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FIRST ON CNBC: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: LOS ANGELES DODGERS OWNER FRANK MCCOURT ON CNBC'S "SQUAWK BOX" TODAY

Jennifer Dauble
Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 | 10:25 AM ET
Frakn McCourt
Frakn McCourt

WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY. APRIL 28TH

WHERE: CNBC'S "SQUAWK BOX"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today. Following is a link to the full interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000019016. All references must be sourced to CNBC.

ROVELL: ON MONDAY, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL APPOINTED A MONITOR TO OVERSEE THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS DAY TO DAY BUSINESS OPERATIONS. THE MOVE CAME AS A SURPRISE TO OWNER FRANK McCOURT WHO CALLED COMMISSIONER'S BUD SELIG'S SUDDEN SEIZING OF THE TEAM AS UN-AMERICAN. McCOURT DID HAVE HIS ISSUES PUBLIC DOCUMENTS FROM HIS HIGH PROFILE DIVORCE FROM HIS WIFE JAMIE REVEAL BUT THE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER HAD USED ABOUT $100 MILLION FROM THE DODGERS BUSINESS FOR HIS FAMILY'S PERSONAL FINANCES. INSTEAD OF PUTTING IT BACK INTO THE TEAM. AND IS TAKING OUT A $30 MILLION LOAN TO MAKE PAYROLL EARLIER THIS MONTH MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE FINAL STRAW FOR BASEBALL. YESTERDAY MCCOURT MET WITH BASEBALL OFFICIALS SANS SELIG TO PITCH WHAT HE CALLED THE 17-YEAR TV DEAL WITH FOX WORTH NORTH OF $3 BILLION HE NEEDS THE LEAGUE TO APPROVE. HE SAID BASEBALL OFFICIALS VETOED THE DEAL. THOUGH THEY RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THAT WASN'T THE CASE AND NOTHING WOULD BE FINAL UNTIL A FULL INVESTIGATION OF THE TEAM'S FINANCES WAS CONDUCTED. McCOURT INSISTS HE HASN'T BROKEN ANY OF BASEBALL'S STRINGENT FINANCIAL RULES INCLUDING ITS DEBT RULE WHICH STATES THAT A TEAM'S DEBT LOAD CANNOT BE MORE THAN TEN TIMES ITS OPERATING INCOME. HERE TO DISCUSS WHAT HE KNOWS RIGHT NOW AND HOW HE'S GOING TO PROCEED, FIRST ON CNBC IS DODGERS OWNER FRANK McCOURT. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE ON CNBC. MY FIRST QUESTION TO YOU IS OBVIOUSLY BUD SELIG AS COMMISSIONER HAS THIS BEST INTERESTS OF BASEBALL CLAUSE. WHY IS THIS NOT A GOOD USE OF THAT CLAUSE?

MCCOURT: WELL, JUST I THINK IT'S INAPPROPRIATE.I MEAN I'M HERE IN NEW YORK FOR ONE REASON, AND THAT'S TO FINALIZE A SOUND FULLY VETTED FULLY NEGOTIATED MEDIA RIGHTS TRANSACTION WITH FOX. I'M PREPARED TO SIGN IT. THEY'RE PREPARED TO SIGN IT. IT'S TOTALLY CONSISTENT WITH DEALS THAT COMMISSIONER SELIG HAS APPROVED IN THE PAST. IT'S A GREAT DEAL FOR THE DODGERS AND FOR BASEBALL GENERALLY. IT INFUSES EQUITY INTO THE DODGERS NEARLY $300 MILLION IMMEDIATELY AND IT PROVIDES THE FINANCIAL STABILITY FOR THE DODGERS FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DECADES. THERE'S NO REASON FOR THIS TRANSACTION NOT TO BE APPROVED. IT DOESN'T SMELL RIGHT TO ME. IT REALLY DOESN'T.

ROVELL: ON THE DODGERS MONEY THAT WENT INTO YOUR PERSONAL LIFESTYLE, WHAT'S PERMISSIBLE THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT RULES ON THIS. FANS WANT EVERY DOLLAR BACK INTO THE TEAM. WHAT SHOULD BE ALLOWED IN YOUR OPINION?

