According to the New York Daily News, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang has been hit with a ten million dollar lawsuit after unexpectedly backing out of a handshake agreement with Andrew Barroway to sell the team. The deal would’ve reportedly had Wang sell the team to Barroway for 420 million dollars, but Wang backed out when he saw Donald Sterling sell his Los Angeles Clippers for two billion dollars.
According to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, NY ICE (Barroway’s Company) states that the two parties “shook hands on an agreement” and had already begun the NHL approval process. In March, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement but instead improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price”
The Isles owner then turned around and asked for 548 million dollars for his hockey club but Barroway wouldn’t dish out that money. Also, the article from the Daily News states that Wang notified Barroway on August 1st that he had sold his hockey team to another prospective buyer who has not yet been named. Obviously if the team was sold for as much as 548 million dollars, this ten million dollars is just pocket change for Wang, as he will gain approximately 118 million in the deal. The court papers state that Barroway had come up with 100 million dollars in cash and was set to assume Wang’s team related debt which included a 125 million dollar loan from Bank of America.
All kinds of wacky news has been surfacing regarding this sale since Bob Mckenzie of TSN reported that the Charles Wang was fielding offers from prospective buyers. Barroway was one of the first names that surfaced in terms of potentially buying the Isles and it more or less seemed like the team was all his. But then, last week Steven Marcus of Newsday reported that Barroway was out and now we know why.
This story is most certainly not over and more drama will continue to surface in the coming days, weeks and months. Hopefully the team is sold to a buyer who is willing to go all in with our Islanders. We can also hope that this off ice drama is over shortly and come training camp we can focus on our team.
Stay tuned as we will keep you updated on all the twists and turns that this story takes as the days go by.