Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Frank McCourt's Lawyers Warn The MLB Financing Is "A Deal With The Devil"--And They Would All Know

Really, there isn't much to say before the Wednesday judge's decision regarding which loan the Dodgers should take: MLB's package, or the one that Frank McCourt secured privately. With a higher interest rate and additional millions of dollars in fees, the McCourt offer seems absurd to consider--which is exactly what a creditors' committee concluded. But of course that won't stop the ever-litigious Frank McCourt from firing away with his hired guns, financial logic be damned:

Frank McCourt would be signing "a deal with the devil" by accepting a loan offered by a commissioner intent on stripping McCourt of his team, attorneys for the Dodgers owner argued in a bankruptcy court filing Monday.

The bare-knuckle filing foretold a legal "collision course" between McCourt and Commissioner Bud Selig over who has the final say in selling a team's television rights and, ultimately, whether the court would honor or override baseball rules that authorize Selig to kick out McCourt.

The immediate issue — whether the Dodgers should be financed during the bankruptcy case by a loan arranged by McCourt or one proposed by Major League Baseball — is set to be decided at a court hearing Wednesday. The MLB loan could save the Dodgers close to $15 million in interest and fees, a committee of creditors said in a filing Monday.

"There can be no question the [proposed MLB financing] is economically superior," according to the committee filing.

However, the fine print of the proposed MLB financing includes terms tilted toward triggering defaults that would enable the league to take over the Dodgers, attorneys for McCourt wrote in calling that loan "nothing but a pretext … for the commissioner's ulterior motive of seizing control of the [Dodgers] and ousting Mr. McCourt."

I thought ulterior motives were supposed to be concealed or hidden? There's nothing hidden here, Frank; the MLB terms will put the Dodgers' in a less difficult financial situation, AND we get new ownership that hopefully won't lever this franchise any further. Sounds like a win-win.