I think Gillick is the only person left with a small ownership share. MacPhail is just an employee with a contract.
Middleton has said he and the Bucks have personally put $100 million in to cover losses and retain employees (up to this point). He may be exaggerating/crying poverty, and he definitely blew it by not exceeding the tax this past year, but his position is pretty clear, and his actions speak louder than words.
The player payroll is the least of it really, they also genuinely seem content to not hire new front office people just to save $10 or 15 million. If we're lucky theyll get a new President in place some time during the season, and a new GM (who will be more like an assistant GM anyway) by the end of the season.
What's ironic is they could have just kept Klentak. Whatever PR benefit there was from firing him is long gone, superseded by the PR nightmare of Emperor's New Clothes and being perceived as cheap.
This right here, from Olney:
That the Phillies have dallied about their front-office leadership is a source of enormous confusion around the sport, because whatever salary is required for the next head honcho in baseball operations is an infinitesimal fraction of what's at stake financially for the franchise, in picking the right players at the right prices, and in the resulting revenues. "It's small-minded," said one executive.
Seriously, it would take a new President and GM 1-2 transactions to pay their own salaries. One good trade or under-the-radar free agent signing and you save $10-20 million in payroll compared to a bad one, or just any big $ free agent. And when fans come back, they won't be rushing down to CBP if 2021 is much like 2017-2020.