MLS, and US Soccer is in very grave danger

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by appoo, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Phillip Anschutz, the biggest investor in Major League Soccer, was the chairman of the board for Qwest Communications until this June when Richard Notebert replaced him. From the period of 1999 - 2001 Qwest inflated their revenue to the tune of 1.16 billion dollars. 500 Million of that went to insider traders. Needless to say, the SEC is not very happy about this and our now preparing for a full investigation. One thing they will be VERY curious about is the sale of Phillip Anschutz's stock in Qwest for 1.5 Billion dollars in May of 1999. Folks, pray that Anshutz is as good a person as he appears.
  2. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Considering they arrested the gang from Adelphia, I am a bit worried about this...
  3. Lance90

    Lance90 Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Why is it bad for employees to have a majority of their 401k in company stock, but CEO's have to keep every last cent in it?

    What's so curious about a man selling stock near the height of the biggest bubble in history and THREE YEARS before all of this 20/20 hindsight?

    Also, please note when he sold the stock and when he stepped down as CEO--there's your conspiracy.
  4. Preston McMurry

    Preston McMurry New Member

    Jul 28, 1999
    Since a 401k consists of funds which invest in certain stocks, if the management of an insolvent company encourages employees to invest in the company through the 401k, while themselves selling stock in the company, then the managers have fraudently used the employees' investment to prop up the stock price for managers' benefit. They ought to be shot.
  5. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  6. kasai

    kasai New Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Well if Anshutz is taken down by the Feds, then the MLS would be dead for sure. Let's hope he didn't do anything illegal. If not the A-League will be the premiere league in the USA again.
  7. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    Overstated revenues do not "go" to inside traders. Inflating revenue and trading on inside information are completely different concepts.

    A person with holdings the size of Anschutz's Qwest Holdings will frequently set up a "regularly scheduled" sale program, under which they sell pieces of their overall stake whenever the stock is strong.

    There are no allegations that anyone at Qwest did anything that anyone at Adelphia got arrested for yet.

    Don't get overly emotional about what will happen to Phil just yet.

    Phil has other investments, as well.

    And, he doesn't bankroll the USSF like he does MLS.
  8. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    Re: Re: MLS, and US Soccer is in very grave danger

    Actually there are. Approximatly 500 million went to certain high up at Qwest. Reason they have not been indicted yet is because SEC hasn't started the investigation yet. Oh and Anshutz was the chairmen of the board during this time. My hope is that it was all the CFO's and CEO's fault.
  9. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Been following this for sometime now, and from what I have read, heard and deduced, Anshcutz is in little if any trouble at all. The only trouble he is in is that Quest is looking to be the next telecom to fall in recent months. Yes, he did make $1.5 billion in stock trades, but they were not illegal, only extremely savy (or so it seems now, there is no information stating he was in the wrong). His stock trades seem to have been made in earnest and should not get him in trouble. The other focuses of the brewhaha (Nacchio and Woodruff), however, look to have some issues ahead.
    Phil looks clean, but we will see how things shake out in the coming months.
  10. garbaggio

    garbaggio Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    We had a similar discussion earlier today on the DC United board.

    Anschutz is in trouble because he was very senior management, as well as largest owner, of a company which is suspected of using extremely questionable accounting practices to manufacture revenues and hide debts. This allows a company to publish highly misleading financial reports which are used by analysts and investors use to determine the value of the company (reflected in its stock).

    I have not heard any direct accusations against Anschutz yet, but he was co-chairman of Qwest's board of directors until last month. Uncle Phil resigned (voluntarily) at the same as Joseph Nacchio, his hand-picked chief executive, was forced to resign. No one thinks this is a coincidence.

    I believe that the Department of Justice and SEC are both investigating Qwest.
  11. Cabral

    Cabral New Member

    Jun 22, 2000
    Westport, CT
    Precisely, there is a very good chance that Sir Phil could be in BIG TROUBLE.

    Let's not fantasize here. People in his company which he was Chairman of the Board, which is supposed to represent shareholders who now have found out that they have been bilked, may be facing jail time. Perhaps Phil won't be broke but it's hard to say right now how far things will go. He may face SEC charges, he will face civil suits, etc. And of course Qwest may yet go bankrupt, leaving what remains of his equity worthless.

    That said, it's also equally stupid to say "MLS is in grave danger" or spend one's time worrying about it.

