The CFL announced Tuesday that they have taken over operating the Montreal Alouettes once again. Mario Cecchini, former Alouettes president, has been appointed interim president and will be in charge of the franchise’s day-to-day operations under the league’s supervision. General manager Danny Maciocia will continue to focus on building the team’s roster for the 2023 season. This announcement comes on the first day of the CFL free agency.
The league has informed the CFLPA that they will assume ownership of the Montreal Football Club and all club operations will resume, including free agency and preparation for the upcoming 2023 CFL season. The league will fund all day-to-day operational expenses and make sure all financial obligations are met.
This is the second time in four years that the CFL has taken over operating the Alouettes. In January 2020, the franchise was sold to Ontario businessmen Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern, Spiegel’s son-in-law. However, Spiegel passed away in July 2021 before ever seeing the team play, as the CFL did not operate in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The CFL has now initiated an accelerated and formal sales process to find new ownership, with multiple parties expressing serious interest. They include individuals, groups, and businesses located in Montreal or elsewhere in Quebec. The league wants to express its gratitude for the stewardship of Spiegel and Stern, who purchased the team in 2020 at a critical time in its history.
Cecchini was hired as Alouettes president in 2020 and had signed a three-year contract. However, last December, he was informed by Spiegel’s estate that his deal would not be renewed.