As noted earlier at this link, this week’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing by the XFL reportedly resulted in a hit to the reputation of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon in the big business community. Now it looks like the bankruptcy won’t do Vince any favors with the small business community either.
Photographer Melissa Lyttle revealed on Twitter today that Vince’s Alpha Entertainment, which is the LLC Vince set up to operate the XFL, has filed to rejected her contract. Lyttle’s Melissa Lyttle Photography LLC provided photography services to the league, and is currently owed just $1,000. The XFL is trying to move forward without paying that debut.
“If I’m reading this XFL bankruptcy filing correctly, it sounds like @VinceMcMahon, who’s worth about $2B, apparently needs the money more than I do. I’m listed as one of 98 vendors whose contracts are being rejected. Sadly, I’ll probably never see that $1000 I’m owed now. Sigh,” Lyttle tweeted today. Her tweet includes copies of the motion to authorize the debtor, Alpha, to reject certain financial contracts they have entered with various companies.
Lyttle noted in another tweet that 17 of the 98 (almost 20%) companies listed on the motion are freelance photographers, which are likely small businesses like herself. She edited the names of the other companies, but you can see where some of the other contracts appear to be from photographers.
It was reported before that the timing of the filing was done to maximize the return to investors as the league originally announced that they were suspending the rest of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that they had plans for a 2021 season. It was also reported this week that the league wants to maximize the value of its assets in order to pay creditors, so they have started the process of seeking a buyer. Among the creditors, the league listed head coaches Bob Stoops ($1,083,333.33), Mark Trestman ($777,777.78), Jonathan Hayes ($633,333.33), Winston Moss ($583,333.33) and others. The bankruptcy filing stated that the league has between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities and the same in assets. They owe more than $14 million to its 25 largest unsecured creditors, including 7 of their 8 head coaches mentioned above.
On a related note, STL Today reports that the league owes $1.6 million to the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission. It was noted that the commission is already struggling with losses related to the COVID-19 outbreak, as many businesses are right now.
Commission President Kitty Ratcliffe said the XFL had a three-year lease for The Dome at America’s Center, where the St. Louis BattleHawks played their home games. Ratcliffe said her agency had an irrevocable letter of credit from the league for the money owed in the lease. They turned that letter over to the bank on Friday, which was the same day they announced the end of the season and all operations. The Chapter 11 filing was revealed yesterday. Commission attorney Bob Wallace Jr. added that the XFL was current on expenses for games played at The Dome so far. The letter of credit meant that the money owed to the Commission was secured by a bank, but Wallace did decline to speculate on what the process would consist of, and noted that he was not a bankruptcy attorney.
Regarding the $10 million and $50 million noted above that the league owes, the Chapter 11 filing says they owe that amount to between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors. STL Today also confirmed that the above money owed to Hayes ($633,333.33), the BattleHawks coach, is for wages.
You can see Lyttle’s full tweet below:
If I’m reading this XFL bankruptcy filing correctly, it sounds like @VinceMcMahon, who’s worth about $2B, apparently needs the money more than I do. I’m listed as one of 98 vendors whose contracts are being rejected. Sadly, I’ll probably never see that $1000 I’m owed now. Sigh. pic.twitter.com/eUQEAR4Ib7
— ǝlʇʇʎl ɐssılǝɯ (@melissalyttle) April 14, 2020