Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has rejected a proposed television deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox that voids a recent divorce settlement between team owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt.
In a statement released Monday, Selig said the TV contract with Fox would further divert Dodger assets to McCourt's "personal needs."
"Given the magnitude of the transaction, such a diversion of assets would have the effect of mortgaging the future of the franchise to the long-term detriment of the club and its fans," Selig wrote.
The McCourts reached an agreement Friday that was contingent on Selig's approval of a TV deal with Fox reported to be worth up to $3 billion. Under the settlement, Frank McCourt would receive $385 million upfront. However, the settlement terms showed about $150 million would be used toward paying attorneys' fees, existing debt and an account that would be monitored by the divorce judge.
Steve Susman, an attorney representing Frank McCourt, said he plans to "vigorously our options and remedies with respect to Commissioner Selig's rejection of the proposed FOX transaction and our commitment to protect the long-term best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers."
"We are extremely disappointed with the Commissioner's rejection of the proposed Fox transaction which would inject $235 million into the Los Angeles Dodgers," Susman said. "As Commissioner Selig well knows, this transaction would make the Dodgers financially secure for the long term and one of the best capitalized teams in Major League Baseball."
Messages left for Jamie McCourt's spokesman were not immediately returned.
The former couple has been embroiled in a contentious divorce where their lavish spending habits were exposed.
In April, Major League Baseball took the extraordinary step of assuming control of the troubled franchise. Former Texas Rangers President Tom Schieffer was appointed to monitor the team on behalf of Selig, who said he took the action because he was concerned about the team's finances and how the Dodgers are being run.