Thursday, January 21, 2010

So the Rams will have a new owner by April, aye?

Word has been circulating on the web today that the children of Georgia have three solid offers for their stock. They have vowed to select a bidder by April, or keep the team, one or the other. Given their tax situation, I have no idea how they can keep the team. This means we should have a new owner by April.

One offer, worthy of particular scrutiny, is a bid for 100% stock ownership. Logically, this means buying out Kroenke as well... unless that bid is from Kroenke himself. What about the rumors of movement? One group, purportedly Dave Checkett's group, wants to keep the team in St. Louis. The second bidder is "on the fence" regarding this question. The final bidder is point-blank in favor of the move. Wanna bet that is the 100% bidder?

Unless Kroenke is the covert 100% bidder, I am stunned that his name has not factored into this discussion more prominently. Current league rules do forbid Silent Stan from owning a controlling interest in an NFL franchise, but the insider-scuttlebutt suggested that this rule could be got-around if a simple political effort were made. Perhaps this is not the case. Perhaps Kroenke has run into unexpected heavy seas in his efforts to negotiate a solution to this rule problem.

Of the dozen or so URLs I have read today, the name that stands out most prominently is that of Texas banking tycoon Gerald J. Ford (no relation to president Ford). Ford is #289 on the Forbes 400. He is an investment banker who used to be chief executive of Golden State Bankcorp before he sold to Citigroup in 2002 for some $6 Billion.

We shall see. Time will tell what's going on here. I will be tracking reports on the NFL network closely.