Just when Spring Football fanatics thought things could not get any better, a new league is trying to surge onto the scene for the 2022 spring and summer season. Major League Football (OTC: MLFB) has launched an updated website, logos, and announced its first coaches. There should be a great deal of optimism around another upstart league arriving onto the playing field. Despite this optimism, there are questions raised by analysts and fans alike.
Major League Football is angling to have a spring filled with announcements, rollouts, and football action. They have a strong leadership team with decades of sports and entertainment experience in place and are ready to tackle the challenge of launching a spring football league. After several attempts at launching, changes in management, and the chaos of COVID, Major League Football finally appears ready to launch. After exhaustive background research and interviews with sources, here is everything you need to know about Major League Football.
Major League Football: A New Spring Football Shakeup?
What is MLFB?
Major League Football is a publicly-traded company and is attempting to launch this summer in four cities throughout the “Football Belt,” from the Southeast up to Ohio. MLFB has professional football coaches committed to being on the sidelines in 2022. The league is also working to establish credibility in a spring/summer football scene that is quickly filling up with leagues. MLFB has technically been around as an established company for about a decade. However, it has undergone several leadership changes and iterations during that time. This latest version, led by former agent and player representative Frank Murtha, is closing in on finally putting cleats on the field.
MLFB has announced that they will field four teams in expanding and growth markets for the 2022 season.
— Adam Pelletier (@adampelletier) March 31, 2022
Where will they play?
As Major League Football grows closer to kickoff, speculation abounds about where they will play. As of now, the Attack, Force, Independence, and Armada will take the field this year, according to league sources. There is growing speculation about if and where the league could expand to 2023.
Currently, the league is in the process of finalizing team locations. League sources say that MLFB has narrowed their search down and will be announcing them in the very near future. There is a small but dedicated group of Redditors that appears to have their own speculation about where the teams will be located, but league sources declined to confirm or deny the accuracy of the group’s speculations.
Some have asked if MLFB might consider utilizing a “hub” city model for the 2022 season to cut down on travel costs. The Fox-owned USFL is utilizing this model in Year One, launching from Birmingham, Alabama. When asked if a hub city model was on the table, MLFB sources made it clear what their thoughts were with a blunt answer, “No.” This dedication to launching in unique markets for Year One will allow Major League Football to ingrain themselves within their respective communities.
Who is involved?
The Executive Management Team of MLFB contains multiple executives with wide-ranging experiences and expertise in their respective areas. MLFB features an all-business CFO Greg Campbell, who has experience ranging across multiple sports leagues. The league also has a marketing pro in Bill Lyons, who has decades of experience within NASCAR and as a player representative. JJ Coyne is an executive vice president who has experience across multiple industries and decades of military service. MLFB also has some high-level football intelligence on the team with Mike McCarthy, a seasoned football executive with more than 30 years of CFL experience and multiple Grey Cups.
This team has veteran experience and is led by CEO Frank Murtha. Murtha is an experienced agent, executive, and player representative. He is credited with having the vision and leadership to bring MLFB to a successful launch. Couple their experience with a single mission that has been echoed over and over throughout conversations with league sources of “doing what is right,” and this league has a chance to emerge in a position of strength in 2022 and beyond.
Recently, MLFB has announced its first coaches as Terry Shea, Bill Conley, and Jerry Glanville. All three have experience across multiple levels of football, including with spring football and startup leagues.
But what about the Players?
Currently, Major League Football has no players under contract. That being said, they are in discussions with a wide range of players who are just missing out on playing at the next level. According to league sources, the league is seeking to bring in players who need just a little bit of coaching to ascend to the next level. In recent years, the NFL has seen an influx of players who have played in the XFL and AAF have success at the next level.
The Washington Commanders ran through an entire NFL season with former-XFLer Taylor Heinicke under center. Former XFL superstar and AAF first overall pick Josh Johnson threw for 300+ yards for two different teams this season. They headline other spring football alumni like D’Ernest Johnson, Storm Norton, Donald Parham, and more. All are players who have carved out significant playing time in the NFL after successful spring careers.
With the NFL clearly having a gap in talent identification that has led to players like these being left off of rosters, there is a clear need for a developmental league. That is the role that Major League Football is looking to fill.
The rosters in MLFB will be larger than in the USFL. Major League Football plans on an active roster of 50 players, with the potential of practice squad slots being available as well, according to league sources. This is larger than the 38-man active roster and seven-man practice squads in the USFL.
Players will be allocated via a player selection meeting involving MLFB executives, coaches, and general managers of the teams. League sources say that coaches, GMs, and league executives will be involved in the personnel decisions in Year One. In addition to their draft, MLFB has plans to allow for the territorial selection of players to help fans see hometown favorites in familiar locations.
