Cordell & Cordell co-founder Joseph Cordell appeared on Sporting News Radio with Steve Czaban to discuss the Los Angeles Dodgers situation between owner Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie, who are locked in a bitter dispute regarding ownership of the Dodgers as part of their divorce proceedings.
Jamie is claiming partial ownership of the Dodgers in one of the largest asset division cases in the U.S. in recent years.
According to Cordell, what Frank McCourt is going through, albeit on a much grander scale, is something that is not foreign to a lot of guys going through divorce who own a small business – the husband owns the business and his wife is threatening to have it sold, interfere with its operations, etc.
“So these guys will scramble about trying to get liquidity and cash to ‘get rid of her,’ and often they will have to make decisions that are not in the best interests of their businesses or their real estate holdings,” Cordell said. “So they bring in a lot of debt that jeopardizes the business in the long run. Frank McCourt is living that same dilemma just in a very large, massive way.”
The McCourts had recently reached a settlement that would have allowed Frank McCourt to retain ownership of the team if Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig had approved of a media transaction between the team and Fox television.
MLB rejected the Fox contract, thus forcing the Dodgers to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Under the Chapter 11 filing, the salaries and benefits of Dodger employees will be paid and the team will operate within their existing budget to sign and acquire players.
“MLB has (Frank) cornered,” Cordell said. “His greatest hope is the bankruptcy court is going to set aside or at least ignore this constitutional provision in Major League Baseball that says MLB can automatically take the team and sell it in the event of a Chapter 11 filing.”