Arizona Coyotes' Alex Meruelo faces leadership criticisms
August 7, 2022
THN.com recognizes one individual in each NHL market facing great pressure during the 2022-2023 regular season in each new off-season, which can be an NHL player, coach, or team owner. Its latest edition focuses on Alex Meruelo, the main owner of the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes' performance is reportedly inadequate since they have only made the playoffs once in the previous 10 seasons, and have never won 40 or more games in a single season.
Arizona is renowned as the NHL's Elephant Graveyard because they have failed at multiple development moves inside their internal organization.
Meruelo is known for his shareholders, as he also runs casinos, banks, and media companies, thus making him a billionaire.
However, concern about the future grows when a team's ownership has as many red lights as he has in the almost three years he has controlled the franchise.
Meruelo was said to have not paid his taxes on time end of last year. Craig Morgan, a Coyotes insider, claimed that his sources have told him that the arena plan also lacks the majority support needed to move forward with the project.
Meruelo is regarded as a smart businessman who takes over enterprises and makes them profitable. Nevertheless, in the case of the Coyotes, he has tarnished their reputation and turned them into the NHL's basket case.
Reports say that he is under a lot of pressure this year as the Coyotes have been mismanaged multiple times. This season, Meruelo is projected to lose a substantial amount of profit, while failing to advertise even a 5,000-seat arena.
Katie Strang's critics
The Athletic's Katie Strang wrote an article last year on how the Meruelo organization was operated. One of the 50 people Strang interviewed for the story made an interesting statement in her report.
“If I was talking to a future employer, I’d say it’s been a learning experience. “If I was being frank with you, I’d say it’s a shitshow," one source said.
According to another former employee, "they basically took how they managed radio stations, pizza chains, and casinos and used that same playbook for a hockey team.”
The Strang article explores Meruelo from a number of perspectives. One of them is in terms of money, as the article portrays him as a man who does not pay his bills on time, causing the team's misery to worsen.
These interviews brought to light a variety of problems that have developed since Meruelo took over the team, including what many have referred to as a "toxic" work environment and financial problems that go much beyond those mentioned before.
Due to COVID-19 limitations, Meruelo's other businesses are suffering as well, and losses continue, worsening the team's financial situation. The average loss suffered by each NHL team is reportedly $1 million each game.
During the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, he also laid off employees and subsequently terminated the contract of assistant general manager Steve Sullivan, who had just signed a four-year extension.
The Coyotes are reportedly meeting problems in their quest to build a $1,7 billion arena and entertainment complex, showing the notion that owner Meruelo lacks financial resources.