BALTIMORE -- Colts Owner Robert Irsay says he rejected a $50 million offer to sell the team to a syndicate which included former Washington Redskins Coach George Allen.
Irsay, who recently threatened to sell the Colts or move the team elsewhere, Monday told a Baltimore newspaper that he turned down the offer.
'Sure the Allen offer is true, but I told him 'no,'' Irsay said from his Chicago home in a telephone interview with The Evening Sun. 'He has been talking to me for several weeks.
'But I've just bought a big condominium in Baltimore and I'll be in town tomorrow to close that and to sign my first-round draft choice (Randy McMillan). If I was going to sell the Colts, I doubt if I would spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on a condominium.'
The newspaper said Allen was the 'front man' for a six-member syndicate headed by New York real estate executive Donald Trump.
The former coach could not be reached for comment, but his son, George Allen Jr., a Charlottesville, Va. lawyer, confirmed that his father had approached Irsay.
'I think my father may be involved because he is the one with the football wherewithal,' he said. 'Trump may want a team and the money to do it, and George Allen has the knowledge on how to do it.'
The newspaper said that it contacted Trump Monday at his New York office, and he denied making a personal bid for the Colts.
'I have not given any offers for the team,' he maintained. 'Neither was I part of a group that did.'
Trump acknowledged he had talked to Irsay, but would not relate details of the conversation.
He is president of the Trump Organization, a real estate company Fortune magazine has estimated is worth more than $1 billion.
The newspaper did not name any other members of the syndicate.
Irsay, whose team finished with a 7-9 record last year, said he hoped that the rejection of the offer and the Baltimore home purchase would squelch rumors the team would be leaving town.
'Quite a few people have tried to buy my club,' he said. 'Robert Kaiser Jr., tried to buy my club before he bought the Denver Broncos (last February). I was very happy to get these offers but I called (NFL Commissioner) Pete Rozelle last week and told him I didn't need any more.'