Antonio Brown and his Arena League Football team are done.
Former NFL star Antonio Brown’s ownership of the Albany Empire has come to a controversial end as the National Arena League (NAL) expelled his team from the competition.
The NAL cited Brown’s repeated failure to pay the team’s monthly assessments, which support the league’s operational budget.
After acquiring the Albany Empire, new team owner Antonio Brown paid the Empire’s April assessment. The team then failed to make their May 15th assessment payment and last week just before the Empire’s game in Orlando, the league was notified that the April assessment was being challenged. That payment was subsequently credited back to Mr Brown. The league informed his accountant, Alex Gunaris, who in previous communications requested that the league communicate directly with Mr Gunaris regarding financial obligations with the Empire. Mr Gunaris was informed of the league’s attempts to collect the delinquent assessments and he communicated to the league that it didn’t seem like Mr Brown was going to pay the assessment or fine.
The Empire initially made its assessment payment in April, but it was challenged and the team subsequently refused to make the payment required in May.
Despite the league’s attempts to address the issue through Brown’s accountant, the former Super Bowl champion made it clear he had no intention of fulfilling his financial obligations or paying the $1,000 fine issued to him for Conduct Detrimental to the League.
Brown’s tenure has been plagued by scandal and controversy, including allegations of non-payment to players and coaches, disputes with members of the organization, and breaking promises to participate in games himself.
Major league not minors
— AB (@AB84) June 15, 2023
The NAL announced its decision to terminate the membership agreement of the Albany Empire after exploring all options and all team owners were unanimous in their support for the move due to the Empire’s inability to meet its financial obligations.
The deadline for the team to submit the required payment passed and the outcome was expulsion from the league.