SBD/Issue 241/Franchises

Mets Insist Wilpon Won't Have To Sell Team Due To Madoff Losses

Mets Refute Arvedlund's Claims That Wilpons
Will Sell Team Due To Madoff Losses
Author Erin Arvedlund and Mets Exec VP/Business Operations Dave Howard Monday appeared on Fox Business' "Americas Nightly Scoreboard" and discussed whether Mets Owner Fred Wilpon will have to sell the team due to his financial losses. Arvedlund, who recently published "Too Good To Be True," detailing the Bernie Madoff scheme, said "it's my opinion based on my research" Wilpon will have to sell the Mets because of his losses from Madoff. Arvedlund: "What's going on with the Wilpons and with lots of other investors is that they borrowed money and leveraged up their investment, so sadly the investment was more than just the original amount. It might have been two or three times." Arvedlund claimed Wilpon lost $700M, and the figure came from one of her two sources "who worked in the front office of the Mets for about two decades." But Howard said Arvedlund's claims were "outrageous, unfounded, irresponsible, grossly irresponsible given the fact that I actually had a conversation with her on Friday, which to my knowledge was the first time she ever had a conversation with anybody in the front office of the New York Mets." Howard added there is "no former employee who would have that information because that information is flat-out wrong." Howard: "Quite frankly, it's very disturbing to hear that she is continuing to articulate these false and irresponsible claims." Arvedlund responded, "Like I said, it's my opinion and I think time will tell." Howard: "It is not an opinion. It's either fact and it's either true or it's not, and it isn't." Howard added the team has "said from the outset that the losses incurred as a result of the Madoff fraud have not and will not affect the operation of the Mets." Howard: "The team is not for sale. ... Her source is bogus, her claims are false and irresponsible" ("America's Nightly Scoreboard," Fox Business, 8/31).

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