I'm not panicking over Jimmy Haslam. I didn't panic when I first heard that Feds raided his corporate headquarters, I didn't panic when the lawsuits started mounting up, and I'm not panicking now, despite a Wall Street Journal report that Haslam's Pilot Flying J is $4 billion in debt.
$4 billion? For a company that makes about $30 billion a year in sales? Not a big issue. Of course, it's easy for me to say that, but I'm relying on those who know far more about finances than I do (I can't even balance my checkbook), and they say it's no big deal.
The question is, at what point will this affect the Cleveland Browns? While few expect Haslam to personally be indicted, there are lawsuits to settle, and possibly a hefty fine on the way. How will this affect his cash flow into the Browns?
And if Haslam were to be indicted, what then? The most likely scenario is that he'd hand the day-to-day running of the Browns over to the family member.
So no, I'm not panicking about Jimmy Haslam. But, I find it incredibly ironic that after years and years of fans all but begging for Randy Lerner to sell, they find that their knight in shining white armor is getting more and more tarnished by the day. Jimmy Haslam may come out of this unscathed, at least criminally, but safe to say, the man who we thought would actually, finally, end the constant turmoil in Berea...has only added to it.
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