Monday, June 22, 2009

Mr. Braley's Bank machine

The last week has been pretty well dedicated to the examination of David Braley's philanthropic nature when it comes to the Canadian Football League.

Braley who owns the BC Lions , apparently helped facilitate the ownership of the Toronto Argonauts for David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, providing half of their down payment and additional cash when things got tight it seems.

In addition to that development, also relayed in the last week was the fact that he has also at times provided money for other CFL franchises, though those in need were not named, nor if the allowances have continued.

And while you have to at least admire his dedication to the game of Canadian football, is not his financial assistance somehow not a signal that all may not be well.

If one owner is having to bankroll a number of franchises at the same time to different degrees, in an eight team league that would not be considered good optics.

Going beyond that even in a larger league, to have one owner intertwined financially with a number of other teams does tend to cloud some lines of objectivity and competition one would think.

A number of years ago the idea was floated of one investor purchasing all of the member teams of the NHL and operating it in a corporate franchise plan, at the time the concept was dismissed and never even explored.

One wonders if perhaps someone didn't dust off that blue print and move it over to the CFL, all be it without sharing the details with any of the non compensated owners and league officials.

While you have to salute Braley's love for the game and his willingness to put his wallet where his heart is, perhaps seeking out some more solid financial investors might help to smooth out these occasional dips and spikes in the money flow.

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon was busy trying to put that fire out last week suggesting that there was a need for improved transparency in such matters, vowing to work with the league owners to make sure that such events are more clearly identified in an open manner.

Better yet, perhaps the league should find a way to make sure that the member teams are on a more secure financial footing without having to tap the Bank of Dave...

Anybody have the phone number for Jim Balsillie?
Hamilton Spectator-- The Braley conundrum

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