good store credit cards for bad credit citibank credit cards apply online india cibc visa canada credit card credit card cash advance limit orchard bank credit card for bad credit compare credit cards interest free period home depot credit card application for business cash converters payday advance south africa top student credit cards with no credit halifax credit card contact address hbc mastercard points 70 000 mile american express delta credit card how to get a refund on my credit card wells fargo college student credit card home loans for bad credit unsecured credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee credit card 0 apr no transfer fee fast cash advance payday loans toronto credit score to apply for sears credit card credit card canada age should i take a personal loan to pay off credit card debt staples business credit card customer service easy to get store credit cards 2013 axis bank credit card reward points offers zurich credit card insurance excess wells fargo business credit card review bank of america credit card apr cash loans now australia rewards credit card for average credit citibank indian oil credit card online application 0 percent credit cards with no transfer fee 2012 mbna platinum credit card uk virgin credit card balance transfer fee best iphone credit card processing top 10 college student credit cards best visa credit card with no annual fee bad credit credit cards no annual fee virgin credit card uk login best platinum credit cards uk bank of america credit card travel miles best low interest credit cards for balance transfers apply online credit card sbi mobil gas station credit cards miles and more credit card uk review amex costco credit card login how to prevent online credit card fraud do aldi accept credit cards uk best credit cards for purchases uk how does a credit card work for dummies get a credit card with no credit or bad credit credit card reward comparison australia jcpenney credit card login page what is cash advance fee on credit card unsecured credit cards for not so good credit business credit cards with 0 apr for 12 months instant online cash advance south africa bad credit loans compare the market cibc visa credit card fees hdfc gold credit card square credit card reader for iphone ipod and ipad virgin prepaid credit card bank of america travel credit card review visa signature cards india how to get off a joint credit card rewards cards australia walmart debit visa card secured credit card pnc small cash loans online best credit cards for rewards or cash back prepaid credit cards online poker how to get rid of credit card debt in canada annual fee free credit cards best 0 apr balance transfer credit card my first premier credit card pay online bp gas credit card review credit card debt calculator credit cards with low interest rates and rewards small business credit card comparison 2012 standard chartered 5 cash back credit card chase southwest airlines business credit card 5 major credit card companies can i get a credit card after chapter 13 bankruptcy compare credit card offers australia free credit score check uk no credit card iphone credit card reader apple store apply for a home loan online with bad credit hdfc credit card offer how to check hsbc credit card application status no interest credit cards for 24 months credit cards with cash back rewards and no annual fee visa credit card canada wikipedia cara bayar credit card bank mega credit card limit increase best buy credit cards store credit cards on iphone app store credit cards after bankruptcy can you use a personal loan to pay off credit card debt western union prepaid credit card canada best credit card deals july 2012 best no fee credit cards canada 2011 best credit cards for poor credit pay advance loans south africa credit card protector wallet credit card bin range search hdfc credit cards rewards point catalogue hdfc credit card status using application number anz first visa credit card balance transfer denied wells fargo secured credit card current average household credit card debt zero interest credit card offers for 12 months virtual credit card terminal paypal aib visa debit cards credit cards with low interest rates and no annual fees credit card credit score best credit cards uk martin lewis security number on visa debit card 0 transfer credit cards canada can credit card companies garnish your wages in new york good credit cards with low interest granite credit card number rewards credit cards review bank of america cash rewards credit cards paypal credit card bank of america small business credit cards barclays apple credit card log in canada credit card processing company are there any fixed rate credit cards anymore credit card application form icici bank fnb platinum card requirements best buy reward zone credit card app credit card offers for bad credit best credit cards with no annual fee and rewards lowes credit card 0 interest 18 months chase virtual credit card number maybank horizon credit card singapore major credit cards companies travel credit cards for students marriott wardman park credit card authorization form cash advance lenders in arkansas pay ann taylor credit card online hsbc credit card rate of interest how to make sbi credit card payment online can you use a balance transfer credit card to pay off an overdraft generic credit card release authorization form best credit card terminal app for iphone gift credit cards online icici credit card emi interest calculator pay sbi credit card bill online billdesk bestbuy credit card us airways mastercard secure login applied bank credit card for bad credit opt out of credit card offers website chicago cta credit card machines payday loans just like wonga shoppers drug mart credit card easy to get credit card machine costco bad credit payday loans activate chase credit card rewards how to encash icici credit card reward points consolidate credit cards bank of america reviews capital one credit cards canada how to get a car loan with bad credit australia how can i get a credit card with no credit check axis bank credit cards details credit card fraud detection value city credit card fake visa credit card number and cvv2 how to create apps store without credit card visa credit card search chase bank secured credit card credit card balance