SFGATE: Are the Davis family in finacial trouble?

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From the SFGATE:

Contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, the wife and son of the late Raiders owner Al Davis have no plans to sell the team in the near future, according to team insiders.

"Anyone can have a change of heart down the road, but there are no circumstances where the economics are going to force any kind of sale," said one team executive.

Legal experts say the inheritance tax on the team - now valued at $761 million - is not likely to be a problem as long as Davis' wife, 79-year-old Carol Davis, is alive. The tax, however, could be a huge burden down the road for the couple's only child, 56-year-old Mark Davis, because the family isn't known to have other major financial interests to cover a big Internal Revenue Service bill.

The Raiders executive insisted it wouldn't be a problem, telling us that the Davis family had done "intelligent, sophisticated estate planning."

"It's not going to be an issue - not today, not tomorrow," said the exec, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to go public for the secretive Raiders empire.

However, the team's overall finances still appear a bit shaky - a point conceded by our insider.

For starters, there was no revenue sharing among NFL teams this year, and the Raiders lost out on their annual allotment of up to $21 million.

And although things are looking up a bit with the team's improved play, "obviously we are not among the league leaders in attendance," the source said.

What's more, the Raiders still owe the league $50 million from the sale of personal seat licenses at the Coliseum.

There is also the question of control of the team. At one time Davis owned two-thirds of the Raiders, but his share was down to 47 percent when he died Saturday - having sold 20 percent to three East Coast investors in 2007."They are just limited partners," our source said, "and they have no say and no power to do anything."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1LGEBN.DTL

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