AAF co-founder Bill Polian released the following statement regarding Tom Dundon’s decision to suspend football operations on Tuesday.
“I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football,” Polian said, via ESPN.com. “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.”
Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the Alliance of American Football will be suspending operations in the next few hours.
- According to PFT, this doesn’t mean that the AAF is folding, but it appears to be headed that way.
- Darren Rovell reports that AAF owner Tom Dundon will lose approximately $70 million on his investment.
- Albert Breer mentions that the perception inside the AAF is that Dundon bought a majority stake in the league simply for the gambling app being developed. A source tells Breer: “Dundon got the technology he wanted and he’s now minus one rather large headache.”
- Conor Orr spoke with a source who said that AAF league executives were “stunned” by the decision to suspend operations and there’s still hope for a “Hail Mary situation” that would including an outside funding source. Orr adds that things could get complicated with a pre-final four CBS slot.
This comes less than a week after Tom Dundon, the majority investor in the Alliance of American Football, said the new league was in danger of folding after just one year if the NFL Players Association doesn’t cooperate and allow them to use young players from NFL rosters.
“If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” Dundon tells USA TODAY Sports. “We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league.”
According to USA Today, a players’ union official expressed serious concerns about the risks of lending active NFL players to the AAF.
USA Today’s source explained that the players’ union is founded on the belief that using active NFL players and practice squad members for the AAF would violate the terms of the CBA and the restrictions that prevent teams from holding mandatory workouts and practices throughout the offseason.
Beyond that, there’s also concern that teams would abuse their power and perhaps force young players into AAF action as a condition for consideration for NFL roster spots in the fall.
Dundon mentioned that they’re considering all options and expects to make a decision about the league’s future over the next two days.
The AAF is reportedly hoping to get permission to use practice squad players, particularly No. 3 quarterbacks and young linemen starting next season.
Dundon invested $250 million into the AAF back in February to ensure that they could pay their bills and keep the league going.
We’ll have more regarding the AAF as the news is available.