According to a report from music publication The Pitchfork, New York Rangers owner James Dolan is being sued by shareholders for paying himself an excessive salary and for focusing on his rock band, JD & The Straight Shot, too much.
Dolan, the executive chairman and CEO of Madison Square Garden Company, is staggeringly overpaid the lawsuit contends. As head of MSG, Dolan allegedly earns far more than others in his industry. Shareholders also claim that Dolan “works at MSG only part time,” and spends the majority of his time focusing on touring and recording with JD & the Straight Shot.
According to court filings MSG paid Dolan $75.6 million over the past three calendar years. “By comparison, MSG’s peer companies paid their CEOs an average of $17 million for the same three-year period,” the complaint says. “The highest-paid peer CEO received $32.4 million, over $43 million less than James.” The lawsuit claims Dolan’s pay is “excessive” and “far from fair.”
JD & the Straight Shot “travels and performs extensively domestically and Internationally,” according to the lawsuit. “In 2017, for example, the band performed 50 times in six countries and 41 U.S. cities, an increase from the 32 shows it performed in 2016. In late 2017, the band released its sixth album, and is in the process of recording a seventh.”
Dolan stood up for himself in a prepared statement that read, “these [law] firms represent the worst in our legal system. They manufacture complaints and then advertise for clients, also known as trolling. Members of these firms tried the same tactic at Cablevision [where Dolan previously served as CEO]. They lost and will lose again. We look forward to fully litigating this matter to conclusion. We will never settle nor give in to this corporate extortion.”