MCCOURT: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET'S CLARIFY WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED.AND I'D LIKE TO SAY UPFRONT, DIVORCES ARE TOUGH. BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL THAT PARTICULARLY WHEN HAVE YOU KIDS AND IT'S TOUGH ENOUGH PRIVATELY BUT WHEN YOU DO IT PUBLICLY, IT'S A BEAR, BELIEVE ME.I MADE MISTAKES AND I'M THE FIRST TO ADMIT THAT. PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE THINGS -- ACTUALLY WOULD HAVE DONE THINGS DIFFERENTLY HAD I TO DO IT OVER AGAIN. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE $100 MILLION, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT OVER A SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD I TOOK OUT $5 MILLION PER YEAR. MY WIFE WAS PAID $2 MILLION A YEAR. YOU CAN CRITICIZE ME FOR EITHER OF THOSE DECISIONS OR THOSE AMOUNTS BUT THAT'S ROUGHLY $50 MILLION OVER SEVEN YEARS. THE OTHER 50 MILLION WAS A LOAN AGAINST NOT A DODGER ASSET, AGAINST A REAL ESTATE ASSET. THAT LOAN HAS TO BE PAID BACK. SO 100 MILLION OVER SEVEN YEARS IS A LOT OF MONEY DON'T GET ME WRONG, AND I GREW UP AS A WORKING CLASS KID AND I'VE EARNED EVERY NICKEL I'VE MADE AND INVESTED IT IN THE DODGERS. I APPRECIATE THE HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY. IF YOU EXTEND IT OVER SEVEN YEARS, IT'S BASICALLY $5 MILLION PER YEAR IS WHAT I TOOK OUT. AND IT'S -- AND AGAIN, LIFESTYLE SO ON AND SO FORTH, PEOPLE GET DIVORCED FOR A REASON. I'M MOVING ON WITH MY LIFE. I'M THE OWNER OF THE TEAM LOOKING FORWARD TO A SECOND CHANCE AND DOING THIS THE RIGHT WAY.

ROVELL: OBVIOUSLY THESE COURT DOCUMENTS SHOW THE CLUB IS HIGHLY LEVERAGED. HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? DOES BASEBALL DESERVE THE RIGHT TO MONITOR AS THEY HAVE SET UP, AND ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THEM TO HAVE THEM APPROVE EVERY $5,000 EXPENSE?

MCCOURT: I THINK THE DEBT AS YOU GUYS KNOW BETTER THAN ANYBODY IS A RELATIVE TERM. BASEBALL HAS VERY VERY RESTRICT RULES THAT YOU HAVE TO ABIDE BY. DODGERS ABIDE BY THOSE RULES. LET'S THINK ABOUT THIS FOR ONE SECOND.WE'RE COMPLIANT WITH EVERY ONE OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL'S RULES INCLUDING FINANCIAL RULES AND DSR RULES. WE'RE CURRENT ON ALL OBLIGATIONS, ALL OF OUR NOTES AND VENDOR PAYMENTS AND SO ON. WE HAVEN'T ASKED FOR OR TAKEN A NICKEL FROM MOB'S EMERGENCY MONEY. WE HAVE IN FRONT OF BASEBALL A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR TRANSACTION CONSISTENT WITH THE TRANSACTIONS THEY'VE APPROVED WITH OTHERS THAT SECURES THE LONG-TERM STABILITY OF THE DODGERS FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DECADES AND INFUSES NEARLY $300 MILLION INTO THE DODGERS IMMEDIATELY.THAT'S MY CAPITAL THAT I'M ACCESSING. THE ONLY THING PREVENTING ME FROM ACCESSING THAT CAPITAL IS COMMISSIONER SELIG. I'M TRYING TO TALK TO BUD, AND HE'S NOT RETURNING MY CALLS. AND I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY HE'S DUCKING ME.I DON'T UNDERSTAND. WHEN THERE'S A PROBLEM, USUALLY PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THE PROBLEM. AS FAR AS THE MONITOR IS CONCERNED, I WELCOME ANYBODY FROM MLB COMING INTO OUR OPERATION IF THEY'RE COMING IN TO OBSERVE.

ROVELL: BUT NOT A RECEIVER CAPACITY?

MCCOURT: YOU CAN'T SAY TO SOMEBODY THAT HAS A PRIVATE BUSINESS WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, I'M GOING TO SEND SOMEBODY IN AND BE A RECEIVER AND THEN I'LL DO AN INVESTIGATION.THAT'S JUST NOT -- IT'S JUST NOT CORRECT.IT'S FUNDAMENTALLY UNFAIR. THAT OF COURSE I'M GOING TO RESIST.

