CFL's Ambrosie says he's negotiating sale of Alouettes with multiple groups

Ambrosie, in Moncton this weekend for Sunday's Touchdown Atlantic game, said the sale process is "positive and productive."

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MONCTON — More than a month ago, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie went on national television and declared his optimism a deal to sell the Alouettes to brothers Jeffrey and Peter Lenkov would come to fruition.

It still might. But, from a distance, it also appears the situation has hit a roadblock without any movement or positive progress. A source told the Montreal Gazette the process again has been opened up to anyone with deep pockets and a love for the Canadian game.

While the Lenkovs’ exclusive negotiation window has expired, that doesn’t necessarily mean the brothers — who are originally from Laval but now live and earn their livings in Los Angeles — are out of the picture, according to another source.

Ambrosie, in Moncton this weekend for Sunday’s Touchdown Atlantic game between the Als and Toronto Argonauts, said he’s negotiating with more than two groups, while terming the process “positive and productive.”

He said he had no regrets with his public comments, made during a July 19 game between Ottawa and Winnipeg. Ambrosie has said little throughout the entire process, while the parties involved in the sale have been told they must abide by a non-disclosure agreement.

“Few things are perfectly linear. There are things you think are going to happen,” Ambrosie said before Sunday’s opening kickoff. My focus hasn’t changed and I have no regrets with what I said.

“It’s a positive environment. There are some impressive people at the table.”

The Lenkov brothers haven’t been seen or heard from since they attended a July 20 game against Edmonton at Molson Stadium. That marked the second time they watched the Als in person this season over the span of about five weeks.

Brossard financial adviser Eric Lapointe, a former Als tailback and president of the team’s alumni, remains very interested in purchasing the team and is the front-man for a group of wealthy investors. But those close to Lapointe said he has grown frustrated by the lack of response from Ambrosie after he presented his latest offer to purchase.

Montreal businessmen Clifford Starke and movie impresario Vincent Guzzo also expressed interest at various points. Guzzo quickly grew disenchanted with Ambrosie, among others, but Starke might still be involved.

“There are some new voices involved who weren’t there previously … some passionate Quebecers,” Ambrosie claimed. “We haven’t taken a single step backwards in the process.”

While Ambrosie is the commissioner, he works for, and reports to, the Board of Governors. They ultimately will have the final verdict on the sale, based on Ambrosie’s recommendations.

Their message to him hasn’t wavered through the process. Ambrosie’s mandate is to get it right, no matter how long it takes. And he now said there’s no timetable involved. Indeed, it seems the other teams are prepared to pay the Als’ bills for the remainder of the season, if necessary, although some are growing slightly disenchanted, a source claimed.