The experiement known as the AAF lasted all of eight weeks before the league suspended operations last week. It got a year head start on the XFL, American Patriot League and all of the other pro football leagues that are due to start up in 2020.
But it turns out that the AAF could have formed a merger with one of those other leagues had that league been willing to accept a deal. Sports Business Daily reports that the AAF approached the XFL about a merger in December 2018 that Vince McMahon rejected.
The AAF season didn't start until February 2019 so it was clear that the league was in dire straits dating back to late last year. Per the report, the AAF "was already running out of money" and "was on life support."
XFL representatives did not immediately return a request for comment on the report per Fox Business.
That was because the league's primary investor, former USFL player Reggie Fowler, did not come through with a $28 million payment around Christmas. The league needed Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon to then come aboard as the primary investor and save the league after its first week of games.
Dundon pledged $250 million in funding and also became the league's chairman. But Dundon wasn't enough to keep the AAF afloat and they were reportedly losing $10 million per week before pulling the plug.
AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol, whose dad Dick Ebersol was a partner of the original XFL, has not publicly commented on the demise of the AAF. Right when the AAF season started, Charlie said he had enough funding for a multi-year run but it ended up being just a multi-week run.
The XFL revival is slated to begin play in 2020 and McMahon is self-funding the league by selling hundreds of millions of dollars of his WWE stock.
damien demento contributed to this article.