SBD/15/Franchises

IS CLANCY'S BID FOR VIKINGS NEAR "COLLAPSE"?

          Tom Clancy's bid to buy the Vikings "appeared on the
     verge of collapse Thursday as new deal-breakers emerged,"
     according to Don Banks of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. 
     Vikings owners say that "potential flaws" include: an effort
     by Clancy to lower the $200M purchase price by about $15M;
     the inclusion of Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander in Clancy's
     group; and "continuing concerns that Clancy, who is going
     through a divorce, does not have the personal fortune to own
     a team."  Three NFL owners said that the current deal "will
     not be approved by the owners," and "several" Vikings co-
     owners said that the inclusion of Alexander "could prompt
     them to vote against the final sale agreement."  Clancy
     spokesperson Marc Ganis dismissed the possibility that the
     deal was in trouble and said, "A lot of what is coming out
     is over-reaction" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/15).  
          DETAILS & QUESTIONS: In St. Paul, Jeff Seidel reports
     that some Vikings owners were "irked" that Ganis tried to
     modify the deal by requesting to have part of the payment
     deferred because the team has assumed additional debt re-
     signing free agents.  Ganis said that the changes he
     requested amounted to less than 10% of the purchase price. 
     He said that the proposal "has been withdrawn, but several
     owners called it a sticking point in negotiations." 
     Meanwhile, reports have varied on how much Alexander and
     Clancy would invest and sources said that the NFL's concern
     about approving the deal "stems from the fact Alexander
     would have more cash invested in the team than Clancy." 
     Vikings co-Owner Wheelock Whitney said that Clancy needs to
     have a $60M commitment to get league approval. Whitney: "We
     didn't sell the team to Alexander; we sold it to Clancy." 
     But Ganis said $60M was not an accurate figure for Clancy's
     investment (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/15).  In St. Paul,
     columnist Bob Sansevere: "Ganis has put the deal together. 
     If this deal flies, it will be because of Ganis.  If it
     fails, it will be because of Ganis" (PIONEER PRESS, 5/15).
          MORE NEWS: In Houston, John Williams reports that NFL
     officials said yesterday "they will take steps" to make sure
     the Vikings stay put, "including making their next owner
     promise not to break the team's Metrodome lease."  Williams
     adds that while Alexander has entered the picture, Houston
     businessman Bob McNair said he "dropped his interest" in the
     Vikings after being told they have a performance lease
     locking them to MN.  In "the past two weeks," McNair offered
     $200M for the team "amid speculation Clancy's proposal would
     crater" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/15).  If Clancy's deal does
     fall through, San Antonio business exec Red McCombs said
     "he's ready to make a cash transaction."  McCombs: "We could
     close in 24 hours" (Charley Walters, PIONEER PRESS, 5/15).
     ...In their divorce proceeding, Clancy's wife Wanda
     estimates in her counterclaim that Clancy's current holdings
     and contracts for future books are worth "at least" $191M. 
     She hasn't said how much she wants, only that she is aiming
     for her "fair share" (Annie Gowen, WASHINGTON POST, 5/15). 

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