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NFL EXEC SAYS APPROVAL OF DEBARTOLO DEAL COULD TAKE "MONTHS"

          NFL VP/Communications Greg Aiello said that the NFL
     could take "months" to evaluate 49ers co-Owner Eddie
     DeBartolo's offer to buy out his sister Denise DeBartolo
     York's share of the team, according to Matier & Ross of the
     S.F. CHRONICLE.  The league could also put the entire deal
     "completely" on hold, "pending the outcome of DeBartolo's
     legal problems" in LA.  Matier & Ross: "Nevertheless,
     sources close to DeBartolo say that he and his lawyers will
     push for the league for quick approval ... possibly as early
     as May, when the league holds its next general meeting." 
     But the NFL "faces a dilemma" in that any further delays
     "could threaten" the team's $525M stadium/mall project, and
     the "image conscious league ... does not want to act hastily
     while DeBartolo is a target of a federal racketeering
     investigation."  League sources say a complete check of
     DeBartolo's bid could take anywhere from three to six months
     and then face a vote by ownership.  But sources close to
     DeBartolo said they think the deal does not require a vote  
     -- and that DeBartolo "may be prepared to go to court to
     challenge the league."  The league may also "hold" up any
     possible removal of team President Carmen Policy, as league
     rules mandate no management changes until a new ownership 
     deal is finalized and closed (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/2).
          POLICY BACKER: In S.F., Glenn Dickey writes that the
     league will not approve DeBartolo amid questions of a
     possible indictment, and he adds that an indictment "is
     virtually certain, probably in June."  Dickey also calls
     Policy's removal a "disastrous mistake," and says that
     DeBartolo's return as owner "would destroy what has become
     the NFL's bellwether franchise" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/2).

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