Braley) has a lot of things he’s dealing with. He’s trusting me.”
I hope it is resolved soon.
He has taken on a heavy burden for the sake of the franchise. This is why I have to shake my head when I see folks jumping all over him for declining attendance or when a player screws up on the field. The organization is not in a good situation, and Wally is far from the biggest problem. If anything, he is the only one holding things together.

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cjones2451
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:13 pm

I am so worried that the value of this team is plummeting weekly at this rate, and then David Braley bails on selling because he doesn't get what he wants for asking price......this team needs a fresh ownership group in this market or I feel next year might be even worse

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Sir Purrcival
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:14 pm

maxlion wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:06 pm


He has taken on a heavy burden for the sake of the franchise. This is why I have to shake my head when I see folks jumping all over him for declining attendance or when a player screws up on the field. The organization is not in a good situation, and Wally is far from the biggest problem. If anything, he is the only one holding things together.
While I am inclined to agree his motives were good, the mess that this group finds themselves in, the mess that WB has had to step in for to fill all these positions is in no small part due to his failure to find successful replacements for himself in his role of coach. He swung and missed twice with HC's and rather than go find another HC, decided to step back into the role himself. He missed on opportunities with individuals like Hufnagel and Dickenson. He has stuck with coaching personnel over the years that simply haven't been able to get the job done and remained steadfastly obtuse the problems that this team has had.

Safety, DLine, Oline, Off. game planning, kicking, Special Teams in general, have all been identified issues that year after year haven't been addressed. He isn't the total problem but he has been a significant contributor. Fair is fair, Braley has been an issue for awhile but so has Wally. A winning product on the field is the best sales tactic around both at the gate and in selling the team outright. There is hardly a poster on this forum who hasn't expressed their fair share of frustration at Wally for his decision making both in game and at the macro level. I am grateful for the good times he help create but I can't thank him for all the times that could have been great but weren't because he was too stubborn to know when to step aside, too inflexible to recognize his own shortcomings and just plain awful at charting a good course for this team post WB, HC.
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:52 pm

cjones2451 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:13 pm
I am so worried that the value of this team is plummeting weekly at this rate, and then David Braley bails on selling because he doesn't get what he wants for asking price......this team needs a fresh ownership group in this market or I feel next year might be even worse
That about sums it up. Also, Wally has been too loyal to his coaches as well. Look at the US Navy, too many accidents and you're removed from service.

TheLionKing
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:59 pm

If Buono returns as coach the Lions will be playing in front of an empty stadium. We know Buono will retain his coaching staff. Fans will not be paying good money to see more of the same.

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Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:19 pm

Wiles sounds less than convinced that Braley is trying to sell the team. My personal fear is he is dragging his feet in an effort to “encourage” the league to put up some money to help usher him out the door.

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mountaincat
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Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:15 am

a somewhat interesting idea from cfldb. if this is the kind of thing that makes braley tick and get off his goddamn arse and sign a deal then so be it. can't see how it sweetens an already sour pot for the prospective new owner though. if anything it seems like a bit of the "poison pill" approach to dealmaking...
I understand Braley hesitating on selling the franchise until he gets that price he’s always wanted to get for it, he’s a businessman. However, he has let the team decline to this state so the new owners have work to do.

Rather than hope another year will result in a better record and bigger crowds, he should sell a controlling interest and maintain whatever percentage he desires, for a pre-agreed period (1 to 3 years) at which time if the franchise’s fortunes have turned around, he can reap the reward in the sale of his remaining share at pre-determined prices. If he truly has the team’s and league’s interests at the forefront, this is the minimum he can do so the front office can be rebuilt this offseason.

-- https://cfldb.ca/single-points/2017/10/ ... ale-lions/

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Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:22 am

mountaincat wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:15 am
a somewhat interesting idea from cfldb. if this is the kind of thing that makes braley tick and get off his goddamn arse and sign a deal then so be it. can't see how it sweetens an already sour pot for the prospective new owner though. if anything it seems like a bit of the "poison pill" approach to dealmaking...
I understand Braley hesitating on selling the franchise until he gets that price he’s always wanted to get for it, he’s a businessman. However, he has let the team decline to this state so the new owners have work to do.

