The Alliance of American Football (AAF) has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, making it official that the league has folded.
In some respects, we should have seen the writing on the wall for the Alliance of American Football league.
Just three weeks into the season, the league needed an emergency lifeline from the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, which was characterized by league founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian as a “buy-in” and not as a desperate attempt to keep the league solvent.
We all knew differently, and on April 17, the league only confirmed it when, after suspending all league play earlier in the month, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, officially folding the league.
In a statement sent out to the media, the AAF wrote that it was “deeply disappointed to be taking this action,” and they likely are. The AAF, on the field, seemed like a vastly superior product than its offshoot and spring-league football predecessors. The talent, while not great, was good, and it provided us with close to NFL-quality action that was missing from the other dead NFL-wannabe leagues that the AAF followed.
While the on-field product was good, the off-the-field finances were questionable at best. And though we were praising the league for bringing us watchable football, we were also openly questioning whether or not this league could make it through year one, which only heightened with Dundon’s “buy-in” in Week 3.
Now, thanks to the bankruptcy filings that were released by Front Office Sports, we now know just how much the AAF’s finances were in tatters. The AAF claimed assets of $11.3 million, but it’s liabilities exceeded a whopping $48 million. When the league suspended its operations, it had only $546,160 in its bank account.
With those numbers, it’s shocking the league made it as far as it did.
And now, it’s officially gone, which is unfortunate because so many were rooting for the AAF to succeed. Now we have to look forward to what the rebooted XFL can deliver next year.