Chicago Sun-Times

Change in NFL ownership rules aids family-owned teams like Bears

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The NFL has changed ownership rules that could make it easier for the Bears to remain in the control of the McCaskey family for decades to come.

The Sports Business Journal reported this morning that the league voted two weeks ago at meetings in Boston to ease ownership requirements for a controlling owner that make succession plans easier for family-owned organizations and probably could have made a recent transition by the Rooney family much easier with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Previously, a controlling owner had to own at least 20 percent of the club with family members owning at least another 10 percent. In the revised format, a single controlling owner now need own only 10 percent of the franchise with other family members owning at least 20 percent to get to the same number of 30 percent. Prior to 2004, according to the report, a controlling owner had to have at least 30 percent, a figure that is more challenging with the rising values of franchises.

Forbes estimated the value of the Bears at $1.082 billion in September. So, the difference in a 10 percent stake in the team is in the range of $100 million. This will greatly aid family-owned teams looking to keep the family business in tact. Dallas, New England and New Orleans were cited as other family-operated organizations.

The report states that the Bears have been pushing for eased restrictions for years: "Several years ago, Mike McCaskey, son of 86-year-old Chicago Bears owner Virginia McCaskey approached the league about relaxing its ownership requirements. The league rebuffed him at the time, but at least on paper, a path to ownership now would be easier for him."

The new rule applies only to current owners and cannot be enacted unless a succession plan filed with the league is in place. New owners would be subject to the 20/10 rule for their first decade in the league, the report said.

The Bears have said that there is a succession plan in place for the organization. This will no doubt help the McCaskeys and set them up to maintain control of the cornerstone franchise in the NFL for years to come. The Steelers' future with the Rooneys was seriously threatened, and after watching that situation unfold the league moved to prevent that type of scenario from unfolding again.

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this just ruined my day even worse

1.1 billion dollars seems a little high for the Bears, but I'LL put a bid in for them. Can somebody lend me a quarter?

I'm done; I'm buying a Patriots jersey tomorrow, I love Tom Brady.

Just what I needed on a bad enough Monday. Eckhhhhhhh!

Great more insult to injuy

And the good news keeps on coming !!! FIRE LOVIE !

I just watched the "press conference" with Jay and Lovie Dovey. What a pathetic bunch of reporters with their questions! I felt like I was watching a press conference with George Bush and one of his croneys, with the "selected" media. The reporters at these conferences need to be fired and bring in some real reporters with the guts to ask real questions! One bold reporter actually asked "what about a bounce back from a loss?" Another asked Cutler "are you frustrated?"! Why don't you just ask them what their favorite colors are? Or what they would like to do for hobbies? Completely pathetic! The free press is supposed to do much better and look at this!

Hans, maybe you have been living in a cave this whole year or you did not notice how Obama and his "cronies" have the entire media in their backpockets. Asking Dear Leader such tough questions like what his most enchanting moment in the White House has been.

C ya LOVIE! Don't let the door hit you in the ### on the way out!

ok, so there really is one way to force ownership change and the paying fans have control over this - DON'T BUY TICKETS TO THE GAMES! If they are not making money on you fans, who refuse to boycott the team, then they would be forced to sell - this is nobody's fault but the fans themselves who support this ineptitude!!

Brad, why do you say there is no way Lovie will lose his job?? How do you figure?

willcountyresident is 100% correct. Bears fans can blame THEMSELVES for continuing to support the team and making the McCaskets RICHER as they screw the team up with management decision after management decision. Way to encourage their ineptitude as owners there gang!

And Lovie wont lose his job for the same reason Angelo wont. Because the McCaskets will be admitting they made two HUGE mistakes when they hired the both of them.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.........Jay Grossman or is it Rex Cutler????? You guys SUCK BAD!!!!....and now you don't have a first or a second round pick!! Hahahahahahahaha

Considering it's Halloween-time here's a scary thing to think about.

What happens when Virginia is gone? Remember she's the one who basically canned Michael after he screwed things up so badly.

With her gone does the egghead return?????

If you think things are bad now (and they are) just wait to see how bad they get if he's back in control!

Mark Liptak

The McKaskey's will never sell this team. They are, and will continue, to laugh all the way to the bank. That is because the imbeciles that call themselves fans keep buying tickets, jerseys, bobble head dolls, in order to "support the team". Well, these idiots should be blaming themselves for what is going on. You want to turn this franchise into a winner? Stop going to games and stop buying the merchandise. Boycott anything remotely connected to this team and do it with conviction. When the cash flow grinds to a halt, ownership will get the message. But until you "fans" wake up and face the music, this same song and dance will continue.

