Report: Josh Harris needs to adjust deal financing to secure NFL approval

NFL: JAN 01 Browns at Commanders
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The sale of the Commanders has sparked an extended rollercoaster ride of reporting, with news coming from every angle. Some is right, some is wrong.

Mike Ozanian of, who reported in December that Daniel Snyder had multiple offers for the team “well north” of $7 billion, now reports that Josh Harris needs to adjust the financing of the final deal to purchase the team, for $6.05 billion.

Ozanian also reports that some NFL owners are concerned about the structure of the deal, which has an extensive number of limited partners and a large amount of debt. The NFL’s current limit for debt tied to the purchase of a team is $1.1 billion. Per Ozanian, the Harris deal includes $1.1 billion in secured debt and $1 billion in unsecured debt.

I won’t pretend to understand the niceties of leveraged buyouts and other corporate devices to make deals happen. The bottom line is that if feels as if Harris has to really hustle to make the numbers work. It could be far better for the team if he had enough money to just write a check for 100 percent of the equity, like Jeff Bezos does.

That’s why Commanders fans, euphoric at the possibility of Snyder being gone, should be concerned. If Harris doesn’t have the money to easily buy the team, will he have the money to properly run the team?

The owners might be willing to look the other way because, one, they want Snyder out as well and, two, the good owners don’t mind the prospect of competing with teams that might struggle, for example, to sign free agents due to cash flow challenges.

That’s one fact that often gets overlooked when considering ownership dynamics. The good owners love the idea of having more than a few not-good owners in the mix.

10 responses to “Report: Josh Harris needs to adjust deal financing to secure NFL approval

  1. Josh Harris is incredibly illiquid. Most of his net worth comes from his ownership in the 76ers and other sports ventures. He is nowhere near a multi-billionaire to the likes of Bezos, Musk, Waltons, foreign pension funds, etc. That is why he needed 12 limited partners on this deal. It effectively should not be approved. Look for a new buyer.

  2. So doesn’t this mean the Commanders won’t get a new stadium without the taxpayers paying for it entirely or nearly so? Good luck with that these days.

  3. This is why Bezos always comes up, whether he’s interested or not. Very few of even the most ultra-rich have the funds to buy an NFL team under the current requirements, and I’m sure some have no interest. Either the franchise values are going to stop rising so much or the NFL will need to relax requirements. Which do you think The Shield (and the owners of the league who all have a vested interest in team values continuing to appreciate rapidly) prefers?

  4. The money to properly run the Team? The Team will take as part of the TV deal, based on what the projected salary cap is for the Players ($224,000,000 per year) somewhere in the area of about $240,000,000, not including anything they get from tickets, parking, merchandise, Radio, etc.. that is all the Teams. Maybe 300M all in? tough to believe they won’t be able to “properly run the team on that money alone. The value of NFL teams would not have soared if the owners had to pay for the Teams out of their pockets (operating expenses)….it all comes from revenue, with lots left over for profit. (signing free agents with big salary bonus money, may be a slight hinderance, but not after the first year or 2) It is a license to print money, and even Mr. Snyder, as stated here on PFT, the worst owner in the NFL has made a huge ROI from $800M (24 years ago yesterday) to just over 6 billion….that is based on yearly profitability….not losses.

  5. Josh Harris doesn’t understand how to properly construct a winning organization. He is like Snyder in the fact it is only about talent acquisition and not about building a winning culture. If he buys the team the futility continues.

  6. Next in line is the guy with heavy backing from the Saudis and suing Bank of America. So far the very rich Elon, Bezos, Gates, etc seem to have desires to waste their money on then a NFL team. Next big, and only, pile of cash that can afford an NFL team are the gulf states like the Saudis, UAE, Qatar, which should be about the final nail for Cuban’s prophecy.

  7. As NFL franchises increase in value, how many current owners would be able to buy a team in today’s market, under current NFL financial requirements?I know there are a few that have that kind of liquidity, but I’m guessing that many could not afford to buy the teams they currently own.

  8. It is difficult to guess when the Washington Commanders will climb out of the sewer. One bad news after another. Snake bitten?

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