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The sale of the Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen is dead, so what went wrong?

New York Mets fans are stuck with the Wilpons indefinitely. Steve Cohen, who was expected to take majority control of the team following the 2024 season, has reportedly told the franchise he wants to back out of the deal after the Wilpons attempted to change its terms, according to the New York Daily News.

Rob Manfred, MLB’s commissioner said Thursday, that as far as he knew, “there is not going to be a transaction.”

So what happened? It depends on who you ask.

When the sale was initially reported in December, it was believed the Wilpon family would remain in control of the Mets through the 2024 season. At that point, Cohen would take control of the franchise as its majority owner. The Wilpons wanted to change that timeline, according to the Daily News.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the Wilpons wanted team control beyond the five years they agreed to and also wanted to extend their control of SNY, the Mets’ cable network, for longer than the agreed upon 20-year period.

Cohen, 63, wasn’t happy that the Wilpons wanted to make changes this late in the process, and informed the family he would walk away from the deal. It’s possible talks could be resurrected, but only under the original agreement. The Daily News also mentions Cohen could tell the Wilpons he’ll only agree to the deal if he can take over as the team’s majority owner immediately.

However, Manfred said Thursday that blaming the Wilpons is “unfair.”

“I can tell you, and it’s based on conversations with the buyer and the seller on an ongoing basis, the assertion that the transaction fell apart because of something the Wilpons did is completely and utterly unfair.”

Rumors emerged Tuesday that negotiations between Cohen and the Wilpons hit a snag. The Mets issued a statement on those rumors, giving credence to the notion there was something going on. After some digging, the New York Post reported Cohen’s deal to buy the team was “on life support.”

When news of the sale first broke, Mets fans were elated about the prospect of someone other than the Wilpons owning the team. That seems unlikely to happen any time soon following the Cohen debacle.

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