Cleveland Browns’ Sale Ends Oldest Jewish Ownership in NFL
51 year Jewish ownership ends as NFL team sold to Jimmy Haslam III
The Cleveland Browns were sold yesterday for $1 billion, ending a 51 year Jewish ownership.
The Browns, sold to Jimmy Haslem II, the Tennessee truck-stop magnate, were first purchased by Art Modell in 1961 for $4 million, who moved them to Baltimore in 1996, renaming them the Baltimore Ravens.
In 1998, Al Lerner bought the rights for the Browns from the NFL for $530 million. His son, Randy, inherited the team after his father died in 2002.
As can be expected, ownership change can make Browns fans a little nervous, but Haslam has promised Lerner, and the fans, that the franchise will not be relocated.
Lerner will sell 70 percent of the Browns to Haslam now, with the remaining 30 percent reverting back to him four years after the closing date, a person with knowledge of the sale told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details have not been made official by the NFL yet.
Randy Lerner is also the owner of Aston Villa, a club in the English Premier League.
If you’re keeping count, the number of current NFL owners who are Jewish is now down to nine. Still quite impressive.