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Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby thesteelhammer » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:34 pm

Man this just gets scarier every day.
Taking offers.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d8093b387&template=without-video&confirm=true

Fate of Steelers ownership may rest with Art Rooney Jr.
Associated Press


PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney faces an uphill climb in trying to acquire majority control of one of pro sports' best-known franchises now that his four brothers have hired an investment firm to field offers for their shares of the club.

In a curious twist, Art Rooney Jr., a Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee for his drafting skills who was fired by Dan Rooney 21 years ago, may decide if the team stays in the Rooney family's control.


Don Wright / Getty Images
The ownership future of the Pittsburgh Steelers is in jeopardy as Chairman Dan Rooney attempts to acquire majority control of the franchise from his brothers.

Dan Rooney, widely viewed as the NFL's most influential owner, has spent two years in an unsuccessful attempt to buy out his four younger brothers' stakes in the five-time Super Bowl championship franchise. Each brother owns 16 percent, or a total of 80 percent.

The other 20 percent is owned by the family of the late Barney McGinley, who helped Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. reacquire the Steelers in the 1940s after Rooney sold the team for a brief time. The McGinleys' share is not believed to be for sale.

To prevent an outside investor -- possibly investment billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, a longtime Steelers fan -- from obtaining a majority stake, Dan Rooney needs to persuade at least one brother to sell to him.

That would give him 32 percent of the team, enough to satisfy the NFL's requirement that the primary owner have at least a 30 percent share. If the McGinleys don't sell, no other investor could own more than 48 percent.

Art Jr., who helps run the Rooneys' real estate holdings, is the only other Rooney brother who lives in Pittsburgh. He said his three out-of-town brothers are loyal Steelers supporters who dislike being part of any possible disruption of the Rooney family's ownership.

"We bleed black and gold," Art Rooney Jr. said at a signing for his new book about Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. and the family. "What bothers me is I hear people say the out-of-towners (the Rooneys who don't live in Pittsburgh) don't love the Steelers. They love the Steelers."

Still, Art Jr. finds it ironic he may decide if the Rooney family keeps the Steelers, given his falling out with Dan.

Art Jr., the only other Rooney brother who worked full time for the team, was so skilled as a scouting director that his drafts in the late 1960s and early 1970s were largely responsible for the Steelers winning four Super Bowls in six years.

His 1974 draft alone produced Hall of Famers Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster and led to Art Jr. being nominated for the Hall of Fame.

After the Steelers drafted only two Pro Bowl players from 1978-86, Dan fired his bother in 1987 as the scouting and player personnel chief, and Art Jr. has not been involved in the Steelers' football operations since.

"How about that? I've become a big shot after being exiled 20 years ago," Art Jr. told KDKA-TV.

However, Art Jr. called the current ownership crisis "sad," although he said his father would understand the brothers' desires to be properly compensated for their shares.

A revamping of the ownership group is needed because the Rooney family runs race tracks in Florida and New York that now offer video slots and other forms of gambling not permitted of NFL owners.

A troubling sign for Dan Rooney is that his brothers -- Art Jr., Tim, Pat and John, all of whom will be at least 70 by next year -- retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to weigh offers. Their shares are likely worth more than Dan Rooney and son Art II, the team president, could raise and still remain under the NFL's ceiling of $150 million in ownership debt.

The brothers likely would not have retained Goldman, Sachs if they felt they could soon work out a deal with Dan Rooney. The move also reflects their fears that selling to Dan Rooney, coupled with the ensuing taxes, could leave their children and grandchildren with far less money than their shares are worth.

If any of the brothers were to die in the near future without a change in ownership, their heirs would face estate taxes of up to 45 percent of the shares' value.

A year ago, Forbes Magazine valued the Steelers at slightly less than $1 billion -- quite a return on Art Rooney Sr.'s initial investment of $2,500. Each Rooney brother's stake is worth about $160 million, or less than Dan Rooney is believed to be offering.

