Yes, a very, very brief return to the front lines just to discuss a few things before the WC ends because I had the time and received a few e-mails on this and I have been working the sidebars with links anyway.
I have been doing a few updates anyway so why not a quick blog entry?
Why is this on Newsday's front page today?
Anyone who listened to Charles Wang on WFAN 4/16 here knew he said he regretted purchasing the club back then.
Jim Baumbach wrote today a Newsday reporter viewed the team's annual audited financial reports last month.
So why was this reported today like it was some ground-breaking announcement?
Today's front page was not to help Charles Wang or the Islander fan, it was Newsday's way to influence perception locally & nationally to push the concept this team is not viable and must relocate which helps Cablevision. The intent seems to be to drive away our fans by a company that will not even show live webcasted preseason games because it stands to gain a great deal from the Islanders departure.
What was really new today that merited the front page? I guess Chris Dey's comments on increased ticket inquiries required action to stir up something negative and get TSN/AP along with hockey fans everywhere talking.
You can bet the Toronto media is licking their chops with today's news to drive home the point Tavares should refuse to play here.
Jim Baumbach almost never has a kind word about our team and goes out of his way to take shots at them led by his insults at Al Arbour's win last season, why should our fans or anyone trust his motives when he's not just as critical of the Dolan's poorly run teams?
Mr Baumbach wanted the financial records after the Newsday interview on 2/28 here and questioned on 3/27 here if Charles Wang would follow through and only now according to Baumbach today he finally gets around to telling us a Newsday reporter viewed the team's annual audited financial reports last month.
Why did he not report this as soon as he knew or at least disclose the team did give a Newsday reporter this information and an article was being prepared as quick as he complained in his blog?
Nor was Baumbach completely transparent even Sunday afternoon 5/3 with the time-line where he had a little more from Tom Suozzi that did not make the article here but does a second entry with year by year losses here.
He has a blog and could have written an update as soon as he knew a Newsday reporter had information from the club on their finances.
I guess today beats being critical or putting any spotlight of the latest Ranger playoff collapse, because it looks like this was saved for a rainy day considering a Newsday reporter had it and we had Wang's WFAN comment since 4/16.
Ernst and Young had access to some things provided by the club and Art McCarthy who had some comments. Was anything said beyond what Wang told Mr Baumbach during his interview in February or in his WFAN interview?
Front page on 5/4 for things we knew 4/16 and earlier?
And what happened since Friday? Eden Laikin had to have her job done for her by Mr Botta's Point Blank blog as usual by not reporting Frederick P Clark's donations to Kate Murray first-hand, which is a conflict of interest by Murray and Newsday (despite this company having worked in Nassau County in the past) while Ms Laikin is never shy about painting any support of this project is only from Islander fans or those who stand to gain from the project who have contributed or benefit in some way?
Regarding Mr Botta as I have written here several times he is a good guy and a class act who does a great job with his blog but he will not question Newsday in this manner because it's a fight he cannot win or is reluctant to take on because from his friend Greg Logan to their entire staff they will all take a bite out of him if he went in that direction.
Mr Botta gave Eden Laikin and Newsday another very big pass Friday for failing to do the job properly in the initial report and only was mildly critical of them for his blog not being mentioned as the reason for a follow-up.
Mr Botta needed to be critical of Newsday for their mistake and stop treating this paper as if they are friends of the Islanders who are hardly innocent bystanders with no vested interest in the outcome. A few times last summer 8/2/08 he told our fans to stop responding to what he wrote were " these pathetic blogs by non-hockey writers ripping the Islanders on Newsday.com " for entries like this or this.
Mr Baumbach is one who wrote many of those " pathetic blogs " and most of today's article and was permitted by Mr Wang to sit down with him.
Sorry Mr Botta, but you cannot hide from Newsday's role in this.
Newsday does not hold the teams they own as accountable as they do others, they only give their team the only backpages for playoff hockey anywhere in NYC.
Did you read Steve Zipay go off at James Dolan's team for not disclosing injury information on Chris Drury like Greg Logan did here almost daily for the first half of this season because they decided to go with league policy which the Wings brought up to the league during last years finals.
Mr Zipay on 4/13 here reported the Rangers aren't even describing Drury's injury as "upper body'' or "lower body,'' the league approved terms.
So how come Mr Zipay did not act as Mr Logan did?
These are clear reporting double-standards that have to be written about and need to be questioned.
As for Mr Wang, if the Rangers can lose 25-40 million a year as late as 2004 where the NY Post, Washington Times, Daily News and Arthur Levitt confirmed massive Ranger losses because of steep overhead in the soon to be league's oldest facility which is as big a dump as the Coliseum and the facility in Detroit (which NYIFC posted the links to countless time) what makes your circumstances any different than teams losing big amounts of money.
You settled all litigation with Smg when you bought the club and had to know the landscape was not changing with them because they have a binding lease that runs until 2014, you also have a binding lease until 2015 with Nassau County and your only option is to sell because both leases are enforcable or you ask for Tom Suozzi to condemn the Smg lease now to lose less.
No folks, Charles Wang should not pay to fix Smg's lease. Tom Gulotta extended this deal when it was supposed to be reviewed every six years, instead around 1991 Gulotta took out the six year review.
Should Mr Wang be upset over Nassau County and the TOH for their roles now and over the years? Absolutely if all you ask is Murray attend a crummy meeting for her part.
And as easy as it is to blast Kate Murray for everything including who in politics pulls her strings, the TOH did not delay this project as long as Tom Suozzi who has only provided token verbal support and given Wang nothing in terms of financial relief.
Here's my problem with Mr Wang's stance on his hockey finances:
If the Lighthouse is approved today you and Mr Rechler will need financing for what the media has been told is a project estimated at 3.7-8 billion. The Islanders will still require an owner spending on the product during that time and until 2014 Smg will continue to take a percentage (eleven to be exact) of the gate, all parking, concessions and forty percent of advertising revenue generated which you paid in advance according to the Feb interview.
Oh yes, your fans want some high-priced free agents signed to help these prospects develop who score a lot more at even strength than Doug Weight.
If losing 25-30 million a year is a problem now, what's it going to become when it's time to secure financing for the Lighthouse, the lease even without Smg as part of this will run until 2025 and you have construction costs?
Your significant losses have yet to begin.
All due respect also if you can use the teams website to report on ticket sales by Mr Dey you can make your case on New York Islanders website to the fans without Newsday involvement at all.
Folks, please stop believing Cablevision owned Newsday is a friend to the New York Islanders, nothing could be further from the truth.
They want our team out and stand to gain a great deal from them leaving on every possible level, this is a perception battle the team is losing on all fronts. How
nice of them to barely note Smg had no comment when a reporter should be visiting their offices.
Today was about saving an article to get people talking on a rainy day.
If someone at Newsday pulled this on the Dolans and how they run their teams or lost money they would be out of a job immediately.
The Dolan's hold onto those 1981 tax exemptions that kept the Garden from closing like they hide games on Msg2 here so Suozzi could work to condemn the lease now or introduce legislation to suspend the clubs rent at the Coliseum until the Lighthouse is approved or even completed.
Newsday should have had this article available as soon as their reporter had the documents and as soon as Wang appeared on WFAN.
Why did they wait when we knew almost all of this already?