A New Wrinkle in the Steelers Ownership Restructuring

No real “news” surfaced in the Steelers ownership restructuring last week, but a comment by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette did suggest an interesting wrinkle.

When asked during his weekly Steelers chat about the status of the restructuring process, Bouchette offered this:

I think it’s status quo for awhile, unless one of the brothers decides to take Dan’s offer, which would give him 30 percent. Then the NFL would have to deal with the other brothers’ casino interests.

Bouchette cites no sources, but this is the first time anyone has suggested that a partial buyout is a potential possibility.*

If a partial buyout possibility is viable, then Dan Rooney’s road to gaining controlling interest could be eased greatly because it greatly reduce the sum of money that he and Art II second need to produce or borrow. It would also give Dan and Art II more time and flexibility in finding minority partners and/or give the other Rooney brothers time shop their shares.

A potential Catch-22 to the situation is that Art. Jr. and John are the brothers who are most disposed to accept Dan’s offer. The paradox is that Art Jr. and John still retain their seats on the team’s board of directors, and both have been rumored to be interested in maintaining some sort of ownership stake and/or role with the team….

Steel Curtain Rising has been aggressively following the sale/ownership restructuring of the Steelers since the news broke in July. To read the entire series of posts, click here.

*When news of the restructuring first broke in July, it was first suggested that Stanley Druckenmiller was seeking to buy out the shares of Tim, Pat, and John Rooney. Later, through an intermediary, Druckenmiller insisted that he had no interest in becoming a minority stakeholder, and Art Rooney Jr. confirmed that he too was part of the potential buyout.)

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Rooney Brothers Struggle Over Steelers Sale

The Steelers ownership restructuring was in the news again last week, and although new facts came to light, the situation is as muddled as ever.

  • Dan Rooney gave a presentation to the NFL Finance Committee at the league’s spring meetings, but was reticent to comment on what he disclosed.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review scoped the Post-Gazette and secured an e-mail interview with Tim Rooney, who indicated that the sale/restructuring might very well carry over into 2009, despite the fact that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he wants a fast-time table for resolving this issue.

There’s a reason why the news coverage of the Steelers ownership restructuring has been so convoluted — the Rooney brothers themselves do not know what they want to do.

What a Long Strange Trip Its Been

News of the Steelers ownership restructuring took Steelers Nation by storm in early July, and has captivated its attention through a series of meandering shifts, twists, and turns.

In late September it seemed like the story might be moving to a close. Wall Street billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, who had been approached by the four Rooney brothers about buying their shares, had given the brothers an unofficial deadline of September 19th to accept or reject the offer.

  • It seemed like things were coming to a head: Either Dan Rooney was going to buy out his brothers or Stanely Druckenmiller would.

Then came word shortly before the meeting that Art Rooney Jr. was “not ready to vote.” Then sources indicated that the Rooney brothers “might” be interested in shopping their shares to other buyers. The four brothers held a conference call on the September 18th, and there was “not sufficient support” for Druckenmiller’s proposal.

Neither was there sufficient support to accept Dan Rooney’s counter offer, although that offer had not been rejected (reports conflict, but Rooney has made at least one other offer to his brothers.)

Family Differences…

Significant differences exist between the Rooney brothers over what they want to do. It is known that John Rooney, the youngest of the five, pleaded for his brothers to accept Dan’s offer. Art Jr. is about the only brother who has spoken regularly to the press about this matter, and he has said he does not know what he wants to do, although the Tribune-Review reported that he was having difficulty with selling the team to an outsider.

That leaves Tim and Pat, both of whom have resigned their positions on the Steelers Board of Directors. Tim reportedly torn up Dan’s initial offer. The Tribune-Review reported that:

Tim Rooney said the brothers won’t sell to a buyer outside of the family before giving Dan Rooney a chance to match the offer made to them. It quoted Rooney as saying, ‘I believe Dan has a right of first refusal with all my brothers, whether he has one legally or not.’

One does not have to look too closely to read between the lines here. Tim is all for keeping the team in the family, as long as he doesn’t have to accept less money from Dan.

He said, She said

One of the interesting things about this story has been trying to dissect who is saying what. Art Rooney Jr. is the only party that speaks to the press regularly, although Tim has answers questions via email. The McGinley family has also spoken with the press, but generally only to confirm that they’re on the sidelines.

