On Monday morning at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, the Canadian Football League turned the reigns of the Montreal Alouettes over to new owners of the club. S and S Sportsco, a corporate entity owned by Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern successful entrepreneurs with a deep love of Canadian football are now in charge of the historic franchise.
This was a quick accomplishment that started out just after the Grey Cup and culminated with a successful deal for the sale of the club. “These gentlemen emerged with the best offer in hand and the best interests of the Alouettes and their fans at heart,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said. “They have a genuine passion for football in Montreal and the resolve and resources to make the team successful over the long term”. Sid Spiegel is the founder and chairman of the board of Crawford Steel and son-in-law Gary Stern is the chief Executive officer and while both hail from Ontario, the company has operations and holdings in Quebec, including plants in Longueuil and Rouyn-Noranda.
Due to family commitments, Spiegel was unable to attend but Stern, who will sit on the board of governors to represent the club was front and centre for the handoff. “I wish Sid Spiegel was here to elaborate on how easy a decision it was to buy the Alouettes,” Gary Stern said. “He’s a visionary, brilliant, the most remarkable man you’ll ever meet. He (Spiegel) said the province of Quebec, seven to eight million people with a passion for football, they love their football. Let’s finish this deal, let’s make it happen and bring in the people to do it and it’s going to be a success.”
Next up for the owners is to lock in a new president and general manager which Stern said, “we’ve spoken with a lot of great candidates and don’t hold me to it but we could announce those positions by this Friday.” One key element is having head coach Khari Jones signed on for three years and with new owners confirmed, coach Jones can focus on the 2020 season. “It’s one of those things when you have things hanging over you,” Khari Jones said. “It takes a story away from the story on the field. Now having ownership in place, having that person at the top it’s nice for the province and nice for the league and now we can move on to other things.” The new owners are committed to the long run and, “we will be the most patient owners you’ve ever seen,” Stern said. “But we will expect of our president, our GM and our coach to perform and have that passion to put the absolute best team they can on the field.”