Montreal’s Clifford Starke confirms he wants to buy ailing Alouettes


Montreal Alouettes' John Bowman (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown. (Graham Hughes/CP)

Montreal businessman Clifford Starke has formally announced his intent to purchase the Montreal Alouettes.

The 35-year-old chairman of Hampstead Private Capital put out a press release Thursday to confirm his interest.

"In a period of uncertainty in respects to the future of the Alouettes, I would formally like to announce my intention to pursue the necessary steps in order to purchase the team, whatever those steps may be, while respecting the process of the Canadian Football League. It is my desire and goal to bring the Grey Cup back to where it belongs — Montreal," Starke said in the release.

"Growing up in Montreal, I was privileged to have had a first-hand experience of the modern era glory days of the Alouettes. I was childhood friends with Brad Smith, the son of former president of the Alouettes, Larry Smith. I sat and watched throughout my formative years the power of the Alouettes organization, not only within the stadium, but also throughout the community and Quebec as a whole. I sat beside the Alouettes icon Larry Smith and had aspirations of being Michael Soles and Ben Cahoon. I stood for hours to watch the 2002 Grey Cup parade with over a million other Quebecois filled with Alouette pride."

Brad Smith, a former CFL receiver with the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos, is a consultant with Starke’s potential ownership group.

Starke, 35, has acted as a consultant, adviser and/or director to more than 15 publicly listed companies.

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