June 25, 2024

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Philadelphia Soul organization yet to be paid by the AFL, players allegedly kicked out of hotel over non-payment

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This article has been updated to fix a correction regarding the team’s hotel situation. Last Updated: April 27, 9:09 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Soul’s season is hanging in the balance hours before the opening weekend of the Arena Football League.

A source with the Philadelphia Soul confirmed with Arena Insider that the Arena Football League allegedly failed to pay the organization’s players, staff, coaches and housing. The team is scheduled to play the Louisiana Voodoo in Lafayette on Saturday.

The source additionally claimed the league only paid one way tickets from Philadelphia to New Orleans and did not accommodate returning flights. Management at the team’s hotel in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, about a half hour from the team’s facility in Pitman, allegedly locked all players’ belongings in a room and refused to release the items without pay.

Local police has since resolved the situation and the players retrieved their belongings.

Soul kicker Conor Mangan posted a video on his Instagram page late Friday about the situation. Mangan recorded the video at Philadelphia International Airport and said he did not hear anything from personnel about travel plans or Saturday’s game.

“I am on my way home from the airport because I got to the airport and there was maybe one or two players there, there was no coaches, staff,” Mangan said in the video. “We were supposed to be playing the Louisiana Voodoo but that doesn’t seem to be happening at least from my perspective. We didn’t get on the airplane, we didn’t hear anything from the coach, ownership and I texted the general manager multiple times. I’m still in Philadelphia and it’s back to the gym and the grind so I guess we’ll see what happens in the next couple of days. I don’t know but I’m ready to go.”

Tristen Burnett is an agent representing Soul QB Joe Mancuso. He shared multiple posts on X, condemning the league over its handling of the situation.

“The whole team has been given release forms and kicked out of the hotel. They didn’t even have travel to Louisiana set up in the first place…Trust me I’m heartbroken for [Mancuso]. He has a flight in less than three hours back to his family and his belongings are being held hostage.”

Earlier in the week, Burnett also shared that head coach Pat Pimmel resigned and the team does not have a trainer or workers compensation in place.

“[Mancuso] has played in the NFL, CFL, and IFL. He knows how to conduct himself and handle himself like a pro. He is married and has a small child that he is sacrificing being away from in hopes to provide a better life. Embarrassing the [Arena Football League] wants to rebrand like this.”

Arena Football League CEO Travelle Gaines did not directly respond to the accusations, but posted on X Friday night, “believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see.”

The Arena Football League did not immediately respond to Arena Insider’s request for comment.

This remains a developing story and more details will be released as it becomes available.

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