Antonio Brown claims business is booming, but that doesn’t apply to his owning an Arena League team.
On Thursday, the National Arena League (NAL) voted to kick AB’s team, the Albany Empire, out of the league after Brown refused to pay the bills.
“After exhausting all avenues, the NAL board of owners have decided unanimously to terminate the membership agreement of the Albany Empire,” wrote the league in a statement. “The decision was reached after an emergency conference call of the members in good standing to discuss the Empire’s failure to pay their league mandated and overdue assessments.”
Brown bought the team, winner of the past two league championships, only three months ago.
According to the NAL, teams must pay 1/7 of the league’s operating budget starting in April. Brown made that payment but when the May payment came due, Brown failed to make that payment. Even worse, the April payment was challenged and refunded to Brown, and when the league contacted his accountant for the delinquent payments, the latter responded that it looked like Brown wasn’t going to make the payment.
Brown also spoke out against the NAL and was fined $1,000 for Conduct Detrimental to the league. His accountant noted that it didn’t seem likely Brown would make that payment either.
Even after an emergency phone call, in which a deadline was set for the delinquent payments, Brown refused to take care of the outstanding bills. As a result, the NAL decided to “terminate their membership in the National Arena League effective immediately.”
“Unfortunately Mr Brown has failed to meet the deadline to his team’s required financial obligations, and as a result, the league has terminated his membership Agreement,” said the league.
Brown still owns the championship-winning team, but his team is without a league to play in. And that means that his team players, staff and other employees are in jeopardy of not being paid, or paid on time.
And the Empire won’t get to defend its back-to-back titles.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Brown’s ownership posed problems for the Albany Empire. Trouble started brewing almost immediately after he purchased the team in March.
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