In all the furor over the Pirates’ leaked financial records, one aspect that’s enraged some Pirate fans yet received little attention outside Pittsburgh was the loan by the Nutting family to the Pirates. The transaction wasn’t actually a loan, not in any conventional sense at least. It was really a loan with an option to convert to equity, but it’s easiest to call it a loan. Whatever the best name for the transaction may be, however, it was not the scam that some fans seem to think.
One thing to get out of the way first: This was not a case of the Nuttings borrowing money from themselves. At the time, they didn’t control the Pirates. They didn’t own a majority of the partnership shares, they didn’t control the board, and Kevin McClatchy was the CEO. According to the leaked 2008 f...
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