Thursday, March 06, 2008

The AAFL Needs Some Cash!

To run a successful sports league there are two very important items. The first is the staff. You know, players, coaches, referees, etc. The second is cash. The All-American Football League has had no problem with the first one, as was evident during their inaugural draft. However, they seem to be having a slight problem with that second part.

The new All American Football League will have to postpone its 2008 season unless it finds additional financial backing.

The announcement Thursday came less than a week before camps were to open for the six-team league.

Now, I know that there are a lot of football fans out there with deep pockets, but I just can't see too many of them putting up thousands of dollars to keep the AAFL afloat. Though, maybe someone should let Ben Bernake of this dire situation because apparently the problems are tied directly to the subprime mortgage crisis.
In an attempt to secure kickoff of its inaugural season as well as its long-term future and success, the All American Football League® has begun discussions to explore multiple financing options.

Since inception, the League's finances have been indirectly tied to the $300 billion federally guaranteed student loan asset backed securities market. In August, the sub prime mortgage crisis began spreading into other sectors such as municipal bonds and federally guaranteed student loans. The situation, which was considered to be temporary at the time, has continued to worsen.

Despite the fact that the Federal Reserve has repeatedly lowered interest rates during this financial crisis, their efforts have not yet restored liquidity in many asset backed markets, including municipal bonds and student loans.

The League held its inaugural draft in January, and the team rosters and staffs are all in place. All teams are scheduled to open training camp Wednesday if liquidity can be immediately restored.

Every effort is being made to insure that the '08 season will be played as planned, but this depends upon a locating new majority owner with the needed liquidity, which in turn depends upon the League being able to finalize a TV deal. Otherwise, the inaugural season will be postponed to '09.

In all seriousness, I've dealt with the AAFL, and I've never had any problems with the people that I interacted with. They all wanted to put together a competitive football league where players could continue their careers, and fans could enjoy watching some quality games. Hopefully they can get this financial situation worked out, and I wish them nothing but the best.

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