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SammyGreene
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Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:32 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:According to Rick Dhaliwal of News1130 Sports, David Braley is looking to take a bigger role for himself this year in running the Lions. Dennis Skulsky has given up the presidency but will remain with the club at Braley's urging as vice-chairman, working two to four days a month. Braley is acting president and could end up in that role full-time, but he is also interviewing for the vacancy.
Can he hurry up sell please? This is getting crazy. Skulsky tries to step away entirely for the 2nd time in 12 months and is urged by Braley to stick around in a limited role. Now Braley could be assuming the president position full-time at the age of 75. Exactly what the doctor ordered for the declining attendance and the team's perception in the marketplace. From Bob Ackles remarkable leadership to this. Yikes!

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Sir Purrcival
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Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:02 pm

I'm sure he would he if got the right offer. However, don't hear much about people or groups lining up to make an offer. Be careful what you ask for. A hasty stroke is more likely to be off target. Probably would be worthwhile however to find some more team Alumni to be a face of the franchise. That is how you keep older fans interested and how you draw in new fans.
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TheLionKing
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Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:26 pm

Lame duck franchise at the moment. Didn't Buono stated that this is his final year ?

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Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:15 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:According to Rick Dhaliwal of News1130 Sports, David Braley is looking to take a bigger role for himself this year in running the Lions. Dennis Skulsky has given up the presidency but will remain with the club at Braley's urging as vice-chairman, working two to four days a month. Braley is acting president and could end up in that role full-time, but he is also interviewing for the vacancy.
Tough to read much into that. Is it really about getting more involved or just being as involved as had initially been planned last year prior to him taking ill. Regardless I take it as indication he's returned to health which is the most important thing. I think in terms of a potential sale it's also important that he is healthy and absolutely in charge as opposed to trying to broker a deal while convolescing or "gulp" worse like in an estate sale.
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Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:29 pm

TheLionKing wrote:Lame duck franchise at the moment. Didn't Buono stated that this is his final year ?
I don't recall Wally saying this is his last year other than in the context that it's the last year of his contract. I'd probably be more surprised than not if it wasn't his last year. Having said that if Braley doesn't broker a sale prior to 2018 and asked him to stick around for 1 more year I think Wally would probably do it. At the same time Wally has always been big on succession planning. Simon and McAvoy have been loyal soldiers. It's only a matter of time before they lose one or both if they see no opportunity to advance in BC.

Assuming a sale is brokered sometime this year it wouldn't surprise me if a n ownership group might not ask him if he's interested in some sort of consulting role.
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Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:06 pm

SammyGreene wrote:
B.C.FAN wrote:According to Rick Dhaliwal of News1130 Sports, David Braley is looking to take a bigger role for himself this year in running the Lions. Dennis Skulsky has given up the presidency but will remain with the club at Braley's urging as vice-chairman, working two to four days a month. Braley is acting president and could end up in that role full-time, but he is also interviewing for the vacancy.
Can he hurry up sell please? This is getting crazy. Skulsky tries to step away entirely for the 2nd time in 12 months and is urged by Braley to stick around in a limited role. Now Braley could be assuming the president position full-time at the age of 75. Exactly what the doctor ordered for the declining attendance and the team's perception in the marketplace. From Bob Ackles remarkable leadership to this. Yikes!
A team president who resides in Hamilton and is a 75-year old survivor of a very recent and apparently life-threatening illness. A vice-chairman with 24-48 day work schedule for a year. I am not liking the sound of this; especially in regards to who will be on the ground locally, making decisions. I guess none of the offices at the team facility will have a sign saying "the buck stops here"; instead it will say "the buck stops in Hamilton".

This still leaves me feeling like the local leadership will have more holes than a spirit catcher.

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David
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Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:53 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:According to Rick Dhaliwal of News1130 Sports, David Braley is looking to take a bigger role for himself this year in running the Lions. Dennis Skulsky has given up the presidency but will remain with the club at Braley's urging as vice-chairman, working two to four days a month. Braley is acting president and could end up in that role full-time, but he is also interviewing for the vacancy.
So despite some alarming attendance decays in recent years, our owner - who's not a big proponent of marketing and promotion ("wins drive gate") and despite being 3,400km away, will be taking on a bigger role for himself with a vice-chairman working part time.

