Fred and Jeff Wilpon held a conference call with reporters to announce that they’re exploring the potential of selling about 20-25% of the Mets. At last year’s Forbes valuation, that means that they’re looking to raise about $200 million.
The genesis of this action is that the Wilpons are being sued by the trustee for the Madoff victims. Some reports say that the lawsuit against the Wilpons could be for as much as $1 billion.
In October, Fred Wilpon defiantly told reporters that the Madoff situation had no impact on the Mets. In December, the trustee sued the Wilpons. Now we find out that the Madoff problem does affect the Mets. Clearly, the Wilpons didn’t understand what they were up against and they probably still don’t.
I’m sure that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of the Madoff issue. With the Mets expected to have a down season, I’ll be watching to see how quickly the Mets start trying to dump salary this year. If it’s too early, that may be an indication that the Wilpons can’t afford this team anymore.
Listen to the press conference below. You can hear Fred literally choking on his own words as he talks about his financial problems that have led him to this point.