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AAF Suspending Operations

Concudan

Still Chargin
Staff member
Administrator
Agreed. But I am not a judge, not pointing fingers at anyone, except the owners. They don't need
non-paying fans. If someone wants watch 'their team' on TV, fine. But the team ain’t looking back.

View attachment 6558
We can agree for the most part on the owners. The few I have respect for are like the Falcons owner who controls prices of the food and drink at his facility so that the 'average' fan doesnt have to take a loan out to get a dog and a beer.

However we disagree on your concept of the non-paying fan. The television viewer gives the NFL the majority of their income via television contracts. The NFL has changed from the old ticket based income to the viewer based income. The NFL will make money if no one is in the stands.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Calling all still remaining “fans”......:p:rolleyes:

The National Fantasy Football Convention has become SportsCon. And it will focus on more than football.
“There is no doubt that we were inspired by the success of Comic-Con and we wanted to create something similar for sports fans of the world, instead of meeting your favorite superheroes, you get to meet your favorite sports heroes,” SportsCon CEO Andy Alberth said in a press release.
Currently owned by Romo, Ezekiel Elliott, and Melvin Gordon with other partners potentially acquiring equity in the operation soon, 2019 SportsCon will be conducted from July 12 to 14 in Dallas. The NFFC first generated widespread attention in 2015, when the NFL essentially shut down its inaugural event in Las Vegas, due to the fact that it was scheduled to be conducted in a facility owned by a casino (even though the venue was not a casino or gambling establishment of any kind).
Four years later, the NFL has an official partnership with a casino.

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1 responses to “The NFFC becomes SportsCon”


  1. gscott104 says:
    April 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm
    Oh it’s a “con” all right
what a bunch of bullshyte. Sports heroes......ha ha ha. Eff them. It's why sports are so effed up now....they all think of themselves as heroes. To me they are a bunch of whiny biatches who need coddling and a hell of a lot of psychiatric help.
 
We can agree for the most part on the owners. The few I have respect for are like the Falcons owner who controls prices of the food and drink at his facility so that the 'average' fan doesnt have to take a loan out to get a dog and a beer.

However we disagree on your concept of the non-paying fan. The television viewer gives the NFL the majority of their income via television contracts. The NFL has changed from the old ticket based income to the viewer based income. The NFL will make money if no one is in the stands.
That is what I was saying before - that we needed to not watch on TV so that NFL ratings would tank in San Diego. It took a while for that argument to turn to apathy. At this point, Spanos and the NFL can succeed for all I care. If the games pop up at whatever bar I am at, I won't leave like I did last year. However, I also won't go out of my way to see the games like I did for decades. You have no idea what I had to do to see the Spanoses play when I lived in the middle of nowhere, Mexico, for three years. (No, not that. My *** is fine. I just meant I had to do a lot of traveling and bribing. I once caused a mini-riot when I got a casino to shut off a soccer game so I could see the Spanoses.) Now I won't even bother lifting my remote to turn on cable to watch an NFL game. And it is no longer out of protest or to cause some mini damage to NFL pocketbooks; it is just because I have no desire to watch the NFL.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
YGBSM. If this is true, it's total incompetence by the lawyers for the league and Ebersol and Polian. How in the hell do they not protect themselves from what happened when they signed on Dundon. It sounds as if they were so panicked and desperate when they almost missed payroll that they just jumpted at Dundon's offer without even taking the time to do proper due diligence and to protect themselves and the league contractually. Ridiculous. If it's true there are investors like that willint to pony up then they should be able to restart next year. Dundon is a complete dickwad. I'm telling you that the proper format for this league is to bring in EIGHT (not six) big investors and make them team owners and have a commissioner and adequate league legal counsel. Grow it year by year until it goes head to head with the NFL and does not have to rely on any NFL talent. EFF the concept of a league that serves to develop talent and rules for the NFL. That is a non starter to me. Polian and Ebersol are not qualified to run a league obviously. Get someone else to start it up who has a modicum of business acumen.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
How could they conspire to dump him if they didn’t even have the power to stop him from folding the league?
lolz....true. They were powerless because their legal counsel (if they even had any) forgot to protect them from a guy like Dundon. What a joke.
 
I can see the board is cleansing itself from all things AAF, and don't get me wrong, I'm ok with not having it shoved down my throat with stickies and what not; but as an outside observer who rarely commented on the league, I just wanted to state some of my views on what transpired.

