The XFL has filed for bankruptcy, putting a period on what has been an unexpected and difficult month for the start-up football league. The league made its filing Monday in Delaware, just days after it shut down operations and laid off its employees.
According to the filing, the league has between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors with assets and liabilities somewhere in the $10 million to $50 million range. One of the biggest creditors is Dallas Renegades coach Bob Stoops, who is owed more than $1 million from his contract with the XFL.
The league still intends to return all ticket sales to fans. The filing, as one would expect, is particularly hard on XFL mastermind Vince McMahon, who held a majority of the ownership shares in the league. As part of the bankruptcy filing, Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal reports that the league is for sale.
The @XFL2020 declared bankruptcy in a filing today. Here’s the ownership structure:
— Vince McMahon had 100% of Class A shares
— He also had 76.5% of Class B shares. @WWE held the rest#SportsBiz
— Eben Novy-Williams (@novy_williams) April 13, 2020
The XFL effectively canceled its season a month ago when widespread concerns about COVID-19 forced the entire sports world on hiatus. Initially, the XFL was optimistic that it would be able to return for a full season in 2021 and it kept its full-time employees on payroll. However, with poor economic conditions and uncertainty about when anything will return to normal, the league was forced to shutter. As one source told CBS Sports last week, McMahon was prepared to fund the league for up to two years — he had sold off more than three million shares of stock in 2019 to help finance the operation — but funding the league in the middle of a pandemic was an unforeseen scenario and a completely different job.