Dean Spanos’ sister asks court to force sale of Chargers

Orange County Register Archive
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Dea Spanos Berberian, a co-owner of the Los Angeles Chargers, is going to court in an attempt to force the team to be sold.

Berberian is the sister of Dean Spanos, who is often described as the Chargers’ owner but only owns 15 percent of the franchise. Berberian also owns 15 percent, as do their other two siblings, and 36 percent is owned by the Spanos family trust. Berberian says the trust is deeply in debt and can’t afford the charitable contributions it has pledged, and the only way to pay off that debt is to sell the team.

Dean refuses to consider a sale of the Trust’s Interest of the Chargers, insisting that the Co-Trustees continue to borrow more and more, and to force the charities and beneficiaries to wait for years and to ‘hope’ while Dean speculates further on a football team,” Berberian’s court filing said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Dean has failed to present any plan to address the Trust’s bleak financial picture, because there is no other plan than the one urged by [Berberian]. Dean simply refuses to discuss it. . . . His plan is hope.”

Berberian says the trust’s debts and expenses exceed $353 million. Although Berberian says her brother has agreed to retain an investment bank at the end of the 2024 season to find a new owner, she says the debt is piling up and the trust can’t wait that long.

The court filing suggests that the Chargers may be particularly attractive to a new owner right now, after the NFL announced lucrative new 10-year TV deals, and mentions Jeff Bezos as someone who might be interested in buying the team.

28 responses to “Dean Spanos’ sister asks court to force sale of Chargers

  1. This can’t be true. I call BS. The media told us moving to LA was the best move the chargers could make and Spanos would make a fortune

  2. The Chargers have been one of the teams with the lowest revenue generated in football for a long time. Sell it anyway and let someone come in and turn that into a big important franchise. The other owners don’t look to kindly on them to begin with because they bring in a lot less to the pot they all share and still get more in return.

  3. I mean, if the trust is in debt because it has pledged more money than it can afford, maybe the issue isn’t lack of income…

  4. This has to be an April Fools joke. Hopefully it isn’t. Bring back the Bolts to San Diego.

  5. We here in Los Angeles know very little about Dean Spanos and he has no presence or profile here.
    The origins of this dispute go back to the team’s days in San Diego and is largely a personal family matter.
    The upshot of this is what we already know from San Diego: Dean Spanos is a lousy businessman.

  6. It’s almost impossible not to make money with an NFL team but the Spanos clan just might be the exception to the rule. But lots of oddities in those statements, including why would the Trust still be promising charitable contributions if they are deeply in debt?

  7. 30 other NFL team owners should have beat her to the punch beat her to the punch before the Chargers left San Diego.

  8. Maybe they should cut the charitable part out? Oh, I forgot, trusts are ways to launder and move money around in a tax free setting.

  9. Everyone tried telling Spanos that it was a mistake to move to LA, I guess we were all wrong

  10. Dean likely likely has control of that 36% the trust owns… his say in that plus his 15% stake gives him 51%, enough to control the team. If the trust liquidates then purchaser of that 36% simply has to buy out one of the siblings and they own the team and Dean becomes a minority owner.

    This story will get very interesting over the coming months… if it plays out like I expect it to the Spanos family will be on the outside looking in.

  11. “Maybe they should cut the charitable part out? Oh, I forgot, trusts are ways to launder and move money around in a tax free setting.”

    Most trusts are not tax free, especially family trusts. Taxable income is not magically transformed into being tax free simply by moving it into a trust.

  12. Trust is being run like “Scott’s Tots” – if it is charitable, I’m not sure how it can be running in debt.

    Sell the team – move back to San Diego so I can finally be right when I talk about them. I can never remember LA Chargers.

  13. Bezos is so desperate to own a team he’s given up on his attempts at forcing Snyder out of Washington, and he’s moved on to the Chargers, and has probably promised the sister a boat load of cash if she cashes out.

  14. ariani1985 says:
    April 1, 2021 at 1:20 pm
    How about a fake stock sale? Worked to save one franchise in the NFC north.
    ________________________________

    You mean the franchise that has 13 more world titles than your team? Yeah, that makes sense.

  15. “Dean likely likely has control of that 36% the trust owns… his say in that plus his 15% stake gives him 51%, enough to control the team. If the trust liquidates then purchaser of that 36% simply has to buy out one of the siblings and they own the team and Dean becomes a minority owner.”

    The linked LA Times article states that each of four siblings own an equal percentage (9%)) of the trust. Dean and Dea are the co-trustees.

  16. The more money you make, the more “charitable contributions” you are forced to make (often political). It’s pretty annoying but you gotta do it.

  17. Too bad they didn’t force him to sell before moving the team from San Diego… Nobody cares about them in LA.

  18. nasty says:
    Bring back the Bolts to San Diego.
    ==

    The Bolts left because the city wouldn’t build them a new stadium (not saying it should have). Now there is no venue to return to, with the final section of the old Jack Murphy Stadium having been felled on March 21.
    It would take several years to fund, plan and build a new stadium in San Diego, and it will cost a whole lot more than it would have all those years the team and city were squabbling over a new facility. Apparently, money is an issue with the Spanos family just now.
    I hate to see Chargers fans without a team in San Diego, but the odds of the Bolts heading back there any time soon seem razor slim at best.

  19. Bezos should lobby the NFL to put an expansion team in New Mexico…nore precisely in Albuquerque…and call it the Albuquerque Amazons…

  20. Hmm maybe this was Spanos’ ultimate plan. He knew he was in debt over his eyeballs so he wanted to move the Chargers to LA to increase the value of the team prior to sale.

  21. Now think about it, they (as well as the Raiders) had to pay a $645 MILLION DOLLAR relocation fee because they couldn’t get a new stadium agreed upon in San Diego. Talk about kicking a dog when it’s down. That money would be pretty handy right about now.

  22. I left out the Rams would have payed that relocation fee as well. But the Rams will benefit from the new stadium far more than the Chargers (same w the Raiders, alone in Vegas).

  23. The guys a joke.

    NFL should use this to get the team off him, send them to St Louis and settle this lawsuit . Kill two birds with the one stone.

    Mark Davis got the Carson knock back and San Antonio and still got a stadium deal in Las Vegas. Dean Spanos is leeching off Kroenke and it also emerges hes broke! I’d be stunned if the Owners and League management do not want him out.

    You couldn’t make it up.

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