What’s the deal with the Rams ownership?

A few national reports, including one each from the two-headed ESPN reporting monster of Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen make it seem like the Rams have NOT in fact found a new owner.  And that also means that the limbo that the Rams were subject to over the past year and a half could continue for a longer, undetermined length of time.  This would be terrible for the Rams and their fans who were happy to finally have closure with a St. Louis-friendly owner.

But, the place where I am confused is, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has repeatedly busted the two growing concerns.  The first concern is the Khan’s dispute with the IRS and the amount of debt that Khan would have to borrow against his company, Flex-o-Gate.

Here’s Bernie from February 15th, 2010:

Khan also is embroiled in a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS disallowed some tax shelters utilized by Khan and asked him to pay more taxes. Khan gave the IRS an additional $68 million but is appealing the decision. And he is suing the financial advisers who set up the tax shelters.

This wasn’t, and isn’t, a criminal matter. It’s just a beef over a rather large tax bill.

Khan is haggling with the IRS — does it get any more “American” than that? And are we to believe that no NFL owner, at any time, has sparred with the IRS? Please. Heck, even the league has scrapped with the IRS.

Here’s Bernie again, on the debt situation March 1st, 2010:

* Given the way that his purchase agreement is structured, Khan will not increase the current amount of St. Louis Rams’ debt. That’s a crucial aspect of this.

* Khan’s companies, including the auto-parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate, are known for operating with low debt. And this is important because it means Khan has room to safely borrow against his companies to assist in his purchase of the Rams — if, in fact, that is something he needs to do, or wants to do. Sources tell me Khan has  established an excellent credit line and that he isn’t worried about passing financial muster with the NFL.

The Rams and the Rosenbloom family retained Goldman Sachs to vet any potential owners (so that goofballs like me couldn’t just bid one dollar).  Goldman Sachs should know what would set off red flags for the NFL and Khan passed all their tests.

So, when ESPN’s Adam Schefter says on St. Louis radio that he would be “shocked” if Shahid Khan is approved by the NFL as the next St. Louis Rams owner, pardon me if I’m a little bit confused about why.

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