Montreal entrepreneur Vincenzo Guzzo has hit the pause button regarding potentially buying the Montreal Alouettes due to a ‘conflict with a person at the heart of the discussions’, according to CBC Radio Canada reporter Michel Chabot.
Guzzo was spotted having dinner with CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie at a Toronto restaurant May 14. The CFL reportedly wanted Guzzo to be the new owner of the Alouettes. According to multiple reports the league is reportedly running the Alouettes and have been searching for a new owner to take over from Robert Wetenhall.
Coincidentally, I had a brief conversation with him yesterday. He indicated there was now a big IF behind his potential purchase of the team. I wasn’t going to tweet anything until I saw this https://t.co/taNzIjvYB7
— Herb Zurkowsky (@HerbZurkowsky1) May 27, 2019
The 49-year-old businessman is the president and CEO of Cinemas Guzzo, the largest movie operator in Quebec with 10 locations. He’s also the CEO for Groupe Guzzo, a construction company, Guzzo Hospitality and Guzzo Medical Services. He has been on the CBC show Dragon’s Den as an investor since September, 2018.
The Wetenhall’s has owned the Alouettes since 1997 when he brought the team back from the brink of insolvency. He was responsible for the team’s successful relocation to Percival Molson Stadium and eventually expansion while overseeing the team’s run of dominance from 1999 to 2012 when the Als finished first in the East Division nine times in 14 seasons, winning three Grey Cups.
The team has fallen on hard times in recent years, missing the playoffs for four straight seasons, the longest streak in franchise history. The Alouettes have struggled at the gate as well as fans have tired of the perpetual on-field ineptitude.
Providing strong local ownership such as Guzzo could have benefitted the Alouettes franchise, but the personal conflicts have gotten in the way of a transaction at the current time.