WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s reputation reportedly took a hit among those in the business community after the XFL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week.
As noted on Monday, Vince’s football league filed for bankruptcy in the state of Delaware. It was later reported that the league is looking for a buyer. XFL officials originally announced that they were suspending the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, and had plans for a 2021 season, but those plans were officially nixed this week. The XFL is done for the second time.
The XFL bankruptcy hurt Vince’s reputation because the league filed so Vince could get out of the debt, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. Meltzer noted that he picked up on this after talking to people in New York on Monday. People involved know Vince is worth millions of dollars, and had earmarked $300 million for the league. They also know that he hasn’t spent $300 million on the league yet. It was noted that there’s a feeling of Vince essentially “screwing people” he worked with on the league, including coaches and stadiums.
TMZ reported on Monday that the timing of the filing was done to maximize the return to investors. The Hollywood Reporter added 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.
A league spokesperson issued the following statement to media on Monday:
“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football.”
Vince controls all Class A shares in the XFL, while WWE has 23.5% of Class B shares, according to the filing. You can see the full Chapter 11 filing at this link.
Stay tuned for updates.