ROVELL: LET ME ASK YOU THIS. IN YOUR NEWS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY, YOU DIDN'T COMMIT TO SUING. WHERE ARE YOU ON THAT RIGHT NOW?

MCCOURT: I WANT TO TALK TO BUD. AND I WANT TO KNOW WHY HE'S DUCKING ME. I'M HERE TO SOLVE A PROBLEM, NOT TO MAKE A PROBLEM.AND YOU KNOW, WE'LL DEAL WITH NEXT STEPS IF HE SAYS. I CAN'T MAKE A PERSON TALK TO ME AND CAN'T MAKE A PERSON FOCUS ON THE ISSUE.THIS IS A GREAT TRANSACTION FOR THE DODGERS AND FOR BASEBALL. IT'S CONSISTENT WITH TRANSACTIONS APPROVED FOR OTHER TEAMS.THIS -- I'M NOT ASKING FOR A PENNY FROM ANY OTHER OWNER OR FROM MLB. I JUST WANT TO ACCESS MY CAPITAL. THAT'S ALL.I WANT TO SIT AND TALK ABOUT IT, THAT'S ALL.

QUICK: I UNDERSTAND YOUR POINT IF THIS WAS A PRIVATELY OWNED BUSINESS THAT NO ONE COULD COME IN AND PUT YOU IN RECEIVERSHIP LIKE THAT WITHOUT DOING THEIR DUE DILIGENCE FIRST BUT YOU OWN A FRANCHISE. AND AS THE FRANCHISE HOLDER DOESN'T MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAVE ADDITIONAL RIGHTS OVER WHAT ANY OTHER PRIVATE BUSINESS WOULD BE?

MCCOURT: OF COURSE, WHEN YOU BUY ANY BUSINESS OR INVEST IN ANY ASSET, THERE ARE RULES THAT GO ALONG WITH IT. I RESPECT THOSE RULES. I ABIDE BY THOSE RULES. WE'RE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THOSE RULES. ONE OF THOSE RULES FOR BASEBALL IS IF THEY WANT TO DO AN INVESTIGATION, THAT THEY GO AHEAD AND DO THE INVESTIGATION. AND THEY DO IT WITH A PROCESS. THERE IS DUE PROCESS. AND THEN YOU DECIDE WHAT IS REQUIRED AT THE END OF THAT INVESTIGATION. I'M NOT RESISTING THE INVESTIGATION.I'M RESISTING THE NOTION THAT THE INVESTIGATION IS AN EXCUSE TO CLOSE A TRANSACTION THAT'S IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE DODGERS AND BASEBALL. IT DOESN'T SMELL RIGHT TO ME. I DON'T BELIEVE IT'S A LEGITIMATE -- THERE IS NO PROCESS. I DON'T BELIEVE THE INVESTIGATION IS GENUINE.

ROVELL: FRANK YOU KEEP COMPARING IT TO OTHER TEAMS. YOU KNOW, AND YOU SAID YESTERDAY SOMETHING ABOUT YOU'RE THE ONLY OWNER OUT OF THE 30 WHO HASN'T SEEMED TO GET A CALL BACK FROM SELIG. I WANT TO ASK YOU, THERE ARE TEAMS IN SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WERE NOT MONITORED. BASEBALL ONLY TOOK THE RANGERS LAST YEAR WHEN TOM HICKS DEFAULTED. ALTHOUGH THERE'S AN ARGUMENT YOUR DEBT LOAD MIGHT BE SIMILAR TO THE METS, THERE'S NOTHING THERE. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THOSE COMPARISONS?

