STEELERS OWNERSHIP RESOLUTION EXPECTED SOON
Posted by Mike Florio on August 7, 2008, 9:48 a.m. UTC
Amid reports that billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller remains interested in buying a majority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers, we’re told that the awkward situation involving the team’s primary ownership of the team is nearing a resolution.
Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Druckenmiller is ready to purchase shares held by Dan Rooney’s four brothers via a straight cash deal that is described as “simple and uncomplicated.”
Meanwhile, Dan Rooney is trying to put together a plan that would allow him to retain control of the team while removing his brothers from the ownership group. If Druckenmiller buys out the four Rooney brothers, he’ll own 64 percent of the franchise, and Dan Rooney will hold only 16 percent.
In a Wednesday item, we explained that there’s a belief in some circles that the Steelers have gotten special treatment from the NFL, based on a perception that the league office hasn’t moved with sufficient zeal to compel the Rooney brothers who own gambling enterprises forbidden by league policy to either sell off their gambling interests or sell of their interest in the team.
Though the league learned of the problem shortly after the Rooneys crossed the line from permitted gambling interests (dog and horse racing) to prohibited practices like slot machines, issues regarding the 30-percent ownership rule and the formulation of a succession plan have delayed efforts to devise a comprehensive, long-term solution.
Still, there’s a belief (held strongly by some in the NFL) that the league office has been too patient with the Steelers, possibly in an effort to permit Dan Rooney to buy the time necessary to permit him to buy out his brothers.
With Druckenmiller poised to write a check that solves the problem for everyone, Dan Rooney’s time could be running out.