Phoenix LXXII: Send in the Clowns
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02-12-2013, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted by
I mean, legally speaking, can you conspire to organize bankruptcy solely for the purposes of voiding a particular contract?
I think conspire to organize the BK is a bit strong. I think the financials show beyond any doubt that the team was destitute. Businesses extract concessions from municipalities pretty frequently. While an ultimatum of "subsidy or BK" might not sound very appealing, it hardly seems out of the ordinary and definitely doesn't appear criminal in any way.
In my opinion, the only potentially criminal acts were perpetrated by Beasley. I think the preponderance of evidence suggests that Beasley wired a series of lucrative Glendale contracts to the Reinsdorfs with Kaites serving as the lobbyist. Ed seems to have tried to do the same thing with the Coyotes but he hit the third rail. The record on this file should probably include info on the International Facilities Group and Global Spectrum contracts at University of Phoenix Stadium, Camelback Ranch agreements, Beacon Sports Capital Management contract, and the Hocking retainer. It's hard to look at those documents and arrive at any conclusion other than Beasley making some really suspicious contract decisions and then attempting to railroad Moyes. If Beasley had the council in his pocket perhaps they don't even use BK. The city could amend the AMULA via legislative/administrative action if the NHL could use the proxy to sell the team without Moyes' consent. Moyes might commence civil action but I think the NHL would like their chances in that case, plus they would have been rid of the Coyotes headache. But it seems that Scudder recognized what was happening and Rodier/Balsillie gave him the wildcard he needed.
Those opinions aside, the declarations create a factual record that clearly demonstrates the three entities - team, league, and city - all knew that BK was being considered at least as early as Fall of 2008. Shumways Dec even has a copy of the PPT they used at the Glendale meeting. The record consistently shows that none of this was a surprise to anyone involved. Glendale knew Moyes was done funding the team without a subsidy. Bettman knew Scudder was playing footsies with Roider. Gary documented his discussion about DIP financing and voiding the AMULA.
Each party took reasonable steps to act in their best interest, aside from Beasley. But only if you are viewing that as the interest of a steward of Glendale resources. If you're viewing it as what Ed Beasley's personal interests might be, it's probably a different answer.
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