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Monday, August 01, 2011

The Biz of Baseball: Who’s to Blame for Frank McCourt Owning the Dodgers?

“You could say the debt crisis, and you know what…? That’s not too far from the truth…” adds Maury.

Who’s to Blame?

The Dodgers are a victim of circumstance. Glazer being unable to get around the NFL’s rules… the issue with Ed Glazer not being a suitable management fit for MLB… News Corp pushing for the sale…. McCourt’s liquidity problem that Allen & Co said would never be an issue. No one thing is the true catalyst. The league was in a no-win situation and are now dealing with Frankruptcy, and I’m sure they hate themselves for it.

One day, Frank McCourt will no longer own the Dodgers. All owners are simply stewards of club ownership. The name and the brand far outlive those that have owned them over the decades. What you hope is that MLB has learned its lesson. If it feels wrong, and the particulars are bad, then if you can’t stop a sale, the least they can do is force partnerships that can take the edges off. Who knows what would have happened if there would have been more of a group partnership as opposed to just Frank and Jamie McCourt pushing for the new Think Blue?

Repoz Posted: August 01, 2011 at 08:11 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, dodgers, media

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   1. phredbird Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3890563)
some of this is news to me. i didn't know that alan casden and eli broad were involved as possible owners.
casden and broad are both immensely rich and live in L.A., which automatically would have made them better owners than mccourt.
that said, casden is probably not a good idea, he doesn't really have the personality one would associate with owning a sports franchise. full disclosure: my publication runs an annual feature about the wealthiest people in L.A. and casden is well up in the ranking, but does not cooperate with our researchers and does not even want to have his picture taken, so we have to use a file photo every year.
broad is kind of a self-important guy -- not surprising among billionaires -- but he's even wealthier than casden and is very involved in being a philanthropist for the arts. he would have been a good owner if only because he seems to want to improve L.A. as a city. but in recent years he's gone all in on the arts -- he's building a giant museum downtown -- and doesn't seem to be interested in anything else.
meanwhile the sharks are beginning to circle. magic johnson has publicly said he'd look into the team if it went up for sale. the word is he'd have some partnership set up with ron burkle, another angeleno who's in the same league with broad and casden.
   2. bads85 Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3890580)
but in recent years he's gone all in on the arts -- he's building a giant museum downtown -- and doesn't seem to be interested in anything else.

Plus, he is at the age when he is going to be dead much sooner than later, which means he is not a logn term solution.
   3. bfan Posted: August 01, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3890590)
I find this article to be one of the more helpful in understanding what happened.

Where there is an anxious seller and a chosen buyer, it must be very difficult for the league to stop the sale, especially when one sale had already fallen through. In hind-sight it is very easy to see that the leverage was too great and that McCord was a pr*ck of epic dimensions, but then, there was just a roll of the dice that increasing asset values would overcome the sin of too much leverage. MLB owners are not the only group of smart people who fell into that false trap.
   4. puck Posted: August 01, 2011 at 10:13 PM (#3890616)
The NFL has rules stating that if you’re going to purchase a club in another league, you can’t use NFL assets as collateral to get loans to make the purchase. The NFL also requires that you have an independent management team in place for the club outside the NFL. Glazer had been trying since April of 2002 to make both happen, and couldn’t. One idea on the management side was to have his son Ed, who lived in Los Angeles, run the Dodgers. That didn’t fly well with MLB. As one executive put it, they were concerned with Ed’s "management credentials."

"We'd love it to be moving more quickly," a News Corp. executive said to the LA Times regarding the negotiations, "but it's not."

It didn’t move faster, and News Corp got impatient.

So if the Glazers had their act together and had been able to buy the Dodgers, they wouldn't have purchased Manchester United?
   5. Maury Brown Posted: August 02, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3890733)
Ahem... Jim Crane

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