Rather than hope another year will result in a better record and bigger crowds, he should sell a controlling interest and maintain whatever percentage he desires, for a pre-agreed period (1 to 3 years) at which time if the franchise’s fortunes have turned around, he can reap the reward in the sale of his remaining share at pre-determined prices. If he truly has the team’s and league’s interests at the forefront, this is the minimum he can do so the front office can be rebuilt this offseason.

-- https://cfldb.ca/single-points/2017/10/ ... ale-lions/
So, under the above suggested scheme the initial major beneficiary of a off field successful turnaround (more fans in the seats) will not be the new owners, but Braley the old owner who was unable to have any recent success on his own. There is absolutely no incentive for the new owner to make the scheme work. The new owner would be better off and most likely to spend money on market research than actually do anything to get fans in the building. :dizzy:

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Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:40 am

B.C.FAN wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:27 am
David wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:01 am
The latest on the ownership odyssey. 3 things worth noting:

1) Has raised the interest (concern?) of Ambrosie and league
2) 3 candidates in the running
3) Interest from the Aquilini group has now waned (likely due to Braley's dithering)


http://theprovince.com/sports/football/ ... rable-year



DH :cool:
I feel sorry for Wally, having to function as a CFL governor, team president, GM and coach with little support from above.
Can't agree more. Thought the quick fix was as easy as putting a winning/entertaining product on the field but it's much deeper than that. Now there is plenty to be fixed on and off the field.
For a 67 year-old man with a history of heart problems it's time for him to walk away. Not the ending he wanted but his health is far more important. It might also help speed up the sale of the team too.

If the Waterboys are indeed the frontrunners and have Skulsky involved at all I will shake my head in disbelief.

The rumoured stadium in Surrey is for a Canadian Premier Soccer League team — in other words a minor pro team needing no more than 10,000 seats at the most.

http://www.surreynowleader.com/news/out ... orts-team/

Another interesting note is the Whitecaps announcing they have sold their FC2 USL (farm) team that has played out of UBC the past 2 years to a business group in Fresno, CA. Club will still be affiliated with Vancouver but won't be the source for all its players.

The crowds were apparently dismal at UBC (couple hundred per game) where the Whitecaps are now based out of with their new training centre next door.

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CardiacKid
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Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:00 am

Hambone wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:03 pm
IMO if Braley isn't already past exploratory discussions and into some form of formal negotiations by now then this club will not have new owners in place until well after New Years. Deals like selling a pro sports franchise take months not days or weeks. I remain confident a sale will happen by year end.
I so hope you end up being right Hambone.....

Because right now I am very afraid the off-field affairs of the club are going to negatively impact the performance of the team. IMO regardless of how folks feel about Wally’s abilities as a coach or GM, I think he has done a good job of insulating the team and players from the operational uncertainty of the Leo’s.

But in reading Wiles’ article, it sounds like the man has been worn to a nub.

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JohnHenry
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Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:51 am

A couple of facts to consider. Braley won't sell the Lions until the season is over. Even if he has a agreement in place, it won't be announced until December.

In a television interview a couple months back, Moray Keith intimated his group's offer was around $15M but he expected the final sale price to be in the $20M range.

A CPL team in Surrey would kill the Whitecaps, who drew fewer than 13,000 to their last game at BCP according to the pundits. The Whitecaps gross revenue is lower than the Lions and the soccer team was projected to lose US$6M last season (TFC loses were reportedly in the US$12M to $15M range.)

Braley was also accused of "dithering" the Argos sale to supposedly extract the maximum sale price, but he said after the deal concluded that Rogers was very tough to deal with, which held up negotiations. Rogers evicted the Argos from Skydome on the premise they were planting grass (a ridiculous idea which hasn't been mentioned since). Rogers then fought tooth and nail to keep the Argos out of the city-owned BMO, demanding Argo home games be scheduled a minimum of six days before a TFC game (allowing the grass to heal), that Bell/Tannenbaum pay the full $10M to renovate BMO and that the Argos pay MLSE market rates to lease BMO (reportedly $100k per game) and for concessions, etc.

