Ownership group in place to buy Ramblers

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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Membership to vote on $1 sale to five partners offering $100,000 in support

AMHERST - The Amherst junior A Ramblers could enter a new era as an ownership group has come forward to buy the 42-year-old hockey club.
The five-member group would put up $100,000 to support the team and then buy it for $1. It's not known whether the group was made up of individuals or businesses or a combination of both, but the group is comprised of local entities who would keep the club in Amherst as part of the terms of the sale.
"I'm not saying we're going to do it, but I think if we found somebody with some backing to take over the organization and guarantee the club stays in Amherst it might be a great thing to look at," Ramblers president George Baker said after a membership meeting last night at the Amherst Fire Hall.
Sixty-eight members of the Ramblers organization attended last night's meeting and it would be those 68, plus the other 93 members who didn't attend, who would vote on whether or not to allow the team to be bought.
"It's something I brought back to the membership tonight," Baker said. "It's up to the membership to vote on it."
Baker would like to see the vote take place in the next four to six weeks. The team's bylaws state they have to give at least three weeks notice before a vote.
"I would like to have a meeting on this before the draft so that we know where we're going," Baker added. "Because if we go to the draft in June without a decision, we'll be in the same situation as any other year and have no money to buy players."
Last night's meeting was called to talk about the team's bylaws, and that's what the members discussed for a little more than an hour.
It wasn't until near the end of the meeting that Baker dropped the bombshell about an ownership group stepping forward to buy the team.
With gate receipts down over the last few years, several members at last night's meeting were pro-ownership, while others were lukewarm to the idea.
Baker said whether people want an ownership group to take over the team or not is beside the point.
"If we don't want a ownership group, we will need people to donate money and donate time so we have money in the bank come draft time," Baker said. "We need to have something in place by the draft in June.
"If we vote to keep the team owned by the community, we need some of these people who signed up as members to ask if they are here to help and work as a group or if they're here to work against the executive.
"We were voted in by the membership but we've had certain people working against this organization."

dmathieson@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Ramblers organization

Geographic location: AMHERST

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Recent comments

  • RAM FAN
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Its sad to turn the success or failure of our Ramblers into a personality conflict between the existing president and a newcomer willing to offer his name for this position. Mr. Baker says he's going nowhere BUT it isn't really up to him OR is it? I'd say with his business being directly affected by the Rambler fan turnout he could possibly be in a conflict of interest situation. Anyway you look at Jr. A Hockey today, it's staggering how much it costs to be competetively involved and organizations have to be run rxactly like a business. There's no place for this backstabbing that appears to be a prevalent source of discord among the Executive & Volunteers & Fans. Lets do what's right for our Ramblers and get out & support them at THE GATE!! If it means new faces at the helm, so be it. Let the membership make the choice as the Constitution states. GO RAMS!!!!!

  • danny
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    well put ram fan

  • jimmy
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    i like to get something straight here,people think i have it in for the rams i really do not.what i do have is a problem with the presidents son telling me what i can say an do at a hockey game last year i was told in no uncertain terms to shut my mouth and stop saying neg commets about the way crocker was coaching .that is the son of george baker so i talked my 5 other friends to go to the games in springhill i was a season ticket holder for 17 years so until things change there my buddies an i will go to springhill,

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Very impressive job by Secretary Barry Doyle in explaining the proposed minor changes to the by-laws as was recommended by Joint Stocks. Those in attendance brought up many viable ideas and proposals. Some of these will be presented in writing at the next membership meeting to be asnnounced. It looks like the membership are starting to jell into a valuable working group with the survival of the Jr A Ramblers being of primary concern.

  • Sam
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    The sale of the Ramblers to private enterprise is long overdue. While the current executive and wealth of volunteers have done a great job in keeping the franchise alive, it is on a shoestring budget and without the influx of much-needed capital, the best the team can hope for is to languish in mediocrity. As for the sale of the team and it being agreed to by unanimous vote by the executive, I think if memory serves me correctly, that information is incorrect unless the dynamic has changed in recent times. The Ramblers have been operated by corporate and private interest in the past, but due to its society status, I believe the team in fact is still under the auspices of the Town of Amherst and any decision to sell the team would have to come from them. This was the case on several occasions in the past when private individuals sought to acquire the assets and debts. If this arrangement has changed, then I am incorrect.
    That being said, it is time for a change and $100,000 is a lot of money to use as a base point for a Junior A team to use as operating capital and with additional revenues, should be able to move to the next echelon of the league for a long time.

  • danny
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    to jimmy i have never told people to stop saying anything unless they we swearing we do have kids that go to these games.From danny

  • Robert
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    It was a good meeting with some healthy discussion about by-laws. I am pleased to hear a willingness to incorporate additional by-law changes to be put forth from the members. As for selling the team, it's an interesting idea. Personally I like the concept of a community based team, and I believe that model can work with some adjustments. However a privately owned team is certainly an idea worth exploring. The members will need a lot more information starting with the identities of the 5 member ownership group, as well as their plans for the team, ensuring the Ramblers stay in Amherst, and a lot of other information to make an informed decision.

  • so happy
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    i was at this meeting, was run very professional, great job with the leadership of the president and exective.

  • Ram
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Private ownership would be the absolute best thing for this franchise by far. It would be the best case scenario to make it what it should be in the league

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    To the Ramblers advantage for a push for a play off berth, both the Halifax and Yarmouth teams lost last night. So therefore it is my belief that Amherst still has a fighting chance to make a run in the post season.

    GO AMHERST RAMBLERS GO

  • Jack on the rocks
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Good job Mr.Baker.If the Ramblers want to be around in the years to come,the members better look hard at this idea or the *lukewarm* members will be watching the Cool Blues instead of the Rams.Great idea on the part of the Pro-members.

  • Hockey Fam
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    One question!! What would happen if the same offer comes in and the membership gets to vote on which one to except? Would the board agree to the same deal or put up a fight? Would these 5 people, which Mr Baker talked about, keep the same people on the board? This very well be a conflict of interest.

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Danny you may be the President's son, however I find it hard to keep up with you in the volunteer work that you do in helping to keep this team in the survival mode. Your contribution is far and beyond the call of duty(as we say in the military). I do believe that the members will all take last nights meeting as a sign of good things to happen. There are always others who think they can do better and that is their GOD given right. I for one congratulate them for their honesty, all good ships can expect a rough sea from time to time, however this will make them stronger in the end. Come on members let's all join together to make the AMHERST JR A RAMBLERS A
    success today and in the future.

    Thank you.

  • Jack on the rocks
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Hey jimmy e,you and dave c never had anything good to say about the rams unless they were winning.Good riddance,Springhill can have ya both.