MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Major League Football League, which was ‘shut down’ Thursday afternoon after reports of the owner not paying the bills for team hotels, is in the middle of an “unexpected delay,” according to release from league CEO, Frank Murtha Friday afternoon.
Per Murtha, the MLFB “regrets to announce that full funding for the 2022 Training Camp and opening of the 2022 season was not completed as planned.” The first game of the season was scheduled for August 9.
Murtha talked about how Mobile has been “wonderful” to the league and how disappointing the news is. Murtha apologized to all the players and coaches in the release.
“It is very disappointing to have something outside of my control create such a problem for everyone,” said Murtha. “All the players and coaches have shown incredible grace through all of this disruption. Our deepest apologies go out to them.”
League officials are working with each of the four hotels, food catering companies and “everyone” to try to get the league “back on track,” according to the release.
Several reports of the league’s players being stranded at hotels and even stuck at Ladd-Peebles stadium overnight have been confirmed to WKRG News 5. Sports director Randy Patrick spoke with player Brendon Watson outside of a team hotel Thursday afternoon and confirmed players were getting paid just $50 per week, while some players were not getting paid until after the first game of the season.
Head coach Terry Shea with the Virginia Armada opted to pay for all of his players to stay in the hotel for at least one more night. WKRG News 5 spoke to a few Armada players who chose to remain anonymous. Likewise to Watson, the players were scrambling, but thankful for [Terry] Shea for “paying out of his own pocket,” one player said.
Other players expressed their displeasure, but acknowledged they [the players] have held up their end of the deal. One player took to Facebook and explained his Thursday afternoon.
“It’s not the coaches fault or the players fault, it’s the owner,” said an Armada player. “Until he [Frank Murtha] can be able to fix his situation, we don’t know what’s going on… right now, everybody thinking ‘shoot we got to go back home’ and pretty much go back to the drawing board.”
We fully intend to satisfy our obligations to vendors in Mobile. This is a temporary delay in operations I am working tireless to correct this situation. As I have said, our first goal is to take care of all the players and coaches and get them back home. Every waking moment is dedicated to working on solutions.MLFB CEO, Frank Murtha
Mobile Airborne head coach Jerry Glanville confirmed the news in a tweet. Glanville spoke with Randy Patrick just over a week ago and talked about how much money really goes into making a league successful. Glanville spoke with Patrick Friday morning. Here is what the former NFL head coach had to say. Glanville told News 5 he was also locked out of his hotel room and left Mobile early Friday morning and is back home in Toledo, OH.
Randy Patrick One on One with Jerry Glanville
Locking us out of the hotel rooms was a shock. I thought I’d seen it all in my football career. It’s disappointing for the players and coaches. I thought what were seeing in training camp was good football!Jerry Glanville
Glanville added his expectations “are not very high,” when Patrick asked if he thought the league would return.