There is little doubt Braley has the best interests of the Lions at heart and is not trying unreasonably hold-up negotiations. He reportedly lost over $20M in keeping the Lions afloat after he purchased the team, with no guarantee he'd ever be repaid. So the claims he's greedy or foolish by not selling the team already are probably misguided.

While Skulsky seems like the weak link, there probably was little that could have been done to reduce the exodus of Lions fans who got their football-fix by watching the resurgent Seahawks on TV, rather than torturing themselves on the trek to downtown Vancouver on our 3rd-world road system. (Vancouver was rated as the most traffic-constricted city in North America with longer average commute times than L.A., New York or Toronto.)

Compounding this was the league's decision to televise all Lions home games across the lower mainland. Some people claimed because the NFL, NHL & NBA don't blackout their home games, why should the Lions? Hmmm, maybe the CFL isn't a "major league" and many fans are satisfied to watch CFL home games...at home?

The Lions generate about $4M from TSN's contract which covers less than 20% of their operating expenses, while ticket sales bring in $10M+ for most CFL teams. But they can't blackout any home games despite fewer than 18,000 fans are showing up at BCP (because the CFL would look old-fashioned and would lose a generation of fans?) How has lifting blackouts really benefited the Lions or any CFL team?

This might be different if TV covered all the Lions expenses, like in the NFL. But this is not the case in the CFL.

The CFL had an ironclad home-game blackout policy for many decades because they believed if they televised home games many fans would choose to stay home. But instead, let's kill ticket sales to earn that huge $4M payout from TSN? Attendance has softened in every CFL market since they decided to lift home blackouts a couple of years ago (especially in the larger markets with long commute times).

Yes, televise all the road games and perhaps five home games (if attendance is over 20,000, for example) which would still leave 81 other CFL games (including 13 Lions games) that fans could watch on TV each season (no lost generation there). Fans would be encouraged to buy season tickets to be guaranteed to watch every Lions game.

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The_Pauser
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Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:13 pm

I'm glad to see the news that the Aquilini's interest in the team is waning. I've maintained from day 1 that I don't want these guys anywhere near the BC Lions. I had wavered a bit, under the condition that they are nothing more than a bank account and marketing resource for the team, and they bring in someone like David Sadoo as a part owner/managing partner of the team. If you look at how the Canucks have been driven into the ground due to their meddling ownership I don't understand how anyone who actually cares about the Lions would wish that fate on this team.

An ownership group headed by the Waterboys should be fine. Again, they will need to invest heavily in marketing and promotions, but these guys were all close with Bob Ackles, and are all successful businessmen that I'm not too worried.
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KnowItAll
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Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:44 pm

I wonder if it is possible that DB doesn't want to sell too cheap because he wants to make sure he sells to someone who is serious enough to spend more and who he can feel confident in that they will do right by the lions and not just have them for window dressing.
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Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:29 pm

JohnHenry wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:51 am
Braley was also accused of "dithering" the Argos sale to supposedly extract the maximum sale price, but he said after the deal concluded that Rogers was very tough to deal with, which held up negotiations. Rogers evicted the Argos from Skydome on the premise they were planting grass (a ridiculous idea which hasn't been mentioned since). Rogers then fought tooth and nail to keep the Argos out of the city-owned BMO, demanding Argo home games be scheduled a minimum of six days before a TFC game (allowing the grass to heal), that Bell/Tannenbaum pay the full $10M to renovate BMO and that the Argos pay MLSE market rates to lease BMO (reportedly $100k per game) and for concessions, etc.
I think "dithering" on the Argos sale is an unfair accusation. The Argos were unsellable at any price until the stadium situation was finally resolved. Until the deal was brokered to renovate BMO so that CFL football could be played there Braley was faced with trying to sell a soon-to-be homeless team, basically a worthless asset. As it was in their last season at Rogers they were already semi-homeless having to stadium-surf for 4 of their 9 regular season home games. The BMO renovation deal didn't finally come together until summer of 2014. The Argo sale agreement was finalized the following spring of 2015 with the keys being turned over December 31, 2015.
Last edited by Hambone on Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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