Bill Polian: AAF was well positioned for future success

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The Alliance of American Football suspended operations on Tuesday as a result of majority investor Tom Dundon’s decision to cease funding the upstart league eight games into its inaugural season.

Dundon had come on board with a $250 million investment after the first week of games and there have been reports about the league’s uncertain future for the last couple of weeks. Despite those reports and Dundon’s own signals that he was considering pulling the plug, league co-owner Bill Polian said in a statement on Tuesday that he felt the league was positioned for better days in the future.

“I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football,” Polian said in a statement. “When Mr Dundon took over, it was the belief of my co-founder, Charlie Ebersol, and myself that we would finish the season, pay our creditors, and make the necessary adjustments to move forward in a manner that made economic sense for all. The momentum generated by our players, coaches and football staff had us well positioned for future success. Regrettably, we will not have that opportunity.”

The XFL will relaunch next year in a bid for the lasting success as a spring football league that eluded both the AAF and the XFL’s first iteration.

18 responses to “Bill Polian: AAF was well positioned for future success

  1. They launched with so little capital (or misspent it so badly) they were short of money after Week 2 and needed an emergency bailout. Just 6 weeks after that, they were in such bad shape they were begging the NFL for practice squad players who were presumably going to be asked to play FOR FREE (or on the NFL’s dime because the AAF couldn’t afford to pay them). Yet, they were somehow positioned for future success?

  2. Bill Polian, like Tom Dundon should both be enshrined in the AAF Hall of Fame.

  3. Well, you didn’t finish your first season, you need another 20 millions but your in good position… if someone give you money.
    From the start you were depending on a business’s angel to save your as..
    How about taking responsability for your bussiness plan?
    Denial is etc…

  4. @pastabelly your pretty close the reports are he spent 20 million

    Polian isnt wrong they were/are set up for future success. Anyone who went in thinking they would have immediate success was fooling themselves. The 1st 2 years were going to be a loss and year 3 you hope to turn a profit. It takes time to build a brand. I think Polian understood that but the league instead took an investor who was looking to turn an immediate profit and had no interest in funding a loss but instead saw the technology as a way to make a quick profit and if the league could sustain itself it was a plus. McMahon has said expects to lose 500 million the 1st 3 years of the xfl. That number may not be enough(last time he list 70 in 1 year) but at least he seems to understand it’s going to take time.

  5. Positioned for success?!!?!?

    Not with attendance and weekly TV ratings I saw.

  6. Same guy who said he had a first round grade on Tom Brady but passed on him 6 times.

  7. “with bill polian in charge how could the result have been more predictable”


    I know you’re a Pats fan so everything Bill Polian does is a failure to you, but the guy knows more about running football teams than most people on the planet, even within the same profession. He’s said some dumb things as an analyst, namely the Brady grade thing, but painting him as a dunce is just as dumb. You’re only doing it because it’s required to be a fan of the Patriots.

    Yeah, he’s said some dumb things as an analyst but five Superbowl trips and a win are not common credentials. Who’s got a comparable resume? Coughlin, maybe? Newsome, maybe? Neither have been to more than two title games, even though they won both and have a long history of successfully building teams. Belichick has obviously better credentials, but who compares to him? Face it, you’re not calling Polian a fool for football reasons.

  8. @SundaySwami, you have this all wrong. This league wasn’t growing a product or introducing something new like when the NFL came around a 100 years ago. The AAF is like another burger joint selling something we already know about. You can’t bring a bad product to the public and expect them to come back around when it gets better. If you open a restaurant and are selling bad burgers your customer base won’t come back to allow you to fix your mistakes and get better. They have moved on and have formed their opinion of you. Don’t compare this to when leagues like NHL, NFL or MLB brought a new product to the public and had to grow interest. That isn’t what this is at all.

  9. Dundon made his money off charging people high interest on car loans. Enough said.

  10. I love all the business experts in here lobbing tomatoes from the cheap seats, a bunch of guys who couldnt run a lemonade stand telling Polian that he shouldve worked on his business plan. Laughable.

  11. Just another loss on Polians resume. It was a poor plan really. Fans need to have something to be invested in. They should’ve worked out the part of using practice squad players before they started and if they couldn’t either don’t bother or do something more interesting than be a poor man’s arena football league. Typical arrogance to think people will watch it because it’s on TV.

  12. I think Bill Polian is quite overrated as a GM. When Buffalo went to those four straight Superbowls, there was no free agency or salary cap and he could keep the core talent that he drafted. With the Colts, he built a team around the QB and a handful of Quality players with no depth on the roster.

    The Patriots without Brady in 2008 went 11-5 while the Colts without Manning in 2011 went 2-14. If the plan was for the Colts to not be competitive in 2011 in order to be in position to draft the QB out of Stanford-then Polian is a disgrace. If that wasn’t the plan, he built a team that collapsed like a house of cards when Manning was out for the season.

  13. Watched a little bit of a few games and just couldn’t take it. The level of play was basically on par with a couple division 2 college teams!

  14. Unfortunately, Polian isn’t someone who can be trusted to speak the truth. Anything he says is questionable at best.

  15. If they get a second chance, they need to hire people like Mike Mayock who can present the players as NFL prospects, and know their backgrounds. This is a league for football geeks, Fantasy Football guys, and draftniks. The TV announcers were acting like normal analysts, and that’s not the right way to promote this type of league. Actually the broadcasts were snoozers. They talked about defensive scheme’s etc., because that’s all an ex-defensive coach knows. That’s not why the audience was tuning in. We’re looking for the next Kurt Warner. Need to make the individual players come to life. The people running the league were out of touch with the audience. There’s a big audience for this type of league.

  16. @Buckybadger I never said it was a new product nor did I compare it to other leagues so don’t try to put words in my mouth. Their building a brand, that’s not the same thing. Very few businesses turn a profit immediately and to think this 1 would is ridiculous. Their lack of a television deal and advertising of where/when the games were on as well as ticket prices is what did them in because the fan base had no chance to grow. The games were ok and if people could easily find the games on tv they would have watched. Even casual NFL and NCAA fans no when/where find games each week but the aaf didnt advertise and organize enough to bring in that casual fan.

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