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Dan Rooney has been working with Morgan Stanley and PNC Financial Services to attempt to bring in additional investors who might prop up his buyout attempt. Rooney hopes that former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who is representing the league in the matter, may help work out a deal.

The NFL supports Dan Rooney's attempts to keep the team in the Rooney family, not surprising given how Art Sr. and Dan Rooney have been among the most influential figures in league history. Both are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"The league will continue to support the Rooneys in their efforts to retain control of the Steelers," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday.

Dan Rooney does not necessarily need to own 50 percent or more of the club to continue to operate it. Among his closest friends are the Mara family, which runs the Super Bowl champion New York Giants although it shares a 50-50 ownership split with Steve Tisch, the son of former co-owner Robert Tisch.

Druckenmiller, an avid golfer whose $500,000 gift helped Oakmont Country Club in suburban Pittsburgh land the 2007 U.S. Open, has long coveted the Steelers and first tried to buy into them 10 years ago. He is believed to want only financial control, not day-to-day control of the club's operations.


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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby Nel » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:49 pm

Personally, I don't care that much about the Rooney family or if they lose control of the Steelers. Maybe they should lose control, it might be better for the team. But thanks for keeping us up-to-date on this situation.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby thesteelhammer » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:54 pm

I've got my issues with the Rooney's, but they set the tone for the team. The identity of the team is tied to them. If the ownership changes, so with the team culture - so will the team.
I :heart: the Steelers the way they are, so change is a but frightning.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby gutofsteel » Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:52 am

What's interesting is, with the influence Dan has with the league and other owners, he might be able to block any sale to a party he is not interested in being partners with.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby bdl » Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:29 pm

It will all be OK.....better this take place now than after Dan's death.....someone with deep pockets will only help the stillers....Drunkenmueller was born and raised a stiller fan.....gotta think he would feel the same way about the integrity of the organization as we all do....man, just imagine being a stiller fan with the financial juice to buy the team...only thing better would be being able to play for em.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby thesteelhammer » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:39 am

Art Jr., the only other Rooney brother who worked full time for the team, was so skilled as a scouting director that his drafts in the late 1960s and early 1970s were largely responsible for the Steelers winning four Super Bowls in six years.

His 1974 draft alone produced Hall of Famers Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster and led to Art Jr. being nominated for the Hall of Fame.

After the Steelers drafted only two Pro Bowl players from 1978-86, Dan fired his bother in 1987 as the scouting and player personnel chief, and Art Jr. has not been involved in the Steelers' football operations since.


Wonder if Art Jr. could get the draft magic back, and if he'd be interested in some sort of perminent position with the Steelers scouting department as a way to boost Dan's offer to buy his shares.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby Stillustronic » Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:53 am

Art Jr. is still listed on Steelers.com as the VP, with Art II as the president.

Front Office Staff
Administration
Daniel M. Rooney, Chairman
Arthur J. Rooney II, President
Arthur J. Rooney, Jr., Vice President
Charles H. Noll, Administration Advisor

Chuck is there too. 3 of those guys are going to die soon. It's the 21st century, things change.

What other NFL owner is listed in the Forbes top 100 list? Any?

It would be cool to have two in Pittsburgh, the Pens and Steelers.

Small market my ass. In November of 2005, the Steelers accounted for 42% of all NFL properties merchandise sales, when they were 7-5 on the year.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby gumband » Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:24 pm

........What other NFL owner is listed in the Forbes top 100 list? Any?
.............


