Randy Lerner is close to selling the Cleveland Browns
I love my American football, and on Twitter follow a few accounts related to the subject. One story just popped up that could have huge repercussions for us Villa fans, is that Lerner is close to selling the Cleveland Browns, or at least past of it. Here is a statement from Randy Lerner on the subject:
“In connection with current rumors and press inquiries, I can report that I’ve been approached by Mr. Jimmy Haslam, who is interested in making an investment in the Cleveland Browns. We are currently in negotiations and both sides have agreed to keep that dialogue and its details private. Given that any transaction would require League approval, care has been taken so that this process will not be disruptive to the organization, in particular the football team, as it prepares for the upcoming season. We will share further details or make an announcement if it becomes necessary.”
I’ve also read the following from another piece on the subject:
‘The franchise has been owned by Randy Lerner since the passing of his father, Al. But the younger Lerner never has seemed to embrace the role. Thus, it won’t be a surprise if the team is sold, at some point.’
Many people have wanted Lerner to embrace Villa more fully at times, and with this news we might see more of Lerner in the Midlands, and potentially more money invested. Early days, and I will update when I hear more but this could be a big deal for our club.
Update: Have just read the following quote from a story reporting the news:
“The folks at ESPN 850, who got the ball rolling an hour ago on this story, are treating it as a given that Haslam will be buying the team from Lerner.”
What does all this mean for the Villa? It be interesting to find out. If he does sell all of his share in the Browns, it could be quite the windfall for Mr Lerner. The NFL is a massive business, and even giving the Browns poor performances in recent years, he could still make a lot of money from this. It be great if he committed to us and we saw more of him. He’s been by and large a great owner (with a few notable exceptions!), and with the good times feeling like they’re returning, this could be another very positive step for us.
Have just read a Forbes report from September of last year valuing the Browns at $977 million. Not too shabby!