Report: AFL Will Announce Plans to Shut Down


Aug 4, 2009

Before long, it seems that the Arena Football League will be a relic of ancient history.

Multiple news outlets reported on Monday that the league will soon announce that it is "suspending operations indefinitely" and declare bankruptcy, according to ESPN and the Orlando Sentinel.

Arizona Rattlers owner Brett Bouchy told the Sentinel that while he is disappointed by the news, other owners in the league may be relieved.

"It's just unfortunate we're in this situation," he said. "Everyone knows myself and Arizona fought hard to avoid this day. The
league was divided into two groups and factions. You had one group of
committed owners who contributed capital and willing to do whatever it
took to bring the league back in 2010. I have been in that group the
entire time. Then there was another group that just wasn't willing to
make the investment. We could never get a consensus."

The troubles began in July of 2008, when commissioner David Baker stepped down and was not replaced. Then, in December, the AFL suspended play for the 2009 season while players and management hacked out a new collective bargaining agreement. Though a new business plan was created, 75 percent of owners could not agree on it, thereby necessitating that the league shut down.

Columbus Destroyers managing partner Jim Renacci told the Columbus Dispatch that the lack of cohesion among owners shouldn't come as a surprise: "When you have 22 different owners in 17 ownership groups, it's very difficult to get a supermajority on most any plan."

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