I know most of you have already made up your minds on Dundon, and I have no proof that he's not the arsehole he's being made out to be; but the same people who are bashing him now, were breathing a sigh of relief a few weeks back, when he showed up with the $250M to save this sorry league. First of all, who starts a league that requires a $250M rescue investment in the first 2-3 weeks of operation?? We're not talking about a minor oversight here folks, a quarter of a billion dollars is probably more than 50% of what the whole league is/was worth! Even still, the prospect of being involved in a developmental league that has NFL's full blessing to operate, was attractive enough to merit such an investment; IF the AAF was truly what it was billed to be. IMHO, there was nothing abnormal about Dundon's request to the NFLPA....As a matter of fact, it not only makes sense for a developmental league that plays in the offseason, to have access to younger talent under current NFL contracts, it is by definition, the very purpose of a such a league! How is a developmental league supposed to survive if it has to compete for talent with it's parent league?!? The symbiotic relationship between the two leagues can only work if they are allowed to feed off of each other...if the NFL consistently plucks the best from the AAF, without replacing it with new talent to be developed, how was the AAF supposed to find the talent to provide developmental service to the NFL as well as maintaining a modicum of quality to keep their own paying audience entertained?
Dundon may very well be an idiot for not foreseeing this problem with the NFLPA before making his investment, but Warren Buffet himself, couldn't make the AAF work under a oneway talent traffic system!
 
I can see the board is cleansing itself from all things AAF, and don't get me wrong, I'm ok with not having it shoved down my throat with stickies and what not; but as an outside observer who rarely commented on the league, I just wanted to state some of my views on what transpired.

I know most of you have already made up your minds on Dundon, and I have no proof that he's not the arsehole he's being made out to be; but the same people who are bashing him now, were breathing a sigh of relief a few weeks back, when he showed up with the $250M to save this sorry league. First of all, who starts a league that requires a $250M rescue investment in the first 2-3 weeks of operation?? We're not talking about a minor oversight here folks, a quarter of a billion dollars is probably more than 50% of what the whole league is/was worth! Even still, the prospect of being involved in a developmental league that has NFL's full blessing to operate, was attractive enough to merit such an investment; IF the AAF was truly what it was billed to be. IMHO, there was nothing abnormal about Dundon's request to the NFLPA....As a matter of fact, it not only makes sense for a developmental league that plays in the offseason, to have access to younger talent under current NFL contracts, it is by definition, the very purpose of a such a league! How is a developmental league supposed to survive if it has to compete for talent with it's parent league?!? The symbiotic relationship between the two leagues can only work if they are allowed to feed off of each other...if the NFL consistently plucks the best from the AAF, without replacing it with new talent to be developed, how was the AAF supposed to find the talent to provide developmental service to the NFL as well as maintaining a modicum of quality to keep their own paying audience entertained?
Dundon may very well be an idiot for not foreseeing this problem with the NFLPA before making his investment, but Warren Buffet himself, couldn't make the AAF work under a oneway talent traffic system!
I think your assessment is a fair assessment. I too felt the $250M investment after week 1 was a huge red flag but I was hopeful it would workout. I’ve been fairly vocal that while I do believe Dundon was an arse, I’ve also placed the blame on Ebersol and Polian, they clearly didn’t perform full due diligence on a league that seemingly had a lot of potential. However, I don’t think Dundon was on the right track to assume the NFLPA was going to cooperate, it was clear even to me they had no skin in the game to even want to participate in negotiations, and in fact may have been legally bound to keep their distance. I think Dundon just used it as a poison pill to pull the plug when he felt it was time to bail.
 

Gill Man

Inaugural San Diego Charger Fan Since 1962 FUDEAN
Staff member
Moderator
Yup, as I said above, league (Ebersol and Polian) had to have been desperate in that week they almost missed payroll to have signed on a guy like Dundon that quickly and to have given him all that veto power.....they basically made him owner of the league. Whoever the attorneys were for the league dropped the ball or weren't given any time to actually draw up a contract that protected the league from exactly what happened. Somewhere in all the articles above is a statement about Ebersol and Polian not being truthful upfront about the league having 5 years of funding in place.
As I also said before the league started it's first game, I did not like the concept of a 'complimentary league' and that there were no indidual team owners/investors. They set a very low bar for themselves and couldn't even meet that. What a joke. Bottom line is the talent level of the league killed it.....the interest level would have continued to decline in successive years . It was not a viable product the way it was structured. Talent was so marginal (I likened it to the 4th qtr of the 4th NFL preseason game) they actually had to PAY networks to carry the games early on and that is what led them to the brink of bankruptcy in that week Dundon bailed them out.