The stories about this issue have generally fallen into two categories. Ones that say that the Rooneys are going through a difficult process, but still remain committed to family’s historic role in the team.

The second variety of stories talk about “a family feud,” playing up family rivalries and seemingly petty tensions.

It appears Steel Curtain Rising was wrong. After the Rooney brothers rejected his offer, Druckenmiller spoke with the press, and his comments indicated that he was sensitive to the desire to keep the team in the Rooney family.

It now seems clear that the source of the conflicting stories are coming from inside the Rooney family itself.

What about the Race Tracks? (Again)

The most attention-grabbing piece of news emerging this week was the fact that Dan Rooney still controls his shares of the family racetracks. In late August it was reported that Dan Rooney had divested his shares in the race tracks, and this piece of news signaled that the pieces were moving toward an end-game.

  • The Tribune-Review reported that Dan Rooney only offered assurances to Roger Goodell that he would divest his shares of the racetracks should he win control of the team.

One of the maddening aspects of this story is the fact that no reporter has put together any sort of an estimate on the net worth of Dan Rooney’s shares of the race tracks, although it has been reported that the Yonkers track has revenues of upwards of a billion dollars a year, and that the race tracks are far more profitable than the Steelers

This would perhaps be a key component of any restructuring deal. The more Dan’s racetrack shares are worth, the more cash he has to buy out his brothers. Could Dan simply swap equity in the race tracks for his brother’s equity in the team?

We don’t know, and the press has been remiss in reporting on this possibility from the get-go.

Perfect Storm

When the story broke during the summer, Art Rooney Jr. dubbed the ownership restructuring “the perfect storm.” At the time he was referring to the NFL’s mandate to separate Steeler assets from gambling related-assets, and need for aging Rooney brothers to get on with their estate planning.

Little did he know when he made that statement that the stock market was about to crash, and the US was about to plunge into its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

One of the things that made Druckenmiller’s offer so appealing was that he was prepared to pay each Rooney brother $134.4 million. In cash, at once.

If one or more of the Rooney brothers really did nix the Druckenmiller deal in hopes of finding a better offer, he’s really got to be kicking himself now. There were never too many people out there who can simply write checks for 537.6 million dollars, and suffice to say there are fewer of them today than there were a month ago.

Dan’s Dilemma

The financial crisis also puts Dan Rooney in a crimp. He has said that he and Art II have lined up partners to help finance the deal, implying that Dan’s objective was not to put 80% of the team under his and Art II’s ownership. He said at one point that his partners would “have names that you recognize.”

Yet he has not named any of those partners, not even to the NFL. This could be due diligence on his part, but that fact that no reporter has uncovered any information on who Dan’s potential partners might be is interesting.

One has to figure that the value of the racetracks plus whatever cash Dan and Art II have set aside bring them fairly close to being able to buy out one of their brothers. So if Dan’s goal is to reach 51% that would mean he’d need at around 160 million more, (plus partners willing to put up and the other 243.6 million for the remaining 29% of the team.)

Under normal circumstances one would have to figure that Dan and Art II could secure financing for the remaining 160 million.

  • These are not normal circumstances.

Steel Curtain Rising has second hand knowledge of a non-sports related company that has a BILLION dollars in cash (that’s billion with a ‘B’) that was denied a short term loan for a million dollars (that’s million with an ‘m.’) And while there still are plenty of rich people in the world, in this climate how many of them are going to plunk down 243.6 million to be a minority owner in a low-yield investment into an NFL team based in a shrinking market….?

Beyond that, these back of the envelop calculations are based on the 840 million that Druckenmiller assessed the team at, but we know that at least one of the brothers, probably Tim, wanted more.

Roger Goodell might want a fast timetable for resolving the Steelers ownership restructuring process. Given the discord between the Rooney brothers and the current financial climate, it appears unlikely that he will get what he wants.

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Rooney Brothers Met with Druckenmiller Before Goodell; Attempting and End Around?

The Post-Gazette reported on Friday that the four Rooney brothers met with New York billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller on Monday, the day before meeting with their brother Dan and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Druckenmiller is attempting to take control of the Steelers by buying out the four Rooney brother’s collective 64 percent of the Steelers.

The meeting’s purpose was to hammer out the details of his offer, and the report indicated that the deal could be closed in “a week or two.”


