The XFL has filed for bankruptcy just three days after suspending operations and laying off nearly its entire staff. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $10 million to $50 million.
The XFL issued the following statement, according to Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal.
"The XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football."
The XFL is owned by WWE CEO and president Vince McMahon and Alpha Entertainment. The filing showed that the football league was owned in part by the WWE with 23.5% of Class B stock.
Coach Bob Stoops and Marc Trestman are among the top eight creditors listed. Stoops had the third-largest unsecured claim with $1,083,333.33 shown.
The XFL was five weeks into its first season since 2001 before the coronavirus suspension. The league had its semifinals slated for April 18-19, and the championship was supposed to be played in Houston on April 26.
In a 10-minute conference call Friday, XFL COO Jeffrey Pollack informed employees they were laid off and the league has no plans to return in 2021.
This was McMahon's second attempt at professional football after the XFL folded in 2001 after just one season.
Another most recent professional football start-up, The Alliance of American Football, folded in 2019 after running out of money.