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UPDATED 4/2/19 12:55 PM ET: On Tuesday, Action Sports Network's Darren Rovell reported that the Alliance of American Football has decided to suspend operations.
According to the report, Tom Dundon committed $250 million to the league in mid-February to become the AAF's majority shareholder. Once becoming the majority owner, Dundon introduced a new business plan that conflicted with co-founders' Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian vision for the league. Polian and Ebersol wanted to develop the league for three years on its own before introducing it to the NFL. However, Dundon felt the league needed to become an immediate NFL feeder for talent. Dundon's urgency was rooted in the fact he was personally funding the league on a weekly basis. In addition to the money he spent buying his way into ownership, Dundon also dished out $70 million to keep the AAF afloat.
Because of the NFL collective bargaining agreement, the AAF currently cannot be used as a feeder league for the NFL. It's also being reported that vendors for the AAF have yet to be paid.
See original story published on 3/27/19 below.
Without even one full season in the books, the Alliance of American Football (AAF)'s majority owner Tom Dundon claims the league is deathly close to folding if they don't receive help soon.
"If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can't be a development league," Dundon explained. "We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league."
This would be a huge loss for Dundon. As the chairman of the AAF, the businessman has worked tirelessly to keep the league afloat—even investing $250 million of his own money to keep the AAF alive. The initial purpose of the AAF was to serve as a developmental league for the NFL. But due to the NFLPA's reservations on lending out their young player, the AAF has had to rely exclusively on outside talent, which is not conducive for their survival.
Although the NFLPA has yet to issue a response, a union source did tell the publication why they've been hesitant to partner with the AAF.
"The players' union is founded on the belief that using active NFL players and practice squad members for the AAF would violate the terms of the CBA and the restrictions that prevent teams from holding mandatory workouts and practices throughout the offseason," the insider said.
The identified NFLPA then went on to detail how the fear of possible corruption makes them leery of associating with the league.
"The limitations set in place are designed to ensure the safety and adequate rest and recovery time for football players," the source continued. "But there’s a concern that teams would abuse their power and perhaps force young players into AAF action as a condition for consideration for NFL roster spots in the fall."
As of now, the AAF is inching towards the end of its first season with the Orlando Apollos leading the East Division and the San Antonio Commanders topping the West.