Legal filing alleges Chargers should be sold because family trust is $353M in debt

Chris Cwik
·2 min read

The sister of Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos believes the Chargers need to be sold now. Spanos' sister, Dea Spanos Berberian, filed a petition Thursday arguing the family's trust is currently $353 million in debt, and that the team should be sold to pay off money it owes to charities, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

In the legal filing — which spans 156 pages — Berberian claims Spanos promised to retain an investment bank to try and find a new owner for the Chargers in 2024. Berberian alleges the family's trust is so deep in debt that the sale can't wait. Berberian also said she's tried to resolve the issue a number of times, but to no avail.

Attorney Adam Streisand was hired to represent Berberian. Streisand has represented other sports owners in similar battles, including Steve Ballmer and Jeanie Buss.

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Berberian claims Spanos has no plan to pay off the trust's debt, which includes owing more than $22 million to charities.

“Dean has failed to present any plan to address the Trust’s bleak financial picture, because there is no other plan than the one urged by [Berberian]. Dean simply refuses to discuss it ... His plan is hope.”

Spanos and his two other sisters put out a statement saying they would buy Berberian's stake in the Chargers if necessary. 

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They also claimed the Chargers "will be entirely unaffected by this matter."

Dean Spanos moved Chargers to Los Angeles in 2017

The Spanos family has owned the Chargers for nearly four decades. The team was purchased by family patriarch Alex Spanos in 1984. Dean Spanos took over as controlling owner in 1994. Alex Spanos died in 1998. Alex Spanos had four children, each of who own 15 percent of the team. The trust controls 36 percent of the team. 

In 2017, Spanos moved the team from San Diego to Los Angeles. As a result, the Chargers had to pay a $650 million relocation fee. The Chargers are valued at $2.6 billion, according to Forbes. 

If the Chargers are forced to sell, Berberian mentioned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as a possible candidate to buy the franchise. Bezos is reportedly worth $180 billion.

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