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Davis and partners made millions in move to Oakland

Raiders owner Al Davis acknowledged during cross-examination Thursday that he and co-owners earned millions of dollars after the team moved back to Oakland despite his claims that the franchise shift was a financial debacle.

Davis said $24-million was paid to partners _ including $7-million to himself _ in the first three years after the Raiders returned to Oakland from Los Angeles.

Those cash payments _ one of the attractions of moving to Oakland _ surpassed the nearly $6-million the owners received in their last three years in Los Angeles.

The lawyer representing the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum said Davis got richer from the move, contrary to his claims that he was defrauded in a bad business deal by stadium officials who lured him back on a false promise of a packed stadium.

Davis revealed distribution payments to co-owners during cross-examination in his $1-billion fraud case against the Coliseum, its lead negotiator, Ed DeSilva, and the defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen.

He has insisted during most of his five days on the witness stand that he has lost money in Oakland and the value of the team has plummeted. He said it would have been worth more if he moved to Baltimore or if the NFL hadn't killed a deal for him to build a stadium in the Los Angeles area.

"Right now we're 30th in the league of 32 teams in revenue," Davis said outside of court. "We're struggling for our life."

Davis' lawyer said the payments Davis and his seven limited partners received were a fraction of what they should have earned if the Coliseum was sold out.

Davis, who turns 74 today, is the team's managing general partner. He owns 38 percent of the team he joined in 1963 as coach and general manager, gradually accumulating shares after being elevated to partner.

OBITS: Joseph C. "Duke" Marhefka, the last-known surviving player from the Pottsville NFL team, died Monday at age 101. Also, Mario "Yo-Yo" Giannelli, who played on two NFL championship teams with Philadelphia died Sunday at 82.

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