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Wang court filing: Letters show no deal reached

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang on Oct.

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang on Oct. 24, 2012. Credit: Getty Images

Andrew Barroway sent letters to Charles Wang in May and July that indicate that Barroway did not believe he had an agreement to buy the Islanders in March, Wang's attorney says in court documents filed Thursday.

Copies of Barroway's letters were submitted as evidence to a Manhattan judge as part of Wang's motion to move Barroway's lawsuit against Wang to a Nassau County court.

Barroway sued Wang on Aug. 11 in an attempt to either enforce the terms of a purchase agreement that was drawn up -- but not signed -- in March or award him a "breakup fee" of $10 million.

But, according to Wang's filing, subsequent letters sent to Wang "directly contradict" Barroway's allegation that a binding agreement had been reached in March.

Barroway's attorney, Simon Miller, declined to comment on the filing.

In the first letter, dated May 23, Barroway says "it's been a few weeks since we last spoke" and thanks Wang for "the opportunity to be the next steward of the New York Islanders.

"Owning and operating the Islanders would be a dream come true," Barroway writes, "and you have my word and promise I will lead the team in a manner that reflects your strong values, protects your legacy and builds on the strong foundation you have set."

Barroway apologizes and "accepts responsibility" for what he called "a difficult process," and does not elaborate on the reasons why. Later, he writes, "I know you do not have to sell the team right now, but want to make this the right time and circumstance for you to do so."

Wang's attorney, in his filing Friday, points to that specific statement as proof that he says Barroway knew the deal was not completed in March.

The second Barroway letter, dated July 16, indicates that Barroway believes he reached a new deal with Wang to buy the Islanders that morning.

He writes, "as per our discussions of this morning," Barroway will purchase the Islanders for $450 million, which Wang's attorney points out is $30 million more than the March agreement stated.

As part of that new deal, Barroway wrote that he would have paid Wang $291 million and assumed $159 million in existing debt. Wang's attorney, Vincent Sama, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The Islanders announced Aug. 19 that Wang had agreed to sell a minority share of the team to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin and that they will take over majority control in two years. That deal is pending approval from the league's board of governors.

New York Sports