Clancy not selling share of O's yet Vikings buyer prepared to divest if necessary

March 25, 1998|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Novelist Tom Clancy said yesterday that he has no plans to sell his minority interest in the Orioles as part of a plan to buy the Minnesota Vikings.

Marc Ganis, who runs a Chicago-based sports marketing firm and is one of Clancy's Vikings investors, was quoted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press as saying that Clancy plans to sell his Orioles share.

Reached at his Maryland home, Clancy said it was all a misunderstanding.

"I plan to follow all league rules, but nobody has asked me to sell my interest in the Orioles," said Clancy, who is not attending the annual league meetings because he is finishing a novel and the owners haven't yet approved his purchase of the team.

Ganis, who is attending the meetings, also said it was a misunderstanding and he meant just to say Clancy would follow the league rules.

The league has a rule forbidding one of its owners to own a sports team in another NFL city, but the league has been quite flexible in changing its rules to meet ownership situations.

The league previously altered its guidelines to allow owners to own more than one team in the same city or to own a team in a non-NFL city.

Those two rule changes allowed Wayne Huizenga, owner of the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers, to retain his ownership of the Miami Dolphins and for Paul Allen, owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, to buy the Seattle Seahawks.

Because NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue ruled just last week that current Vikings president Roger Headrick can't match Clancy's offer of slightly more than $200 million for the team, the league isn't dealing with Clancy's purchase at this meeting. Headrick is voting for the Vikings here.

Clancy previously has indicated that if the league has a problem with his minority interest in the Orioles, he'll put it in a trust with majority owner Peter Angelos as the trustee.

When Clancy's bid was first accepted last month, Clancy said Angelos hadn't made a decision on whether he wants to join the group.

Except for Ganis, Clancy hasn't identified any other members of his group.

Under NFL rules, Clancy must own at least 30 percent of the team as the majority owner, so his investment will be about at least $60 million.

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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