The majority owner of the Alliance of American Football told USA Today Sports that league is in danger of folding without help from the National Football League Players Association.
Tom Dundon, who became the AAF’s chairman last month, told USA Today Sports in a recent interview that the NFLPA is not cooperating with the AAF by refusing to allow the first-year league to use young NFL players.
“If the players union is not going to give us young players, we can’t be a development league,” Dundon told USA Today Sports. “We are looking at our options, one of which is discontinuing the league.”
Dundon said he expects to make a decision about the league’s future over the next two days.
The NFLPA had no official response to Dundon’s comment, according to USA Today Sports. But an anonymous NFLPA official cited numerous concerns with allowing its players to play in the AAF, including potential injury risk and violations of the collective bargaining agreement.
Unsigned NFL players, including practice-squad players, are free to join the AAF at any time. But the AAF would need the NFLPA’s cooperation to acquire a practice-squad player who currently is signed to a futures contract with an NFL team.
Dundon, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, made a $250 million investment in the AAF last month after the league reportedly was in danger of not making payroll.
The eight-team AAF, billed as a development league, kicked off the weekend following the Super Bowl. The league is seven games into its 10-game regular season.