Former NFL head coach Dennis Green, most famously known for his press conference tantrum after the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Chicago Bears in 2006, is suing Paul Pelosi, husband of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
Green is suing for breach of contract after Pelosi and his business partner Bill Hambrecht allegedly failed to pay the $1.5 million owed to Green for coaching the Sacramento Mountain Lions. Pelosi owns the United Football League team and apparently contracted a deal that would pay Green $1.5 million to coach over a required period of time.
According to the suit: “Since January 2011, defendants … have failed to meet their contractual commitments to compensate Green at the amount required under his contract.”
Unfortunately, the story gets even worse for Green who sold his home in San Diego and moved his family, including uprooting his children from their school, to Sacramento where he purchased a new home.
Hambrecht is the founder of the UFL with its sole purpose to have professional football teams in cities that currently do not have the luxury of an NFL team. Pelosi, a real estate developer, joined forces with Hambrecht in 2009 where purchased the Mountain Lions for $12 million, as well as, bought a $1 million stake in the UFL. Pelosi’s full intentions were to create a profitable business and not have the team just for show.
However, the UFL has had major turnoffs due to a lack of primary television deals and corporate sponsors that are needed to garner the league money. Due to these turnoffs, the much needed investors backed away from the league after realizing it was a quick way to lose assets.
Businessman and Canadian Football League team owner Jim Speros almost brought a UFL team to Virginia Beach until he saw how Hambrecht was operating the league.
“I think the football people were reputable, the problem was there was no real structure on how you could enter as an investor,” Speros said. “I was looking for full ownership, but they treated the league as a single entity. I don’t know if they did or did not pay any bills…but it doesn’t surprise me. It’s very difficult starting a league from scratch.”
Green knew perfectly well that he was getting himself involved in a shady league that did not seem to have much of a future. However, the $1.5 million guaranteed contract enticed him enough to drop everything and join the team. He even had the reassurance that Pelosi would pay for his expenses, but unfortunately, that was not the case.
“Green was mindful of the fact that the UFL [and Mountain Lions] were not generating sufficient revenues to cover their expenses, including his salary, and relied, reasonably and explicitly, on Hambrecht’s assurances that he and other investors in the UFL would pay for and guarantee the expenses,” the lawsuit states.
Green was required to receive a bi-weekly check of $62,500 in full from Pelosi in 2011. For reasons unknown, the checks dropped in amount with some being as low as $5,000 for several weeks throughout the year. Some speculate the reason behind this is because Pelosi sold stocks in order to pay for the team’s expenses opposed to running it like a normal business.
Clearly, Pelosi is not fit to run the team and the millions of dollars he has invested into the league are questionable at best. Pelosi agreed to pay Green to coach the Mountain Lions and now is backing out of the contractual agreement. What is even worse is the amount he has invested into the league in 2011 is as much as six times what Green is owed.
“[The team] acted willfully, intentionally, and maliciously in order to fraudulently induce Green to move from his home in San Diego. [He] carried out the responsibilities of his contract in justifiable reliance upon Hambrecht’s promises that he would stand behind the commitments of UFL,” states the suit.
It is a good indication of a bad business when the league has only one major investor. When that major investor starts making shady moves including failure to pay coaches, players, and other staff members it is no wonder why the league is sinking at a rapid pace. The UFL is currently involved in multiple lawsuits due to not paying the players after the 2010 season. The league has also recently agreed upon terms in several multi-million dollar lawsuits after declining to pay investors for their services. One of the lawsuits even involved Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
After receiving all the facts it looks like the UFL is headed for another big lawsuit that could pay more than double what Pelosi had promised to pay Green. Too many more blows and the league might just go under for good. It appears it would not be the worst thing as the UFL has caused more harm to people than good.