The Alliance of American Football is no more. The fledgling up-start football league that aimed to be a developmental vehicle for the NFL has closed up shop nearly two weeks after the it suspended operations.
John Ourand (Sports Business Journal) secured the first on-the-record interview with Alliance executive Charlie Ebersol, sharing a snippet from Ebersol as he opened up on the league’s financing, rumors regarding players getting stuck with hotel and rehabilitation bills, reported conspiracy theories, and more. I’m looking forward to reading the full piece when it is shared. But for now, this snippet discussing the league’s ultimate failing will have to suffice.
“Unfortunately, this may have just died because the main investor and the founders had different visions of what the company was supposed to be,” Ebersol said. “Our long-term vision for building something slowly and getting enterprise value was not aligned with (Tom Dundon’s) vision of how he saw the league.”
Dundon, who owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, joined the league in mid-February as its chairman after investing $250 million from his own pocket to help the league meet some financial obligations. And since things weren’t fitting his vision, Dundon’s eventual withdrawal from the league helped lease to its demise.
Front Office Sports reports the league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Wednesday in Texas. According to court documents reviewed by the site, the AAF claims assets of $11.3 million, liabilities of $48.3 million, and had just $536,160.68 in cash. Yikes. Further, documents show the league owes money to MGM International ($7 million) and CBS ($5,190,153), as well as retired NFL officials Mike Pereira ($60,497.81) and Dean Blandino ($45,000). Double yikes! It’s a tragic ending for a league that promised to not falter the way its predecessors did, then ultimately tripped up and fell apart in that manner.
But hey, it wasn’t all bad. After all, the Bears got a kicker out of it!
With the AAF out of the picture, Vince McMahon’s XFL re-boot has the stage all to itself. But that isn’t set to get started until 2020. Good luck with that, Vinny Mac.