Browns Sale Complete
This story originally published on theOBR.com
Randy Lerner
OBR Senior Browns Reporter
Posted Aug 2, 2012


ESPN reports Thursday deal to sell the Cleveland Browns to James Haslam is done. it only cost him $1 billion. Yeah, that's with a "b."

BEREA — ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on ESPN Cleveland that the Browns sale to Jimmy Haslam III was complete. He said the NFL Owners are expected to approve the purchase at their October meeting, if not sooner.

Schefter said the sale will be in two parts. The first for a reported $700 million with another $300 million in the second part. Randy Lerner is not expected to be part of the long-term ownership.

ProFootballTalk is also reporting the sale is for over a $1 billion dollars and is complete.

Haslam, who is a minority owner of the Steelers will have to sell his interest in the team.

The Browns have not confirmed or denied any of the reports.

Pat Shurmur was asked during his briefing with the media if he had any fears of the change in ownership affecting this season.

“I have no fear because I trust the players and the coaches,” he said. “I’ve watched them work after what was said (about the impending sale) and it doesn’t bother me one bit.”

Evan Moore, who practiced for the first time on Thursday agreed with Shurmur.

“It has absolutely no effect,” Moore said. “It doesn’t change my job. As long as I’m a Cleveland Brown and here (it doesn’t affect me).”

Moore did admit the timing isn’t the greatest.

“Obviously, it could’ve had better timing to come out with that news,” he said. “But that’s above my pay grade and don’t know (everything that’s gone on).”

**********

UPDATE:

New Browns owner Jimmy Haslam will met with local media 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3.

Here are the latest statements by Haslam and Randy Lerner on the sale of the team

HASLaM:

“This is a very exciting time for my family and me,” said Haslam. “To own such a storied franchise as the Cleveland Browns, with its rich tradition and history, is a dream come true. We are committed to keeping the team in Cleveland and seeing it get back to the elite of the NFL – something all Browns fans want and deserve. We plan to bring relentless dedication and hard work to every aspect of this organization, and we look forward to getting to know this team and community as quickly as possible. Our family is committed to becoming an integral part of the Cleveland community. We also want to thank Randy Lerner for his friendship, counsel and support during this process.”

LERNER:

On behalf of my family and as trustee for the Lerner Family Trust, which holds the shares of the Cleveland Browns, I have agreed to sell the Browns to Jimmy Haslam and his family.

I was approached regarding Mr. Haslam’s interest several weeks ago. While as a fiduciary I have always felt it was my responsibility to listen to offers, I had not been approached with a proposal that felt as natural and complete as Mr. Haslem’s. He had done a lot of work on the Browns and the City of Cleveland and first and foremost gave me his personal assurance the team would remain in Cleveland.

As I was at first overwhelmed, I asked for a few days to consider the proposal during which time I consulted with my mother and sister. Over this short period we agreed that the proposal was strong, the buyers made sense and the time was right for us to move on.

Going forward, we anticipate that the League will meet and vote on the deal and the closing is expected to follow shortly thereafter. During this time the organization will operate as it has in the past with all senior executives in place.

While a statement like this is certainly part of the process, it couldn’t possibly capture my feelings towards the Browns and the many people whom I feel very strong about. Those feelings therefore will need to be expressed in person. Notwithstanding, I feel a deep debt of gratitude to the loyal and passionate fan base, as well as the people I’ve met and worked with over the years. It has been a privilege to be involved with the Cleveland Browns and my only hope is that the Haslam family has the best of luck and that the Browns are restored to their rightful place among NFL Champions.



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