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NFL May Settle Vikings Suit Soon

March 12, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue expects to settle the Minnesota Vikings’ ownership battle sometime next week, NFL spokesman Rick Aiello said following a 6 1/2-hour hearing at league headquarters.

During Wednesday’s hearing, four Vikings owners told Tagliabue that team president Roger Headrick never told them of his desire to buy the team until after novelist Tom Clancy submitted his winning bid. Headrick claims he has the right to top Clancy’s $200 million sales agreement.

``He was treated very fairly, he participated in setting the ground rules for the sales process, he agreed to all of them and they were followed to the letter,″ part-owner Wheelock Whitney said after the hearing.

Also testifying were John Skoglund, N. Bud Grossman and James Jundt.

The owners told Tagliabue that their agreement did not give any of the owners the right to buy team, only the right to buy another owner’s share.

Clancy, speaking from his home near Baltimore, was confident.

``We followed the rules, we made the bid, and nine of the 10 board members voted to sell the team to me,″ he said. ``Why shouldn’t I be confident?′

Headrick did not speak to reporters after the hearing. But one of his attorneys, Brad Ruskin, said, ``We feel good. ... We feel confident.″

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