Plan was, supposedly, Maciocia GM and Constantin head coach but everything seems weird confused and wrong ...

Félix St-Aubin
The sale of the Alouettes is like a soap opera. A breakout recently occurred and derailed Vincent Guzzo's ambitious plan. The entrepreneur points to Commissioner Randy Ambrosie to explain the failure to buy the Montreal franchise. A difference of opinion with Danny Maciocia is also found in the heart of the incredible story.

Maciocia told Radio-Canada Sports that he had "traded numbers" with Guzzo when he was greeted by the businessman at his home to discuss the position of general manager.

At first, he wanted to have me as general manager. I told him that I could help him, but I never told him that I would be an employee of the team because I am under contract with UdeM as a coach. The ultimate goal for me is to bring this team back into the hands of Montrealers, Quebeckers.

UdeM Carabins Head Coach Danny Maciocia
The scenario "skidded the next day" in the spirit of the instructor of the Carabins of the University of Montreal (UdeM) "when he began to call many people in the field of football and began to talk about hiring with people without my knowledge. "

"I did not like the structure, I did not like that vision, I did not share it," said Maciocia. That does not mean I was right, but I did not feel comfortable in it and I did not want to work like that. "

The strong involvement of Maciocia in the thorny issue of the sale of Sparrows is undeniable. The former Edmonton Eskimos CEO of 2007-2010 accompanied Guzzo during a meeting with Ambrosie in Toronto.

The head coach of the Carabins believes that this appointment was not unusual.

"This is not the first time I've met the commissioner with potential buyers. It's always serious when you sit down with the commissioner and discuss business and football plans. "

Ambrosia's flip-flop, according to Guzzo
Guzzo indicates that he had traveled "75%" of the path that was to elevate him to the rank of owner and that the "necessary verifications" were the missing part of the equation. The Alouettes' finances were presented to him during the process, he assures him, suggesting that the negotiations were at an advanced stage.

"When I ask you all the contracts that exist in capital and material and you give them to me, it means that you are laying bare. And you get naked only if you think we'll consume the deal. "

An agreement in principle even occurred a few weeks ago.

"During a luncheon we had on May 14, the Commissioner expressed the conditions he needed to present the plan to the Board of Governors and have approval. We got up, we gave our hands and I told him that I accepted his conditions. "

"The next day, I received an email from the Commissioner telling me that he had presented the offer to the Board of Governors and that he had strong support for me to become the owner of the Alouettes", comments Guzzo.

The proceedings continued until "one day, I was told that my offer was on the ice because there was another last-minute offer".

I'm not going to start bickering and force the league to sell me a team, and then I'll have to be part of a group that does not want me. If the league wants to go with someone else, it's better to let it go. It's like a blonde who does not want to stay, as they say, "You can not force a heart to love".

Montreal entrepreneur Vincent Guzzo
Guzzo still remained close to the case while waiting for the continuation of things, continuing his discussions with other people engaged in the process. He says he learned from one of them that "the last-minute offerer has been here since April 20 ... If that's the way it is, it's obvious that I'm just going to to desist, I will leave and forget that.

Barring a total turnaround, which is almost impossible, Guzzo's plan to acquire the Alouettes will never see the light of day.

"Before I realized that I was being manipulated into a process that I found very unfair, unfair and not transparent, I was interested in buying them. Yes, the interest at this level remains, but do I have an interest in wanting to work with the people with whom [the disagreement] has arrived? No, it does not interest me at all! "

The 49-year-old Montreal entrepreneur identifies a specific moment when he felt Ambrosie recoil in negotiations.

"I telephoned the Commissioner to ask him permission to speak with McGill University [about the Percival Molson lease] and told him that Danny Maciocia will not be part of my team. It was said that I would be coming back for McGill. After that, we had no access to anything, it was the big nothingness. "

Without naming them to avoid "making it a witch hunt," Guzzo says Alouettes players contacted him and expressed a bit of frustration, as did agents of players who tried to give him their opinion about the problem.

"It's a huge restructuring work at the business plan level, to redefine the vision and image of this team. I was going to take the chair for free because if I paid, I was going to hurt the process. The idea was to get out [of the debt], "he promises.

The Canadian Football League (CFL) did not return the call from Radio-Canada Sports.

A failed "Quebec alliance"
The president and CEO of the movie theater chain named after him set out to bring together the two most influential Quebec coaches at the provincial level.

"It was with Randy Ambrosie that I exchanged my vision, and having Danny Maciocia as CEO and Glen Constantin as head coach was part of it," says Guzzo.

A vision he shared with Maciocia during one of the meetings between the two men.

"It was a categorical nonsense [for Glen Constantin], we tried to explain to myself that coaching 19- or 20-year-olds and a professional like Anthony Calvillo is totally different. "

"At one point, he began to impose on me the world without discussion, says Maciocia. I have a lot of respect for Glen [Constantin], I've known him for 25 years [...] He's an excellent head coach. "

The driver of the Blues actually judges that being in command of a U Sports team and the CFL is "completely different". He claims to have "suggested Noel Thorpe, [Paul] LaPolice, Ryan Dinwiddie, Tommy Condell and even Glen [Constantine] was in the conversation."

"He had fixed ideas, wanted to have some people in place and also control the players," adds Maciocia. He told me that I could pick the top six [players] and he would pick the rest ... "

Words that Guzzo brushed aside when questioned about his involvement in Montreal football operations when buying the franchise.

"It's a joke, I can not even believe someone insinuates that. I do not know football enough to say that. But I remember saying something like that, he replies.

"I told him:" You will choose the best players possible in the six most important positions and, for the rest, I would appreciate if you look in our French and English universities and you try to find me local talent. That's what I told him, I never said I was going to pick the players. "

Constantin and Maciocia will not combine their efforts and will remain rivals in the Quebec university circuit, Guzzo abandons his project to acquire the Montreal organization and the Alouettes move on to another call. Again.