Alliance of American Football League in debt to local business owners

AAF owes money to local businesses

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Alliance of American Football League posted a tweet Tuesday, saying all players are now free to sign with NFL Clubs.

They won't be receiving any more money from the AAF and now some Memphis business owners wonder if they're in the same boat.

Monte Quarles isn't just a Memphis Express fan. He's the fan that started the Memphis Express fan club.

"I'm very disappointed, not so much sad, because I did experience more Memphis football," said Quarles.

The Alliance of American Football league announced the organization was suspending operations Tuesday, leaving more than just fans with unanswered questions.

Former Memphis City Councilman Shea Flinn, who's now the Vice President of Flinn Broadcasting, tweeted, "Raise your hand (or reply) if you are a local business owed money by the AAF."

Local restuaranteur Kelly English responded to the tweet.

He told WMC Action News 5 the AAF owes him several hundred dollars for an in-stadium catering contract, in which he provided a three-course meal for Mardi Gras.

We also talked to the General Manager of WHBQ Sports 56, which is owned by Flinn Broadcasting.

Mike Brewer said the company had a contract with the AAF worth thousands of dollars for advertisements, web presence and interviews.

Brewer said he’s concerned the station group won’t get paid, especially since the organization isn’t paying its players anymore.

"This was an unfortunate situation. It didn't have anything to do with Memphis fans," said Steve Ehrhart, executive director.

Steve Ehrhart, the executive director for the Autozone Liberty Bowl, has been bringing football to Memphis for decades, including the Memphis Showboats as part of the Unites States Football League in the 80′s.

Ehrhart says at the end of the day, it all comes down to money.

“It simply had to do with how the league formulated. It didn’t have enough capital, didn’t have enough money to pay the bills,” said Ehrhart.

Despite this fan's disappointment, Quarles says cheering for the Memphis Express was fun while it lasted.

“So it is a let down, but at the same time we got blessed,” said Quarles.

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