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With 35 percent of the Chargers, Anschutz could control the team

Fili Moala, Mike Tolbert

There’s a presumption that, if billionaire Philip Anschutz purchases 35 percent of the Chargers from the Spanos family, Anschutz would be only a minority owner, especially since the Spanos family currently owns 96 percent of the team.  Though it’s true that Anschutz would hold less than 50.00000001 percent of the team, 35 percent could be enough to control the franchise.

It’s a point that left Scott Kaplan of The Scott & B.R. Show on XX 1090 in San Diego speechless when it came up during the weekly PFT segment on their show.

Under NFL rules, one person must own 30 percent of an NFL team to control it, assuming no one else owns more than 30 percent of the remaining 70 percent.

As to the Chargers, the outcome would depend on whether Anschutz buys his chunk of the Chargers from Alex Spanos, who owns 36-percent of the team, or from some combination of the four Spanos children, who own 15 percent each.  But since the sale reportedly arises from estate planning considerations, Alex Spanos presumably will be selling off much of his personal interest in the team in order to raise money to pay the estate taxes that will apply after he dies, if the 87-year-old owner of the team lives beyond December 31, 2010, when the so-called death tax will return.

So unless one of the Spanos children plan to buy out his or her siblings — or unless the NFL will apply the same reverse-conjoined twin procedure that allowed Art Rooney and Dan Rooney to retain control of the Steelers despite owning only 15 percent of the team each — buying 35 percent of the franchise could be enough to buy the ability to run the team.

And thus the ability to move the team.

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23 Responses to “With 35 percent of the Chargers, Anschutz could control the team”
  1. fordman84 says: Dec 1, 2010 1:12 PM

    Or if he does get the 35% and tries to move the team, couldn’t the other children create a holding company and transfer their combined shares into the new entity and just take out 1/4 control each? Then each one can still own 25% of the new entity, and the entity itself owns roughly 60% of the Chargers, and the siblings are back in control.

  2. gatorguar says: Dec 1, 2010 1:21 PM

    Say hello LA Chargers!

  3. AlanSaysYo says: Dec 1, 2010 1:28 PM

    I rag on you, Florio, for a lot of your speculative posts, but this one’s pretty good.

  4. R8RBOB says: Dec 1, 2010 1:34 PM

    fordman84 says: Dec 1, 2010 1:12 PM

    Or if he does get the 35% and tries to move the team, couldn’t the other children create a holding company and transfer their combined shares into the new entity and just take out 1/4 control each? Then each one can still own 25% of the new entity, and the entity itself owns roughly 60% of the Chargers, and the siblings are back in control.
    —————————————————–
    No, because the NFL banned groups or holding companies from owning a franchise. The franchise have be in a name of a person, not an entity. If it was that simple every owner of a NFL franchise would put the team under an holding company.

  5. hobartbaker says: Dec 1, 2010 1:41 PM

    So, if Alex lives to the end of the month, his heirs will have to pay a huge tax once he dies?
    LOL, Merry Christmas, Alex!

    I have a feeling the kids are going to be plying him with ample amounts of fatty food, lots of booze, and making him do those Greek dances, over and over…

    “Hey! Grandpa!…If I were a rich man, la..de..da..de..da….Hey!”

  6. Chargers have no rings says: Dec 1, 2010 1:42 PM

    While they are at it they might as well take the Padres and send them somewhere else where fans will appreciate them. SD sports fans are the worst.

  7. ralphwilsonsucks says: Dec 1, 2010 1:46 PM

    What gives there in San Diego. Used to live and there seems to be underlying faction who don’t want that team. Wake up!

  8. xpensivewinos says: Dec 1, 2010 1:48 PM

    The importance of the control element is going to depend on their intentions with the team.

    If the Spanos family want the team moved, then 35% will run it and their shares will remain status quo. If they want pops to sell his 35%, but still want control (and not move the team), then we’ll see how the siblings trust each other, cuz Bobby is going to have to “sell” JR his entire share and Ray is going to have “sell” JR at least 6% in order for one Ewing, errrr Spanos to have control. Doesn’t Gary own any shares?????