Meanwhile, the 3-4 interested parties (according to reports) may well lose interest waiting for that purrfect confluence where "I've decided to retire" meets "sell for maximum profit."

Great. :dizzy:


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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David
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Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:01 pm

Interesting column by Ed Willes tonight on the state of the Lions ownership situation. Still not clear on whether Braley wants to sell (no surprise there), but as I speculated in my above post, some interested parties have now said, "no thanks" due to all the dithering, leaving Aquilini (with Dave Sidoo presumably his Team President) as only interested and viable local party.

For link to column CLICK HERE.

Ed Willes wrote:Let’s, for the moment, ignore all the complicating factors and examine the situation on its most fundamental level.

The B.C. Lions’ brand needs a major overhaul. Their owner, David Braley, saved this franchise in the mid-’90s and helped restore its former glory. But Braley, who turns 76 in May, has been trying to sell the team for the last handful of years and the uncertainty over the Lions’ future has contributed to the perception this is a deteriorating business.

Since the 2011 Grey Cup, attendance has been in steady decline. Team president Dennis Skulsky has also taken on a reduced role in the organization and football overlord Wally Buono is in the last year of his contract.

Add it all up and it seems like the purrfect time for a change in direction.

As it happens, the Aquilini family is interested in buying the Lions. The Aquilinis own the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks and have experience in the operation and marketing of a professional sports franchise. They also look at the model provided by the Calgary Stampeders and their majority owners, the NHL’s Flames, and believe they can turn the Lions into a profitable venture.

True, they’re not football people but they’ve talked to former CFL player Dave Sidoo, a successful Vancouver businessman who helped build the UBC football program into a national power, about being involved in their group.

So, again, add it all up and there would seem to be a fit. Braley has always maintained he wants to sell the Lions to a local ownership group and can be confident that the Lions will have deep-pocketed owners who’ll invest in the franchise. In Sidoo, he’ll also have a football man whose name carries some weight in the community.
UBC football coach Blake Nill, left, talks with benefactor and alumnus Dave Sidoo.

UBC football coach Blake Nill, left, talks with benefactor and alumnus Dave Sidoo. Rich Lam / UBC Athletics

The Aquilinis, for their part, will have another asset in their business empire and can trade on the synergies created by the Canucks and the Lions.

I mean, doesn’t this sound like a win-win? Doesn’t this sound like a solution to everyone’s problems?

In the immortal words of Ralph Fiennes in Hail Caesar!: Would that it were so simple.

The saga of the Lions’ sale, which has now been running longer than The Producers, appears to be reaching a resolution as the team prepares for a new CFL season. The key word there, of course, is ‘appears.’

Braley has suggested there have been up to four groups interested in buying the Leos but the names connected with the transaction — real-estate developer Robert Bosa, a consortium led by longtime Lions loyalist Moray Keith — have reportedly lost interest, leaving the Aquilinis as the last men standing.

According to one source, the Canucks’ owners have made an offer which, depending on who you talk to, was either rejected or is being considered.

Braley could not be reached for comment on Thursday but the long-held view is his idea of the Lions’ worth isn’t necessarily shared by potential buyers. From Braley’s perspective, the CFL’s TV contracts runs through 2021 and pays the Lions $4-million-plus annually. The potential for growth at B.C. Place is also a consideration.

As for the buyers, they see a team struggling at the turnstiles which doesn’t share in the concession or parking revenue at The Dome. Back in 2012, the Stampeders were valued at $17 million when the Flames purchased a majority interest in the franchise and participation in the revenues generated at McMahon Stadium. That deal led one source to ask how the Lions could be worth north of $30 million if that was the price tag on the Flames.
B.C. Lions owner David Braley has suggested there have been up to four groups interested in buying the football team but several names connected with the transaction have reportedly lost interest, leaving the Aquilini family as the last men standing.

David Braley has suggested there have been up to four groups interested in buying the football team but several names connected with the transaction have reportedly lost interest, leaving the Aquilini family as the last men standing. Jason Payne Jason Payne / PNG

Part of the problem is it’s unclear how much Braley wants for the Lions. A source familiar with this story say the Keith group was frustrated by a constantly shifting landscape and used the phrase “all over the map” to describe the terms of the sale.