This is an interesting development. None of the Rooney brothers spoke with the press following their meeting with Roger Goodell, instead designating Goodell to speak in their place.

While Goodell was short on specifics, his message was clear:

The NFL prefers that Dan and Art II remain in control of the team.

He also offered that the meeting helped everyone understand the situation. Some reports had Goodell saying that the Rooney brothers weren’t necessarily intent on selling to the highest bidder (presumably Druckenmiller), but that they did want a fair price for their shares in the team.

Goodell also offered his opinion that the situation could be resolved in a few months, by the end of the year, leading one to think that the situation favored Dan and Art II keeping the team.

In that light, the news that the four Rooney boys had met with Druckenmiller the day before meeting at NFL headquarters qualifies as a minor bombshell.

Clearly, Art Jr., Tim, John, and Pat Rooney are giving Druckenmiller’s offer serious consideration.


The Post-Gazette article by Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette cited no sources whatsoever, leaving the reader to guess who is supplying the information.

Did Dan, Art II, and Goodell know about this meeting? Were the other four Rooney’s going behind their brother’s back? Or were they simply trying to clarify Druckenmiller’s offer before the meeting with Goodell?

We don’t know.

Tuesday’s article in the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review made it clear that the Rooney boys weren’t too sure about why they were going to New York, and implied that they were not thrilled with traveling to the Big Apple.

The Rooney brothers certainly had to know in advance that Goodell called the meeting to express support for Dan Rooney.

How much did Goodell lean on them? How did they react?

2 + 2 isn’t Quite Equaling Four

This story will make you dizzier that a nighttime trip down Glassrun road. At one moment it seems like Dan and Art II have the upper hand, the next moment Druckenmiller snatches the spotlight. One article talks of a family feud, the next plays down familial tensions.

Most likely, this is no accident.

From the very outset, there’s been a marked difference between the stories emanating out of New York and those coming out of Pittsburgh. The sources for the ones coming out of New York indicate that Druckenmiller has the upper hand, the ones based on Pittsbrugh sources present a more complex picture.

Consider this, when the story first broke, Druckenmiller’s intermediaries told us that the deal could close in “a few weeks.” Early July is not eons ago, but its more than a few weeks.

Rooney boys didn’t meet with Druckenmiller for tea, but one must be a little skeptical at the latest report that the deal could close in “a week or two.”

If that is the case, then why is John Rooney still retaining his seat on the Steelers Board of Directors? Why has Art Jr. sold out his shares in the racetracks – a move that would allow him to continue as an owner? Why did Ed Bouchette’s article explicitly suggest (again, without linking it directly to sources) that Art Jr. or John might still want to hold on to part of the team?

None of these facts negates the possibility of a sale to Druckenmiller closing in a fortnight, but they also fail to reveal an immediate readiness to cash in with the billionaire.

Working the Media

Druckenmiller knows how to work the media.

Word gets out that he wants to buy the team. Steeler’s Nation panics, so Druckenmiller makes his passion clear for the Steelers. The public gets wind that he paints his face and swigs Iron City at Heniz field. Reporters ponder whether he’s the next Daniel Snyder, and Druckenmiller friends are in the paper a few days latter saying, “oh, he only did that once…. Just to get his daughter into the spirit of things.” Goodell announces that’s he’s to meet with the five Rooney brothers, and Druckenmiller goes public quickly thereafter, again speaking through third parties, reaffirming that his offer was still on the table, and extolling its virtues to both the Rooney brothers and the franchise.

This latest revelation follows a similar pattern.

Its impossible to know what the real intentions of the four Rooney brothers are because there is so much conflicting information.

Druckenmiller’s intentions are clear. He wants the team. Part of his strategy is to create an aura of inevitability about his acquisition of the team through his contacts with the press.

Time will reveal which set of sources are closer to the truth… will the revelation arrive in a few weeks or a couple of months?

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Steel Curtain Rising Right on the Money on Rooney Reunion with Goodell

The five Rooney brothers met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the league’s Park Avenue offices, and afterwards Goodell described the meeting as positive and was optimistic that the Steelers ownership restructuring could be finished by year’s end.

