Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder will gain almost complete control of the franchise after the NFL’s finance committee cleared the way for him buying out his minority investors.
The NFL finance committee approved Snyder’s application for a $450 million debt waiver, an NFL spokesman confirmed. The other owners will vote at the league’s annual meeting next week on whether to approve the deal. Snyder needs 24 of the 32 owners to vote in favor of the transaction. The news was first reported by Tyler Dunne of GoLongTD.com.
This move does not impact the independent investigation into the franchise by attorney Beth Wilkinson. The investigation stems from a series of Washington Post articles detailing sexual harassment allegations in the organization over 15 years by past employees. No report has been turned in to the league.
If the deal goes through, Snyder would end up buying another 40.5% of shares in the organization from minority owners Fred Smith, Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar. Those three had purchased their shares in 2003. Snyder currently owns 40.59% of the team, with his mother, Arlette, owning 6.5% and his sister, Michele, owning 12.55%.
The total amount of the deal for the remaining shares would come to $875 million, according to The New York Times. Snyder would have to repay the debt by 2028. The Washington Post reported in November that a group of investors had offered the minority shareholders $900 million to sell, but that Snyder blocked the move.
The battle among the minority owners and Snyder spilled into the public this summer and continued into the winter, with numerous court filings as the sides accused each other of bad-faith dealings and spreading misinformation.
Washington also is in the middle of a rebrand, having decided to retire its previous name last summer. It hasn’t yet settled on a new name or logo, but there will be a permanent one in place for the 2022 season. It will continue as the Washington Football Team this season.
The organization set out to improve its culture shortly after the Post’s articles. Among other moves, it hired Jason Wright as the first Black team president and also Julie Donaldson as the senior vice president of media and the first woman to be part of an NFL team’s radio broadcast.
A public relations firm representing Snyder couldn’t be reached for comment.