Lions owner David Braley ‘pretty out of touch’ with CFL’s COVID-19 situation

TSN reporter Farhan Lalji doesn’t buy David Braley’s notion that the CFL must play in 2020 or the league could risk folding altogether.

The B.C. Lions owner said in May: “I really believe that if we don’t play this year, there’s a very good chance that we won’t survive.” However, Braley feels teams must have fans in the stands if there are games played this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I truly believe David’s pretty out of touch. He hasn’t been involved in these Governor’s meetings, and he’s not actively involved in the day-to-day dialogue. He’s kept abreast of the situation by Rick LeLacheur who is the president, but I don’t believe he’s got his finger on the pulse,” Lalji said on TSN 1260 Edmonton’s, The Dave Jamieson Show.

Braley, the Burlington, Ontario resident has owned the Lions for 23 years, purchasing the franchise in 1997. During his time as owner, B.C. has won three Grey Cups in 2000, 2006 and 2011. The 79-year-old was CFL commissioner for one season in 2002, served as the chair of the league’s board of directors and inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

“David still has an antiquated way of how CFL business should operate. Look, at the end of the day, he writes the cheques and that matters. You have to give him full credit and respect him for that. But in terms of this particular process, I believe he’s a little bit out of touch,” Lalji said.

The CFL regular season was scheduled to kick-off on Thursday, June 11, however, Ambrosie has stated the earliest the league might return to play is September for a shortened season. Of course, the final decision on whether that indeed happens depends on what government and health officials deem safe for players and fans.

It doesn’t seem as though Braley’s sentiments are shared by the decision-making power players in the CFL.