June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Randy Lerner will still own 30 percent of Browns

BEREA — Owner Randy Lerner will initially keep 30 percent of the Browns in the impending sale to Tennessee businessman Jimmy Haslam, Jim Donovan reported.

Donovan, an anchor on WKYC-3 and the play-by-play voice of the Browns, reported Haslam would start with 70 percent and have the option to buy more of the team later. A reason for Lerner keeping such a sizable stake is the amount of debt incurred in money paid to coaches and general managers no longer with the team. Most of the deals go off the books after this season, Donovan reported.

Coaches Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini, offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and GMs Phil Savage and George Kokinis were fired with years left on their guaranteed contracts.

Forbes reported the sale price will be $920 million. That would most likely be the total value of the club, so Haslam’s ownership group would pay $644 million for the 70 percent. Forbes reported Lerner was seeking at least $1 billion.

The London Daily Mirror reported Friday that Lerner would keep 30 percent.