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Chargers Co-Owner Backs Off Demand to Sell Entire Franchise

  • Dea Spanos Berberian, sister of Chargers managing owner Dean Spanos, went to court to seek a full sale of team.
  • After more than two years, legal proceedings appear set to be moved to arbitration.
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
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The sister of Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos backed off her desire to force a complete sale of the franchise, according to court documents obtained by Front Office Sports 

The attorney for Dea Spanos Berberian wrote in a San Joaquin County Superior Court that the increased revenue from the NFL’s new TV packages along with the record sale price of the Denver Broncos means obligations under family trust can be solved “even with the sale of its minority interest” of the Chargers.

Dean Spanos and other family members have long pushed back that the family trust has ever had issues meeting past, present, and future obligations, including charitable pledges. 

“Selling something less than the trust’s full 36% of the Chargers in an orderly, professional and cooperative fashion could resolve the trust’s financial problems,” Berberian’s attorney, Adam Streisand, wrote in the Tuesday filing.

“The NFL secured an historic media deal that juiced the value of teams across the board, and their attractiveness to purchasers. Perhaps even more importantly, the Denver Broncos were recently purchased for record-breaking $4.6 billion, and the fact that there are multiple bidders who were unsuccessful in that process has bolstered … interest in other teams, especially in a major market like Los Angeles.”

For more than two years, Berberian has suffered repeated setbacks in her legal challenge over the future of the Chargers — both in San Joaquin County as well in Los Angeles County. 

Berberian already withdrew her opposition to NFL arbitration over ownership issues she raised in her filings. In Tuesday’s filing, she agreed to an outside arbitrator to handle other non-Chargers elements of her case. 

Since arbitration proceedings are private, any future legal arguments Berberian makes won’t be accessible to the public once the judge signs off.  

The filing comes two months after Berberian claimed in court documents that Dean and their brother and Charges exec Michael Spanos hold “misogynistic attitudes” — an allegation that drew a strong rebuke by all three of Berberian’s siblings. 

“Throughout this entire ordeal that was instigated without justification by my sister Dea Berberian, my brother Dean has been unfailingly respectful of me and of my wishes,” Alexis Spanos Ruhl wrote in her statement. “And he has been fighting, along with my brother Michael and me, to fulfill the wishes of our mother, Faye, relating to our family and our businesses. To characterize Dean as somehow being less than fully respectful of the women in our family is just not right.”

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