In a significant move amid a winless CFL season, the Edmonton Elks are parting ways with President and CEO Victor Cui, as first reported by TSN’s Farhan Lalji. An official announcement is expected to come as early as today.
The Staggering Fall of the Elks
The Elks have seen a steep decline in recent seasons, finishing last in the West Division in 2022 with a 4-14 record. This season, the team remains the CFL’s sole winless squad at 0-9. The situation has only worsened, with the Elks losing 22 consecutive home games—a North American professional sports record.
The recent loss against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers highlighted the team’s inconsistency. Elks head coach and general manager Chris Jones added that despite the frustrations, the team remains hard-working.
Victor Cui’s Tenure
Cui, a proud product of Edmonton, took over as president and CEO in January 2022, succeeding Chris Presson, who was terminated following the 2021 season. Since Cui’s appointment, the team’s performance has been abysmal, going 4-23 in the regular season.
During his tenure, the club also recorded a net operating loss of $3.3 million in 2022, losing money for the fourth consecutive year. Fan attendance has also dropped.
Jones, who was hired before Cui’s arrival, expressed enthusiasm about working with Cui but acknowledged the difficulties of midseason changes to football operations, citing the league’s operations cap as one of the hindrances to overcoming the team’s challenges.
The Edmonton native’s departure leaves the team at a crucial crossroads, with the Elks’ game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-5) coming up on Thursday, Aug. 17. With attendance figures dwindling, the Elks will need to reevaluate their approach if they want to turn the season around.
The Elks’ future remains uncertain as they seek to rebuild their reputation and regain fans’ trust. While the players are working hard, the organization must address its leadership void and strategize to overcome a historic losing streak. Cui’s departure marks a new chapter in the club’s efforts to reshape its image and performance on the field.
As Edmontonians and CFL fans await the next move from the struggling franchise, the eyes of the league are on the Elks, waiting to see how they respond to their current crisis.
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