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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    St. Louis Rams' hands are tied pending sale

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/12/2010


    Watching billionaire minority owner Stan Kroenke go through the latest machinations in his effort to acquire 100 percent control of your St. Louis Rams makes me understand that apparently filthy rich men are no different from the rest of us when it comes to the American male's obsession with acquiring "stuff," even if that "stuff" just happens to be an $800 million NFL franchise.

    Yet Kroenke seems to be turning the relatively simple task of buying the Rams into a convoluted adventure that reminds me of a gluttonous kid who rolls into the candy store with a fistful of dollars but can't quite figure out how he will be able to haul out all the jellybeans, maltballs and Twizzlers he just bought, even though all he has to do is just hand his half-eaten sandwich and half-empty soda pop to his salivating baby brother.

    Enough already. Just buy the darned team, will ya?

    Kroenke has enough money to own just about anything he wants twice over, but for some reason he seems to have a hard time getting this deal done. This could have been done two years ago when Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez first inherited the Rams from their mother, Georgia Frontiere. But Stan sat back and waited until someone else expressed interest in the team, came in at the 11th hour, blocked Shahid Khan's ownership bid, then spent the last few weeks bobbing and weaving his way around the NFL's prohibition on cross-ownership of pro franchises.

    So now we learn that Kroenke's latest plan to circumvent the rules involves trying to pass the check over to his filthier rich wife, Ann, even though the chance of that flying through the NFL's scrutiny without dispute seems to be unlikely. The NFL has already balked at granting Kroenke any favors on the cross-ownership front and now indicates it won't rule on his ownership efforts later this month, which means the process could drag on all summer or even longer.

    And you know what that means, don't you?

    Kroenke's plans are botching up the already daunting task of rebuilding this moribund franchise.

    No matter how much general manager Billy Devaney and team president Kevin Demoff swear that they have not been hamstrung by the ownership being in limbo, we have to know better. Our own Jim Thomas has said that he's had several conversations with agents who have been told by Rams officials that they can't get business done on the free agent marketplace because they don't have the cash to make deals.

    No matter how much Rosenbloom says that he hasn't put the clamps down on spending, think about it. If you were selling a house, how much would you be willing to spend beyond the most superficial improvements?

    So now might be a good time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step in and make his move. Either approve Kroenke in a hurry or tell him no and let Shahid Khan complete his own deal. The longer Goodell waits, the harder it is for the Rams football people to improve the on-field product and for the marketing people to sell the product to the ticket-buying public.

    I fear what will happen if Devaney and Demoff can't aggressively compete for the best players who come on the the veteran marketplace this summer with a reluctant owner who is trying to get out of the football business.

    Goodell keeps saying that the cross-ownership rules are there for a good reason, though for the life of me I can't see what that reason might be in these times. Kroenke has already been a 40 percent shareholder for nearly two decades. So why would anything change if he picked up an additional 60 percent?

    The cross-ownership rules have been changed several times to accommodate specific cases that worked to the advantage of the NFL's best interests, so I guess all that we need to do is establish why bending them this time would be good for the league, too.

    So let me help you with that, Roger.

    Reason No.1 : Have you seen Kroenke's checkbook? He and his wife are among the richest folks on the planet. You need folks like that in the fraternity. Kroenke has the sort of wealth that would allow him to be a Jerry Jones type, an aggressive businessman who could stake out on his own to build a new modern football palace in St. Louis out of his own pockets (of course with the right sweetheart land deals and tax abatements to enhance his already dynamic real estate empire).

    Reason No. 2: He's said he will keep the team in St. Louis (though not without a little public prodding). That is a very good thing to us here.

    Reason No. 3: If you slip this deal through and let Stan buy the team, it might avoid a potential nasty entanglement with Mr. Khan, the guy who is still standing in the wings with his checkbook wide open and is not the least bit happy about Kroenke trying to pull a fast one by handing over the purchase of the team to his wife. In case you haven't heard, Stan has the right of first refusal on the purchase of the Rams, not Ann Kroenke.

    If I were Khan, I wouldn't let the Ann Kroenke sale go through without a fight, and I might even return the favor to Kroenke by now attempting to "greenmail" him.

    You want the Rams that bad and want me to go away?

    Fine, here's my price. Yes, that's eight zeroes behind the one.

    One thing I've learned over the past few weeks is that this game Kroenke and Khan are involved in is a full-contact, rugged, mixed financial art.

    Last guy holding his checkbook wins.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    Worst
    Article
    Ever

  3. #3
    OldSchoolRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Worst

    Article

    Ever
    ...no need to say anything more...
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

  4. #4
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    I agree the article is bad news, unfortunately, it sounds an awful lot like the statements i have been posting for weeks on this. Bottom line, no matter what anyone says about operating budgets and business as usual, chip isnt likely to lay out cash for anything that he doesnt absolutely have to (as per any other sale transaction of this nature). The longer this drags on, the worse it will be for the rams and the longer it will take to rebuild.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  5. #5
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Worst
    Article
    Ever

    Somewhere, Bernie is smiling and feeling a bit more at ease.

  6. #6
    berg8309's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    I can't believe how bad an article that was. What was the point of writing that?

  7. #7
    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    I'm not really sure what is so bad about the article. ?

    Anyway, I agree. This limbo owner period is nothing but bad for the Rams being able to move forward in a competitive way.

  8. #8
    RebelYell's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    I agree the article is bad news, unfortunately, it sounds an awful lot like the statements i have been posting for weeks on this. Bottom line, no matter what anyone says about operating budgets and business as usual, chip isnt likely to lay out cash for anything that he doesnt absolutely have to (as per any other sale transaction of this nature). The longer this drags on, the worse it will be for the rams and the longer it will take to rebuild.
    The sale price has already been negotiated and any contract would be paid out almost exclusively AFTER the sale is complete. What would Chip's motivation be? Are you saying he's over ruling the front office people to make the team worse rather than better when he leaves?

  9. #9
    BEER's Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    The sale price has already been negotiated and any contract would be paid out almost exclusively AFTER the sale is complete. What would Chip's motivation be? Are you saying he's over ruling the front office people to make the team worse rather than better when he leaves?
    Chip learned from the best on how to screw your fans and your state. LOL.
    It sucks, I know.

  10. #10
    Bralidore(RAMMODE)'s Avatar
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    Re: St. Louis Rams' Hands Are Tied Pending Sale

    The lack of a owner IMO is just making our FO more wary of slinging cash and more shrewd when negotiating contracts to get the best deal. They have an adequate budget to sign guys but they aren't on a Jerry Jones budget obviously and it would be foolish of them not to pinch pennies (to a degree..) with the situation. By no means do I think this is affecting us as bad as everyone thinks.

    We won't fall off a mountain in the downtime between owners and expect us to pick up some more guys who shake loose on waivers....

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