The old owners of the Montreal Alouettes could reportedly be involved in the new ownership of the team.
According to Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky: Numerous sources have indicated the family is ready to put some money into the financially strapped club again despite having sold the franchise to the league on May 31, months after being unable to find a new owner.
Bob and Andrew Wetenhall owned the team for a 22-year-span that included three Grey Cup championships, 10 first-place finishes and a record of 223 wins against 172 losses and one tie. 11 Alouettes were inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame during their tenure, including Bob Wetenhall himself, as a builder, in 2015.
“They’re solid citizens and happy the team’s coming back with new ownership,” said one source. “The Wetenhalls were very friendly with the Claridge people and said ‘if Claridge is involved, we want to be involved.’”
The CFL officially purchased the Alouettes from the Wetenhall’s in late May. The league and Wetenhall family had been working for several months to identify and assess potential new owners and that process is ongoing with Randy Ambrosie leading the way.
The Wetenhalls had owned the Alouettes since 1997 when he brought the team back from the brink of insolvency. 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.
Montreal enjoyed a resurgent season in 2019 as head coach Khari Jones led the Als to a 10-8 record and earned the franchise’s first post-season spot in four years. The interested Montreal-based ownership group involving Stephen Bronfman had representation at the Eastern Semi-Final, hosted by the Alouettes at Percival Molson Stadium, Zurkowsky reported.
Bronfman is the executive chairman of Claridge Inc. which is a company that represents the interests of the Bronfman family and is actively involved in the management of a diverse portfolio of investments in private equity, hedge funds, public equities, and real estate.
The sale of the Alouettes, according to a Zurkowsky source: “Is coming together. It’s all coming soon, I hope.”