Mets Spring Training 2012: Fred Wilpon Expects To Own Mets For 'A Very Long Time'

New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, whose recent financial troubles are public knowledge, told the New York Daily News he nonetheless expects to own the organization for "a very long time."

"[Fans] shouldn't be concerned about us owning the franchise, because we intend to own the franchise for a very long time. Whether they're happy about that right now, I don't know. Don't forget, we cut a lot of payroll that wasn't producing."

The Mets are looking to sell 10 shares of the club to raise $200 million in capital, a quest that Wilpon said is 70 percent complete after he received seven commitments. Most of that money will go toward paying back loans, including $25 million the Mets owe Major League Baseball.

The Wilpon family is still being sued for damages in a clawback lawsuit by the Trustee for victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, but the amount the Wilpons potentially might owe has decreased significantly. Once looking for $1 billion from the Wilpons, the trustee now can receive no more than $386 million from the trial, which is set for next month. It's also possible the suit will be resolved out of court and will never reach trial.

The Mets lost $70 million last season, but Wilpon says the team's decision to cut approximately $50 million in payroll this year was not entirely a financial decision.

"I was tired of throwing money at something and not getting success," he said. "We cut a lot of payroll that wasn't producing. If you look at the payroll now, it's fluid. Many of the people that were not producing are not here."

For more coverage of the Mets, visit our blog Amazin' Avenue. If you'd like more on baseball's Spring Training, check out the SB Nation's Baseball Nation.

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