(WINDSOR, ON) – For the fourth time this season, the Windsor AKO Fratmen won their Ontario Football Conference game. But Saturday’s tilt didn’t go according to team owner Mike Morencie’s plan, nor that of head coach Mike Lachance. It didn’t happen at all.
At one minute to midnight Thursday evening, Morencie received an email from the league informing him that the Saturday contest was cancelled, and that the Grand River Predators would be forfeiting to the Fratmen. The reason? A lack of players.
Morencie isn’t buying it.
“I know the league would rather I take the high road, but I’m not ready to take the high road on this one,” Morencie said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “I’m a little bit irritated about the whole situation. This is unprecedented, I’ve never seen this happen before.”
More likely, the lack of players was only part of the excuse and the team ownership just didn’t want his players embarrassed by a lop-sided score to the league leading, and past two seasons champions, Fratmen. The Preds are 0-4 this season.
“On a Thursday to find out that you’re not playing is a little crazy,” Morencie explained. “Cancelling a game is way worse then putting a game on.”
Each team in the Ontario Conference plays an eight game season, half of which for Windsor are at their home field of EJ Lajeunesse High School. With the cancellation of one of their home dates, Morencie says they now have less opportunity to recoup the expenses incurred during their away games.
He gave an example of the Fratmen’s trip to play the Ottawa Sooners on August 29. The excursion cost the team in the area of $11,000, including transportation, meals, and accommodation. With the cancellation of Saturday’s game against Grand River, Morencie and the Fratmen have just three opportunities for earning revenue to offset their expenditures.
“I’ve contacted the league office,” Morencie indicated. “I want to know what we going to do about, I called it, ‘income recovery.’ We’ve got some costs to recover and we’re going to go to great lengths to get those costs recovered.”
Due to scheduling conflicts, the game cannot be played. Even an offer made by the Fratmen to move the game to Sunday afternoon was turned down by the Grand River ownership.
Windsor now has a bye-week while Grand River plays host to the London Beefeaters on Saturday. The Fratmen will see action on September 26 when they welcome the Hamilton Hurricanes (3-1) to town. Kick-off will be at 4:00 pm.
Listen to Mike Morencie’s complete media conference statement.