Prior to the meeting, the Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette reported on the issues driving this round of the discussions/negotiations between the Rooney brothers. It would be far too presumptions (and almost certainly erroneous) to claim that Bouchette has been taking a peek at posts on this site, but Steel Curtain Rising did accurately identify each of the issues in play several weeks ago…

Role of the League

When the story broke in early July, a number of commentators suggested that the NFL might intervene on the side of Dan Rooney. As stated here on July 7th, the designation of former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue showed that the league was very interested in the outcome of these negotiations.

Likewise, when the Goodell-Rooney meeting was set, we shared Steelers Digest editor Bob Labrolia’s observation that the league in fact wanted Dan and Art II to maintain control of the team.

Following today’s meeting with the Rooney brothers, Goodell had this to say:

“There’s great respect for the Rooney family in the National Football League, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that the Steelers continue to be operated by the Rooneys and the way they’ve been operated.” [Emphasis added]

Words don’t get any more plain than that.

Not only is Goodell making his preference for Dan and Art II clear, he’s also not casting a favorable eye on billionare Stanley Druckenmiller’s promise to assume controlling interest yet retain Dan and Art II.

Also of interest is the fact that Goodell invited three other owners to the meeting “because ultimately NFL owners must approve by a 3/4 majority any change in the Steelers ownership.” The other owners attending were: New Orleans’s Tom Benson, Carolina’s Jerry Richardson, and Cincinnati’s Mike Brown.

Dan Rooney described Jerry Richardson as “a special friend” in his autobiography My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL, and Brown and Benson are consumate “old guard” NFL owners.

Goodell would have been sending a far different message had he invited Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder, and Zygi Wilfwas….

Not Necessarily Four Against One…

Press reports conflict about how these negotiations are affecting relationships between the five Rooney brothers. The four brothers have already rejected two offers from Dan, but some sources have characterized this as a “family feud,” while others have indicated that this is something that is simply complex and difficult for all involved.

However, Bouchette’s article in this morning’s Post-Gazette moved toward confirming something that Steel Curtain Rising first hypothesized earlier this month – All four Rooney brothers might not be ready to get out of the football business.

That post was in response to another of Bouchette’s articles, which reported that Art Rooney Jr. was divesting himself of his shares in the race tracks, and that John Rooney, unlike his brothers Tim and Pat, had not resigned from the Steelers Board of Directors.

Art Jr’s divestiture of his shares in the racetracks could be part of his estate planning, but it would also clear the way for him to retain his shares in the team, perhaps in exchange for a renewed management role. (Dan fired Art Jr. head of scouting in 1986.)

John Rooney is heavily involved in the management of the Yonker’s Raceway, and the NFL is pushing for a resolution of this matter because of its anti-gambling policies. John’s non-resignation at least suggests the possibility that John Rooney is exploring ways where he can perhaps maintain a reduced ownership stake in the team.

Its important to state, for honestly’s sake, that suppositions made here about the league’s role and the possiblity of some of the Rooney brother’s not selling are are not the stuff of rocket science. However, one has to wonder why Bouchette would report about John and Art Jr.’s moves with out without reporting on their possible motives.

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Goodell Rooney Brother Meeting to Signal Endgame in Steelers Ownership Restructuring?

Recent reports that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will call a meeting with the five Rooney could signal that the Steelers ownership restructuring process is reaching its end game. The Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette broke news of the forthcoming meeting last Sunday. According Bouchette, Goodell asked for the meeting after Paul Taglibue appraised of the situation. Taglibue, a former NFL commissioner, has been moderating the ownership restructuring discussions between the five Rooney brothers.

League to Play Decisive Role?

The league does not normally delve so deeply into internal ownership issues, so Taglibue’s role in this process was eye brow raising from the start. At issue are the needs of the Rooney brothers, now in their late 60’s or 70’s, to plan their estates, and NFL rules that prohibit teams for involvement with casino gambling operations, which the Rooneys have at their racetracks in New York and Florida.

The exact tenor of these intra family discussions varies depending on the source. Some sources describe them as an ongoing “family feud.” Others sources, while admitting to some tension between the parties – and generations – cast the discussions as generally amicable, if highly complex and exceedingly difficult.

  • Dan Rooney currently controls 16% of the team, and would like to buy out his brothers, but the other Rooney brothers have rejected two offers from Dan.

These rejections led the other four Rooney brothers to seek an investor capable of purchasing their shares, and New York billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller (and Steeler fan) has indicated he is ready, willing, and able to buy our the four younger Rooneys. Indeed, Druckenmiller today reaffirmed this his bid to buy out the Rooney brothers with a single, straight cash transaction remains on the table.

