Cleveland Browns are under new ownership
CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Browns will be sold to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III. Haslam and his investor group will acquire a 70-percent stake of the team that is currently owned by Randy Lerner.
Lerner inherited the team in 2002 after his father Al Lerner died.
Lerner will hold onto the other 30-percent of the team and as a hands-off owner is probably happy to sit back and have the Browns become a part of his portfolio more so than a part of his day-to-day life.
The deal is reportedly worth $1 billion with a payment schedule that is divided into payments of $700 million and $300 million
Haslam also owns a chunk of the AFC North-rival Pittsburgh Steelers which makes the sale even more intriguing.
ESPN is reporting that Haslam is working with the Steelers to sell his minority stake in that team before he takes over the Browns.
The sale must be approved by the remaining NFL owners and is expected to sail through when the group meets again in October.
This is a very good day for Browns fans. Haslam has hands-on experience with one of the league’s greatest franchises and a desire to make the Browns a winner.
Lerner on the other hand is a soccer guy that does not have a passion for American football.
After a nice draft and a ownership change, the Browns may be crawling out from underneath their “curse.”