There’s been plenty of NFL ownership drama over the past year, and the Broncos are now no longer the only AFC West team with a power struggle going on. The Chargers have entered the fray, as Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times writes.
A sister of Chargers owner Dean Spanos, Dea Spanos Berberian, has filed a petition in Los Angeles County Court asking a judge to force a sale of the team. Fenno writes that Berberian argues “that mounting debt has imperiled the family’s finances and the only solution is to put the NFL franchise on the market.”
Berberian is a trustee of the family trust alongside Spanos, and she “alleges the trust’s debts and expenses exceed” $353MM. “Every day that passes increases the risks that the charitable beneficiaries and the Spanos family legacy will suffer irreparable financial and reputational damage,” if the team isn’t sold, the petition reads.
According to the court filing this has been going on behind the scenes for quite some time, as Spanos told his siblings in a 2019 letter that he would retain an investment bank at the end of the 2024 season to help sell the team. Berberian is attempting to force a move sooner than that, but either way it sounds like the Spanos family won’t be owning the franchise long-term.
That being said, Spanos and two of his other siblings released a defiant statement in response to this filing, which you can read in full here, denouncing Berberian’s effort.
“For the three of us the Chargers is one of our family’s most important legacies, just as it was for our parents. Unfortunately, our sister Dea seems to have a different and misguided personal agenda. If Dea no longer wishes to be part of this family legacy, the three of us stand ready to purchase her share of the franchise, as our agreements give us the right to do. In the meanwhile, the operations of the Chargers will be entirely unaffected by this matter, which relates only to the 36 percent share of the team that was owned by our parents,” it reads in part.
Spanos is no stranger to controversy, as he became a very polarizing figure among Chargers fans in San Diego after moving the team to Los Angeles a few years ago. This will take months if not years to fully play out, but we’ll keep you posted.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.