Roller Hockey International CEO Larry King said Wednesday that money has been raised from unidentified financial backers to pay overdue playoff bonuses to the Bullfrogs. But King said the money won't be released until the Anaheim team supplies a financial statement to the league that King says is six months overdue.
Bullfrog owner Maury Silver called the news "strictly a stall," and Dennis Murphy, a league founder, said King has given the league a black eye and should resign.
"This is a bunch of hogwash," Murphy said. "Very frankly, the players should not be used as pawns. They are entitled to their money. Mr. King should stop all of the baloney and send the money out, if he has it."
The Bullfrogs are owed about $3,800 per player for winning the championship, but the league ran out of money at the end of last season after King spent $320,000 to keep the Ottawa franchise afloat.
King said a public stock offering he is trying to put together to raise funds for RHI and other ventures cannot go forward without the Bullfrogs' financial records. Silver said his wife, Phyllis, supplied the documents three weeks ago.
King said the league is essentially broke and "at a low point in its five-year history," and if it returns in 1998, it will do so in "the smallest version in our history."
Silver questioned whether King has actually raised enough money to pay the players after Murphy revealed that King and a business partner have fallen more than two months behind on payments to Murphy for part of his 51% share in RHI that he sold three years ago. Silver said he does not plan to attend the Nov. 24 league meetings.