Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Is the CFL in danger of not getting it Wright?

CFL Commissioner Tom Wright has been given the terms of his one year extension and he should know them very well, they're the exact terms of the contract he's been serving under since taking on the job. Wright is apparently to decide this week whether he will accept the offer from the CFL's Board of Governors, but apparently there are a few who are hoping he tells the CFL to take a hike. From day one Wright has been under a microscope and in fact was almost not hired in a Grey Cup week mess that detracted from the leagues showpiece game.

Wright who has overseen a rebirth of sorts of the CFL has come under pressure from a number of sides for his desire to have an enforceable salary cap in place on all nine franchises. It seems that BC Lions owner David Braley and Montreal Alouettes owner David Wettenhall are both firmly on the side of those wishing to see the Commish vamoose.

Despite solid television numbers, increasing attendance figures and some intriguing sponsorship deals the always fractious CFL owners club continue to find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. Many of the CFL's current sponsors are suggesting they may review their investment plans with the CFL should the execution squad get ready to stand in line.

So far the only group to come out in favour of Wright retaining his job and growing with it are the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who seemed to find some time while wondering what's wrong with their club to offer up support to the embattled commish.

The rest of the six are somewhere in the middle neither overly enamored of Wright, nor really willing to put the league through another search for a Commissioner, seeing as Wright replaced Michael Lysko as Commissioner in one of the bloodier of CFL coups.

The sage editor of this Twelve Men blog, suggests that the owners group take a good hard look at their present situation and find a way to make peace with Wright and lock him up for a couple of years more. He's done a pretty impressive job of returning the league to a semblance of respectability and most of his mis-steps seem to stem from conflicting messages from the gang of nine that think they have the right to dictate their own terms of operation.

The CFL which has returned to the sports fan radar after a number of rudderless years should not do anything to mess up it's current rebirth. Dismissing Wright with the smell of interference and duplicity wafting through the air, will only highlight for fans that it may be a new wrapping, but inside maybe that old CFL mindset still exists. The gang of nine should do all they can to show that forward momentum includes Wright as commissioner, to do otherwise tempts the fickle fates that may lead them back down the same side of the mountain they just climbed!

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