Its a shame that people who are so inept like the McCaskey' can continue to be part of a major sports organization. I am sure that Papa Bear is spinning in his grave when he looks at this Bears and how they have been mismanaged. I guess the only hope is that these idiot all die and the Bears go to some one else. This entire organizations has been a shambles for years. The McCaskey' and Ted Philiips - Jerry no judge of talent Angleo really need to get out of town. My opinion has nothing to do with the lose on Sunday but the entire organization that knows nothing about football. Jerry A. and always has been the worse GM in sports. He was never be successful anywhere and it shows. Terrible organizations always has been and always will be.

Agree with several of the folks who posted on this site. I have not been to a Bears' game in years, and after seeing yesterday's disaster in Cincy, I don't plan to go for awhile. Call me fair weather, but with the clusterf***k of an organization that runs this team, I cannot support the Bears with my hard earned money.

I, too wonder what will happen when Virgina passes. Little Mikey will gleefully run back into the main offices, and proclaim himself to be king again. And use that expensive Harvard education to run that franchise even further into the ground. Hey, has anyone noticed that Little Mikey has never had to hold a real job since graduating from college? And that the other NFL owners have no respect for him?

Oh happy days are here again,...... NOT!

Yep, I can just see Michael "Monty Burns" McCaskey sitting in his opulent-but-useless office right now...

"Smithers, how old is Mother dear now? Oh, so she should be passing on soon, then, eh?"

(Tapping fingertips together) "Excellent!"

Rodger Harris wrote:
"Jerry A. and always has been the worse GM in sports."

A little dramatic? I heard the same comments last year when the Lions were going 0 for a season. I live in the land of Redskins and their GM (Dan Snyder / Vinnie Cerrato) has been doing it worse for far more years.

Is Angelo the best GM? Nope. Is he the best GM? Nope. But Angelo and Smith have a winning record over their tenure, which is more than most GMs have.

Forbe Magazine has the Bears about 8th in team value. They said the Bears have the largest single team market and several NFL people said the Bears could be the number one valued team with some sound marketing.

Forbes ranked the teams in overall management with the Bears ranking 30th out of 32 teams.

Anyone questioning this ranking simply look at the product on the field and who is represented on the coaching staff: Smith, Turner...not exactly premiere talent. Then, there is Benson, Orton...and Angelo has to be fuming and asking himself how he got hoodwinked into signing Smith through 2011

Bring back the Honey Bears and Jim McMahon, the punky QB for mere entertainment until the Bears are a real football team again, yeah right in my lifetime? Never will we see a Superbowl championship again with this ownership group.

Bidwell has turned out to be a better owner.

Forget ranting about the coach. Players win games. You need talent, toughness, and smarts. All the good NFL coaches will tell you that. All these great coaches didn't look so good when their talent pool dried up. They were no longer the smartest guys in football. No Favre, no Elway, no nada. The Bears really need an infusion of talent with smarts and toughness. Unfortunately to do that we need to draft well at the top of the draft. We're not doing it and in fact we're trading away our chances. No pro coach can over come that.

We don't need new rules that make it easier for family-owned teams or any other type of private ownership. What we need is a revolutionary rule that would change the ownership of the teams from the illegitimate private owners to the cities in which the teams are located. That would solve problems and bring benefits to the cities:

1. Teams would no longer move unless the city wanted to get rid of the team. This is the way it should be. Teams are major parts of the cities in which they're located, and they should not be able to harm those cities just to make robber barren owners richer than they already are;

2. Cities could get revenue from the teams instead of it going into the pockets of already too rich individuals, none of whom deserve it;

3. People who live in the cities could decide how much to spend on making the team competitive. If a city doesn't care that much, it could sell the team. But the places where people really care, like Chicago, could spend the money and hire good people who would put more competitive teams on the field.

These are just a few examples of why cities, not private individuals or corporations, should own the teams. But of course, like everything else too good to be true, it won't happen. The greedy owners certainly wouldn't be willing to give up what they have, even for a fair price. And politicians would not be willing to seize teams by eminent domain for their cities, because they're all in the pockets of the rich, which includes team owners. Oh, well, I can dream!

I say bring back the Cardinals.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 26, 2009 9:51 AM.

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