Paul Allen ring a bell......let's put it this way, he commissioned an entity to come up with a new color of blue....now that's money to burn

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby gumband » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:07 pm

The World's Billionaires
#41
Paul Allen
03.05.08, 6:00 PM ET


< Previous: Michael Dell Next: Kirk Kerkorian >


Age: 55

Fortune: self made

Source: Microsoft, investments

Net Worth: $16.0 bil

Country Of Citizenship: United States

Residence: Mercer Island, Washington , United States, North America

Industry: Software

Marital Status: single,

Education: Washington State University, Drop Out

Microsoft cofounder may be one of most hopeful tech investors ever. Spent 8 years at company he started in 1975 with Bill Gates—and 24 years after quitting, it still provides a quarter of his net worth. Lost huge sums on far-off visions, including Interval Research Group (tiny sun-powered, wearable computers; shuttered in 2000). Still has fun: rock 'n' roll museum in Seattle, basketball's Portland Trail Blazers, football's Seattle Seahawks, 413-foot yacht. Went to prestigious Lakeside School with Gates in Seattle. Dropped out of Washington State. Left Microsoft in 1983 to fight Hodgkin's disease. Early backer of DreamWorks SKG, sold big chunk in 2007. Guitar junkie funded 2-year legal battle by Jimi Hendrix kin to recover rights to his music; won. Donates to education, arts, science causes.


Now someone that worked in tandem to make a billion on shorting the british pound and a fellow hunky we have:

The World's Billionaires
#97
George Soros
03.05.08, 6:00 PM ET


< Previous: Robert Kuok Next: Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair & family >


Age: 77

Fortune: self made

Source: hedge funds

Net Worth: $9.0 bil

Country Of Citizenship: United States

Residence: Westchester, New York , United States, North America

Industry: Finance

Marital Status: divorced, 5 children

Education: London School of Economics, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Born in Budapest, family survived Nazi occupation of Hungary. London School of Economics; founded famed Quantum Fund with "Adventure Capitalist" Jim Rogers 1969. With Stanley Druckenmiller, "broke" British pound in 1992, made $1 billion profit. Lost hundreds of millions with ill-timed investments in former Soviet Union 1996. Locked out new investors 2000; much of Quantum Endowment Fund's assets are his. Handed off day-to-day operations to sons Robert and Jonathan; Robert recently stepped down as chief investment officer. Dedicated philanthropist has given away $5 billion since 1979 via his Open Society Institute and other charitable groups; strives to promote democracy throughout the globe.


Then on down the list we have:


The World's Billionaires
#307
Stanley Druckenmiller
03.05.08, 6:00 PM ET


< Previous: Ray Dolby Next: Manuel Jove >


Age: 54

Fortune: self made

Source: hedge funds

Net Worth: $3.5 bil

Country Of Citizenship: United States

Residence: New York, New York , United States, North America

Industry: Finance

Marital Status: married, 3 children

Education: Bowdoin College, Bachelor of Arts / Science

Pennsylvania native attended Bowdoin College; became stock analyst for Pittsburgh National Bank, started Duquesne Capital Management 1981. Became money man for George Soros 1988; famously orchestrated his boss' billion-dollar raid on the British pound in 1992 with timely short position. Believed to help generate string of 30% returns for Soros' Quantum Fund. Duo parted ways in 2000. Returned to Duquesne Capital, runs No Margin Fund from Pittsburgh. Runs Harlem Children's Zone; nonprofit provides educational services to thousands of children and adults.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby The Fan Of STEEL » Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:37 pm

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_577363.html

Former Steelers safety Mike Wagner put fans at ease with his game-sealing interception in the team's first Super Bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Now, the ex-NFL star turned businessman said fans of the black and gold have nothing to worry about again, given the likely sale by some members of the Rooney family.

"The presumption is the fans are upset," Wagner said. "I don't think they should be."

Wagner is among several former Steelers players -- from the 1970s Super Bowl champions to the 1990s -- who don't think an ownership shift will cause the beloved NFL franchise to alter its philosophy or performance level, much less leave town.

"Nothing is going to change," said Joe Greene.

Click the link if you want to read the rest.

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Re: Fired Brother may control fate of team.

Postby Nick79 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:51 pm

I like change.

New QB, new offense, new coach, new owner, I'm enjoying all of this. If we get the new owner, it will be FUN to watch it all play out and see what changes next.

I certainly hope the new owner doesn't walk to the stadium like senile, old Dan Rooney.

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