The Jacksonville Jaguars are gone and so is the city's "investment" in the franchise.
It has only happened a handful of times and in almost every case when a professional sports team is bankrupt the team is sold, and the new owners immediately take over management. The Jaguars; however, will not have new owners. The organization is decidedly heading towards outright dissolution, and it will happen by the end of April 2016.
The Bahar Shoukhe Investment Fund (BSIF) has filed paperwork to foreclose on Jacksonville’s NFL franchise. They're stating that Jaguars debt obligation is so astronomical that every “resident of Jacksonville would have to purchase $1,000 in Jaguars tickets and merchandise every week for the next 37 years..." for the fund to recoup its money. In the same court documents, BSIF writes “the likelihood of the Jacksonville Jaguars, LLC paying back their obligations is as likely as the team winning a super bowl.”
The story is more sordid than a standard bankruptcy.
Shad Khan is one of BSIF's three principles. Yes, Shad Khan is foreclosing on Shad Khan - a bold and unflinching move, even by billionaire tycoon standards. BSIF and Shad Khan are expected to secure approximately twice the market value of the Jaguars through dissolution.
All of this maneuvering, according to BBC Sports, is an apparent attempt by the NFL and BSIF to organize a new franchise in London without having to pay single pence of corporate money. Instead, the city of Jacksonville will indirectly pay for the establishment of the new NFL team, the London Corgis. Indirectly, because all debts that the Jaguars cannot pay will have to be paid by Jacksonville.
Sketch of the London Corgis logo
Surprise! COJ is a cosigner of Jaguars debt and Jacksonville is on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars. To secure these loans COJ had to place significant tax revenue streams and some of our most iconic properties as security; Including, Everbank Field, Veteran’s Memorial, Hemming Plaza, Shipyards, Metropolitan Park and even City Hall. If the city cannot pay these debts, these properties will be taken over by BSIF.
MetroJacksonville.com has obtained a yet unreleased statement from Mayor Lenny Curry’s office:
After our repeated attempts to negotiate with BSIF, we were unable to secure a promise to keep the Jacksonville Jaguars alive and in our city. Although BSIF considered our offer to transfer 50 percent of our sales tax revenue to the franchise; Ultimately, they declined because Jacksonville's pension obligation made the deal too risky.
BSIF has assured my office that they will consider any new offers if presented before April 11, 2016.
Another source deep within the Jaguars organization has leaked a secret five-year plan to move Jacksonville's government to London and to funnel Jax Bed Tax revenues to the London Corgis. According to the leaked document the chamber, the civic council and the city are involved in this modern-day conspiracy. The justification for moving Jacksonville's government and for subsidizing the London franchise is, of course, to recruit new business.
MetroJacksonville.com secured an exclusive interview with Shad Khan about the bankruptcy. Watch the full video on the next page.
Written by Arash Kamiar