The Latest: Letter says most AAF employees to be terminated
The Latest on the future of the Alliance of American Football (all times EDT):
The Alliance of American Football has ended its first season prematurely and notified most employees that they will be terminated as of Wednesday.
Employees were notified in a letter from the board on Tuesday afternoon. The board essentially is majority owner Tom Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
The letter, obtained by The Associated Press, said only that the decision to suspend operations was made “after careful consideration.”
It also said a small staff would remain to seek new investment capital and “restructure our business. Should those efforts prove successful, we look forward to working with many of you on season two.”
Alliance of American Football co-founder Bill Polian says he’s been told football operations have been suspended and that virtually everyone involved will be terminated within 24 to 48 hours. He declined to say who told him that.
He says the only people to be retained will be equipment managers and others closing facilities.
Polian says he is “extremely disappointed.”
He said: “We were headed to a tremendous run of success, beginning with Saturday’s game leading into (the NCAA Tournament) on CBS. Our league on the field has prospered and grown. The football’s gotten better, and that’s a tremendous tribute to the coaches and players and GMs and front office staff and all the other people who have done a phenomenal job.”
Asked why the league was shutting down, Polian said he’s heard that “only that it’s about the money. That’s all.”
The Alliance of American Football is suspending operations eight games into its first season.
A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press the eight-team spring football league is not folding, but games will not be played this weekend. The decision was made by majority owner Tom Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because league officials were still working through details of the suspension. An announcement from the league is expected later Tuesday.
The league was co-founded by former NFL executive Bill Polian and television and film producer Charlie Ebersol.
The AAF aspired to be a league for players with NFL hopes, but it could not reach agreement with the NFLPA to use players at the end of NFL rosters.