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Major League Baseball takes over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers

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Major League Baseball takes over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers

2011-04-21 22:37:41 GMT+7 (ICT)

LOS ANGELES (BNO NEWS) -- Major League Baseball (MLB) on Wednesday took over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers due to the financial issues of owner Frank McCourt.

"I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club," said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

Selig also said that the league will continue with the thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of McCourt's ownership.

"Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club," the Commissioner added.

McCourt said that he did not understand the Commissioner's action as the team complied with the strict financial guidelines set by MLB for the 30 teams. The Dodgers owner urged his employees to continue conducting business as usual while the matter is resolved.

In January 2004, McCourt purchased the Dodgers franchise from News Corp. However, the club's finances have come into question since his divorce from Jamie McCourt, his wife of 29 years who also served as CEO of the club until 2009.

The decision to take over the Dodgers came after McCourt requested a $30-million loan last week in order to meet the first payroll of the season. Fox Broadcasting Company granted the franchise the much-needed loan.

On April 5, McCourt requested Selig to approve an agreement for a 20-year television contract between the Dodgers and Fox, worth about $3 billion. McCourt said the deal would enable him to settle his divorce, manage the Dodgers' debts and improve the team.

Commissioner Selig rejected the request and prevented McCourt from receiving $200 million in advance from broadcasting revenues. Steve Soboroff, who was hired as vice chairman of the Dodgers on Tuesday, said that Selig's actions were "irresponsible."

"This is like having money in the bank and having somebody hold your ATM card. The money is in the bank. The Fox deal is done. These actions are not allowing him to access money. That's a lot different than saying he's got financial problems. Frank McCourt is financially fine," Soboroff said.

This is the third time in recent MLB history that the Commissioner's office has taken over operations of a club. Last year, the Texas Rangers, the American League champions, were placed under operational control of MLB.

Former Rangers owner Tom Hicks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to force the already-agreed sale of the franchise to a group of investors, led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan. The situation was ultimately resolved in a bankruptcy court and the team was sold for $550 million.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-04-21

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