A new potential buyer has emerged for the beleaguered Montreal Alouettes franchise, news that was first reported by living legend Herb Zurkowsky.
I’m told Cote St. Luc businessman Clifford Starke will issue a press release Tuesday morning, indicating his “intent to purchase” the #AlsMTL. But there will be many hurdles to clear before any of this can come to fruition
— Herb Zurkowsky (@HerbZurkowsky1) April 8, 2019
There’s not much public information on Starke, though this story from Dan Ralph at the Canadian Press says he is the 35-year-old CEO of Hampstead Private Capital, which appears to be registered in Bermuda and has “acted as a consultant, adviser and/or director to more than 15 publicly listed companies.”
According to Ralph, Starke has hired former CFL receiver Brad Smith – who is probably more famous as a Bachelor contestant – as a consultant. In addition to his playing career (16 catches in 19 games over two seasons with Toronto and Edmonton), Smith is the son of former Alouettes president Larry Smith.
“This is not purely a business decision, it’s a passion decision,” Smith told Ralph. “The guy wants the team and wants to do it for the right reasons.”
Meanwhile, the current state of the Alouettes remains as clear as mud. Zurkowsky tweeted on Friday that the Wettenhall family is out, a report that was contradicted by TSN’s Farhan Lalji. And former CFL player Eric Lapointe, who was part of a group trying to purchase the club, is out.
I will reiterate, according to my information, the Wetenhall family is out. Whether it’s now or an hour from now. And the league knows it won’t look good to say it’s running the team. As for Eric Lapointe, indeed, he’s out, regrettably. He and his group would have been good. https://t.co/dtuOFUmxNg
— Herb Zurkowsky (@HerbZurkowsky1) April 5, 2019
???? Éric Lapointe explique pourquoi il n’est plus dans la course pour acquérir les Alouettes https://t.co/Woq804ieON
— Didier Orméjuste ???????? (@DidierRDS) April 5, 2019
With the season right around the corner, you’d think the CFL would want to get this resolved soon…
The Alouettes are dangerously close to where the Ottawa Renegades were in the spring of 2005. Minimal season ticket and sponsorship revenue keeping team afloat in off-season. But if there's no owner by opening day, who covers the $500,000 or so for players just to survive Week 1? https://t.co/Cg69iZzUTM
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) April 8, 2019