“We’re not selling controlling interest in the team,” Jeff Wilpon said Wednesday at the Mets spring training complex. “It’s not on the table.”
On Jan. 28 the Mets announced that they were interested in selling about 20-25 percent of the team as they are in the midst of $1 billion lawsuit that alleges they should have known about about Bernard Madoff’s fraud. Selling a quarter of the team would offset the cost of the lawsuit.
Wilpon told reporters that the team has “good interest from a lot of people you haven’t read about in the papers” about an ownership stake.
The Mets have one of the highest payrolls in Major League Baseball and their fans have complained that the Wilpon’s aren’t willing to spend the money to improve the team, due to Madoff’s ponzi scheme.
The lawsuit filed by the trustee for the victims of Bernard Madoff alleges that the Mets Parent company, Sterling Equities along with Saul Katz, Jeff Wilpon’s uncle, and his father and owner Fred Wilpon should have know about the scheme. The Mets reportedly made profits during their relationship with Madoff.The trustee, Irving Picard is seeking money from Madoff’s victims.
On Tuesday real estate owner, Donald Trump said he would be interested in investing with the Mets. But many wonder if Trump would want to purchase just a share of the team, instead of buying controlling interest in the team.
“I hope that it works out well for the Wilpons because they’re friends of mine,” Trump said Tuesday during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “If they ever needed help, I’d be there to help them. If I could help, I’d love to help them.”
Trumps interest in the Mets was first reported by The New York Times.
-With Associated Press