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TAGLIABUE FAVORS TOM CLANCY'S BID; IS ROGER OVER AND OUT?
Published March 20, 1998
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ruled in Tom Clancy's favor in the Vikings ownership dispute, according to Don Banks of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Tagliabue ruled that team President Roger Headrick's right to match or top Clancy's bid "did not apply to the sale agreement between Clancy and the Vikings board." The "major stipulation" of the ruling is that the current Vikings co-owners "are barred from re-investing under Clancy -- until after the transfer" of 100% of the team's stock. Then, they can buy back into the team, "though with greater tax liability." At least two co-owners -- Wheelock Whitney and James Binger -- "are considered likely to re-invest." Clancy's purchase still needs approval from NFL owners (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/20). In St. Paul, Charley Walters reports that Clancy's investors list "will total about 15," but Clancy said that Orioles Owner Peter Angelos "probably will not be an investor" in the Vikings (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/20). HIT THE ROAD, ROGER? In Minneapolis, Paula Parrish reports that Headrick "next may lose his position as team president." Some Vikings board members "are adamant that he resign or be removed, possibly before next week's owners meeting." During their conference call discussing Tagliabue's decision, the co-owners "instructed" team attorney John Mooty "to press Tagliabue for the right to remove Headrick." Headrick said he plans to retain his position and attend the owners meeting: "I'll be here right up until the sale of the team is closed" (STAR TRIBUNE, 3/20). In Minneapolis, columnist Dan Barrieiro, on the ruling: "To rule in favor of Headrick, and the status quo, would have been to deliver a public relations blow to this franchise so severe that even the most loyal Vikings fans might have fled to Arena Football" (STAR TRIBUNE, 3/20).