So much for Frank McCourt's promise to MLB that all up front TV money would go to team
Remember that amazing Frank McCourt news conference in New York, the one he conducted after meeting with Major League Baseball executives? The one where he accused Commissioner Bud Selig of being un-American?
It was then in a rather curious move that McCourt first publicly pledged that all the money he would receive up front from the Fox television deal would go directly to the team and not to settle his divorce or be used for personal matters.
This was completely bogus on the surface, since any money he spent on the settlement had to come from the Dodgers one way or another, the team his only source of income.
But he said it anyway. At the time, he was talking about receiving approximately $300 million up front.
"The $300 million I made clear to baseball today, that the entirety of the $300 million is going directly into the Dodgers as equity," McCourt said April 27th. "None of those dollars is being used in any personal way. I would be happy to make that commitment in writing."
Well, he did make a commitment in writing Friday in his "divorce settlement," though the money to be loaned by Fox up front had somehow mushroomed to $385 million.
And per the divorce agreement, out of that $385 million: $5 million would go each to Frank and Jamie McCourt to cover attorneys’ fees (hey, they stayed up to 3 a.m. Friday); each would get $5 million to do with as they please (down payment on another villa!); $23.5 million would repay Frank for the personal loan he acquired to make payroll (think that $30 mil Fox already loaned him); $80 million will be used to pay off debt (well, a little of it); and $50 million will be placed into an account subject to the court’s orders (no, not for a left fielder, it’s just-in-case money).
Grand total: $173.5 million.
Otherwise, not a cent of the TV money will be for personal use! Other than that $173.5 million.
I don’t know, other than that, I’m sure MLB is convinced Frank is reformed, has learned all those valuable lessons and will always put the Dodgers first. I mean, why wouldn’t they take Frank at his word?
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt appears on Bloomberg Television during an interview in New York on April 28. Credit: Ramin Talaie / Bloomberg