TORONTO — The owners of the Toronto Argonauts say they are “weighing” the future of the CFL team, stopping short of saying it’s for sale.
David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski made the comment in a statement issued Wednesday after a Globe and Mail report said they are considering selling the team.
“We want to make it clear we remain the dedicated owners of the Toronto Argonauts, committed to the franchise’s success both on and off the field, and particularly in the community,” the statement said.
“However, we do explore different opportunities and are weighing what is in the best interests of ourselves, our families, and the future of the Toronto Argonauts.
“We will continue to keep the Canadian Football League and commissioner Mark Cohon informed of any developments, and will certainly inform Argonauts fans, the heart and soul of our franchise, of any real news.”
In June, it was revealed that B.C. Lions owner David Braley fronted Sokolowski and Cynamon half the $2-million franchise fee to purchase the Argos out of bankruptcy in 2003, and continued to lend the team money.
Sokolowski and Cynamon said Braley offered the assistance at the time to help make the purchase of the Argos more attractive during a difficult time for the team. Braley issued his own statement later Wednesday.
“Recent news reports have referred to rumours regarding my ownership of the British Columbia Lions. I want to stress that the team is not for sale,” he said. “I remain the team’s owner, proud of its accomplishments, both on the field and in communities across British Columbia, and dedicated to its future success.
“As an individual, I have always strived to act in the best interests of the Canadian Football League, something that unites this country and that I care deeply about, and I will always do what I can to strengthen our league, and my team, the B.C. Lions.”
Cohon also weighed in with a statement.
“Recent news reports have included speculation on the future ownership of Canadian Football League teams,” he said. “I want our fans to know that I am in constant communication with all of our owners and governors, who keep me informed of important developments. I am absolutely confident that they are committed to the integrity of our game, and what is in the best interests of our teams, our fans, and the future of our league.”
The Argos are enduring a second straight miserable season on the field, and take a league-worst 3-11 record into Friday’s contest with visiting Edmonton.
It’s unclear what the statements mean for the team, and Sokolowski and Cynamon urged fans not to get caught up in a guessing game.
“We will not indulge in speculation that distracts from what remains our focus: what is best for a game, a team and a league that we truly cherish,” they said.