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Fox won’t have Frank McCourt’s back if he takes the team into bankruptcy

Jun 23, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

Frank McCourt AP

One possible strategy — outside of extreme and acrimonious litigation — Frank McCourt could pursue to thwart Major League Baseball’s seizure of the team when he fails to meet payroll is to put the team into bankruptcy.  I’m not a bankruptcy expert — not by a longshot — but generally speaking a bankruptcy filing puts the brakes on everything related to the asset in question. It stays pending lawsuits and collection actions and, in all likelihood, would temporarily halt Bud Selig from kicking McCourt out of the ownership chair.

Of course, that halt in the action would be intended for the bankruptcy court to get a handle on the assets and liabilities of the club, and during that time it would be incumbent upon McCourt to demonstrate how, exactly, he planned to get the team out of bankruptcy and up and running again.  And to that end, there’s a complication. As usual, here’s Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

Fox would not stand by Frank McCourt if the Dodgers owner were to ask a bankruptcy judge to order approval of the television contract rejected this week by Commissioner Bud Selig, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The Fox position would “severely complicate” any plans McCourt might have to file bankruptcy as a way to retain control of the Dodgers, said Rob Kampfner of White and Case, the firm that represented the incoming owners of the Texas Rangers through that club’s bankruptcy proceedings last year … “Frank would go in and wouldn’t have an exit strategy,” Kampfner said.

This is totally Richard III territory here. I love that part at the end where the dude gets abandoned by his allies, he can’t find a horse on Bosworth Field and then he gets hacked down.

  1. aaronmoreno - Jun 23, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    While I’m sure Fox would love the deal to go through, they have to believe that seriously pissing off Bud and the other29 owners in baseball would preclude any other MLB TV deals down the line.

    • kopy - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      I looked it up, and Fox’s major deal with MLB expires at the end of 2013 – the one for the playoffs/World Series. I would guess that any major case that Fox is involved in would have the verdict fresh in everyone’s minds (or God forbid, still pending) when a new deal is being made, so Fox probably made the smart play by staying out of it.

  2. elbow212 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Tis the summer of our discontent

  3. snowbirdgothic - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    And Shakespeare did anticipate McCourt in that same play:

    Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog,
    Thou that wast sealed in thy nativity
    The slave of nature and the son of hell.

    • Old Gator - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      What I want to do is strip Richard bare….

      • snowbirdgothic - Jun 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

        You bring up the one-eyed Episcopalian kangaroo, I’m outta here.

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