SBD/Issue 56/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette reports Steelers investors Tim, Art Jr., Patrick and John Rooney and Steelers Chair Dan Rooney "have virtually come to terms on a restructured ownership of the Steelers and will present their proposal to the NFL's finance committee in time for its meeting next Wednesday." John Rooney: "I think the deal is as done as it can be. But until you see the money, I guess no deal is done." John Rooney said that there is an "outside chance the entire deal could be completed by the end of the year but he expects it to last until sometime in January." Tim, Art Jr., Patrick and John Rooney, who are selling all or part of their 16% shares in the franchise, "would prefer to have the sale finished by the end of the year to avoid possible capital gains tax increases that might be passed retroactive" to the start of '09. John Rooney: "I'm not really worried about it because I heard the incoming president won't do anything for six months" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 12/4).

POWER TO THE PEOPLE: In L.A., Kurt Streeter writes Dodgers Vice Chair & President Jamie McCourt and the team "deserve kudos for their good work in the community, which isn't exactly novel for a pro franchise, but should be heralded nonetheless." McCourt "should be thanked for opening up a box brimming with hard questions about the economy and sports, about players and owners and fans." It is "time to start wondering more about the ungodly salaries paid to adults who play kids game, about the money-hungry owners who gouge the faithful everywhere from the parking lots to the turnstiles. Time for fans to realize they've got the real power. They can vote with their feet" (L.A. TIMES, 12/4).

Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon (l) With Team
Owner Roman Abramovich
PATH TO SELF Sufficiency: In Manchester, Dominic Fifield reported English Premier League club Chelsea CEO Peter Kenyon "has pledged that the club will be cash self-sufficient from July 1 next year, a commitment that would ensure they are no longer reliant upon" Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich's "interest-free loans to cover costs." Kenyon: "The long-term plan here was always that we needed to be profitable, non-loss-making and self-funding. In terms of breaking even, I think it will be 2010-11 but, this year, we're very clear about achieving no-funding targets from the owner. It's a process we believe can be achieved by the end of this season. I think we'll be growing revenue" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 12/2).

SEALING THE DEAL: In Alabama, David Jones reported Hawks C Al Horford has "put out a message on YouTube that the team is calling the Horford deal, inviting" Univ. of Florida (UF) fans to attend Friday's game against the Knicks at Philips Arena for a 50% discount. Horford, a former UF player, notes on the message that the Knicks also include former UF players F David Lee and G Anthony Roberson (MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER, 12/2).

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