CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has dismissed rumours that legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady was part of a group interested in purchasing the Montreal Alouettes.
“All I can say is I don’t remember talking to Tom at any point during the process, so I don’t know where that rumour came from,” Ambrosie said during an appearance on 620 CKRM’s The Sportscage. “Look, he’s obviously an iconic figure in the game of football and had Tom indicated some interest, we would have loved to have talked to him. But I can honestly say this, there’s no way you could make me more thrilled than I am to welcome Pierre Karl Péladeau into the league.”
Brady retired in February after 23 seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The three-time NFL Most Valuable Player holds the record for most all-time pass attempts (12,050), completions (7,753), yards (89,214), touchdowns (649), and quarterback wins (251). He won seven Super Bowls and took home MVP honours five times in the big game.
Speculation around Brady’s interest in the Alouettes was sparked earlier this week by Saskatchewan media personality Rod Pedersen, who revealed on his daily sports show that a source told him the 45-year-old was part of a group intrigued by the idea of owning the CFL franchise — though he was not the chief financial backer. Pedersen stood by his report following Ambrosie’s comments, calling them “not a denial” and alleging that a second “big sports name” was involved.
The future Hall of Famer has shown an interest in sports ownership since stepping away from football, purchasing a minority stake in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces in March. Brady has also previously expressed interest in Canadian football, joking last year that he was “hoping I can get to go play in the CFL at some point” given his success in NFL international games.
The Alouettes were purchased by Quebec businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau on March 10 following a period of league stewardship. There were inquiries from as many as 10 other potential buyers before the CFL entered into an exclusivity agreement with the 61-year-old.
“The way he approached it, the way his organization approached the conversation with us every step of the way, they wanted this to be a win-win,” Ambrosie said of the team’s new owner. “Pierre Karl wanted to enter that first governors’ meeting, which he did yesterday, as a true partner to the Canadian Football League and the rest of the governors. And he did a spectacular job of that.”
Péladeau is the CEO of Quebecor, a Montreal-based media and telecommunications company that operates assets such as Videotron, Groupe TVA, Le Journal de Montreal and Le Journal de Quebec. He has an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion USD and is considered a major celebrity in the province.
Tying Brady’s name to the brand would have attracted greater global attention to the CFL, but the commissioner isn’t interested in entertaining that type of speculation. He is satisfied that the league found the best possible owner in Montreal.
“I don’t think there’s a group in the world that could have picked up the phone and called us that would have been more impressive than the way Pierre Karl Peladeau and his team handled this. We’re just absolutely thrilled,” Ambrosie said.
“Look, if Tom wants to call me, I’m happy to share my number. We can talk about other things. But for now, what we should all do is just focus on the fact that the CFL just got stronger in Montreal and we got stronger as a league.”