Fred Wilpon: "An end to payroll caps we never had"

Allison Joyce

With the refinancing of the Mets' $250 million loan, owner Fred Wilpon could announce "an end to the payroll restrictions we totally never had."

FLUSHING-New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon called a press conference on Friday to announce that the refinancing of the team's $250 million loan "will finally bring an end to payroll restrictions that we've never had."

The original terms of the loan, which was due to be paid back in full within the next few months, would have placed the team under considerable financial burden. The provisions of the loan refinancing allow Wilpon to pay back the $250 million over the next seven years. According to Wilpon, "This means that the Mets can operate free of the money issues and payroll ceilings that never existed."

"For years, I've insisted that the New York Mets would not be burdened by spending limits," Wilpon told reporters. "I said this way back in 2008, when the Bernie Madoff fraud that did not adversely affect us in any way first came to light. I said it again in 2009, and again in 2010, and again in 2011, and again in 2012, and again in 2013. Thanks to this refinancing, I will have been telling the truth all along."

Wilpon compared the loan refinancing to the sale of minority stakes in the club back in 2011. "The selling of those shares helped to get us off of the shaky ground we were in no way standing on," Wilpon said. "Just like that sale, this refinancing ensures we've moved on from the dismal outlook we were not in any way facing."

"Rest assured," Wilpon concluded, "we can now look forward to putting a great ballclub on the field without the payroll caps we've never had that will finally be put in the rearview mirror in 2021 or so."

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