The Wilpons – Fred and Jeff – have are moving forward with a new financing scheme to help infuse cash into the New York Mets baseball franchise. The reason a baseball team in the largest media market in the country needs an infusion of cash is because its inept owners – the Wilpons, Fred and Jeff – lost a large chunk of the team’s money in the infamous Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme.
The reason the Mets are now selling minority stakes in the franchise is because their original deal to sell one minority share of the team to local rich guy and Mets fan David Einhorn fell through. Most likely because Einhorn was angling for some kind of path to decision-making power in the franchise, if not ownership, if the Wilpons were unable to repay his investment.
The Wilpons’ latest latest scheme sounds like a Ponzi Scheme. Investors pay money to the Wilpons for a small stake in the ownership of the franchise, in exchange for a later interest payment on their investment. If the team succeeds despite the failings of its owners, then they’ll have some profit out of which to pay the investors. But if the team doesn’t make any money, these goniffs are going to be paying investors with money pulled from other investors buying in. Or worse, meeting payroll and other operating expenses with these ill-gotten funds.
Inept and crooked are a dangerous combination. Throw in some hubris, and you have a recipe for the current clowns who are in charge of the Mets franchise. The Wilpons will not go quietly, and this bodes ill for anyone who is a fan of the team, for probably about the entire decade or so.
Tonight’s Mets-Marlins matchup: Hand-Dickey
ESPN.com reported that the deal to sell an ownership stake in The New York Mets to David Einhorn fell apart today. Also, a good take on this here.
I’ve written here before about the Wilpons, so my distaste for the tenure of Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff as owners of this team should be no secret.
The Wilpons have spent their entire tenure as owners running the team into the ground, despite inheriting a team in the largest media market in Major League Baseball with a devoted following. Their ineptitude and ignorance in both baseball and business should be as obvious as Carlos Beltran’s mole. Their choice to invest with Madoff, combined with a laundry list of poor decisions around the team, are the reasons the Mets are in a dire financial situation.
And the Wilpons’ solution to the team’s financial woes? According to the ESPN.com article, “the team will now try to sell a series of smaller units to family and friends to reach the $200 million stake they desire.” What this really means is, they’re going to get some shady loans from family and friends. That’s exactly the sort of semi-legal dealing that these crooks have engaged in for over a decade. That’s not a sale of ownership stakes – that’s paying an accountant to make your rich friends and family moving large sums of cash to you legal somehow. These clowns just don’t seem to learn. And don’t forget they scammed their way into the full ownership of the team that they wish to retain. So on top of everything else, their karma is bad, and likely to punish them and Mets fans for as long as they are in control of the team.
The hope that this father-son duo of incompetent rich idiots would have their control of my beloved Mets slip to someone who, by virtue of not being a member of the Wilpon family, would be more qualified than the current regime to run the team, has now died.
As long as the Wilpon family retains any degree of control over the New York Mets franchise, the franchise is doomed to be mismanaged, both financially and on the field. Everything we’ve seen up until now shows this will continue to be the case.
G*d help the Mets.