If they DO have any designs to try to restart they should have individual team owner investors and make themselves halfway interesting by signing college talent and going after it ....it would require owners willing to take the risk....not an easy thing to do. Might not be possible.

Frankly, I do not think Polian and Ebersol will get another chance....they've already ruined their own reputations as business folks.
 

AnteaterRaider

Carpe Diem et omni Mundio
Staff member
Super Moderator
Podcaster
Yup, as I said above, league (Ebersol and Polian) had to have been desperate in that week they almost missed payroll to have signed on a guy like Dundon that quickly and to have given him all that veto power.....they basically made him owner of the league. Whoever the attorneys were for the league dropped the ball or weren't given any time to actually draw up a contract that protected the league from exactly what happened. Somewhere in all the articles above is a statement about Ebersol and Polian not being truthful upfront about the league having 5 years of funding in place.
As I also said before the league started it's first game, I did not like the concept of a 'complimentary league' and that there were no indidual team owners/investors. They set a very low bar for themselves and couldn't even meet that. What a joke. Bottom line is the talent level of the league killed it.....the interest level would have continued to decline in successive years . It was not a viable product the way it was structured. Talent was so marginal (I likened it to the 4th qtr of the 4th NFL preseason game) they actually had to PAY networks to carry the games early on and that is what led them to the brink of bankruptcy in that week Dundon bailed them out.

If they DO have any designs to try to restart they should have individual team owner investors and make themselves halfway interesting by signing college talent and going after it ....it would require owners willing to take the risk....not an easy thing to do. Might not be possible.

Frankly, I do not think Polian and Ebersol will get another chance....they've already ruined their own reputations as business folks.
Very possible. Now in business I believe you can bounce back from a bad company or bad decision but I mean this was such a fail at such a basic level that I don't think there's anyway to come back from it. Ebersol and Polian could likely find a place in any business and be major contributors but I don't see how on earth they would ever be trusted to lead it.
 

SDRay

FU Spanos and Dundon
Staff member
Administrator
Podcaster
AAF files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy showing more than $48 million in liabilities

https://www.cbssports.com/aaf/news/...-showing-more-than-48-million-in-liabilities/

The AAF is officially bankrupt.

The league, which halted operations earlier this month at the discretion of control owner Tom Dundon, announced on Tuesday that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy through the court for the Western District of Texas (San Antonio Division). As such, the potential development league for the NFL has ceased all business operations and begun the process of liquidation.

A statement from the league reads as follows:

We are deeply disappointed to be taking this action. The AAF was created to be a dynamic, developmental professional football league powered by an unprecedented alliance between players, fans and the game. The AAF strove to create new opportunities for talented players, coaches, executives and officials while providing an exciting experience for fans. We are proud of the fact that our teams and players delivered on that goal.
We thank our players, coaches and employees for their commitment to the game of football and to this venture. Our fans believed in the AAF from the beginning, and we thank them for their support. We are hopeful that our players, coaches and others will find opportunities to pursue their football dreams in the future.​
A copy of the filing from Front Office Sports shows just how bad the damage is. In all, the AAF had accumulated more than $48 million in liabilities, including more than $38 million in unsecured claims. That is compared to $11.3 million in assets and just over $500,000 in cash on hand.



Front Office Sports

@frntofficesport

https://twitter.com/frntofficesport/status/1118584049491152897

BREAKING: @TheAAF has filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

- In the filings, the league claims assets of $11.3 million and liabilities of $48.3 million.

- According to the documents, the league has $536,160.68 in cash.

790

11:36 AM - Apr 17, 2019

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Of note, the AAF also said in its statement that it "is committed to ensuring that our bankruptcy proceeds in an efficient and orderly manner. Pursuant to the bankruptcy laws, a trustee will be empowered to resolve all matters related to the AAF's remaining assets and liabilities, including ongoing matters related to player contracts." According to Pro Football Talk, that last sentence likely refers to the league's reported refusal to let their players sign with CFL teams on their own and instead trying to sell them as assets.


The AAF is also fighting multiple lawsuits with the potential for more down the road. Two former players have already filed a class-action case against the league, including Dundon and CEO Charlie Ebersol, claiming the players were misled and defrauded. One former AAF coach told CBSSports.com that another could be on the way representing coaches, as well.
 

SDRay

FU Spanos and Dundon
Staff member
Administrator
Podcaster
CHARLIE EBERSOL OPENS UP ON DEMISE OF AAF

In his first on-the-record interview since the Alliance of American Football folded, Charlie Ebersol expressed regret and frustration over the plight of his league, which filed for bankruptcy earlier today and owes creditors $48.4 million. Below are some of the highlights from our 45-minute talk. Check out a bigger story on my interview with Ebersol in tomorrow’s Sports Business Daily.

