With the anticipation surrounding the transfer of Cleveland Browns’ ownership from Randy Lerner to Jimmy Haslam III, Pro Football Talk reports that the impending owner could also keep a minority stake in a team he currently owns — the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“When the owners convene in Chicago on Monday, the top item on the agenda will relate to the proposed purchase of the Browns by Jimmy Haslam,” writes PFT’s Mike Florio. “But Haslam already has, as we’ve previously been told, a double-digit piece of the Steelers. And while it’s believed that a large amount of that equity will be sold at or about the time the purchase of the Browns officially closes, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Haslam possibly will continue to hold a small slice of the Steelers while actively running the Browns.”
Florio adds that this dual-ownership may not last long, and that the Steeler stake will in fact be redeemed, but the slow and methodical process involved in the transfer of ownership in an NFL franchise will forbid an instant sale of his current investment.
Per Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland, Haslam owns 12.5 percent of the Steelers (as compared to chairman Dan Rooney and president Art Rooney, II owning 15 percent each). It also means that, unless someone plans to buy all 12.5 percent from Haslam, it will require multiple transactions and a greater chance that Haslam will have ownership interest in both teams for the immediate future.