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.