  • On why the league failed: "I know everyone has conspiracy theories. But, unfortunately, this may have just died because the main investor and the founders had different visions of what the company was supposed to be. ... 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.”

  • On accusations that he misrepresented the league’s financing: “We raised over $170 million in the second quarter of last year. We ultimately raised well over $200 million before the launch of the football league. When it became clear that our primary investor was either not able to, or not performing in line with the signed contracts which had been vetted by multiple banks, ... we went out to the market after the success of the first weekend and offered to let other people buy in. Ultimately Tom made an offer to buy in."

  • On whether creditors will get paid: "I don’t know. I can’t answer that question."

  • On players and staff getting stuck with hotel bills: "Players were fraudulently charged for their hotel rooms. We have worked very closely with a lot of those players to get them all paid back by the hotels because the hotels should not have charged them. The hotels were paid."

  • On injured players paying for their own rehab: "That is absolutely not true. Our team reached out to every single player that was injured during the season and walked them through all of their workers' comp options and their HR options and their medical options. We have the necessary insurance, so all the players are covered."

  • On reports that Dundon invested only to gain access to AAF tech: "That was extraordinary irresponsible journalism. It would take someone five seconds to Google and figure out that there were legal protections in place around the technology by our investors. The idea that Tom Dundon had some secret plan is asinine and not true."

  • On why he has stayed silent: "I was told not to speak. That was incredibly difficult. The communication and transparency that we prided ourselves in over the last several months was largely taken away from us, which was a huge problem."
 

SDRay

FU Spanos and Dundon
Staff member
Administrator
Podcaster
AAF CEO Charlie Ebersol opens up about the league's shutdown, financial problems and who was actually misled

https://www.cbssports.com/aaf/news/...nancial-problems-and-who-was-actually-misled/

The AAF filed for bankruptcy before the end of its first season, putting an official end to what was a promising complementary football league.

Over the past couple of weeks, CBSSports.com spoke to dozens of former players, coaches and football operations staff members about the final week of the league's existence. However, one person who hasn't been able to comment publicly has been CEO Charlie Ebersol -- until now. Ebersol broke his silence earlier this week with a Q&A with the Sports Business Journal, but in a conversation with CBSSports.com, Ebersol went into extensive detail about why the AAF shuttered and from where the league's financial issues came. He also addressed some of the horror stories from the chaos of the AAF's sudden demise, including why players were stuck with four-digit hotel bills.

While it would take hours upon hours to go through every question raised about the AAF by the time it shut down, Ebersol did peel back the curtain on the business operation side of the league, showing why it never realized its full potential. Below is that interview, edited only for flow.

CBSSPORTS.COM: You mentioned back during training camp that the AAF encountered three to four ELEs (Extinction Level Events) per week for a while. Did you ever imagine this -- money -- would be the ELE?

EBERSOL: No. Honestly, going back to last year when I signed a [business] contract for $170 million, we had it vetted by multiple different banks. It was structured in a way where we had access to the capital. So I assumed at that point in time that, while we had many challenges to overcome, financials should not be one of them.


CBSSPORTS.COM: So then if you raise capital investments and have more than $200 million at the start of the year, per the interview with the SBJ, where does that money go?

EBERSOL: Let me clarify. We spent less than $30 million getting to kickoff. We didn't overspend and run out of money. We were not able to get access to the capital. Oftentimes in fundraisers that are this big -- high eight-figure, nine-figure raising -- the money is put into an account that you have access to and you draw down from because the cost of taking that much money out of circulation to an investor or a fund is too big for them to park it when we didn't need all that money. Like, we weren't going to spend $200 million on Feb. 9 [when the season began]. We were going to spend $200 million over the course of two-and-a-half years.

So the money would be made available to us through a facility, which had been set up over six months and vetted by and run through by multiple banks, both in the U.S. and international. Everything was signed off on and agreed to in contracts. The board signed off on it. Most of my major investors had access to all the information. A lot of my partners had access to the information. All of my GMs and head coaches met with my primary investor during January and had a chance to talk to him and understand the financing.

What happened was -- really in the weeks leading up to the first game -- we started getting nervous about issues that were popping up with access to the capital. There were draw-down issues, a variety of different things that started happening that were preventing us from getting access to the capital. The money was on an as-needed basis so we could draw down. When that started happening we weren't in immediate trouble, but we knew we were going to have to find another protective source.


