Although Bon Jovi seems to have the time, energy and resources to perform at fund-raising benefits for former First Lady, New York Senator and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a lawsuit filed by the former sales manager for the Philadelphia Soul arena football team alleges that Bon Jovi and his partners in the venture have not made good on about $125,00 that he is owed.
Apparently the arena football scene has not attracted the number of fans needed to make it a commercial success. The former sales manager, Joseph Krause, claims that Bon Jovi and his partners informed employees in December that the team was shutting down and that the employees would receive two weeks’ severance pay.
For his part, Krause says that owed $83,359 in commission for the 2008 season and $41,456 in commission for the canceled 2009 season. He reports that he was informed that he would not receive those commissions.
Krause claims that his protests over the issue resulted in an offer of $5,000 if he agreed to drop the issue and not pursue any legal action to collect the $125,00 he says he is owed. Krause refused the deal and was then told that he would receive nothing, according to the lawsuit.
Jon Bon Jovi’s not the only one in the legal crosshairs of Mr. Kruase’s attorneys. Also named in the lawsuit are are Craig Spencer, the team’s co-owner, Leo Carlin Jr., a member of the ownership group, as well as Paul Korzilius, the team’s interim general manager.
Despite the Soul’s $3.2 million in ticket sales and their victory at the league championship last season, it appears it was not enough to keep the venture alive.
As for what happened to the money, the Krause lawsuit claims that the defendants "worked off the . . . Soul’s success to promote themselves in all of their many other business, financial and cultural enterprises, and in establishing (in the case of Spencer) and sustaining (in the case of Bon Jovi) themselves as celebrities.”
The Soul does not seem to be the only problems facing the arena football scene. The league announced in December that the 2009 season would be suspended as the league develops a long-term plan to improve its economic model. That’s corporate-speak for “arena football has been a financial failure and we’re going to see if we can come up with some ideas to make it profitable.”
I don’t know how much pull a Secretary of State could exert in an instance like this, but if Bon Jovi ends up on the losing end of the lawsuit and cannot come up with the cash needed to pay off his share, perhaps he can arrange for a fund-raiser and at least count on Hillary to show up and help him drum up a little green.
Seriously though, I doubt he’ll be needing much help with his finances if he has to pay out what Krause claims he has coming to him.
For more on this story, see the Philadelphia Inquirer