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Montreal Alouettes drop cheerleading team for financial reasons

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes say they are cutting their cheerleading team because of financial considerations.

The CFL club informed the cheerleading team of its decision Wednesday.

Toronto-based businessmen Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern purchased the club from the CFL last month. The CFL had been operating the team since the Wetenhall family sold it to the league last spring.

All eight other CFL clubs have cheerleaders.

Six NFL teams — the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Cleveland Browns — do not have official cheerleaders.

The Alouettes released a statement explaining their reasoning.

"In the current context of financial turnaround, difficult decisions must be made. It is with regret that we informed the cheerleader team this morning that they will not return in 2020," the Alouettes said.

"This decision has nothing to do with the hard work they put in, or their popularity. Our cheer team was amongst the top in the league."

Annie Larouche, the director of the Als' cheerleading team the past 24 years, said she had a "broken heart" on Facebook. She said she will continue to work with the team's charitable foundation.

"You have been a source of inspiration and pure happiness and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together," Larouche said. "Be proud because you are one of my greatest achievements."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2020.


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