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Arena Football League moves forward, but still feels wobbly

The Arena Football League returned this season, after four years of not playing. After a sputtering start with supposedly 16 teams, the AFL has a new interim commissioner and a streamlined collection of 10 (we think) franchises.

One of the remaining teams, the Washington Wolfpack, recently issued a statement blasting former AFL leadership for the struggles of the league.

Via the Seattle Times, the Wolfpack said “teams were promised player salaries and team travel to away games — paid by the league," but that "[u]nder commissioner Lee Hutton III, the AFL failed to provide a single dollar towards these expenses."

“The Wolfpack . . . has been able to absorb the impact of the former league’s leadership refusal to compensate player salaries," the team added. "[But] we need to revise our model moving forward. Our current player roster has been offered a revised compensation structure we feel is competitive with indoor football, although reduced from salary levels initially proposed at the start of the season.”

The Wolfpack, per the Times, played their Week 4 game as scheduled, losing to the Oregon Blackbears.

The precise number of teams isn't currently clear. The official online standings show 11, with two two-team divisions, a three-team division, and a four-team division.

At some point, they should contract to two divisions. Or maybe none.

They also need to spend a little elbow grease on their official website. Despite the efforts to salvage the season, the destination still oozes chaos and confusion. Look at the schedule of games, for example. It still includes teams that have abandoned the league.

Thus, even with former Titans and Rams coach Jeff Fisher serving as interim commissioner, it's hard not to think the reconstituted Arena League is slowly circling the drain.