The Alliance of American Football’s future is up in the air as the league has suspended operations beginning today, according to multiple reports. The league was in its first season.
This decision comes after majority owner Tom Dundon mentioned that a lack of cooperation from the National Football League’s Player Association to allow young players to play in both leagues could cause the AAF to fold.
Dundon was reported to have invested $250 million into the league last month. Darren Rovell tweeted out that Dundon will lose $70 million on his investment. The decision to suspend operations also came against wishes of league co-founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian.
The AAF season was supposed to run through to the end of April, with the league championship taking place. The regular season was set to run through April 14.
The original concept of the league was for the AAF to be a feeder system to the NFL, but the NFLPA have not given permission to the AAF to use third and fourth-stringer NFL players in the AAF.
The AAF ceasing operations don’t just affect the players, it also affects the television networks. CBS, NFL Network and TNT are all slated to televise AAF games in the coming weeks. If the league does not continue play, those stations would be left with a programming hole.
CBS Sports is reporting that no one within the AAF is sure why Dundon is suspending operations. Apparently. Dundon threatening to shutter the league don’t match his own actions from Tuesday afternoon. According to their sources, talks between the AAF and NFLPA were positive.
According to ProFootballTalk, the AAF needed about $20 million to make it to the end of its first season.
Reports are saying that the NFLPA can’t necessarily lend players out to the AAF as the AAF wishes, due to the current collective bargaining agreement for the players of the NFL. It was reported that in order for the NFLPA to do so, changes would be needed to be made in the CBA.
If games are suspended indefinitely, Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment is scheduled to reboot the XFL next spring.