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So, financially speaking, how screwed are the Wilpons?

Dec 14, 2011, 1:37 PM EDT

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

With news the other day that the Wilpons took another big loan to help keep Mets’ operations afloat, new questions are being raised regarding just how poorly off Fred Wilpon really is.

Over at Amazin’ Avenue, Dan Lewis breaks it down in amazing detail.  Detail which you should all read if, for no other reason, when that one guy who comments on every Mets post shows up, you’ll be able to counter his propaganda.  In the meantime, here’s Dan’s summary:

Right now, the Mets are running serious losses annually — even including their profit share from SNY. There’s no easy way for them to get enough cash to run the team, unless the Wilpons keep putting money in (if they can), and the current plan has a $240 million price tag attached to it, due 2017. They could sell a lot of their SNY stake, but that’d be a very painful sale — and perhaps one fatal to the Wilpons’ efforts to maintain their ownership of the team.

Which is why they’re doing things like shopping Jon Niese for prospects.  Depressing times.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    It’s time to sell, Wilipons. Get out.

    • evanwins - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      Everyone but them seem to understand that. Unbelievable. The largest market in the world is gonna have a baseball team that looks like a minor league squad because they can’t afford a real major league team. These guys should be sneezing money.

      David Wright would look great in a Phillies uniform.

    • dohpey28 - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      This is why Selig is a joke. His friend’s the Wiplons are getting preferential treatment over the other crook McCord is getting, and the other bufoon Hicks got.

  2. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    nice picture of Jeff watching Fred flick a booger into a hat.

  3. Kyle - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    What a shame. These fools have gots to go.

  4. Reflex - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Oh its all part of the plan. Just ask chrisny. They are just preparing to sucker punch the NL. Trust them, they know what they are doing.

  5. somekat - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Why doesn’t the league step in like the did with L.A.?? They were all about forcing him to sell, and all he did was try to pull off a re-worked deal for their TV rights. It isn’t like he went to FOX and said, “hey, can I borrow half a billion? I”m good for it”. These guys on the other hand, are robbing Peter to pay Paul just to pay for day to day operation. But somehow this situation isn’t worth the league stepping in?

    Just another case of how the most important thing in MLB is to be on Selig’s good side (because it definitely makes send to send Houston – historically NL – to the American League instead of the Brewers, who were just an AL team a decade ago. Hey, who owns the Brewers?)

  6. Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Not only are they bleeding the Mets dry, but they’re also bleeding SNY.

    “Apparently, the Mets/Wilpons, TWC, and NBCU refinanced the debt on SNY in 2007 and, in doing so, added a lot more debt so they could pay themselves a dividend worth, in total, $240 million. (Where that money went is anyone’s guess.)”

    • paperlions - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM

      Everyone knows where that money went.

  7. ljtola - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    any chance of resurrecting the Einhorn deal?

  8. birdsflynorth206 - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    MLB should be running the Mets just like they are running the Dodgers, and this is coming from a Mets fan

  9. bigleagues - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Let’s see now . . .

    – cash poor
    – taking out 9-figure loans to cover 8-figure loans and operating expenses

    This sounds vaguely familiar . . . except for the part where the Met’s already have a sweet TV deal. In some ways the Met’s situation is just as disturbing and unsettling as McCourt saga.

  10. sdelmonte - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Unlike a lot of Mets fans, I am not that down on the Wilpons as owners of the team. For a long time, the Mets were contenders, even if they never did win it all. And the bad decisions Omar made really aren’t that much worse than the bad decisions a lot of GMs have made. It’s only in the past couple of years that the Wilpons seem lost to me. And compared to the Boss at his worst, or some of the other owners in the NY area (Knicks and Islanders come to mind), they still don’t seem unforgivably bad.

    But these mistakes – most of which really have nothing to do with baseball – are astounding, and I have to wonder why no one in the financial world called foul much sooner. Then again, isn’t that how it is now? Leverage is everything, and that’s partly why the economy is in such a bad way. It’s no wonder that Madoff suckered the Wilpons. They needed money to pay off the debt, and he told them he could provide it with ease.

    None of this affects how much I will root for the Mets this season. I root for the team and not the owners. Part of me even feels like I should buy more tickets to help keep the team solvent (which is admit is really silly). But it’s clear that the Wilpons will have to sell sooner rather than later. Selig should be easing the way for them.

    But who is going to want to buy something with some many strings attached? Even with the new park and the share in SNY, the debt service should scare off anyone with a brain.

  11. cintiphil - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    They need to ask The Donald to buy in to the team. Maybe he can turn it around.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:22 PM

      Trump would pull all the money out of it that he could. Then he’d either borrow or ask for smaller investors to buy in, then pull all that money out of it. While having the product and facilities fall into disrepair and not paying any of the contractors..

      And somehow come out of it with his reputation untarnished.

    • Reflex - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:17 PM

      Trump has gone bankrupt multiple times with his various properties. He is NOT a good businessman. He is a good personal promoter however.

      Him in charge of a baseball team would make the McCourts look like great ownership.

      • Old Gator - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:32 PM

        And don’t forget: Marla Maples says the Donald gave her the best sex she ever had. One has to assume that in the era of steroids testing, that might no longer be the case.

    • lardin - Dec 14, 2011 at 9:00 PM

      IMO the best thing that could happen to the Mets and MLB would be for someone like Mark Cuban buying them. Could you imagine the competition for players, ratings and the free agent market place if Cuban was competing with the Steinbrenners? MLB would be in the news every single day watching these owners but heads for players and on the back pages of NY papers…

  12. simon94022 - Dec 14, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    The Wilpons aren’t going to hang on much longer. But there’s no comparing their situation with that of McCourt, who was literally mortgaging the franchise’s future so he could take short term profits, while also running fake charities and probably cheating on taxes.

    The McCourts are unethical and borderline crooks. The Wilpons are just failing at their business.

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