Reading Between the Lines

Steelers Digest Editor Bob Labriola wrote about the ownership restructuring in the August 2nd edition of the Steelers Digest. Labriola edited the publication for more than 20 years, working directly out of the Steeler offices. While he is not the most objective source, he undoubtedly has better access than any other journalist to what’s really going on behind closed doors. Two weeks ago Labriola made this observation:

The NFL is sensitive to the Rooney ownership issues, it wants Dan and Art II to continue to run the franchise, and it doesn’t want the team to incur more than a manageable debt. Any sale of the Steelers would be subject to approval of 24 of the NFL’s 32 owners. (emphasis added)

Reading between the lines Labriola’s words translates into this: The NFL and/or Dan Rooney are ready to use its muscle to influence the process on the side of Dan Rooney. Just as important is Labriola’s comment that the league is sensitive to debt issues. You can interpret that to mean that any final deal will most likely not result in Dan Rooney as the exclusive buyer of his brother’s shares.

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Watch Tower: Excellent Reporting by Carl Prine on Steelers Restructuring

Kudos to the Tribune-Review’s Carl Prine for digging deep to bring Steelers Nation relevant news on the Steelers restructuring.

Not much new has surfaced in the last few days, save for Druckenmiller’s statement that he is only interested in holding all of the marbels (or at least an out right majority of them) . Prine’s article does recycle some of the same quotes by Art Rooney Jr. that have been circulating in the papers for days, but he really goes into detail about how shares of the Steelers are valued.

He’s found this information by sifting through court records filed as part of a divorice settlement of one of the Rooney cousins. Its a good read, and most-well reported stories I’ve seen yet.

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Several Questions on Steelers Sale Answered by Post-Gazette Reporting

Dogged reporting by Gary Dulac and Bob Smizik have answered many questions about the Steelers impending sale/ownership restructuring.

  • Last night, Steel Curtain Rising pointed out two major inconsistencies in the national stories on a Stanley Druckenmiller bid to acquire controlling interest in the Steelers.

Those reports indicated that Druckenmiller was close to an agreement with Tim, John, and Pat Rooney to buy their shares of the Steelers. However, those shares would only bring Drunkenmiller 48% of the Steelers.

Gary Dulac of the Post Gazette has confirmed, with two sources, that Art Rooney Jr. is also considering selling to Druckenmiller. That would give him 64%. This is also supported by a press release issued by the four Rooney brothers, confirming that they had hired Goldman Sacks to advise them on a potential sale.

  • Credit Dulac for actually getting Tom McGinley on the record. McGinley’s comments confirm that this is quite serious, and not just a product of idle speculation.

McGinley also sheds light on the tenor of these negotiations, as he expressed to Dulac his hope that this works out, given that he regards the Rooney boys like brothers. This both suggests that some of the reported tension within the family is real, but it also holds out the possibility of an amicable settlement.

Dulac explicated stated that McGinley’s willingness to sell is unknown, although this comment is a little odd given that one must figure that if he spoke to McGinley, he must have queried McGinley about his intent.

Dan Rooney’s Share of the Race Tracks

The Post Gazette’s Bob Smizk also spoke to an issue first raised by Steel Curtian Rising when the story broke, namely what is going to happen to Dan Rooney’s interest in the family race tracks. While Smizk reports no new facts, he does suggest that any such deal would include Dan’s brother buying his share of the race tracks.

  • Various press reports have cited studies assessing the value of the Steelers at between 800 million and one billion dollars. No media have reported on the value of the racetracks role.

Smizik suggests, as did Steel Curtin Rising, that any consolidation would include Dan Rooney’s shares in the race tracks, which is logical given that this move was spurred by a need to conform to NFL anti-gambling policies.

Smizik’s is interesting, if perhaps flawed. He concludes, probably correctly, that Rooney cannot afford to buy out all of his brothers. He continues to say that Dan Rooney can probably not afford to buy out even one of his brothers, even if he includes his shares in the race track as part of the price.

This second assumption by Smizik is less certain, as it has got to be easier to put together the money to buy 16% of the Steelers as opposed to the money needed to by 64%. However, any proposal by Dan Rooney was almost certainly predicated on him and/or Art II using their share of the profits to finance the deal, and a smaller ownership stake would naturally correspond to a smaller ownership stake.

