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  1. #1
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    Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    02.11.2010 11:01 am
    More on Rams Sale & Shahid Khan
    By Bernie Miklasz


    Good morning …

    In no particular order:

    * What are Stan Kroenke’s options? The Rams’ 40 percent owner has three choices. (1) keep his 40 percent and work with Shahid Khan if Khan is approved as the 60 percent owner. (2) sell his 40 percent to Khan. (3) exercise his right of first refusal, try to buy all 100 percent and then take on the NFL to persuade the league to change its rules covering cross ownership. Unless the NFL changes the rules, Kroenke can’t be the 100 percent owner.

    * Perhaps Kroenke will have a fourth option; there are rumors of the NFL Denver Broncos being for sale.

    * Why did Khan gain the advantage over Dave Checketts in the competition for the Rams? Two reasons: (1) The Checketts’ group was financially prepared to buy 60 percent of the team — the piece owned by Chip Rosenbloom and his sister Lucia Rodriguez. If Kroenke wants to opt out of his 40 percent, the Checketts’ group wasn’t in position to buy Kroenke’s 40-share as well. Khan, on the other hand, has the resources to buy all 100 percent if need be. (2) Khan’s bid is a stand-alone deal; he is, for now, by himself on this. (It’s always possible to add partners later). But the NFL likes clean deals. The NFL prefers a one-owner structure. Checketts had cobbled together a network of investors; the ownership pie was being divided among many people.

    * What’s next for Khan? A purchase agreement has been signed. It will take several weeks, perhaps 6 to 8 weeks, for the Rams’ owners and Khan to formally close on the deal, which is a normal procedure. During this waiting time, Khan will likely be vetted by the NFL Finance Committee. Every aspect of his finances and personal background will be inspected by the league, which, again, is standard procedure. If Khan gains clearance from the committee, then the NFL owners will vote on the sale. Khan will need 75 percent of the 32 owners to support him.

    * What about Khan’s dispute with the Internal Revenue Service? Will that be an issue? Obviously, this will draw scrutiny from the NFL’s finance committee. And here is a link to the latest news story on the Kahn/IRS dispute. A couple of things on this: a dispute with the IRS is hardly unusual. This isn’t a criminal complaint; it’s a disagreement on the validity of tax shelters and Khan and his wife paid the IRS the requested amount, $68 million. And now the Khans are challenging the IRS to get the money back. Also, Goldman-Sachs, which handled the sale for Rosenbloom-Rodriguez, thoroughly vetted Khan on this and other financial issues. Goldman-Sachs wouldn’t have forwarded Khan’s bid to the Rams unless the broker had reasonable confidence in Khan’s status and Khan’s prospects for being approved by the NFL. But obviously, questions will be asked.

    * What about Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez? What are their feelings on Khan? They were determined to put the teams into the hands of a pro-STL owner. Since no one individual from the St. Louis community stepped forward to buy the Rams — remember, Checketts’ money guy was from Dallas — Rosenbloom and sister were comfortable with Khan’s willingness to keep the Rams in St. Louis. Sources tell me the Rams’ owners got to know Khan well, and came to like him very much on a personal level. They believe he is sincere about saving the Rams for St. Louis. They would not have sold the team to Khan unless they had confidence in Khan.

    * By the way, kudos and applause for Checketts – he tried to pull this off and he succeeded in rallying some of the STL business leaders to his side. It wasn’t enough, but Checketts tried to do the right thing for the Rams and St. Louis and I really respect him for that.

    * What do we know about Khan’s family? Khan, a University of Illinois graduate (school of engineering) met his future wife, Ann Carlson Khan, when both were students at Illinois. They have two adult children. And have lived in the Champaign-Urbana area for more than 40 years. The Khans have been generous in their support of their alma mater. And they are clearly proud and active alums . Here is a link to a little info on the Khans’ involvement at the university.

    *Some good stuff from Mike Owens at KSDK-TV Channel 5 and Marc Cox at KMOV-TV Channel 4: Owens and Cox made the trek to Champaign-Urbana Thursday to find out what they could about Khan. Among the findings: Khan and his wife Ann funded a new tennis facility for the U. of Illinois at a cost of $2.5 million. Khan purchased (and still owns) the Urbana Country Club. Khan has endowed at least five professorships at Illinois.

