The collapse of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) league last week wasn't as sudden as first thought, according to a report from SportsBusiness Daily's Daniel Kaplan.
Kaplan reports that the new professional football league was running out of money before Christmas, largely due to the AAF's initial primary investor, Reggie Fowler, apparently not coming through with a $28 million payment.
It has been reported that Fowler originally committed $170 million to the AAF, but reportedly reduced this planned investment to just $28 million, according to Action Network's Darren Rovell.
Kaplan has since reported that the $28 million never came through.
If the name sounds familiar, it's likely because Fowler tried to buy the Minnesota Vikings from Red McCombs in 2005.
Fowler was the original investor in the 2005 sale of the Vikings, but according to the Star Tribune, he missed a deadline to report on the sale, prompting the Wilfs to take majority control of the franchise to stop the purchase from voiding.
An ESPN column from 2005 was headlined: "Report: Fowler has been sued over 36 times."
Fowler remained a limited partner with Wilfs until 2014 after the Arizona Republic reported that Fowler had "defaulted on financial obligations, faces tens of millions of dollars in unpaid debts and has lost control of his companies as a lawsuit lingers against him."
The AAF debuted the week after the Super Bowl and played eight weeks of competition before announcing the end of all business activities last week. Kaplan noted that the AAF approached XFL owner Vince McMahon about a partnership, but McMahon wasn't interested.
In January, after just a few days of AAF training camp, former Vikings head coach Brad Childress quit his job as head coach of an Atlanta-based AAF team. Childress has since signed on as a offensive assistant with the Chicago Bears.
The Minnesota Vikings were among the NFL teams to jump at the chance to sign the AAF's standout players, signing one of the league's top safeties, Derron Smith, and a cornerback, Duke Thomas.