    - Kevin
  12. 352klr

    352klr Member+

    Jan 29, 2001
    The Burgh of Edin
    As for Phil selling his stock, he can't just immediately sell stock whenever he wants to. He has to file a form with the SEC declaring how many shares he wants to sell and in turn the SEC has to approve such a deal. Sometimes this takes days, sometimes weeks for approval. It's called insider trading(a legal kind, not the kind that that phrase is usually associated with). Uncle Phil's no Gordon Gecko. I work at Smith Barney and the talk around there hasn't once centered around Phil. The general consensus on the street is Joe Nacchio is the one behind all this. Yes Phil picked him, but apparently Phil wasn't entirely hands on with the business. He's not Scott Sullivan at WorldCom, he didn't do this himself. I guess the good that will come out of this is that Phil will finally have to do a frickin interview for the first time since the creation of the NYSE.
  13. Khansingh

    Khansingh New Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    The Luton Palace
    Let's get a few things straight. It's two v's in savvy and the plural of focus is foci. Also, the Great Chicago Fire was caused by meteor fragments from the Comet Gallena which broke up later that year. Similarly, the 1974 Chicago Fire started out with a record of 7-4, only to sustain a nine-game losing streak to end the season. The last one, a forfeit, enabled the Philadelphia Bell to qualify for the playoffs, who then had their playoff berth rescinded by the Commissioner because of poor ticket sales and given to the Charlotte Hornets.
  14. radiokvar

    radiokvar New Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    St. Louis, MO
    I've got a friend who got axed from qwest about 6 months ago and from what he's told me in his drunken ramblings while on unemployment the majority of his bile and other peoples anger who work at the company is at nacchio. He never mentioned anschutz once...
  15. GoDC

    GoDC Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Hamilton, VA
    Yes, Phil was Chairman of the Board not a senior executive. Board members are usually not involved in day to day company matters. As long as Phil has sold stock on a regular basis and did not leave any phone messages, notes, ... stating that he needed to sell by a certain time because they knew the stock was going down, then he will be fine.
  16. dcc134

    dcc134 Member+

    Liverpool FC
    May 15, 2000
    Hummelstown, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Uncle Phil is a visionary. He had to vision to get out while the getting was good. Yeah is was still chairman of the board, but as was mentioned boards have little to do with day to day activities a a company. He'll be fine, he's already lost most of what is he going to lose from Qwest and stillhas billions in the bank.

    MLS has funding for the next 5 years. The only thing this will potentially affect is the pace of building SSS. I would imagine he is going to be less likely to throw the extra cash around.
  17. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    Re: Re: Re: MLS, and US Soccer is in very grave danger

    The SEC does not indict people.

    Insider trading is still very different than inflating profits. $500 million did not pass through the company's income statement to senior management - instead, insiders sold part or all of their stakes in the company.

    But overinflated profits do not "go" to insiders. They go into net income, which if real, benefits all shareholders equally. If overinflated, well, that hurts all shareholders equally later on.

    Adelphia had a whole other level of self-serving dealings going on. The allegations against Qwest are similar to those levied against WorldCom - and the WorldCom guys, although under investigation, have not been led away in handcuffs like Adelphia.
  18. Northside Rovers

    Jan 28, 2000
    Austin TX
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I hate worrying about stock prices and investigations at companies I don't even own stock in.

    I hope St Phil is as saintly as we think he is. From everything I have been able to read, he is an honest, humble gentleman who would not willingly deceive people. But we've all been surprised before, lets just hope not now.
  19. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Someone clue me in on something I'm missing. Where is AEG in all this? Isn't that an Anschutz company, and isn't it separately owned? I have conclusions to draw, but figured I'd get my facts straight first.
  20. fclalala

    fclalala New Member

    Aug 2, 2000
    Beloit, WI
    AEG is seperate, as is most of Phil's other interests.

    For another interesting article on telecom, BusinessWeek wrote one about an analyst named Grubman who talked Phil into hiring Nacchio. Grubman is also linked to Worldcom, Global Crossing, and most of the other telecom players.
  21. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    If AEG is separate and owns all the teams, then what's the problem?
  22. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Real Madrid
    If Phillip Anschutz goes down, what will happen to AEG? That's the concern.
  23. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Won't AEG continue to exist without Anschutz? Isn't it a corporation that exists by virtue of its ability to generate revenues? Surely Anschutz could sell all his AEG stock and go to the slammer and AEG would still exist based on whether or not it earned revenues in excess of expenses? Not that I want that to happen, but someone convince me there's a direct correlation between Phil the person and AEG the company. . .
  24. appoo

    appoo Member+

    Jul 30, 2001
    The problem here is how much if that 1.5 Billion he got from the sale of Qwest Stocks went into the MLS?
  25. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Well, again, who cares, as long as it wasn't invested as Qwest stock? Which it wasn't since he sold stock for cash. Is there really even a remote chance that (a) he'll have to give back any material portion of that $1.5 billion, and (b) AEG's corporate veil would be pierced to get it? Not in any scenario I can think of, but I'm stilling willing to listen to an explanation as to why Qwest's problems should matter to MLS.

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