“Making” A Semi-Pro League: An Update On Lassus & The London Jaguars

As you may remember, we ran a piece a month ago regarding Cyrus Lassus, a supposed entrepreneur attempting to recruit British players to a vaguely described semi-professional league spanning Europe. 

After falling off the radar for a short while, it was brought to our attention that Lassus was active once more, this time under the name Joe Barber, and was still actively trying to lure athletes with more and more outlandish claims.

Sure, you might ask why we’re still giving him the attention some will claim he craves?

Well, while many will be able to see through his increasingly bizarre charade, there might be those that are still naive enough, or just unaware of the situation, that we felt it our duty to keep the Britball community up to date. If even one player gets ripped off for anything, it’s a black mark on the game in our country.

So… to quickly recap, Lassus claimed to be a representative of the London franchise of a continent-wide football league. Large monetary terms were thrown around, claims of a pipeline to the NCAA were made, and he revealed that the first of the London teams making the step up were the Olympians, with potentially the London Blitz following suit soon after.

As we dug deeper into his claims we found that very little of his story could be verified, and each team he claimed were involved were adamant no such discussions had taken place.

We found that the apparent bit-part actor had made multiple claims throughout his professional life that couldn’t be verified, and worryingly, had been arrested for at least one violent crime stateside.

Early this month, the “official” page of the London Jaguars, which had initially disappeared following our first article looking at Lassus and the Jaguars, began making some eye-opening and inconsistent announcements.

First, Lassus claimed that the draft for this league would take place on April 27th 2017. Regarding the draft, Lassus finally broached the most concerning subject so far; Player payments.

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This post marked the first display of what many will say they saw coming all along: Lassus asking for money.

Generally, it’s a rule of thumb that any organisation that asks for money from those it’s attempting to employ, then they’re best avoided. We don’t think the Jaguars are an exception.

Lassus’ claim was that players could guarantee their place on the London franchise with a £100 deposit, that included a season ticket and most importantly, a t-shirt. He went onto add that there would be adequate time for players to register with other franchises if they choose. There is, to date, no sign of any of the supposed Rome, Berlin, Paris or Barcelona franchises.

From here however, the claims moved from being far-fetched, through to the fantastical, and then on to the outright baffling. Lassus’ sport would be called European Rules Football, a.k.a. “Armball”. American football as we know it, but without kicking or punting.

In a… controversial innovation, franchises would also be able to claim local players when playing away. For example, when London play Rome in Rome, London would somehow be able to claim local players to fill their roster.

At the same time, he acknowledged that there may be problems with the “league”, but that all members would get refunds if they were not satisfied. “Absolutely risk free”…

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Gareth Thomas

Gareth has played for the Birmingham Bulls and Sandwell Steelers, and as a frustrated offensive play-maker craves only the sweet rush that comes with interceptions. He joined Double Coverage at the request of Rob Amor and is only here until he’s picked up by ESPN or Sports Illustrated.