MCCOURT: I'M NOT GOING TO SIT AND TALK ABOUT SPECIFIC TEAMS I'LL SIMPLY SAY THERE ARE RULES THE RULES ARE MADE BY BASEBALL AND THE OWNERS NEED TO FOLLOW THEM. THE DODGERS ARE COMPLIANT WITH ALL OF THOSE RULES. IT'S COMMON SENSE. THINK ABOUT IT FOR A SECOND. HOW -- IF THE TEAM IS COMPLIANT AND THE TEAM IS CURRENT ON ALL OF ITS PAYMENTS AND THE TEAM HASN'T ASKED FOR OR RECEIVED ANY FUNDS FROM THE OTHER OWNERS OR FROM BASEBALL, I MEAN BASEBALL IS THE OTHER OWNERS, AND A TEAM HAS SOLVED ITS OWN ISSUES WITH A TREMENDOUSLY LUCRATIVE TRANSACTION, A MEDIA RIGHTS TRANSACTION WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE TRANSACTIONS ALREADY APPROVED BY FOR OTHER TEAMS THAT INFUSES HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE TEAM AND PROVIDES FINANCIAL SECURITY FOR TWO DECADES TO COME, IT PUTS THE DODGERS AT THE VERY VERY TOP OF THE HEAP IN TERMS OF BEING COMPETITIVE AND GOING OUT AND WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT OUR FANS WANT IS TO WIN BASEBALL GAMES. WHAT IS THE REASON THEN UNDER THOSE CIRCUMSTANCE TO HAVE AN INVESTIGATION? PUT US -- PUT A CHART TOGETHER. DO A COMPARISON CHART.PUT US TOGETHER ON A CHART AGAINST OTHER TEAMS BOTH ON THE FIELD AND OFF THE FIELD, OUR FINANCIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS WELL AS OUR ON THE FIELD AND SEE WHERE WE STAND AND SEE IF YOU BELIEVE AN INVESTIGATION IS WARRANTED. I DON'T. BUT AGAIN, I WANT TO BE REALLY CLEAR. IF BASEBALL WANTS TO BRING SOMEBODY IN TO HAVE A REAL INVESTIGATION, NOT A -- NOT SOMETHING WITH A PREDETERMINED RESULT, NOT SOMETHING THAT'S AN EXCUSE NOT TO CLOSE A TRANSACTION GOOD FOR THE DODGERS, GOOD FOR BASEBALL, GOOD FOR L.A., GOOD FOR OUR FANS WE'RE GOING TO USE THAT MONEY.I COMMITTED TO BASEBALL EVERY PENNY OF THAT MONEY WOULD GO INTO THE TEAM. I SAW IN YOUR INTRODUCTION, THERE WAS A DISCUSSION ABOUT MY DIVORCE. SOMEONE GETTING DIVORCED IS A TRAGIC THING BUT IT'S A PERSONAL THING.IT'S NOT AN EXCUSE NOT TO GO AHEAD AND CLOSE A TRANSACTION. AND I'VE COMMITTED TO BASEBALL THAT I WILL PUT IN WRITING NOT A PENNY OF THIS $285 MILLION IMMEDIATELY COMING IN IS GOING TO GO TO ME PERSONALLY OR BE USED FOR MY DIVORCE. IT WILL ALL GO INTO THE TEAM.

QUINTANILLA: IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE SELIG WOULD BE MAKING THIS STAND UNLESS HE HAD THE OTHER OWNERS BEHIND HIM. I'VE GOT TO IMAGINE YOU THINK THEY ARE WITH HIM. I WONDER IF YOU FEEL YOU'RE BEING ICED OUT COMPLETELY AT THIS POINT.

MCCOURT: I JUST WANT TO TALK TO BUD. I'M SURE I'LL LEARN A LOT MORE. YOU KNOW, GUYS, WE ALL YOU KNOW RUN INTO DIFFERENT JAMS AT DIFFERENT TIMES AND HOW DO YOU SOLVE THEM? YOU COMMUNICATE. YOU SIT DOWN IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN SOLVING A PROBLEM,YOU SIT DOWN TO TALK ABOUT A SOLUTION. AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT I'VE FOUND IN MY BUSINESS CAREER. AND I'VE TRIED TO TALK TO BUD FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. HE'S DUCKING ME. I DON'T KNOW WHY. WE SHOULD BE HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT THIS. THIS IS ABOUT SOLVING A PROBLEM.THE TRANSACTION IS COMPLETE. I'M READY TO SIGN IT. FOX IS READY TO SIGN IT. BY THE WAY THIS ISN'T JUST SOMETHING WE PULLED A RABBIT OUT OF OUR HAT IN THE LAST WEEK OR SO. THIS IS A TRANSACTION WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON FOR SIX MONTHS AND BUD IS FULLY AWARE OF THAT. IT'S A TRANSACTION CONSISTENT WITH WHAT'S BEEN APPROVED FOR OTHER TEAMS.

ROVELL: FRANK, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON CNBC.

MCCOURT: THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

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