Just three days after suspending operations and laying off its employees amid the coronavirus pandemic, the XFL has formally filed for bankruptcy.
The football league, owned by WWE CEO Vince McMahon, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, listing both its estimated assets and liabilities in the range of $10 million to $50 million.
In a statement, the league said:
“The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football.”
Among the top creditors with the largest unsecured claims from the league are Bob Stoops, the longtime University of Oklahoma coach who was the head coach and general manager of the Dallas Renegades, and former Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman, who served as head coach and GM of the Tampa Bay Vipers.
Stoops has the third-largest unsecured claim at $1.08 million. Trestman’s was seventh at just under $778,000. Others owed six-figure sums include Jonathan Hayes, Winston Moss, Kevin Gilbride, June Jones and Jim Zorn, all league head coaches.
The filing also showed that WWE owned 23.5 percent of the league’s Class B shares. McMahon owned 100 percent of Class A shares and 76.5 percent of Class B shares.
The XFL, which had eight franchises and aired games on ESPN and Fox, canceled its first season on March 20 due to the pandemic. The second iteration of McMahon’s football vision made it through five weeks of play with five additional weeks remaining on the schedule. The playoffs were scheduled to begin on April 18 with the league’s championship game on the docket for April 26.
XFL COO Jeffrey Pollack held a conference call on Friday to inform the league’s employees that the league was suspending operations and all employees were laid off.
McMahon’s initial attempt to operate a football league came in 2001, but it folded after one season.
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