transfer offers ireland hdfc credit card interest rates platinum pay walmart credit card lic credit card application form status city bank credit card status with reference number does bank of america offer virtual credit card numbers do prepaid credit cards help rebuild credit pvr cinemas standard chartered credit card offers what is a secured credit card wells fargo average american express credit limit maurices credit card citi credit cards rewards programs chase get cash advance credit card credit card offers for students with no credit start up business loans with bad credit black credit cards wiki juniper barclay credit card login new credit cards 2012 canada amazon credit card security breach credit cards deals singapore ge money bank credit card list barclay apple credit card phone number direct payday loans canadian travel credit card comparison cheapest credit card rates canada us bank credit card numbers your access to natwest credit card online services is locked out credit cards bad credit no annual fee bad credit loans direct lenders no guarantor hdfc credit cards offers icici credit card india offers how to calculate credit card interest charges best way to get credit card with no credit is it good to have credit cards with zero balance online apply for sbi credit cards in india hilton gold credit card uk american express platinum card uk what credit cards are under mbna virgin credit card balance transfer limit how do i get my starbucks gold card credit cards rewards comparison canada visa everyday rewards credit card walmart discover credit card login page southwest airlines visa business credit card credit card with no annual fee and low apr can online payday loan companies take you to court best credit card rate visa card number validation clark howard best credit cards for college students apply for american express credit card uk number activate cibc credit card guaranteed credit card approval no deposit how long before wells fargo secured credit card is unsecured credit card with low interest rate on cash advances compare credit card balance transfers australia continental finance matrix discover credit card login pay target visa credit card online poor credit loans update apple credit card from iphone closing low limit credit cards lord and taylor credit card services easy to get credit cards uk lloyds tsb credit card services address walmart credit card visa online payday loans instant approval 1st premier credit card reviews hdfc credit card deals on flights best interest free credit cards money saving expert diy rfid credit card protector how do i get a credit card if im 18 accepting credit cards at craft shows with paypal rbs 18 month interest free credit card bad credit credit card unsecured visa credit card company history best credit card travel deals apply for a 76 gas credit card i don;t need a credit card to ride this train citibank credit card types india $5000 bad credit loan australia chase credit card services elgin il what do i need to know when applying for a credit card can i claim ppi on my halifax credit card gold elite td visa card best way to get approved for a credit card with bad credit icici credit card interest rates calculator credit card rewards comparison capital one credit cards 0 interest payment online;s credit card processing software and services phd student credit card uk capital one credit cards cash rewards average how many ba gold card holders are there michele meyer black card magazine can i pay my lane bryant credit card in the store sbi credit card annual fee how to get credit card with no credit check credit cards for newcomers to canada pay belk credit card payment online how to get unsecured loans with bad credit capital one credit card transfer to bank account airline credit cards with no annual fee best short term cash loans top 20 payday lenders no brokers bad credit mortgage scotland all ge money bank credit cards hsbc credit card application declined costco credit card merchant services online cash advance lenders will my credit card company settle for less uk mbna canada credit card reviews citi credit card no international fee where to mail amazon credit card payments mba credit card canada capital one balance transfer offers existing customers best android credit card reader guaranteed unsecured credit card bad credit business credit cards for new business canada online payday loan easy approval quick loans online south africa td emerald visa card benefits how to apply for a credit card with little to no credit apply for capital one credit card in canada how to prevent credit card fraud on the internet virgin barclays credit card login what credit card is best for me quiz nedbank platinum card requirements same day pay loans no credit checks can you use a visa gift card to get cash back chase credit cards for no credit history top 5 credit cards in india 2012 virtual credit card using paypal apply for a walmart credit card over the phone best visa card cash back rewards credit card numbers 2013 that work hdfc credit cards reward points catalogue government help with credit card debt canada how to apply for credit card with bad credit in india how long after graduation to pay student loans vodafone balance transfer trick credit card protection plan review can i consolidate my credit cards with bad credit citibank corporate credit cards online sbi corporate credit card customer care bank of canada credit card debt unsecured credit card no credit check online credit card payment system java low introductory rate credit card canada top student credit cards canada best rewards credit card for business travel wireless credit card machine costco no credit check credit cards uk capital one credit card settlement 2012 no fee balance transfer credit cards can credit cards be discharged in bankruptcy use paypal to get virtual credit card best travel credit card bonus offers axis bank new credit card apply should i close my low limit credit cards no credit check credit cards no security deposit reclaim credit card protection insurance charges 200 cash back credit card chase get a credit card with no credit canada 6 best credit cards for bad credit easy credit card approval australia interest free credit cards compare the market no credit loans fast where to buy preloaded credit cards