CBSSPORTS.COM: If that's the case, where do you think a lot of the negative reaction comes from?

EBERSOL: People like to grave dance. People slow down on highways to look at car crashes. That's just what they do. But, look, you don't get in the ring if you're not willing to take a hit. I'm not bemoaning people taking their shots at me. I take full responsibility for the role I played in this business. I just want people to understand there was no malfeasance. There was no misleading. There was no misdirection. There was no lying.

CBSSPORTS.COM: The people I've spoken with over the past couple of weeks -- specifically coaches and football ops personnel -- said they took a job with the AAF because they felt they had three years. So they weren't misled then?

EBERSOL: I feel exactly the same way. When we announced the league and closed our investors, we were operating under the assumption that we had a three-year deal. We had a contract signed for three years of financing. Do you think my broadcast partners signed multi-year contracts with me without vetting the amount of money I had access to? That's what's interesting to me. The comparisons that are being made are implying that there wasn't a level of vetting by the partners we had. Keep in mind the NFL put us on the NFL Network. Do you think the NFL did that without looking at our financing?

CBSSPORTS.COM: Did (control owner) Tom Dundon go through the same vetting process when he came aboard?

EBERSOL: Nobody puts in money like that (Dundon committed $70 million up front) without having access to the financials of a company.

CBSSPORTS.COM: So, if you and Dundon weren't on the same page with your business plan, was that evident when Dundon first joined?

EBERSOL: No, that became apparent in the first couple of weeks. There were subtle differences in how we saw the world that very quickly became very significant separations. And it became clear it was a different vision with a different timeline. Tom wanted to see things that we were planning on doing in Year 3 happen in Year 1. What we thought should take three years he thought should take three weeks. Every single contract I had signed, every partnership I had done -- my CBS deal, my NFL deal, my Turner Broadcasting deal -- what we were working on with the NFL and NFLPA, they were all long-term deals. Tom felt very strongly that those deals needed to happen much, much quicker. Ultimately, we built a company of 1,200 people that was in the middle of a football season and redirecting the ship in any direction was going to be very, very difficult.

CBSSPORTS.COM: What role did unpaid vendors and liabilities play into Dundon's decision to halt operations? Did he feel like his money was going out the door?

EBERSOL: You'd have to ask Tom. I understand Tom has complete authority to do what he did. I don't understand why he did it and neither does Bill [Polian, AAF Head of Football]. The conversation about liabilities, vendors, etc.: the natural course of business is that there is a delay between when something happens and when someone gets paid. By this point in the year, you're paying on a 60-day or a 90-day pay period. The decision was made by the board [Dundon] not to pay vendors looking backward.

CBSSPORTS.COM: What is being done about stories of Memphis Express players being billed for their hotel rooms?

EBERSOL: When you put your credit card down for an incidental, when the company is paying for the hotel, the hotel is absolutely not supposed to charge the person on their incidental credit card. At the very least, that's extremely bad faith, and at most it's bad business. It's not as if any of the hotels contacted us that day saying 'you've paid us up to this point, are you planning on not paying us going forward?' Very questionable decisions were made by the hotels that we've worked over the past two weeks to try to resolve because the players 100 percent should not have paid a dime for that.


Keep in mind that all the players were fully paid through the eight weeks. All the injured players have access to the necessary health insurance to get through their injuries. We paid for all of their housing, food. The wind down was not a reflection of the wind down as it was planned, which is a whole separate issue.

CBSSPORTS.COM: Regarding the 60-day or 90-day waiting period for vendors to be paid, was there still money available to do that?

EBERSOL: Let me answer your question a little differently. Our business plan called for an investment of $200 million over three years to establish enterprise value at which point there were a couple of exit scenarios where investors would get their money back. That $200 million initially came from our initial investors and primary investor. And then Tom replaced that investor and bought a majority of the company, took over the board, and took over the liabilities of the company as the majority owner of the company. So he became the control owner at which point in time he made decisions about how the company was financed moving forward. Our original business plan of $200 million to be investment in the cost of running a business for three years. My business model was single-entity football league where all the operations saved the league long enough to establish its partnerships. And then there were a bunch of exit scenarios that could occur at that point in time.

Our expenses fell almost exactly in line, within a couple of million dollars, of our original business plan. We had no real surprises in expenses. Our surprise was in financing. Which, again, I cannot emphasize this enough: We had signed contracts -- not just investors, but with banks, that were vetted by multiple parties. We had legally tendered documents to give us access to capital. That's the whole purpose of having contracts, vetting them and running them through banks.
 

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