The Cloudy Financials of Major League Football
Major League Football was first announced as a concept and idea in the early 2010s by a different management team. They burst onto the scene as the concept of a publicly owned and traded sports league was intriguing to many. Over the last three years, MLFB’s stock price has peaked at around $0.05 and is currently hovering around the $0.02-$0.03 range. Major League Football is not being actively traded, but currently has more than 470 million shares out on the market. In addition to a low share price, the MLFB appears to have no major amounts of cash coming in the door. The league’s primary source of cash, according to analysts, involves issuing convertible promissory notes. Promissory notes are loans that can be repaid by converting them into stock if the lender so chooses, that are likely being purchased by private equity groups.
This is likely their only source of funding and as a result of around $4.8 million in liabilities, including debts, they are unlikely to be able to work with any banks, according to analysts. That being said, the 10Q is a look at the past few months and with them closing in on launch the financial situation could rapidly change with new funding sources coming into play. Additionally, expect MLFB to be players for a media deal that could bring in additional revenue.
Despite some seemingly ominous signs, Major League Football and analysts agree that they are not in an unusual position for a startup organization. With a successful season this summer, they could quickly clear up a cloudy financial situation.
Where can you watch MLFB?
The key to any successful sports league is capturing a viewing audience both in-person and on television. In the 21st century, the definition of television is rapidly evolving to include streaming services that make games accessible anywhere. According to league sources, an announcement regarding a deal with a major media partner is in the works. They could not provide more information, but an announcement should be coming in the near future sources said. When speaking on the subject of media and how Major League Football will be broadcast, there are several innovations on deck for the league.
With an emphasis on coaching players up and getting them prepared for the next level, MLFB has indicated that there will be greater access to the behind-the-scenes coaching that no league has granted access to. Even with the “unfiltered” access that programs like “Hard Knocks” provide, there is much left to the imagination and little integration of that coaching coming into games. Sources alluded to the fact that MLFB intends to utilize its broadcasts to showcase the development of players and how specific coaching will lead to player growth.
When asked to describe how the league will be presenting their broadcast, one league source said, “Put it this way, we will not be showing ‘just another football game.’” They also said more details would be coming in future releases.
Will this be an actual professional league?
Despite doubts being cast by many on the outside of the league, Major League Football has a plan to put on a professional league. Unlike other leagues and executives that have charged players to play in their league, MLFB has committed to not only pay their players but also to cover their food and lodging expenses in-season. This is a move that some leagues have not made.
According to league sources, MLFB is planning to pay all players a flat rate of compensation across all positions. This set pay can be augmented by win bonuses and other performance incentives that have not been finalized yet. Some that have been discussed are Offensive and Defensive Player of the Game, Play of the Game, and more, according to sources within MLFB.
Players will have access to a number of professional coaches, equipment managers, athletic trainers, and other professional staff as well, league sources say. This is all in the vein of MLFB doing what is right by their players. They understand that without taking care of their players they will quickly find themselves without a league. Additionally, as the beneficiaries of the Alliance of American Football’s bankruptcy, MLFB is aware of the challenges a league can face. MLFB bought much of the AAF’s remaining football equipment after the AAF filed for bankruptcy in 2019.
Just prior to the filing of our most recent 10 Q on December 14th 2021 we received a $5,000,000 Equity Purchase Term Sheet to be used to fund the 2022 playing season. pic.twitter.com/bGsEbUqFEo
— MLFB (@MLFBofficial) January 5, 2022
Paying for the Sins of Past Leagues
Looking throughout the history of spring football could be a discouraging practice. With leagues like the original USFL, the Alliance of American Football, two iterations of the XFL, and many more littering the history books as failures for one reason or another, it would seem that spring football just does not work. You mention spring football to some football fans and they scoff. Why would they watch if it is not their beloved NFL or college teams? But, as you look at each of the failed leagues of the past they each contained a fatal flaw. Or they ran into an insurmountable obstacle that for one reason or another led to their downfall.
Major League Football is aware of this perspective and they are aware of the failures of the leagues that came before them. Unlike the AAF, they have a pared-down plan and have no interest in paying to be on television. MLFB will also not let egos get in the way of the success of the league. We can only hope that another global pandemic does not sideline them the way it did with the XFL 2.0. And they certainly will not use the promise of gratuitous violence and “showmanship” of the original XFL to drum up ratings.
Talking with sources at MLFB, the refrain is clear. They are going to do what is right and is best for as many parties involved. Their plan contains innovation. Their plan contains fiscal responsibility. Their plan calls for cleats on the field in 2022. They are going to stick to their plan and keep doing what is right. If they can succeed and execute their plan, fans will be in for a golden age of spring and summer football.