Much of Tom Dundon’s $250 million investment in the AAF represents luxury not necessity. But some of it was obviously necessary.
At a time when leadership has danced around the question of whether but for Tom Dundon’s money the upstart league would have been done, Orlando Apollos coach Steve Spurrier has pulled back the curtain.
“I think what happened is an original investor sort of led us into believing he could come up with the money to get us through the first year, and then he sort of bailed out,” Spurrier told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. “He didn’t have [the money], and we found Tom Dundon. I think [Dundon] liked the idea so much, he became the majority owner [of the league] and now we’re all set to go for quite a while.”
Without using many words, Spurrier said plenty. First, a major investor backed out. Second, the AAF was at that point screwed. Third, Dundon rode in with a quarter billion dollars and bought a controlling interest in the league. Although AAF CEO and co-founder Charlie Ebersol declined to comment earlier this week on the percent of equity purchased by Dundon, Spurrier’s comments make it clear that Dundon owns at least 50.1 percent.
However it happened, it happened. And now, under new ownership, the immediate future of the AAF is secured.
“We really appreciate Tom Dundon for stepping forward,” Spurrier said. “He believes in the Alliance and now the future looks very good.”
Where the AAF goes from here remains to be seen. But it’s now a Tom Dundon operation, and it has the funding to get through several seasons, at least.