ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The NFL gave approval Wednesday to allow the Oakland Raiders to sell a 20 percent minority interest in the team to a small group of investors.
The deal gives the group no control of the franchise now or in the future. Owner Al Davis and his family remain in charge of the Raiders as they have for more than four decades.
The deal to sell the minority interest in the team was unanimously approved without debate at the NFL owners meeting in Philadelphia, league spokesman Joe Browne said.
The group buying the share is led by businessmen Paul Leff, David Abrams and Dan Goldring.
"They are thrilled to join the history and tradition of the Raiders," Amy Trask, the team's chief executive officer, said from Philadelphia. "We are impressed with their passion for the Raiders and love for the game of football and we are excited to welcome them as limited partners of the Raiders."
Two years ago, the Raiders settled a lawsuit with the heirs of one of the team's co-founders, E.W. McGah. The settlement reportedly included the sale of the McGah family's 31 percent stake in the team to Davis.
This latest deal completes Davis' search for a buyer of part of that stake.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to an annual study by Forbes magazine, the Raiders were valued at $812 million, fifth lowest in the NFL.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press