Dundon: Decision on future of AAF could come tomorrow

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In the aftermath of Alliance of American Football majority owner Tom Dundon acknowledging last week that the AAF may not make it to year two, PFT reported that the AAF may not make it to the end of year one — and that this past weekend of games could be the last.

Dundon said Monday that a decision on whether the plug will be pulled could come as soon as Tuesday.

He told Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Daily that, without an agreement to use NFL players, there’s a “real possibility” the league will close its doors.

“Trying to figure that out so I will have more information tomorrow,” Dundon said. “It’s pretty fluid. It’s day to day, I would say.”

Dundon has tied the league’s viability to the ability to use bottom-of-roster NFL players. An agreement with the NFL, which hinges on an agreement with the NFLPA, hasn’t been reached. On Sunday, PFT reported that there had been no movement regarding a possible deal.

“It is just what we think would make this the most compelling league,” Dundon told Kaplan. “We don’t know what they [the NFLPA] are going to do, if they will do it. That is kind of our thought. That’s what we are trying to figure out right now.”

Some think that using obscure NFL players won’t help the AAF, if the AAF is poised to fail without those players. And the NFLPA isn’t particularly thrilled with the suggestion that the NFLPA holds the keys to the AAF’s survival.

Dundon is the one who holds the keys for now. If he decides to stop funding the league, the league will need to complete the same kind of Hail Mary pass that brought Dundon on board several weeks ago, or it will indeed be over.

43 responses to “Dundon: Decision on future of AAF could come tomorrow

  1. Is it just me or is relying on another companies employees to bring you revenue a terrible business model?

  2. Tom Dundon seems like a huge idiot.

    Regardless of what is needed for the AAF to survive, the way he’s handling the situation seems highly suspect.

    At this point it almost seems purposefully designed to give an excuse to shut down the league(probably immediately followed by selling off the league’s assets in order to repay his investment).

  3. If they fold it now before even really giving it a chance, these owners just wasted millions of dollars. It’s a tough call. If the results are the same next season, they would have wasted even more money. The AAF needs more offensive player talent. Unfortunately, higher scoring games would help bring up the ratings.

  4. Either the NFL wants a developmental league or they don’t. If they don’t assist the league by supplying practice squad players, they will never have a developmental league.

  5. Maybe I’m ignorant to operating costs for a football league, but how do you blow thru a quarter of a BILLION dollars in a few weeks?? I’d love to see a breakdown of operating costs just to see where all the money goes.

  6. Two points: 1. Dundon made an all-time dumb move bailing them out in their second week only to see things be so bad they won’t even make it out of the first season. 2. If I’m an NFL player–and even a low level one–why would I risk getting hurt playing in a league so financially unsound there’s a distinct possible they’ll fold without paying me at some point? They pay way less than the NFL minimum so these guys would be risking their financial futures just to play a few extra games for way less money.

  7. Maybe I’m not following, but is Dundon hoping the NFL makes playing in the AAF a REQUIREMENT for practice squad players? If the AAF is going to pay them then it makes no difference if they’re NFL practice squad players or not–it’d be the same money being spent by the AAF. But guys make about $200K for being on an NFL practice squad now. Does Dundon actually believe they’d play in the AAF for that same amount with no raise at all? And if there was any raise, you can bet the NFL would expect the AAF to cover it. This sounds like a total pipe dream of an idea.

  8. Joke of a league. Nobody wants bottom feeder players. When it was launched I believe it was billed as another FB – not the NFL’s little sister league.

  9. The problem is that these leagues continue to have enormous overhead and infrastructure costs instead of determining how to achieve profitability. This dated mindset of thinking you have to pay millions to bring on rich guys in suits who will have THE idea to create an NFL alternative is the last thing you should be doing.

    Instead you should figure out how to put on a safe product for as little cost as possible.

    The XFL is the going to have the same problem with the ridiculous contract they reportedly gave Oliver Luck. His salary will be more than the league makes in ticket sales. How the h-e-double hockey sticks do you expect to turn a profit if that is the case?

  10. Somebody needs to start an audit because all that money disappeared awfully fast and it certainly wasn’t going in the players’ pockets. Total payroll for an AAF team is in the $4-$5 million range. (Guys average around $75K.) That’s not a lot of money for payroll for ANY business with that number of employees and if they weren’t prepared to cover that amount for even a single season what kind of plan could they have had? And this is after Dundon gave them millions two weeks into the season!?

  11. I’m all for football all the time so I hope this things sticks around and hope the XFL does well too.

  12. Let Dundon walk. If he want to work with the NFL he need to fill out an application with them. His plans for the AAF does not make sense. We need to find a smarter investor with a better outlook.I can’t believe he speaking out like this , its hurting the league.

  13. This is grandstanding. Hes trying to create an official connection between the aaf and nfl. He didnt put in a bunch of money 2 months ago to pull the plug now. He should forget that, go with the best players you can get and make money in non nfl markets during the nfl offseason.

