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Lerner admits that a buyer wants to make “investment” in Browns

JimmyHaslam

Moments after pressing “publish” on the item regarding the rumor that the Browns have been sold, a statement from owner Randy Lerner popped into our emailbox.

“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,” Lerner says.  “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.”

We’re not quite sure what that means.  By using only the term “investment,” Lerner’s statement doesn’t reveal whether he’s considering selling a minority share, a majority share, or all of the team.

Haslam is president and chief executive officer of Pilot Flying J, one of the largest privately-held companies in the U.S.  The company is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The good news is that, if the University of Tennessee alum purchases the Browns, he won’t have to alter his game-day wardrobe.

UPDATE 10:03 a.m. ET:  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.  The Browns, through spokesman Neal Gulkis, have declined to elaborate on Lerner’s statement.

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18 Responses to “Lerner admits that a buyer wants to make “investment” in Browns”
  1. knowerofallthings says: Jul 27, 2012 9:48 AM

    ..it means that for Browns fans, there could be a ray of hope. I’d like to see them catch a break and get a new owner who is not afraid to invest in the future and build a competetive franchise.

  2. coonsqualler says: Jul 27, 2012 9:50 AM

    As I said…

    Why when things start heading in the right direction and we have a reason to get excited, we always make news for a different reason?

    PLEASE…..if it happens tell the new owner NOT to start all over!!!!

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!

  3. benh999 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:03 AM

    I think Packers’ stock is more valuable than any investment in the Browns.

  4. ernestbynershands says: Jul 27, 2012 10:04 AM

    God, Please let this happen. Please let this man purchase a controlling interest from Lerner.

    Ownership, leadership from the top, has been the biggest problem since Al Lerner did

  5. babyjesus69 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:09 AM

    First thing as new owner change the culture of the browns. And start by changing the name CLEVELAND BROWNS itself to THE CLEVELAND DAWGS/DOGS. Embrace the dawg pound. It would be an easy transition and sounds so much better than the browns and the terrible stigma that comes with that name

  6. ernestbynershands says: Jul 27, 2012 10:10 AM

    It would be a nice change to have a business man who built an empire owning the franchise. Instead, the browns have a golden spoon trust funder who inherited an empire and is selling off what he doesnt squander.
    Look that up.
    Lerner owns 2 sports franchises and both are among the most pathetic in their sports.
    This will be a very good thing for the browns.
    Haslam was a Heisman finisher! A football guy.
    Lerner lives in England, watches their football and ballet.

  7. lenke08 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:13 AM

    #1 snake bitten team for a reason…….

  8. latchbeam says: Jul 27, 2012 10:15 AM

    Lerner is not selling the team. End of story. Its not unusual for an NFL to take on an investor or part owner.

  9. abninf says: Jul 27, 2012 10:16 AM

    benh999 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:03 AM

    I think Packers’ stock is more valuable than any investment in the Browns.
    ===================================

    Don’t flatter yourself. The Packers barely crack the top 10 most valuable teams. 107 million difference, which isn’t much. Considering Dallas is worth 800 million more than GB heh

  10. richheddleson says: Jul 27, 2012 10:17 AM

    Mr Haslam is a Pittsburgh Steeler minority owner since 2008, and a Steelers fan. His favorite player is Troy Polamalu.

  11. bigzant82 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:19 AM

    PLEASE YESS A NEW OWNER HOPE HE SPENDS MONEY LIKE WE ARE THE YANKEES OR COWBOYS
    also please fire shumur and get young legit coach

  12. regisphilbin says: Jul 27, 2012 10:20 AM

    GL Cleveland! You’ll be in good shape if your new owner is half of what Shad Khan has been.

  13. rodgers419 says: Jul 27, 2012 10:56 AM

    The bright side for Cleveland is that there’s nowhere to go but up.

  14. jftreshj76 says: Jul 27, 2012 11:33 AM

    Heddleson is right! Haslam is a minority owner of the Steelers. He once was quoted as saying “I’m a Steeler fan 1000%!” Just what Brown’s fans want to hear. He’ld have to sell his minority ownership in the Steelers to buy the Browns. But come on, 1000% Steeler fan! Browns fans will go crazy! He can’t take it back. It’s on record. This is so funny.

  15. droyale3 says: Jul 27, 2012 11:59 AM

    jtfresh,

    And before he invested in the Steelers, he was NOT a Steelers fan, it’s good business to support the team you invest in, it’s that simple.

    I can see the press conference after sale is announced. I’m a Brown’s fan now, I’ve got a billion ($) reasons to be one!

  16. tombrookshire says: Jul 27, 2012 12:20 PM

    I would say it’s all good for Browns fans! Banner is a good executive and the fans will be happy with his results as long as he keeps his yap shut and doesn’t insult their intelligence or underestimate their passion, two of his biggest blunders in Philly and what likely got him exited.

  17. kwken says: Jul 27, 2012 12:40 PM

    The Cavs owner was a huge Detroit Piston fan as well as, an investor. Look at the changes and culture that he has brought to that team.

    I would prefer Dan Gilbert to become the owner but anyone would probably be better than no-show Learner.

  18. 1nationraidernation says: Jul 27, 2012 1:09 PM

    give me a ton of money, and I will give you 49% of the team

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