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July 27, 2012 - Mike McLain
Browns owner Randy Lerner confirmed Friday recent rumors about his interest in selling at least partial ownership of the team.
There has been plenty of speculation in recent months about a possible sale. Forbes Magazine's annual list of the highest-priced sports franchises had the Browns at 30th with a worth of $977 million.
Lerner is the son of the late Al Lerner, who was the Browns principal owner when the NFL awarded Cleveland an expansion franchise in 1999. Al died in 2002. Since then Randy has run team operations. Randy also owns the Aston Villa franchise of the English Premier Soccer League.
Following is a statement released by Lerner:
“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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