best credit card processing for very small business capital one credit card reviews uk comparing credit cards rewards firestone credit card pay by phone how to remove halo reach credit limit philippine credit cards online application will opening new credit cards hurt your credit score how to get an amscot cash advance credit cards with no annual fee for students payday loan direct lender only best smartphone credit card apps visa platinum card credit one bank easy approval credit cards unsecured pay hdfc credit card bill online through hdfc net banking tj maxx credit card information stolen credit cards for bad credit canada orchard bank credit card phone number icici bank credit card ebay offer citibank credit card loan emi calculator list of online loan sharks best credit card payment machine list of credit card companies uk what does guaranteed credit card mean credit card number format in india post office platinum credit card uk fake credit cards numbers that work online apply chase prepaid credit card natwest credit card balance transfers existing customers can i get a cash advance on my usaa credit card sears credit card services pay bill capital one visa platinum card prepaid credit card 5000 limit best buy credit card app status best reward credit card offers 2013 wireless credit card machine india standard chartered credit card application status check singapore chase credit card promotions 2013 high credit limit credit cards for excellent credit halifax credit card ?ă5 cash back credit card rewards comparison australia pay off credit card debt calculator 0 credit card balance transfer no fee barclays credit card uae contact number ba credit card payment charges bad credit car loans no credit check poor credit credit cards canada icici credit card reviews india applied bank secured credit card reviews black visa card australia visa card protection on debit cards best rewards credit card uk 2012 small business credit card comparison chart 2012 sear credit card offers best credit card for someone with bad credit rating can i use my sears credit card at kmart credit card payment joint credit card opt out of receiving credit card applications bank of america cash advance fee hdfc credit card bonus reward points offer citibank secured credit card anz rewards platinum credit card travel insurance visa credit card payment online us credit card debt citibank indian oil credit card apply online capital one compare all credit cards is it better to pay off credit card debt or save for retirement best rewards cards for average credit black pc mastercard best delta skymiles credit card which credit card company offers the lowest interest no fees credit card unsecured first premier credit card low interest cibc credit cards park hyatt credit card authorization form best buy master credit card air canada credit card rewards cdyne credit card verification web service apply for visa credit card canada company credit cards for personal use should i apply for paypal credit card does a secured credit card help bad credit best free travel credit cards canada major credit card logos uk best canadian credit cards cash back credit card reporting to all 3 credit bureaus walmart credit card 12 month no interest citibank reward credit card indonesia e application for sbi credit card intuit credit card processing complaints walmart credit card instant approval guaranteed unsecured credit card approval canada credit cards numbers and security code free that work fixed rate credit cards definition prepaid us credit card hulu data secure credit card aluminium wallet credit card rate reduction services using credit card abroad apply for visa credit card no annual fee canadian prepaid credit cards free does applying for a secured credit card hurt your credit hyatt regency mccormick place credit card authorization form credit card reviews canada 2012 ace online payday loans best gas rebate credit cards 2013 how to load paper into verifone credit card machine retail store credit cards bad credit post office platinum card customer services icici bank credit card statement customer care delta skymiles credit card pnc points visa credit card rewards best secured credit cards 2013 virtual credit card indonesia free what to know when applying for a credit card suntrust delta skymiles credit card grand hyatt washington dc credit card authorization form grocery store rewards cards where can i compare credit card offers irctc sbi credit card status do visa debit cards work in japan iphone 4 cases with credit card holder what are the benefits and disadvantages to the small business of accepting credit cards compare credit card interest rates calculator top 10 unsecured credit cards for bad credit webster first usa credit card credit card for student with no credit history how do i pay my firestone credit card online pnb credit cards online application i have no credit what credit card should i get american express credit card reviews uk best buy credit card credit check hsbc corporate credit cards apply for household credit card free virtual credit card generator halifax bank student credit card visa credit card company usa td gold elite visa card annual fee waived pay off credit card debt commonwealth bank american express credit card travel insurance check my credit score no credit card required paypal accept credit cards without account how does credit card balance transfers work best airmiles credit card uk manchester united credit card review wonga cash loans uk barclays premier credit card uk national cash advance head office nhs discounts black card unsecured post bankruptcy credit cards orchard secured credit card review canadian prepaid visa credit cards ge capital credit card payment phone number credit card number location mastercard 0 balance transfer credit card malaysia amazon payments credit card points credit cards no income students apply for starbucks credit card instant virtual credit card online how to get credit card with no credit in india apply for visa credit card online instant approval tesco credit card points on fuel largest credit card issuers in the us 2012 halifax credit card 0 can i get a credit card without a job and bad credit credit card information security policy template
Home Maury Brown Who's to Blame for Frank McCourt Owning the Dodgers?

