The fate of an NFL team — and maybe Jeff Bezos’ potential future in the league — hangs on a family dispute.
Dea Spanos Berberian, sister of L.A. Chargers controlling owner Dean Spanos, filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday to force a sale of the team, saying there is no way it can pay off its debts. Berberian, Spanos, and two of their siblings each own 15% of the team, with another 36% in a family trust. The family has owned the team since 1984.
The petition mentions a potential new owner: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos is known to be interested in purchasing an NFL team and was linked to sale talks surrounding the Washington Football Team, a fact that the petition noted — citing Front Office Sports reporting. The petition says that “the Chargers could be a perfect opportunity” for Bezos.
Berberian claims that the trust’s debts and expenses top $353 million, and that there is no plan for how it will pay the more than $22 million that it pledged to charities.
Spanos and the other two siblings with a stake in the team fired back with a letter on Thursday sent to FOS and other outlets calling Berberian’s plan a “misguided personal agenda” and saying they were prepared to purchase her stake in the team if she no longer wanted it.
The team’s 2017 move from San Diego to L.A. came with substantial challenges. The team had to pay the NFL a $650 million relocation fee, share a stadium with the Rams, leave a fanbase it had developed over 56 years, and start fresh with a city that already had an NFL team.