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Wizards Owner Determined to Re-Enter CPSL


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Wizards owner determined to get back in CPSL

By JIM KERNAGHAN -- London Free Press

Following a blizzard of charges and counter-charges, one of the more fascinating disputes in Canadian soccer history is scheduled to kick off shortly.

That's the word from Ottawa Wizards owner Omur Sezerman, whose franchise was revoked by the Canadian Professional Soccer League last fall. He says his million-dollar lawsuit against the CPSL and other parties, including London City team president Harry Gauss, will begin next month when papers are served.

Others the multimillionaire owner is going after are the Canadian Soccer Association, Ontario Soccer Association, league president Vince Orsini and team owner Bruno Iarullo.

"I'm not here to destroy the league, I'm here to make it better," Sezerman said yesterday. "(The league) should be an inclusive club, not an exclusive club."

His suit seeks an injunction enabling his team to rejoin the league, plus compensation.

The league voted last fall to drop the Wizards franchise after what it says were repeated requests for $80,000 in players fees, bonds and so on. Sezerman, they feel, was still smarting after league members voted to hold the Canada Cup tournament in London rather than Ottawa.

Moreover, at the outset of the season-long all-comers tournament open to any senior team, Sezerman felt that as defending champion, his team should go directly to the final and not have to play preliminary games against lesser opponents.

Last fall, he sought an injunction preventing the final round of the competition from being held in London. After a 4 1/2 -hour session in Ontario Supreme Court, the judge ruled against the Wizards and gave Sezerman a dressing-down for bringing the dispute into his court when he hadn't exhausted customary avenues of appeal, such as the OSA.

League administrator Stan Adamson said yesterday that nobody named in the suit had been served with papers yet.

Sezerman was asked why Gauss was named.

"Because he called me 'obnoxious' in an article in your paper," he responded.

Told that I was the one who wrote it, his reply was quick: "Then you're going to be called into court as a witness."

Gauss said the league has operated much more smoothly without Sezerman and "we're all happy he's gone."

A lot of words have been used to describe the self-made millionaire -- brilliant, bombastic, passionate, vindictive, mercurial, litigious, overbearing, generous, hospitable are a few.

In four years, he quickly built the class team of the CPSL, installing it in the first-rate stadium he built in Carp.

There, soccer executives are invited to stay at the mansion he built for scientists and trainees visiting his high-tech medical-diagnostic equipment firm.

Sezerman doesn't like losing. In fact, he can't abide ties.

When the Wizards played to a tie against the North York Astros last September, players say they weren't permitted to watch movies on the bus during the ride home and they were hungry.

In a report to the league obtained by The Free Press, Robin Hart said he and teammate Kevin Nelson were fired in front of their teammates when they approached the owner to say the players hadn't eaten since 1 p.m.

"He blew up and started to curse at us," the report reads. "He then proceeded to fire us and say we were cut from the team. He then told Kevin that he had to be out of the house (that the Wizards provided for some of the players) first thing in the morning."

The team stopped at a fast-food restaurant 15 minutes later.

Sezerman, Hart says, called the two over and told them only the captain can speak for the team.

The owner, Hart claims, also added: "I was a nobody and that I cannot talk to him again," reiterating the player was fired.

Hart didn't return calls yesterday. The other players have been signed and remain under contract even though the team is without a league. Whatever happens next is likely to pale compared to next year. There have been two applicants for CPSL franchises in 2005 from the Ottawa area.

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I smell a plot for a real down-and-nasty "reality" television series. "Big-Obnoxious-Soocerclub-Owner Big Brother Survivor Series"

would be a least a working title while production starts.....

We've nothing to be envious of the Yanks now! Eat your heard out

Trump, Steinbrenner, Jones, etc......

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Alberto7, Mimglow, Sigma:

We could have easily built a Canadian league using provincial select sides same style as the Rugby Canada Super League see www.rcsl.ca (I know they want to try and have more than 6 games a year) Provincial sides could have become fullon teams and the provincial leagues would have been used for club soccer. This would have been a better use of existing resources.

Just a thought.

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quote:Originally posted by Impact supporter

Alberto7, Mimglow, Sigma:

We could have easily built a Canadian league using provincial select sides same style as the Rugby Canada Super League see www.rcsl.ca (I know they want to try and have more than 6 games a year) Provincial sides could have become fullon teams and the provincial leagues would have been used for club soccer. This would have been a better use of existing resources.

Just a thought.

There's no difference between the old provincial format and what the RCSL is now.

Soccer isnin't rugby. A different approach is needed.

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quote:Originally posted by cdr9999

why is that a arguement...CPSL is a joke..so is Robin and 98 % of everything and everybody associated with CPSL....period...do not even bother argueing that ...fact.....period...sorry but true

uh hi umm, anyone want to join my league?

- I have no teams but a crappy website

- I used to play in a 2-bit league, so I must know what I'm talking about (ex-players have an uncanny business sense)

- The CPSL is too expensive, but if anyone has any info on them, I'd consider an expansion team, but oh yeah, they suck, I forgot.

- The league's mission statement will be to insult existing crappy leagues with impunity since no one can retaliate because my league only exists in my head, so it must be perfect.

- My league will be perfect because the teams will own it, which is NOTHING like the CPSL (or exactly like the CPSL, I can't remember which)

- Did I say I was trying to start a league? my mistake I only represent one of the (many) teams thinking about joining. The REAL owners know what they're doing.

:D;):D

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Ok mr. cdr,

I read your post about the 'unfactual story' and, being on that bus when the incident happened, I beg to differ with your account.

Robin did not claim to be the captain, he simply asked when the team was going to eat. Actually the LFP gave a pretty good account of what happened. Why don't you get a life.

Secondly, the reason Sezerman 'exploded' probably had a lot to do with certain players on the team purposely 'testing' his patience during the game. I'm not condoning his actions in anyway, but lets get all the facts out.

Finally, who are the two 'proposed' Ottawa replacements?

Furthermore who is the root of this rumor

P.

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First off I would like to mention that none of this information was given to the LFP by myself. Instead it quotes my grievance letter filed with the CPSL dated Sept 24th, 2003. I got a call from the LFP asking me questions but I refused to comment.

Pony don't even waste your time with CDR9999 as L.T. clearly hit the bullseye.

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I'm now curious to know who Pony is? Is he a player, coach, media guy? Just wondering...I understand if you can't tell us.

And Robin, wondering why you wouldn't comment? I'm sure you have a good reason, but wouldn't you want to make sure your side of the story gets out the masses?

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No I am not concerned with the pettiness of using the media to prove my case. A judge will hear my case and that is good enough for me. I tried to exhaust all possible avenues without this going to court, going through the CPSL, OSA, and CSA finding no resolve. The CPSL leaked my grievance letter to the LFP for whatever reasons but I had no part in it. I was contacted and refused to comment.

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quote:Originally posted by DoyleG

[

There's no difference between the old provincial format and what the RCSL is now.

Soccer isnin't rugby. A different approach is needed.

What kind of different approach??? Australia's maybe??? They seem to have the same trouble as Canada. Keep in mind that the current owners of the Canadian clubs(Impact, Whitecaps) are not willing to break away from the A-League but seem to prefer a Canadian Open Cup(a more attainable goal at this point IMHO).

The reason I stand by the RCSL format is also because VERY FEW Canaidan cities would be able to have and sustain a professional team. Certainly not in Sherbrooke, Cape Breton, Lethbridge, Moose Jaw.

BTW waht was the ''old provincial format'' for Canaidan rugby?

PS when you make your ''white paper'' or ''green paper'' on Canadian soccer, will it be on the Web??

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