Timing of Steelers Sale/Ownership Restructuring

Gerry Dulac’s reporting stands in sharp contrast to reports issue by both the Associated Press (as reported on ESPN) and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Both of those reports indicated that a deal might close within days. Dulac’s indicates a timeline of about a month.

The Rooney brother’s press release indicates that they are contracting Goldman Sacks as part of any estate planning process, and also indicates support for Dan and Art II Rooney’s statement reassuring a place for Rooney family in the teams management.

If the timeline reported by Dulac is correct, then it increases the probability that a deal will be worked out that leaves Dan Rooney in control of the team, and possible preserving controlling interest by the Rooney/McGinleys.

On the other hand, if the AP and Trib. Review are correct, and the deal will close in the next few days, then it is unlikely that the Rooneys will maintain controlling interest.

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.

Dan Rooney Losing Steelers Is a Real Possibility, As “Restructuring” Rapidly Evolves

The restructuring of the Steelers ownership is a evolving fast.

On Monday, July 7th both national and local news reports indicated that Dan Rooney was attempting to put together a deal to buy out his brothers, both to conform to NFL anti-gambling guidelines and assure an orderly succession that would keep the team in family hands.

Tuesday July 8th brought the news that Stanley Druckenmiller of Duquesne Capital Fund Management had emerged as a possible buyer for the shares of Tim, John, and Pat Rooney. Early reports in both the Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review cited unidentified sources that indicated whatever transaction took place, the Steelers management was not likely to be altered.

Some of those reports sought to dispute an article published in the Wall Street Journal, that painted a picture of acrimony within the Rooney family emerging over these negotiations. One unidentified source that was quoted in several reports indicated that the Rooney family was still close, but that there were concerns about inheritance tax.

The tenor of these reports generally held that the Rooney’s sought outside investors because they were concerned that Dan’s offer to his brothers was undervalued, and that he was taking on too much debt. One source suggested that outside bids were being considered as part of the “due diligence” process.

That news was reassuring to the faithful of Steelers Nation, but the good news did not last for long.

In the early hours of Wednesday July 9th, both SI.com and ESPN’s websites are running an Associated Press report that says that Druckenmiller will make an offer to buy majority interest in the team. The report also states that: “The impending sale is the result of a feud among members of one of sport’s most renowned families and has been simmering about two years.”

The Post-Gazette had reported the Druckenmiller was merely interested in providing capital, and that he would leave Rooney in control of the team, leaving the implication that a deal would leave Dan Rooney as majority owner.

However, the latest AP report diverges from that line sharply, stating that Drunkenmiller “is said to want to keep Art and Dan as part of the ownership group.” According to the AP, the deal could close in as soon as two days.

Unanswered Questions about the Steelers Ownership Restructuring 

It is now clear that there is a very real possibility that the Rooney’s could soon lose control of the Steelers for the first time in their 75 year history.

Two days of press reports reveal a significant contrast between national and local coverage. National coverage has strongly slanted toward the conflict angle, whereas local coverage has leaned toward continuity, although the Tribune-Review’s most recent article about the story refers to a “Rooney family feud.”

It is impossible to know which set of reporters has better sources, although events on the ground do seem to be breaking toward the version depicted by the national media.

All press reports indicate that each of the Rooney boys own 16% of the team, with the McGinley family owning the remaining 20%. Press reports indicate that Drunkenmiller is going to buy out the three Rooney sons, John, Tim, and Pat.

If each son owns 16%, then that only adds up to 48%. If only two brothers sell, as some reports have indicated, then that only adds up to 16%. No press report has indicated that Art Rooney Jr. is interested in selling out, which makes sense as he has worked for the team, and only one report has mentioned the McGinley family selling, but that story mentioned that they would sell part of their shares to Rooney.

In addition, it must be assumed that any deal would require Dan selling his shares in the two race tracks that his brothers would like to continue to operate. Steel Curtin Rising’s speculation yesterday that the racetracks were declining in value has been contradicted by press reports indicating that both Pat and Dan Rooney declared in 2002 that the racetracks were more profitable than the Steelers.

If that is the case then it is hard then it would seem that Dan Rooney would need less cash to complete a partial buyout of one or more of his brothers.

Please lend a hand by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc... Thanks.