|07-25-2013, 10:43 PM||#1|
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Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam 'Very Optimistic' About Outcome Of Federal Probe
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told fans Thursday that his family “is going to own this asset for a long, long time,” and said he was “very optimistic about the outcome” of a federal investigation into fraudulent practices at his Pilot Flying J truck stop business.
Speaking on the first day of Browns training camp, Haslam seemed confident that the legal issues following the April 15 raid by the FBI and IRS raid on Pilot Flying J’s headquarters in Knoxville will not force him to sell the team he took over last Aug. 3.
“I said this on Aug. 3, we’re committed to owning the Browns for a long period of time,” Haslam said. “I understand in Cleveland there’s a great deal of uncertainty because of past history, but the fans should not worry. Our family is going to own this asset for a long, long time. We’re excited and we feel (it’s) a privilege to own not just an NFL, but to own the Cleveland Browns with all the heritage and history it has.”
Some business blogs had speculated that cash flow could become an issue for Haslam, especially as he goes about the process of refunding rebates owed customers dating back to Jan. 1, 2005.
“There’s absolutely no worry about cash flow. If there was, I mentioned this earlier, we wouldn’t be doing the things we were in Berea, we wouldn’t have signed the free agents, we wouldn’t be talking about doing the things we are at the stadium,” Haslam said. “We’re looking at this as a long-term vision. We want to be successful as quickly as we can, we want to build a long-term vision here.”
Asked if he had a plan in place if he is indicted, Haslam said, “Our style is to be very transparent and very open. When the government investigation happened on April 15, one of the very first calls we made was to the NFL. We’re in constant contact with them. They have been very supportive in working with us and I’ll say we’re very optimistic on the outcome.”
Source: Akron Beacon Journal
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