  9. tombradyswig says: Dec 1, 2010 1:51 PM

    LA Chargers does have a nice ring to it!

  10. JSpicoli says: Dec 1, 2010 2:02 PM

    They should just put Alex out to pasture befoer the end of the year. Not too far out of character for a Spanos.

  11. deegizzle says: Dec 1, 2010 2:03 PM

    Where there is smoke, there is fire.

    This team has been pretty outspoken about its stadium/attendance problems and now this.

    Los Angeles Chargers has a nice ring to it. At least the geographical alignment would still be in place for the division.

  12. bradshawlives says: Dec 1, 2010 2:06 PM

    Chargers vs. Vikings – crosstown rivalry.

  13. raidersteve413 says: Dec 1, 2010 2:13 PM

    They will have a real hard time as the LA Chargers.. Almost everyone in LA are raider fans.
    They should stick in sandeigo

  14. fordman84 says: Dec 1, 2010 2:29 PM

    R8RBOB, thanks for the correction. So I guess the Packers are grandfathered in?

  15. sixfootsunday says: Dec 1, 2010 2:51 PM

    So if an entity can’t own a team how are the Packers able to be owned by a public entity?

  16. jamie54 says: Dec 1, 2010 2:55 PM

    Thank you, Mikey, anything that shuts Kaplan up, at least for awhile, is a good thing.

  17. hobartbaker says: Dec 1, 2010 3:02 PM

    ..”Packers are grandfathered in?”. Probably, fordman, after all, it is Wisconsin.

    Where most men don’t “father a child”, they usually “grandfather a child”.

  18. profootballwalk says: Dec 1, 2010 3:06 PM

    The only people who don’t care about this are the residents of Los Angeles.

  19. realitypolice says: Dec 1, 2010 3:22 PM

    raidersteve413 says:
    Dec 1, 2010 2:13 PM
    They will have a real hard time as the LA Chargers.. Almost everyone in LA are raider fans.
    They should stick in sandeigo
    =====================

    Doubt it. The stadium (assuming it’s down town) will have so many luxury boxes (Jerry’s place in Dallas has 300, so assume at least that many) filled with business and entertainment big wigs that they will probably make money if the regular seats are half empty.

    You don’t get very far betting against Philip Anschutz. If he thinks it’ll work, I’ll take his word for it.

  20. gambleonsports says: Dec 1, 2010 3:43 PM

    “So if an entity can’t own a team how are the Packers able to be owned by a public entity?”

    The ownership structure of the Packers was already in place when the new NFL ownership rules were put in place in the 80’s. So a grandfather clause is the reason that the Packers are the only NFL franchise with this structure.

  21. knightringonow says: Dec 1, 2010 4:01 PM

    I rag on Florio too, and this is why: Ragman84 completely destroyed his post.

    Nothing – not one thing – says the children cant side together, thus making 30 per cent a true minority.

    Short people got no reason to live, Flo.

  22. R8RBOB says: Dec 1, 2010 4:45 PM

    fordman84 says: Dec 1, 2010 2:29 PM

    R8RBOB, thanks for the correction. So I guess the Packers are grandfathered in?
    —————————————————–
    The Green Bay Packers are owned by those who have shares in the team. They are run by a president chosen by committee.

    Funny that the Vikings were mentioned as a team on the move. They had a group consisting of 11 people who owned a piece of the team. No one had a majority but this example of ownership was why the league mandated that an owner had to hold at least 30% of the team. I can’t believe that Spanos would be willing to sell 35 percent of the team knowing that he would give up control of the team, however, it is is possible. Ralph Wilson is on record that upon his death, the Buffalo Bills are t be sold. That’s why the Bills will remain a target for relocation.

  23. jimmysee says: Dec 1, 2010 5:36 PM

    Maybe the Spanos kids WANT to move the team but do not want to take the blame.

    Also, I recall that if the Packers were ever to be sold or moved, all the money from the sale goes to an American Legion Post in suburban Green Bay.

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