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Browns sale could be approved in August

The SportsXchange

The sale of the Cleveland Browns could be finalized sometime in August, NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk reported Saturday.

The Browns announced Friday that Randy Lerner was selling his controlling interest to Jimmy Haslam.

A source with knowledge of the sale told Pro Football Talk that the sale is on the "fast track" and could be approved by the NFL in August.

The recent sale of the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wayne Weaver to Shahid Khan was approved by the league in similar fashion.

Because Haslam owns a small interest in the Steelers makes it more likely that the process will go much smoother than if he had no previous NFL ties, Pro Football Talk reported.

It is not known if Lerner will continue to own a smaller share of the Browns. One person can control a team by owning as little as 30 percent of all equity, according to league rules.

The Browns have been valued at $977 million by Forbes.com, which reported that Haslam paid $920 million for the team. That could mean he plans to buy the team outright. He might also sell off shares of the team to other investors.

Pro Football Talk speculated that Lerner decided to liquidate the Browns to finance Aston Villa, his English soccer club.
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