TAGLIABUE FAVORS TOM CLANCY'S BID; IS ROGER OVER AND OUT?
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).