Cleveland Browns close to being sold to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam III, team guaranteed not to move
Published: Friday, July 27, 2012, 9:58 AM Updated: Friday, July 27, 2012, 2:37 PM
By Mary Kay Cabot, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND -- The Browns are close to being sold to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam, a minority owner of the Steelers, and there's a guarantee the team won't move from Cleveland. (This is updated from previous versions of the story.)
In a press conference today Browns President Mike Holmgren confirmed that owner Randy Lerner "will give up controlling interest in the team."
"An unconditional guarantee was given that the Browns would not move before talks could even start,'' a league source told the Plain Dealer.
Lerner, who denied rumors over the past few months that the Browns were for sale, released a statement this morning that he's in negotiations with Haslam.
The following is Lerner's full statement:
"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. 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."
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