    Cox spoke to Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussin, who said this of Khan: “He’s got a very good reputation. He’s built a world-wide enterprise, starting here in Urbana. I think he’s a very decent person and I think you’ll enjoy having him as the owner.”

    And Owens solicited this encouraging pro-Kahn view from Illinois football coach Ron Zook: “He’s a competitor, he’s a winner, he’s a very successful man. He’s been very successful in everything he’s done and there’s no reason to think he won’t be successful in the National Football League.”

    Cox and Owens both reported that Khan provides a private jet for Zook to use on recruiting trips.

    * By the way, belated props to my friend Martin Kilcoyne of Fox 2 news and KFNS: I was at the Super Bowl last week and did not hear what he said, but as it turns out Kilcoyne mentioned Khan as a potential buyer of the Rams. And I wanted to recognize that. Unlike some other media outlets in town, I won’t refuse to acknowledge another media person’s fine reporting. I am always pleased to give proper credit and praise when someone else comes up with good info or a good news story.

    * Also, because of deadline constraints for the print edition of the Post-Dispatch, I was initially unable to publish details about Mr. Khan’s dispute with the IRS. But I and others immediately provided links to those IRS stories on “Bernie’s Press Box” on STLtoday.com, and while the info was not in the print edition, it was readily available to anyone who surfed our web site late Wednesday night, several hours before it appeared elsewhere.

    * Is Khan really a Rams fan? Yes. He’s been to a lot of home games through the years. In fact, Khan attended a home game this past season and sat with the Rams’ owners, who went to great lengths to ensure his privacy.

    * Was Khan new to the process? Was he a late and unexpected bidder? No. Khan has been pursuing the team for many months. He was one of three finalists for the purchase. It’s just that he did a terrific job of keeping his name out of the media … until now.

    * Does he really want to keep the team in St. Louis? Yes. There is no reason to believe otherwise. He has lived in central Illinois for more than 40 years. His business is based in central Illinois. His world is in the region, only a two-hour plus drive from St. Louis. His personal and professional connection to the area make him an ally to St. Louis; I am told my multiple sources that he wants to own an NFL team here — and not in LA or another market. That said, there are some stadium issues that must be addressed no matter who owns the Rams.

    * What does Khan think about St. Louis? I know this: a source close to him tells me that Khan views St. Louis with a great deal of personal fondness. When he moved here from Pakistan — Khan was a teen — he arrived in the U.S. in St. Louis. It was the first American city he knew, it was his first U.S. destination. Khan feels as if he’s lived the American dream … and that American dream began in St. Louis.

    Thanks for reading; I may add later ….

    -Bernie


  2. #2
    MoonJoe's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    I wonder how he ended up a Rams fan and not the Cardinals or Bears?
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonJoe View Post
    I wonder how he ended up a Rams fan and not the Cardinals or Bears?
    Good Taste?

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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Maybe because the rams play in St. Louis? Not everyone remained a Cardinals fan when they left.

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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTalkOfTheArch View Post
    Maybe because the rams play in St. Louis? Not everyone remained a Cardinals fan when they left.
    Considering that the Rams are in St. Louis and Khad lives in Illinois, I don't think that its because the Rams play in St. Louis.

  6. #6
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonJoe View Post
    I wonder how he ended up a Rams fan and not the Cardinals or Bears?
    Good question. When he first came to the states he ended up in St. Louis and he has lived in Central Illinois for more than 40 years. So when he first came to the states our RAMS were in L.A.. As we all know the Cardinals were in St. Louis then.

    I hope someone from the media asks him when, how or why he became a RAMS fan?

  7. #7
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    Considering that the Rams are in St. Louis and Khad lives in Illinois, I don't think that its because the Rams play in St. Louis.
    It's a fair question for those not familiar with the geography. The answer is pretty simple. Southern Illinois and Central Illinois tend to connect more with St. Louis than Chicago. It's just a matter of proximity. Urbana is smack in the middle between St. Louis and Chicago. And for reasons known only to Khan, he has gravitated towards St. Louis. But it's not odd at all for a long-time central Illinoisian to follow St. Louis sports.

    And to answer the other question, I'm sure Khan became a Rams fan the exact same time as many of us from this area..........as soon as they announced they were coming to St. Louis.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  8. #8
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Hubison makes good points, but being from the state I'll elaborate on them.

    He's not a Chicago Bears fan because he doesn't live in Chicago.

