Dallas Sidekicks Small Logo, 1984-1992

Newspaper Story

Major Indoor Soccer League Logo


Buyers must find additional investors

By Terry Bigham The Dallas Morning News
Published June 11, 1986


One day after apparently folding, the Sidekicks and a group of local investors announced a deal Tuesday night that could keep the Major Indoor Soccer League team in Dallas.

Negotiations to purchase the club from Donald Carter were renewed Tuesday, a little more than 24 hours after the Sidekicks announced that a group, headed by local businessman Jim Graham, had failed in its final proposal to satisfy Carter's conditions for a sale.
The papers were signed Tuesday night on an option that will allow Graham's group to purchase the club. The MISL Board of Directors will meet Wednesday via conference call to vote on the purchase option.

"It's then our turn to translate what we've heard (from local soccer interests) into the investors we hope to gather,' said Graham, president of Palo Petroleum, a Dallas oil investment firm. "Then we go out and put together the money to save the Sidekicks.

"I think it looks very positive now. What we have worked out is an option to buy the team, and now we will do our best to get the final conditions of the transaction met.'

Neither side would say why the deal fell through on Monday, but individuals on both sides said Sidekicks general manager Ron Adkins wanted to be paid up front for his 10 percent share of the team, which he was to receive as part of the sale. Two others said the group's mistake was telling Adkins before the negotiations that he would not be retained if the sale went through.

"If that's what hangs it up, I decided I was not going to allow that to happen,' said Adkins, who reportedly wanted $70,000 to be bought out. "I made my sacrifices, talked to two members of the (Graham) group, and those two felt (his latest offer) was fair. My attorney presented it to Mr. Graham.'

Adkins said he did not think he was the reason for the deal failing Monday, but added: "Ron Adkins is no longer a hangup. The organization is more important than one individual.' Two people close to the negotiations said Adkins will receive approximately $35,000 for his part of the franchise.

Also, Adkins said, the $2.5 million letter of credit -- one of the three conditions imposed on the sale by owner Donald Carter -- had been reduced to $1 million at Carter's initiative, based on Adkins' recommendation.

Graham and Jan Rogers, wife of Mary Kay chief executive officer Richard Rogers, agreed the nine-person group still faces a major task to see if the community will support indoor soccer in Dallas.

Rogers said if the community support is not there, "we won't be able to support the team. If we find the community won't support us, we're in quicksand. I think we can tell in 30 days. And I think it's worth the effort.'

Rogers described community support as season-ticket sales, corporate sponsorship and advertising revenue. "I really don't know why we couldn't support it,' she said. "If we can get the corporations . . . the Mavericks did it, why can't we?'

The Sidekicks lost $5 million in two seasons and would have joined the Pittsburgh Spirit as the second MISL team to fail this season had the latest compromise not been reached. Carter put the team up for sale April 23 and made three stipulations:

* The team must stay in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

* The buyer must post a $2.5 million letter of credit to ensure the team's operation through the playoffs of the 1986-87 season.

* Adkins and coach Gordon Jago each would receive 10 percent of the club.