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McMahon not looking to buy back XFL

World Wrestling Entertainment chairman Vince McMahon (Credit: XFL)

World Wrestling Entertainment chairman Vince McMahon has revealed he is not looking to reacquire the XFL despite recent reports to the contrary.

In April, the XFL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection shortly after the start-up league suspended operations and fired virtually all its staff after becoming a major casualty of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck has sued McMahon, the spring season American football league’s majority owner, for alleged wrongful dismissal, a lawsuit McMahon is fighting.

McMahon has put the XFL up for sale and a committee of the league’s unsecured creditors said in a case filing last week that the wrestling mogul was positioning himself to buy the league back “at a fire-sale price” without fully paying back debtors. But McMahon has strenuously denied this claim.

According to a new court filing as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, McMahon described accusations that he using Chapter 11 process as a means to cheaply retain the XFL as “inflammatory” and “unsubstantiated.”

“I don’t know why that’s out there, making me out to be the bad guy, [that] I’m going to buy the XFL back for pennies on the dollar, basically,” McMahon said. “That helped me move into the direction of, ‘I’m not going to be a bidder, not going to have anything to do with it.’ I do hope that someone will pay a lot of money for it, and I do hope that it will survive.”

McMahon also said he put in “at least” $200m into the XFL.

According to The Athletic, “dozens of bidders are looking over the league’s financials and interested in relaunching it next February.” Court filings indicate the league’s investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, has obtained, or is in the process of obtaining, signed non-disclosure forms from 26 prospective purchasers to gain access to financial data and other diligence materials.