  14. brickwilly says:

    April 1, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Either the NFL wants a developmental league or they don’t. If they don’t assist the league by supplying practice squad players, they will never have a developmental league.
    ———-
    The NFL has a developmental league, it’s called the NCAA. They have no interest in taking risks with their players for no financial gain. It’s also the AAF who continues to say they want to be a developmental league not the other way around.

  15. Just a clarification. He pledged up to $250M long-term. That doesn’t mean he spent 1/100th of that so far. He essentially extended a line of credit, up to $250M. Sounds like he is pulling that back quickly, after a minimal investment.

  16. This seems like a desperate move to install the AAF as the official developmental league of the NFL before the XFL starts up next season. Having this guy as your point man is a really bad move. What happened to Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol? Not sure what they were expecting to make in the first year but if it was all based on getting the NFL to get involved in some way to survive, it was a really bad plan.

  17. Blaming the NFLPA is a bogus excuse for a business plan that was totally flawed. $500,000 pay for Head Coaches and six figures for other coaches and GM’s could not be sustained with fan friendly ticket pricing and a time buy TV deal with no rights fees. Great idea…need for such Leagues but terrible business/cost model

  18. I don’t see why they would pull the plug now. Worst-case scenario: start the playoffs this weekend. The east is set, the west teams have a two-game lead with two to play. Orlando/Birmingham and San Antonio/Arizona this weekend. If you start the playoffs now, you “complete” your first season and have months to strike a deal with the NFL. It minimizes risk moving forward and maximizes money already spent.

  19. “Regardless of what is needed for the AAF to survive, the way he’s handling the situation seems highly suspect”

    —————

    I think it’s pretty clear what he’s doing, and that’s just waiting to see if the NFLPA and the AAF can make an agreement to stock the AAF with NFL talent. NFL players, and former college players, would NEVER play in a league that prevents them from jumping to the NFL. I think it’s understandable on his end, completely. That’s why his original investment was not a final, lump sum type of payment. He took a risk, but a measured one in seeing how much of a chance the league would have, and it’s clear Dundon doesn’t believe it has any shot if the players can’t play.

  20. To add to the above good comments, in addition to the NCAA, every year a BUNCH of guys from the CFL sign futures contracts with the NFL and the CFL just changed their contract structure to allow first year players to sign with NFL after just one season. ALL the top CFL players have been on NFL rosters at some point – or tried to. So the CFL is already a d-league … PLUS you’ll have the XFL next year anyway. It seems to me Dundon is trying to bluff with nothing in his hand.

  21. SAVE THE AAF. Charlie Ebersol and Bill Poland need to put a stop to Dundon. Finish this season and then merge with the XFL. With Vince McMahon’s money they would have the financial backing. The XFL has the bigger markets which should’ve help. The AAF has been great. I watch every weekend and where I live does not have an AAF team. DO NOT LET THE THE AAF DIE!!!!!!!!

  22. Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol need to make a statement. They started this league. How can they let it fold without a fight? A merger between the AAF and XFL would create an awesome 16 team spring league.

  23. I’m hoping they come up with something. I have 2 futures bets. One on Orlando and another on Arizona to win it all. Both are in first place in their respective divisions. Could be a Orlando – Arizona Superbowl or whatever the AAF calls it.

  24. The one sided love affair between the AAF and the NFL finally come to an end. Good riddance, the AAF was a bad idea from the start. They should of went head to head instead of trying to be Dleague nfl. Bring on the XFL, show those nfl washouts how it’s done.

  25. That’s going to be a fun Bankruptcy hearing.

    Every player under contract becomes a creditor.

  26. I’ve never even seen a commercial to let me know when the games are on or who is playing or where… maybe that’s one of the issues

  27. meet2x4 says:
    April 1, 2019 at 4:53 pm
    Is it just me or is relying on another companies employees to bring you revenue a terrible business model?

    Actually we do it all the time. It is called a “strategic alliance.” And if it isn’t people we use money or other resources.

    They aren’t “using another company’s employees.” They are giving players who aren’t going to make an NFL roster the chance to prove that they should. That is called “a win-win” situation.

  28. objectivefbfan says:
    April 1, 2019 at 11:37 pm
    meet2x4 says:
    April 1, 2019 at 4:53 pm
    Is it just me or is relying on another companies employees to bring you revenue a terrible business model?

    Actually we do it all the time. It is called a “strategic alliance.” And if it isn’t people we use money or other resources.

    They aren’t “using another company’s employees.” They are giving players who aren’t going to make an NFL roster the chance to prove that they should. That is called “a win-win” situation.

    ———————————————–
    If that was the gameplan all along, then why would you start the league without guarantees from the nfl and the nflpa? It makes no sense. If I start a new basketball league, I don’t wait until half way through the season and then say, “I will shut this league down until the nba supplies some talent”. Who does business like that? Was there a plan b in case the nfl/ nflpa didn’t blink? What if nfl players get hurt before the season, who will be responsible? Lastly, how does one person have all this power over the league?

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