It is with great pleasure that the ELLA can announce the Brampton Excelsiors will remain in Brampton where they belong. After months of research and fighting, the OLA today notified our members that they have found the sale of the team by the BELC Executives to Joe Norton of Bug Juice to be illegal, voting not to approve it. Because of this the Board of Directors has disallowed both the proposed move and the sale of the team, reverting ownership back to the BELC and its members until such a time that those involved can produce documentation proving the sale was carried out legally.
By all accounts the proceedings of the sale violated both the BELC’s own constitution, as well as the Ontario Corporations Act. In April, three of our members, accompanied by Dean McLeod, presented this information to the OLA Board of Directors. After waiting for consultation with their lawyers and deliberation, we are ecstatic to hear they have upheld our stance.
Some have argued on social media that these are loopholes, they shouldn’t matter and the team was doomed. However these laws and rules exist for a reason. So that the membership, the rightful collective owners of a not for profit corporation’s assets, are not exploited or taken advantage of. They exist to stop exactly what happened to the Brampton Excelsiors. The membership had no say in this sale and in fact, were not even aware the team was being sold until after the contract had been signed and finalized. There is a lot which could have been done, which now will be done, had those in charge been transparent and faithful.
Over the past months while our group were the ones speaking out and fighting, we have had an incredible amount of support from BELC members, Brampton fans, alumni and even people from outside the Excelsiors family. That support was more important than we can say. There were times we all felt defeated and beat, but when we did the people counting on us to save this team pushed us through. We could not have gotten to this point without them. Those people have proven that there is a fan base for lacrosse in Brampton, that it’s NOT unviable to run an MSL team here. Thank you.
We know that there will be many lacrosse fans in Owen Sound upset to hear this news. The same way we wanted to save our team, they hoped to get a team. Owen Sound has a strong and respectable history of lacrosse, including a Mann Cup title. We sincerely hope that the MSL will make the continued effort to bring an expansion franchise to these fans who were promised Major Series lacrosse.
We’re all feeling really elated right now and are happy to have our team back. However this does not mean our work is over. Going forward the BELC membership must ensure that the right people are placed in charge. Change needs to happen and Brampton lacrosse cannot survive without it. What the future holds for the Brampton Excelsiors we cannot say. But do know that the ELLA will continue to do everything we can to secure the future of the team and promote lacrosse in Brampton. These events have guaranteed that whatever happens next to the team, will be with the agreement and consent of the BELC membership at large, not a select group without any other say in the matter.
“The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied,