Jack Kent Cooke, the majority stockholder in the Washington Redskins, said today that the football team "has never been up for sale."
"I think it can be bought at the right price, becaue anything can be bought at the right price," he said in a telephone interview from his office in Las Vegas.
And what was the right price, he was asked.
"I have no idea," he snapped. "I'll approach that when I get to it."
The Washington Post reported in September that a prospectus had been prepared on the Redskins and distributed to several potential buyers. At the time, according to documents, the club could be purchased for $11.25 million. There have been no takers.
"I've often said that everything I own is available," Cooke said. "But everything I own is not for sale. Repeat, n-o-t f-o-r s-a-l-e. I hope that's very clear."
Cooke declined to comment on the status of negotiations between the Redskins and George Allen concerning the extension of the coach's contract.
Cooke said, "The thought never entered my head" that Allen would not return to coach is football team. When asked if he thought there would be any problem signing Allen to a new contract, he said, "I hope not"
"But you'll have to talk to Mr. Williams (Edward Bennett Williams, president of the club) about that. He is handling all of the negotiations."
Cooke said he was "happy as all getout" with the Redskins' 1976 season, despite the disappointing loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the NFL playoffs.
"I thought he (Allen) did a marvelous job of coaching.He's one of the finest coaches in the profession. Yes, I talk to George almost daily.
"I have a great rooting interest in the Redskins," he said, adding that he had not seen any of their games recently because, "I don't fly any more because of my heart condition. But I never miss them on television."
Cooke recently moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. He and his wife are going through divorce proceedings.