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 628 guests online

Atom RSS

Who's to Blame for Frank McCourt Owning the Dodgers? PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 28
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 01 August 2011 12:03

These were supposed to be the gravy years for Bud Selig. With his contract up for expiration at the end of 2012, the commissioner should have been spending most of his time touting league growth and labor peace.

But instead, Selig is dealing with the mess that Frank McCourt is making of the Dodgers. McCourt has turned into your cousin Eddie. You told him he could stay a while on the couch, and instead, he’s raiding the fridge and talking about you behind your back.

McCourt is Veruca Salt. He’s now stomping his feet saying he wants what’s his, and if he can’t he’s going to make a scene. You can see him holding his breath now.

Where the O’Malley’s build the Dodgers as an edifice to community in Los Angeles; where News Corp. bought them as an edifice to their portfolio, Frank McCourt has built the Dodgers into an edifice of self.

As McCourt has run the value of the club into the ground, been investigated by the California Attorney General for dealings with the Dodgers’ charitable organizations, he’s gotten personal. The most recent is tying amount of salary that the owners set for Bud Selig after growing league revenues from $1.4 billion in 1995 to $7 billion in 2010, to the amount of money that McCourt took from the Dodgers so that he and his former wife Jamie could live an opulent lifestyle.

"The claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers over the course of seven years is patently false," said McCourt in a court filing. "Moreover, even taking the Commissioner's false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value, it is difficult to understand how the Commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year -- meaning that he has taken out between $120 million and $140 million from baseball revenues during the same period that he complains about $100 million being taken out by the owner of a team."

The reality, of course, is Selig makes $18.35 million. That amount was set in 2009 after making $17.5 million.

Selig has been lambasted for letting McCourt own the Dodgers in the first place. In Boston, fans have breathed a sigh of relief that he could have nearly owned the Red Sox. The reality is, McCourt lucked out and stumbled into the Dodgers.

Malcolm Glazer, MLB and NFL Rules

Frank McCourt was never supposed to wind up with the Dodgers. Malcolm Glazer was ahead of him. So was former Seattle Mariner owner Jeff Smulyan and Los Angeles developer Alan Casden, who initially had a higher bid than Glazer, were well in front of McCourt. He was a fallback plan, and even then, very nearly didn’t wind up with the club. When News Corp put the Dodgers up for sale, the deal was supposed to go to Malcolm Glazer.

The problem was, Glazer owns the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That bumped into problems with the NFL.

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."

