Panthers are now for sale

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Three weeks ago, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced that the franchise will be sold, but that the process would not commence until the season ends. The season has now ended. And, thus, the team is now for sale.

As previously explained in this space, which always sounds pretentious but I can’t think of any other way to say it, Richardson owns 48 percent of the team, but he has the ability to trigger the sale of all of it. He has; all 100 percent of the equity will be sold.

The appropriate firms have been hired, and bids will be gathered from groups of up to 24 owners, with a controlling owner who would personally purchase at least 30 percent of the team. All proposed owners will be subject to a vetting progress that, given the issues that prompted Richardson to sell the team, likely will be even more rigorous than they were in the past.

Richardson announced his decision to sell on the same day that the league made clear its intention to assume control of an investigation regarding allegations of workplace misconduct. Richardson, who had wanted the investigation to be run by the team that he owns, reportedly settled at least four potential lawsuits with former employees; three alleged sexual harassment, and one alleged racially inappropriate comments.

Despite efforts by some to randomly speculate on what the team is worth, the franchise is ultimately worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. And the more people who are willing to pay for it, the more money it will be worth.

So now Richardson will play the waiting game. As will the rest of us.