    A large majority of the state that lives south of Chicago (starting probably close to the 2 hours away mark) really can't stand Chicago. It has extremely corrupt politics and it's well known by most of us that the state is run for Chicago, not for the state. This dislike of Chicago goes back a long time, starting probably when in the 1800s Chicago decided to divert all of its sewage down stream...

    Those who live in the southern half of the state like St.Louis over Chicago by default, generally speaking. Also it's a city you can go to and not feel lost or over charged for everything. I've been to both cities several times and I'd much rather be associated with St.Louis.

    I also put it this way. TV here *is* St.Louis TV. All ours news and local stations come from St.Louis. We see the same shows people in St.Louis see, including morning news programs. Add to that the fact that I can drive about an hour and go see a Rams game where as I'd have to drive 5 hours to see a Bears game and it's not that hard to figure out.

    He's farther away and probably gets Springfield TV, but St.Louis is still closer than Chicago, to say nothing of natural southern/central illinois hatred of Chicago and all things Chicago.

  9. #9
    helorm341 Guest

    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    Considering that the Rams are in St. Louis and Khad lives in Illinois, I don't think that its because the Rams play in St. Louis.

    He is from st louis (as a child) and the majority of illinois (size wise) are STl sports fans. The bottom 2/3 of the state is really St Louis territory for the most part

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    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Yes indeedy. Not all of us are from "chicago-land."

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    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Good question. When he first came to the states he ended up in St. Louis and he has lived in Central Illinois for more than 40 years. So when he first came to the states our RAMS were in L.A.. As we all know the Cardinals were in St. Louis then.

    I hope someone from the media asks him when, how or why he became a RAMS fan?

    I have a similar (okay, sorta similar) story. I was born and raised in St. Louis. I moved to Los Angeles just before the Rams moved to St. Louis. I did not become a Rams fan until they were in St. Louis. It was because of the connection I had with the city that I gravitated towards the Rams.

    Khan, as someone who lived in St. Louis for a while, has ties to that area and probably has good feelings as well. The move of the Rams to St. Louis made him attach to the team probably in the same way it did for me.

  12. #12
    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Hubison makes good points, but being from the state I'll elaborate on them.

    He's not a Chicago Bears fan because he doesn't live in Chicago.

    A large majority of the state that lives south of Chicago (starting probably close to the 2 hours away mark) really can't stand Chicago. It has extremely corrupt politics and it's well known by most of us that the state is run for Chicago, not for the state. This dislike of Chicago goes back a long time, starting probably when in the 1800s Chicago decided to divert all of its sewage down stream...

    Those who live in the southern half of the state like St.Louis over Chicago by default, generally speaking. Also it's a city you can go to and not feel lost or over charged for everything. I've been to both cities several times and I'd much rather be associated with St.Louis.

    I also put it this way. TV here *is* St.Louis TV. All ours news and local stations come from St.Louis. We see the same shows people in St.Louis see, including morning news programs. Add to that the fact that I can drive about an hour and go see a Rams game where as I'd have to drive 5 hours to see a Bears game and it's not that hard to figure out.

    He's farther away and probably gets Springfield TV, but St.Louis is still closer than Chicago, to say nothing of natural southern/central illinois hatred of Chicago and all things Chicago.
    You hit this precisely on the head. Illinois does not mean Chicago people! There is in fact a great amount of land outside of Cook County.

    Fox Sports Midwest shows all of the STL Cardinals games, and I get that on the Eastern Illinois/ Indiana border. Also I get the STL Post Dispatch at school in Charleston, which is a stones throw away from Champaign.

    Not a big surprise him being a Rams fan, there is a large contingent of Illinois Rams Fans, especially after the GSOT times.

  13. #13
    AlphaRam Guest

    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    I am guessing that rams are indigineous to Pakistan and cardinals are not. Besides, who would win a steel cage match - a ram or a cardinal? See, you have to reason these things out.

  14. #14
    helorm341 Guest

    Re: Bernie: More On Rams Sale & Shahid Kahn

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    I am guessing that rams are indigineous to Pakistan and cardinals are not. Besides, who would win a steel cage match - a ram or a cardinal? See, you have to reason these things out.
    Unfortunately, the Ram cannot reach the Cardinal while the Cardinal can hover above the Ram and well....... you know...

    Sorry, as a baseball Cardinals fan I have a bird in this race

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