Washington Comanders takeover: NFL could change rules on team purchases

The Washington Commanders will soon have a new owner. But in order to make the takeover possible, the group around Josh Harris might have to go a bit over the rules – which could have repercussions for future sales of NFL franchises.

Josh Harris’ purchase of the Washington Commanders not only affects the current state of the league, but could have broader implications for all other potential future owners. That’s according to Sports Illustrated.

Currently, NFL rules dictate that any new majority owner must be able to pay cash for at least 30 per cent of the team. At this point, however, no one in Harris’ group has that kind of money available, according to the report.

Is Harris’ group taking on more debt than allowed?

This is not surprising given the sums involved. 6.05 billion dollars is said to be the cost of the takeover. Even among the super-rich, there are few who can pay for such a deal out of petty cash.

There have been rumours, Sports Illustrated reports, that Harris’ group may take on more than the allowable amount of debt to buy the Commanders because of this.

Who can afford an NFL franchise anymore?

The NFL finding fault with this is unlikely because all sides want this deal. But the sale could cause the league to change its rules.

The pool of potential buyers has shrunk as prices for the franchises have reached astronomical heights.

Harris not there yet

In the current case, the process is not yet complete. The buying group still has to be approved by the finance committee before the current team owners can agree to the deal.

But it’s still unclear, according to Sports Illustrated, whether Harris’ group has even made a proposal to the finance committee yet. The league’s finance committee had met last Wednesday to discuss the $6.05 billion deal, but had not voted on the structure of the purchase.

If Harris gets through this process – which is assumed – improvements to the system could be imminent.

3 weeks ago
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