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Clippings About the 78-player UFL Lawsuit
Well, I've waited to see if the UFL actually fielded any teams for the spring of 2013, and no, they didn't. But we've got some fresh news about this slow-motion wreck. Turns out Bill Hambrecht signed personal promises to cover two of the teams (Locos and Nighthawks) that failed to pay personnel.
Now, 78 of the players stiffed by the league are naming him in a suit, in order to recoup lost wages. Both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes spent some pixel ink on covering this stage in the UFL's decline.
Mr. Hambrecht says he had wanted the UFL to launch with a broader group of investors, but the 2008 financial crisis complicated matters and the proper financing didn't materialize. Now, he says, "nobody seems to want to let this thing die."
Mr. Hambrecht says he may be able to free up funds to pay UFL players and other personnel due to a planned IPO of Sonoma County winery Truett-Hurst? Inc., in which he owns a stake. Truett-Hurst? filed IPO papers earlier this month. Mr. Hambrecht is also an investor in at least one other firm that he says is a potential IPO candidate. "I hope by next spring to be very liquid," he says.
Lawyers Andrew L. Rempfer, Esq., Walter R. Ulman, Esq. and Burt Rosenblatt, Esq. have been retained by the seventy-eight players and now seek recourse in the amount of over $1.5 million, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. ”Hambrecht signed those personal guarantees, which to me is shocking,” said Rempfer to FORBES. ”I don’t know who told him to sign these personal guarantees, and from what I understand, he still has money somewhere.”
Rempfer also filed a complaint against the UFL, Hambrecht, the Las Vegas Locomotives UFL team and Jim Fassell, in his capacity as head coach, general manager and president of the Locomotives. That complaint was filed in January on behalf of Amp Lee, Dennis Therrell, Donald Eck and Larry Mac Duff, who were all employed as football coaches by the Locomotives and claim that the defendants breached their agreements by also failing to pay them their wages owed.
It sounds to me like the attorneys representing the players ought to explore asking the court to seize Mr Hambrecht's stake in that winery he mentioned. And how about auditing his holdings for more assets? Otherwise, these players could go without compensation for a long time.