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Carl English suing former St. John's Edge owners for more than $130K

Carl English is suing the owners of the now-defunct St. John's Edge basketball team, alleging missed payments totaling more than $130,000. (CBC - image credit)
Carl English is suing the owners of the now-defunct St. John's Edge basketball team, alleging missed payments totaling more than $130,000. (CBC - image credit)

A new lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador sheds some light on the contentious split between Carl English and the St. John's Edge before the team's final season in 2020.

English has sued the team's former owners, Irwin Simon and Rob Sabbagh, alleging he wasn't paid $130,769 under the terms of his two-year contract covering the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

The Newfoundland-born basketball star was the league MVP in his first season, and led the team to the finals in his second season. Despite that, he says he was paid a fraction of his contract.

English declined comment when reached on Monday. CBC News requested comment from Simon and Sabbagh on Monday morning, but has not heard back as of publishing time.

The product of Placentia Bay did not return for the team's third year, telling CBC News at the time that "contractual obligations haven't been upheld since last season."

Carl English goes up for a shot against against the K.W. Titans.
Carl English goes up for a shot against against the K.W. Titans.

Carl English was a star for the St. John's Edge, breaking the league's single-game scoring record and earning MVP honours in his first season. (St. John's Edge)

In court filings, English says his contract featured a $30,000 upfront payment, as well as $5,000 monthly payments and 50 per cent of the revenue from "Carl English Appreciation Night." He says he was paid the upfront payment and the revenue share, but was never paid his monthly salary and the HST associated with it.

He also wants to see interest added to the money he says he's owed.

Simon and Sabbagh have not yet filed a defence in court.

Conflicted chapter to close career

English's career took him from the small town of Patrick's Cove in Placentia Bay, all the way to NBA training camps and the heights of European basketball.

His homecoming was a big deal. The Edge set league attendance records, with crowds full of people wearing English's No. 23 on their backs. English also used his influence to bring in former NBA champion Glen "Big Baby" Davis for the 2019 season.

St. John's Edge star and general manager Carl English shares a moment with fan favourite Glen "Big Baby" Davis in front of a crowd at Mile One Centre.
St. John's Edge star and general manager Carl English shares a moment with fan favourite Glen "Big Baby" Davis in front of a crowd at Mile One Centre.

English was named general manager, and brought former NBA champion Glen Davis on board in 2019. (Twitter/@stjohnsedge)

Attendance dropped more than 20 per cent in the team's third season, according to statistics from NBL Canada. The team went bottom-up following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newfoundland Growlers owner Dean MacDonald wanted to salvage the franchise from Simon and Sabbagh and continue playing at the Mary Brown's Centre in St. John's. The city, however, granted a lease agreement to the Newfoundland Rogues franchise.

MacDonald launched a Growlers basketball team under the Canadian Elite Basketball League and played out of the Memorial University Field House for one season. The team folded when the league decided it was not a good enough venue for a professional team.

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