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Alliance of American Football shuts down after filing for bankruptcy

Two weeks after suspending all football operations, the Alliance of American Football filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a Texas court on Wednesday. It has now ceased all business operations.

A group of limited companies tied to the league have listed assets of $11.3m (€10m) and liabilities of $48.3m. The eight-team spring-season American football league, which collapsed just eight weeks into its inaugural campaign, also has just over $500,000 in cash.

All remaining assets will be sold to pay back creditors. MGM Resorts International, Aramark Sports and Silicon Valley Bank have claims secured by the property. Parties with unsecured claims, as reported by Front Office Sports, include broadcast partner CBS, as well as multiple venues, hotels and private businesses.

The Alliance is also facing multiple lawsuits from former employees, with potentially more to come. The filing for bankruptcy, however, means it will take longer for players, coaches, staff and other creditors to be paid amounts owed.

“We are deeply disappointed to be taking this action,” the league said in a statement. “The AAF is committed to ensuring that our bankruptcy proceeds in an efficient and orderly manner. Pursuant to the bankruptcy laws, a trustee will be empowered to resolve all matters related to the AAF’s remaining assets and liabilities, including ongoing matters related to player contracts.”

XFL commissioner Oliver Luck this week told SportBusiness that the demise of the Alliance served as a “cautionary tale” for Vince McMahon’s spring-season league, which is due to start in 2020.

“There’s a lot that we’ve learned [from the Alliance] and we’re trying to make sure that we make sure we use it as a cautionary tale, quite honestly,” Luck said. “We’ve tried to be as clear-eyed and as sober as we could and analyse what went well – because some things went well – and what didn’t go well.”