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.