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Old 08-04-09, 05:48 AM
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AFL will cease operations

The Arena Football League will soon announce that it is folding, multiple media outlets reported on Monday.

Arizona Rattlers owner Brett Bouchy said the league will also declare bankruptcy, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

"It's just unfortunate we're in this situation," Bouchy said, according to the newspaper. "Everyone knows myself and Arizona fought hard to avoid this day. The league was divided into two groups and factions. You had one group of committed owners who contributed capital and willing to do whatever it took to bring the league back in 2010 I have been in that group the entire time. Then there was another group that just wasn't willing to make the investment. We could never get a consensus."

Tampa Bay Storm owner Jim Borghesi posted a message on his Facebook page saying: "The AFL will be having a press conference to announce that the league will not be returning," according to the Albany Times-Union.

The league suspended play for the 2009 season in December. In March, players and management agreed in principle on a new collective bargaining agreement, and in April a business plan for the league was put together. But longtime commissioner David Baker stepped down in July, and a date to resume football operations was never forthcoming.

The New Orleans VooDoo had already folded in October, and the Los Angeles Avengers also ceased operations in April, leaving the league with 15 teams.

The AFL was formed in 1987. By the late 1990s, games were broadcast on ESPN, which owns a minority stake in the league.

Reports: Arena Football League will fold soon, declare bankruptcy - ESPN
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