As the Predators turn
I took a 10-day hiatus from following Boots-gate, but the unfortunate tale of the Predators minority owner has continued unabated ever since we learned that one of his main creditors was AEG, the owner of the Los Angeles Kings:
- The FBI is now investigating Boots's dealings with the Predators
- His father resigned from the board of the bank he founded
- AEG is suing Del Biaggio for its Nashville money back
The situation has put the team's local partners, led by David Freeman, in an awful predicament. The Predators have an agreement with the city where $50-million is guaranteed in the event of a relocation, but Boots was on the hook for close to $10-million of that.
With that money no longer in play, the team's plum deal is in jeopardy.
Which comes back to this:
Vanderbilt economist John Vrooman, who specializes in the business of sports, said the NHL is "behind the other leagues" when it comes to checking the backgrounds and financial status of its owners.You don't say?
Freeman has said all of the right things in the interim, but this is a headache he and his local partners didn't deserve. And I guarantee they've been rethinking their "partnership" with the NHL.
In the meantime, we've heard very little (re: nothing) regarding the fact AEG had essentially purchased a share in the Predators via Boots, a situation that likely was legal under the NHL constitution only because the amount was so small (i.e. under 5 per cent).
If that is the case, one would expect clarification from the league to be forthcoming.
Del Biaggio criminal probe looks at NHL deal
San Jose Mercury News