The Arena Football League has stripped Terry Emmert of the Portland Thunder pigskin franchise.
Emmert, a self-styled, Clackamas County-based heavy-hauling tycoon famed for his tennis clubs and legal battles with local governments, launched the Portland Thunder football team in 2013.
In recent weeks, he complained to the Portland Tribune about the Arena Football League's health insurance policy not properly covering players.
This afternoon, the league's board of directors announced it had removed Emmert's control of the team.
"After many months of attempting to work out an arrangement for the AFL to provide financial and operational support to current ownership, we were unable to successfully work something out and are thus assuming ownership and operational control of the Thunder," AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera said in a prepared statement. "We highly value the Thunder fans, and this step was needed to stabilize the team in the Portland market."
Emmert could not immediately be reached for comment.
The structure of the AFL means Emmert didn't actually buy the Portland Thunder—he bought a share in the league, which owns rights to the players.
In November, the Oregon Lottery inked a sponsorship deal with the Thunder. It's unclear if the ownership change will affect that contract.
In 2014, WW profiled Emmert and his unlikely gamble on arena football.