Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Jimmy Haslam missing out on a prime chance to go global

haslam weedenEveryone wondered what was going on when Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced that the family was putting the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team up for sale.

We thought we had found the answer when we saw the headline that owner Mohamed Al Fayed was planning to sell Premier League-side Fulham to an American investor – one that currently owns an NFL franchise.

Haslam had to be the guy, right? It made perfect sense. After all, we have experience here in Cleveland with a Browns owner also owning a Premier League team and that worked out all right for everyone, yes? (Wait, don’t answer that).

Alas, it turns out that Haslam is probably not the buyer, but rather Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan is reportedly the man who is looking to pick up the London club, pending Premier League approval, for somewhere in the neighborhood of £150 million to £200  million. (A pretty exclusive neighborhood, to be sure.)

That makes sense as Khan has committed the Jaguars to playing one home game in London for each of the next four seasons and rumors continue to circulate that Jacksonville will eventually move to London.

If (when?) it turns out that Khan is the buyer, it will be interesting to see what types of cross-promotion he does with the two sides. Randy Lerner did next to nothing when he owned the Browns and Aston Villa, a decision that we never understood.

Too bad. Just think of all the fun that Browns fans will miss out on if Haslam had actually been linked to the club.

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