Mark Ashton, a partner in our Exton (Chester County), Pennsylvania office and former editor of our Pennsylvania Family Law Blog wrote a thought provoking post on that blog entitled The McCourt Divorce; Being Rich is Not What It Used to Be."
The McCourt divorce has been in the news for the last year over issues such as lavish spending and validity of a purported post nuptial agreement, that at best, had certain irregularities as to which version was actually the signed version as well as what the purpose of the agreement actually was. Most recently, the case was in the news because of a reported settlement, a settlement which may now be scuttled because it was dependent on an infusion of cash from a new television rights deal with Fox that Major League Baseball has rejected for various reasons.
Mark, however, posits that ownership of major league sport’s franchises has rarely been a boon to the owners over the short run, but that the benefit to professional team ownership )aside from the prestige of it) came not in the profits but in the gains. Mark noted that it was not uncommon for teams to lose money from year to year but that banks and other investors freely lent because it was prestigious to do so and because they had the security of knowing that almost no one who ever sold a team lost money. As the world of banking has changed, so too may the world of owning a professional sports franchise.