The once proud, now troubled Los Angeles Dodgers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to buy some time to complete a television-rights deal and ward off creditors.
The Dodgers listed assets of as much as $1 billion and debt of as much as $500 million in a filing today in US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Frank McCourt, the team’s owner, has clashed with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig over the Dodgers, with baseball taking over business operations this year and rejecting a television deal that McCourt said would have assured financial stability for the team.
“He’s turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently, and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today,” McCourt said in a statement. “I simply cannot allow the commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer. It is my hope that the Chapter 11 process will create a fair and constructive environment to get done what we couldn’t achieve with the commissioner directly.”
The Wall Street Journal has posted a copy of the court filing that has former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez in the top spot on the creditor list, owed nearly $21 million by McCourt and Co.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Fox reportedly would not back McCourt in a bankruptcy scenario.
McCourt, a Boston real-estate developer who unsuccessfully bid the Boston Red Sox, bought the Dodgers from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWS) in 2004 for $430 million. He is fighting with his ex- wife, Jamie, over ownership of the team. A judge last year invalidated an agreement that Frank McCourt claimed made him the sole owner of the Dodgers, leaving the team’s ownership in limbo.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this update.
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer