Three days after suspending operations, the XFL filed for bankruptcy on Monday, effectively ending the professional football league. The remaining assets will go up for sale in the hopes of paying its creditors.
The filing listed between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities and the same in assets. The XFL blamed its bankruptcy on the coronavirus outbreak in a statement issued on Monday.
“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 statement read.
The spring football league was on its second go around. The first also ended after one year in 2001. Owner Vince McMahon, who also owns the WWE, kept the name in the hopes of reviving the league. He announced in 2018 that it would return in two years. The XFL enjoyed moderate success in 2020, but was forced to suspend its season after five games because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Coaches Victims of XFL Bankruptcy
Of the XFL’s top-10 listed creditors in the bankruptcy filing, four of them are coaches. Dallas Renegades coach Bob Stoops, who also served as the team’s general manager, is owed more than $1 million, the most of the seven coaches listed on the filing. One head coach, Pep Hamilton of the DC Defenders, is not listed in the paperwork.
What XFL Owes Coaches
|Bob Stoops||Dallas Renegades||$1.083 million|
|Mark Trestman||Tampa Bay Vipers||$777,777|
|Jonathan Hayes||St. Louis Battlehawks||$633,333|
|Winston Moss||Los Angeles Wildcats||$583,333|
|Kevin Gilbride||New York Guardians||$583,333|
|June Jones||Houston Roughnecks||$583,333|
|Jim Zorn||Seattle Dragons||$583,333|
Aside from the coaches, the XFL also owes money to TicketMaster ($655,148) and the St. Louis Sports Commission, which was the league’s top creditor at $1.6 million. All players will reportedly be paid their promised salaries and benefits for the rest of this season.
The entire court filing can be viewed here.
Players Finding NFL Employment
The XFL’s bankruptcy and collapse hasn’t been a total loss for its players, as several of them have found roster spots on NFL squads. The biggest signing was Houston quarterback P.J. Walker who has reunited with his college coach Matt Rhule, who is the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
Walker told ESPN that Rhule is counting on him to compliment QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Kyle Allen.
“He just wants me to come in here and compete,” Walker said. “He believes in me, and he wants [me] to be a leader and factor in building the team.”
Walker was the first XFL standout to find work in the NFL, but a few others have followed. The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up three former XFL players. New York Guardians defensive tackle Cavon Walker and offensive tackle Jarron Jones, as well as DC Defenders safety Tyree Kinnel, all inked deals with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters in February that the XFL was filled with talented players.
“The XFL has taken some of the guys we would have signed as futures [contracts],” Colbert said. “We’ll have to do more work on undrafted guys because of that. Traditionally, we sign about 15, but we might have to sign 20-22.”