The Raiders, inadvertently or otherwise, are causing new consternation throughout the National Football League by delaying the sale of season tickets in Oakland.
Most clubs, the Redskins for instance, already are sending invoices to season-ticket purchasers, asking for more payments.
In previous years, the Raiders billed their customers for the first of two payments in March, the second and final one after the April 15 income tax deadline.
Last week, the Raiders sent out inquiries, as distinguished from invoices, asking their customers if they would purchase season tickets if the club finally is ordered by court action to stay in Oakland. Last year's purchasers were instructed not to send any money with their replies.
Al LoCasale, executive assistant to Al Davis, managing general partner of the Raiders, was asked when prospective customers will be advised to remit money and said, "At an appropriate time."
It posed the question of how long the Raiders can wait before it seriously will affect their sales. It also raised the prospect that visiting teams, such as the Redskins, will be affected by a payoff less than from the usual sellouts at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium.
LoCasale discouraged the suggestion that the Raiders had hit upon a device to pressure the NFL into approving a shift of the franchise to Los Angeles.
It was mentioned that visiting clubs adversely affected financially might invoke reciprocal action and financial chaos could result.
"We're not for chaos or anarchy," LoCasale said. "We operate from sound business judgment."
He pointed out that the Raiders' procedures have been upset by the uncertainty over where they will play their home games and he acknowledged that they have been damaged financially because ordinarily by now they would have collected money from season tickets and would have been drawing interest on it.
"When the inquiries are returned by those on our previous ticket list, we will be able to tell if we are going to sell fewer tickets," he said. "All losses will have been created by ligation against us and could be part of our claims for damages."
He conceded that some fans may be by now regarding with Raiders as a lame-duck team, intent on moving to Los Angeles in 1981 if not this year.
"There may be a residue of hard feelings," he said. "Some fans may cancel, but some who have been waiting for the chance to buy tickets may order more.
"As to the later handling of ticket requests, we don't expect a problem; we're used to working under pressure. New England and Philadelphia will do better (financially) here is exhibition games than we will when we play in Washington (on Saturday night, Aug. 23)."