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Browns confirm sale; Press conference set for 1 p.m. Friday

Colt McCoy AP

Cleveland will get to meet prospective Browns owner Jimmy Haslam on Friday afternoon.

Team president Mike Holmgren confirmed that Haslam reached agreement to purchase a controlling interest in the team from Randy Lerner for a price reportedly north of $1 billion. Holmgren, who said that he’d like to remain with the team, also said that there would be a press conference introducing Haslam at 1 p.m. on Friday.

One of the questions in that press conference will likely have to do with the team’s plans to stay in Cleveland. Haslam touched on the subject on a statement released on Thursday.

“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.”

Lerner also released a statement on Thursday confirming the sale and saying thanks to the Browns organization. He also thanked Browns fans, a group that hasn’t always been enamored of Lerner’s decision making.

“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.”

Haslam still needs to be approved by the rest of the league’s owners, something that’s believed to be a formality because he already owned a stake in the Steelers. That would likely happen in October unless the league calls a special meeting to do it sooner. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that there were no plans to do that at present.

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14 Responses to “Browns confirm sale; Press conference set for 1 p.m. Friday”
  1. theuncletodd says: Aug 2, 2012 6:57 PM

    A great day as a Browns honk. We get an owner with the desire to OWN and RUN an NFL franchise. Randy tried, but as he has said, he was just the ‘caretaker’ of the franchise. He ran it like that.
    The best move Randy made was to contact the NFL prior to selling to find a league approved interested party, Haslam.
    Haslam’s minority interest in the Steelers means squat. He has to sell it and at the press conference he will probably state “I am a Browns fan, 1 billion%”

  2. scoobaj says: Aug 2, 2012 6:57 PM

    Not a browns fan, but this is good news, one thing I hate more than any rival team are incompetent football people that run teams

  3. norcalmafia says: Aug 2, 2012 8:34 PM

    As a Niners fan Im glad the Browns get a sense of hope from new ownership…A franchise is only as good as its owner.It all starts at the top..If you dont have an owner thats committed to winning your going no where..Congrats Browns fans.

  4. tomthebombtracy says: Aug 2, 2012 9:10 PM

    The hysteria that the Browns would ever move seems rificulous to me…..although had I lost my Steelers the way Cleveland lost their Browns, maybe I’d feel a little paranoid, too. Yep, throw in a little LeBron leaving, I can see it, I guess.

    Browns Nation is a sleeping lion and if Haslam unlocks the code to returning them to some level of greatness, the pent up frustration of what, 50 years of Cavs/Indians/Browns disappointment and agony, excitement will rumble like a massive thunderstorm over Lake Erie.

    I think he will. It scares me.

    P.S…all this previous stuff about the Browns being worth $1B. All Forbes does is multiply the gross revenues for one year by 2.5. The non shared revenue like stadium events, food and beverage, local media rights (preseason football and in season radio) create the differential team by team in the NFL.

  5. realitypolice says: Aug 2, 2012 9:44 PM

    This is what drives me crazy. Man buys football team. Man fails miserably at making team competitive. Man (well son of man) sells football team, makes 500 million dollar profit anyway.

    What other industry would allow you to purchase a company, fail completely, and still sell it for twice what you paid for it?

  6. bringbackkosar says: Aug 2, 2012 9:46 PM

    Now if we can just complete a forward pass for more than 7 yards

  7. istateyourname says: Aug 2, 2012 9:57 PM

    I think he’ll do well in Cleveland- its just like a truck stop, anyone who is going anywhere doesn’t stay long and the restrooms are filthy. I can hear his mother now, Jimmy when you’re in there don’t touch anything, don’t talk to anyone and come right out when you’re done. Don’t wash your hands, I got wipes in the car…

  8. vincentbojackson says: Aug 2, 2012 9:57 PM

    Hopefully the Browns can return to a competitive level in the next few years. The Steelers/Browns rivalry used to be great but now the Ravens/Steelers is the best rivalry in the AFC north. The Bengals have closed the gap as the clear #3 team in the division despite going winless against the Ravens and Steelers last year.

  9. chargerdillon says: Aug 2, 2012 11:18 PM

    Chargers fan here, congrats Browns fans, super happy for you. This guy comes from the Steelers pedigree of knowing how to do things the right way.

    Just curious how long Holmgren remains around

  10. ezg1 says: Aug 3, 2012 12:03 AM

    Mistake by the Lake soon to suffer yet another catastrophic loss when the Brownies bid farewell to the Rust Belt for the Bright Lights of California!

  11. s11ekans says: Aug 3, 2012 1:36 AM

    Well if you can’t be governor buy an NFL team.
    Hope he moves the team to Knoxville (corporate headquarters and a 100,000 seat facility) and hires Manning as GM.
    He’s a smart business man and Cleveland has no business being in the NFL. How are the Ravens doing?
    The Dawg pound has turned into the littlest pet shop.

  12. universalchurchoftruth says: Aug 3, 2012 4:23 AM

    “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.”

    Clay Bennett said the same thing when he bought the Sonics.

  13. latrobe21 says: Aug 3, 2012 11:55 AM

    This is great – a Steeler has infiltrated the inner workings of the brownies. He’ll work to keep the franchise down and out from the inside for decades to come!!!!!

  14. seldom1 says: Aug 3, 2012 4:07 PM

    Josh Alper says: “…Browns fans, a group that hasn’t always been enamored of Lerner’s decision making.”

    Browns fans, as a group, do not think alike about Lerner. Included in the group of two million or so Browns fans are the usual few beer-heads whose mouths are bigger than their brains; the type of fans sports writers pray for and exaggerate. But that’s OK; just the way it is.

    Randy Lerner and his Dad are/were as caring and decent a pair of owners as will ever own any team. They bled orange, brown and white and spent like there was no tomorrow. I’m sure PTF would not argue with that.

    As to Randy’s decision making, it certainly is not true that a majority of fans hated Randy’s picks of Crennel, Savage, Mangini, Kokinis, Shurmur, Holmgren and Heckert.

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