Policy sells ownership of Browns

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2003

CLEVELAND - Team president Carmen Policy sold his 10 percent share of the Cleveland Browns back to the Lerner family, who bought the NFL franchise in 1998.

Policy, who signed a five-year contract extension with the club in March, said his sale was approved in an unanimous vote by the league's owners at meetings last week in Chicago.

The Browns are currently estimated to be worth $618 million, according to Forbes magazine.

Email newsletter signup

The late Al Lerner outbid five other groups in '98 to buy the expansion Browns for $530 million, at the time the highest price paid for a professional sports team.

Lerner hired Policy as team president and gave the former San Francisco 49ers president and chief executive, 10 percent ownership.

Policy said he sold his interest to Lerner's son, Randy, who assumed ownership of the Browns after his father died on Oct. 23, 2002.

Policy had negotiated a possible sale of his share into his new, five-year contract, which will begin in February. He said Lerner was open to Policy maintaining his share if he chose to.

However, Policy said he wanted to give Lerner full control of the team's holdings.

''I don't think it's fair that Randy inherit a partner,'' Policy said in an interview on WTAM, the team's radio rights holder.

''I think it's time that he be able to own this team 100 percent, on his own and he makes the decisions about who is running it.

Policy, who was with the 49ers when they won five Super Bowl titles, said he will continue to serve as the team's president and CEO. He has no plans to leave the Browns.