Frank McCourt — who owns a baseball team worth close to a billion dollars, multiple luxury homes and eats out at fancy schmancy restaurants seven nights a week — claims that he’s got a cash flow problem:
Mr. McCourt’s filing paints the picture of a man who, relative to
his lifestyle, is operating without much of a cash cushion. In the
filing, Mr. McCourt said his liquid assets consisted of a bank account
with less than $1.2 million.
His filing said Mr. McCourt wouldn’t see any significant income
until next year — possibly as late as March — when he expected a
quarterly payment of as much as $1.25 million from the partnership that
owns the Dodgers. He said payments from the partnership were “my only
source of personal cash flow” other than checking-account interest. Mr.
McCourt said his liquid assets recently fell as low as $167,000, after
paying about $700,000 in expenses for his wife, who filed for divorce
last month. He said the Dodgers don’t pay any of his personal expenses.
Jamie McCourt’s lawyer says that’s “baloney” and says that Frank should “be ashamed of himself” for pleading poverty like this.
I think the truth is somewhere in between. Even if you believe Jamie McCourt’s previous filings which seek to paint the couple as loaded (and her as entitled to much of that wealth) they also show severe indebtedness. Indeed, the McCourt’s whole empire, the Dodgers included, is based on leverage, much of it tied up in homes that aren’t likely worth what they paid for them, and the bills continue to come due.
It’s exactly this sort of situation — minus the divorce, mind you — that has led to Tom Hicks’ ownership of the Rangers to near damnation. Throw in the divorce and you have Padres’ owner John Moores.
The more I see of this case, the more certain I am that the Dodgers will be sold in the not too distant future, and that until that sale comes, they’ll be cutting expenses wherever they can.
And hey, look! Higher ticket prices!