Impatient, News Corp Pushes for McCourt

It didn’t move faster, and News Corp got impatient. Looking to get out from the Dodgers as fast as possible, they looked to Frank McCourt who had missed out on the Red Sox and Angels to complete a sale. The reasons that McCourt missed out on both of those sales had to due as much with how he had money wrapped up as to whether there will better bids available. He would have never been able to pull either of those sales off without other investors. The Dodgers was about being at the right place at the right time for McCourt.

From the get go, there were concerns, namely how McCourt would pay for the Dodgers, but Allen & Co. said not to worry. It was there…. Just not “there”.

If there were a point where MLB could have stepped in and tried to put a foot down, it could have been when they heard McCourt had a liquidity problem – everything was tied up in property – and the purchase would be highly leveraged, so much so that it would be in violation of the league’s debt service rule.

As it does now, the problem for the league is one of stopping sales transactions unless they are exceptionally fragile. With News Corp it was a delicate balancing act. They wanted out, and had been for some time. They were impatient as the Glazer deal had floundered. They were the league’s national broadcast partner through Fox. They were now pushing for McCourt.

Red flags were thrown almost immediately about the sale structure and McCourt was struggling to get the deal done. Talk was that McCourt would get the green light at the owners meetings in November of 2003, but it had to be taken off the agenda because McCourt still has not forwarded most of the paperwork that the commissioner's office needed to review before scheduling a vote.  

Selig kept saying that he trusted Allen & Co. to pull the sale together without any issues. McCourt’s people kept pointing to the protracted sale process between the O’Malley’s and News Corp. Of course the difference there was News Corp had billions to draw from. McCourt had little to none.

Eli Broad Steps in at the 11th Hour

Along with this, the community started to stir. McCourt had been virtually invisible, not saying anything in the media or otherwise about his plans for the Dodgers. As the exclusivity deadline for McCourt to close the deal approached Los Angeles developer and billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad stepped in.

Broad said he would be a fallback in case McCourt couldn’t make the deal happen. L.A. Mayor James Hahn backed Broad. 

"As to what significance the development with Eli Broad has is a question for News Corp.," then MLB president Bob DuPuy said. "As for baseball, we have no reaction in the sense that News Corp. has asked us to process the McCourt application and that's what we're attempting to do. I think both the buyer and seller want it done and that's what we're trying to do."

News Corp didn’t care about Broad. After all the work they had put in with Glazer and now McCourt, they wanted out. A Fox Group official said to the LA Times that company execs "were not entertaining Broad's offer and were pressing ahead with McCourt.”

MLB could have pushed McCourt to sell assets to allow him to have more cash in the deal, but the league was concerned that if that needed to happen, it could depress the sale price, something the league is always looking to avoid.

"We've been told by Allen & Co. and McCourt that he'd be able to finance the purchase on his own if need be," DuPuy said.

McCourt Lands the Dodgers

In the end, McCourt was approved on Jan. 29 of 2004 as new owner of the Dodgers, but there was a lot of talk amongst Executive and Ownership Committee about the deal. They were nervous about the extent to which McCourt was leveraged.

Here’s how financial structure for McCourt worked out:

In three separate transactions, News Corp loaned McCourt $196 million. The remaining $225 million of the $421 million sale was done through Bank of America.

The Fallout in the Front Office

You’ll likely never get Bud Selig (or any of the owners) on record, but if you could have polled them 6 months after the sale to McCourt, they would have said they had made a mistake. Some of the best front office execs were either fired or left the organization following McCourt’s purchase.

President Bob Graziano, executive vice president of business Kris Rone left over what was deemed philosophical differences with Frank and Jamie McCourt. As noted in the LA Times on March 9, 2004, “sources familiar with the situation said that both questioned the viability of a business plan based on a best-case scenario. If that best case doesn't totally evolve -- and seldom do all of the pieces fall in place in baseball -- Graziano and Rone were concerned, the sources said, about McCourt's long-term operating potential given the level of the debt servicing in his highly leveraged purchase of the club.”

Derrick Hall, Dodger senior vice president also fled. Along the way, there were firings, including GM Dan Evans who was left hanging while whispers of Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta wafted about as replacements.

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?

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on TwitterTwitter

FacebookFollow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook



Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?