The Daily News 11 August 1977 Uncle Sidney
Bitter Tose Raps Bankers PHILADELPHIA (UPI) Philadelphia Eagles' owner Leonard Tose has retained control of the franchise by paying off the $5.3 million balance on a loan to the city's largest bank. Tose confirmed the loan repayment to First Pennsylvania Bank at a news conference Wednsday and then proceded to bitterly criticize bank officials who he said had plotted against him to gain control of the Eagles. "My conclusion is that there is one hell of a plot going on here," the chain-smoking Tose said, "but it didn't work." Bank officials, including First Pennsylvania chairman John Bunting, last week appointed a "financial consultant," Sidney Forstater, to govern the team's budget and reduce spending. "I view it as a plot when Bunting says: 'You're not going to get a loan in Philadelphia and we doubt you're going to gel it anywhere else,'" Tose said. Tose said he was unable to obtain a loan in Philadelphia but did find help from the Manufacturer's Trust Bank of Detroit, which he said lent him an amount "in excess" of the amount due to First Pennsylvania. The owner said First Pennsylvania looked for all kinds of ways to save money. "They wanted us to buy cheaper tape to tape our athletes," he said. "That was going to save $30 a year. They checked the box lunches. They found there were two pieces of fruit in them and they wanted only one." First Pennsylvania had financed Tose's purchase of the Eagles from Jerry Wolman in May, 1969, through a $2.5 million short-term loan and an $8.5 million "basic loan." The purchase price was $16.2 million. Tose paid off the smaller loan but allegedly fell behind in payments on the larger one. Bunting said (he bank was "delighted" with the repayment, which restored financial control to Tose from Forstater. As expected. Tose . fired Forstater Wednesday morning. The collapse of the Eagles' financial standing had been rumored for years. Tose had periodically ' denied those rumors, stating again Wednesday that he recently turned down an offer of $21 million from local interests. Last year the team lost $1.2 million even though all seven home games were sellouts. Tose said the losses were the result of player pension and litigation with the NFL Players Association.