There’s also some question concerning Braley’s desire to sell the Lions. The Hamilton-based industrialist has great affection for the team and for Buono and parting with the Leos would be an emotionally charged decision for him.

“I’m not sure if he wants to sell right now,” said one source.

But, whatever else it is, the Lions are a heritage franchise which has a loyal following in this market and that gives it value. What that value is has yet to be determined but, under the right circumstances, you can see the Aquilinis and Sidoo investing in the business, rebuilding the brand and bringing fans back to B.C. Place.

That, in turn, would make Braley happy.

Maybe it is that simple.
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

louharris74
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Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:44 pm

I'm totally o.k. with the Aquilini's owning the Lions, especially if Sidhoo is also involved. Important to have a football guy involved. Deep pockets also important in terms of investing in the team i.e. practice facility, marketing.

I can see Wally sticking around to some degree for 2 or 3 more years. Other than the marketing aspect, especially ticket pricing for the end zone seats, the current management team is doing o.k., especially the football operations side/scouting/bringing in new talent. Need to keep the younger management types like McAvoy and Simon in the den.

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Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:46 pm

$25 to 30M selling price should get it done. Drop in the bucket for the Aquilini's.

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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:50 am

Re Ed Willes' column ...

Good information.

It seems that, having saved the franchise, the Lions have become dear to Braley's heart. He is reluctant to sell. Understandable and laudable.

Fans have been very patient with his hemming and hawing about selling, it seem to me. $25 M to $30 M is pushing it. It might be worth that after a new ownership injects life back into the franchise for a handful of years. I think he is reaching a point of serious loss of value if he does not act. As we hear, prospective buyers lose interest as the negotiation environment continually changes.

Time to act. I hope David Sidoo is part of a new ownership group. I hope he does not lose interest due to Braley dithering.

Blake Nill as a potential future coach? Sure. His credentials are impressive.

Just IMO ...
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Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:37 pm

I am not going to hold my breath waiting on a sale. The hesitancy to sell on the part of Braley could be seen as rooted in sentiment and nostalgia or perhaps a more cynical view that Braley knows his asking price will not be reached by a local ownership group and the league will jump in to sweeten the pot in order to budge Braley to sell.

Personally I have found the statements of Lions ownership and operations management as to the timetable for sale to be contradictory. Current objectives fly in the face of the previously stated goal of a sale within 2 years (that deadline has long since passed).

Braley can proceed as he wishes; it is perfectly within his rights. But there needs to be an awareness of how his lack of any sort of progress is reflecting on potential owners and fans. Soon it may become a situation like the Argos now face; players and coaches are giving the team a pass because nothing seems to be happening in regards to giving the team's future a positive shape. For now, I think the team can thank its lucky stars that the performance of the team on the field has been as good as it has been. Otherwise fans would be staying away in greater numbers and players will simply take their wares to other teams that can offer them some degree of solidity.

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Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:12 pm

louharris74 wrote:$25 to 30M selling price should get it done. Drop in the bucket for the Aquilini's.
One ex might make it a bit more expensive. BB
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SammyGreene
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:26 am

Moj provided a little bit of insight on 1040 yesterday. He is a close acquaintance of someone involved but would not say his name (hello David Sidoo). Said the two sides are far apart in money with Braley wanting $30-40 million and the Aqullinis offering between $15-20 million.
Would hope $25 million would get it done. Somewhat middle ground and a fair bit more than the $17 million the Forzani group paid for the Stamps.

If Braley is going to hold firm at least $30 million and there is no urgency to sell then this could continue to drag on. But as Willes pointed out there no longer several local groups banging on his door and this might be as good as it gets. The fact the Aqullinis have Sidoo involved is very encouraging in how they are approaching this.

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The_Pauser
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Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:08 am

Interesting that Sidoo would be brought in to head the football operations. Though I still don't trust the Aquilini's. They have meddled in the Canucks business which has led to that organization becoming a complete laughingstock. I do not want their finger prints on this team.

Would have been nice to get a deal done with Bosa.
THINK about it

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