The Washington Football Team and its ownership have been at odds for some time now, but a resolution has come to fruition. Washington majority owner Dan Snyder has acquired the 40% interest in the team that was previously held by the minority owners, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday.
On March 24, Tyler Dunne of “Go Long” reported that Snyder was set to buy out the minority owners’ 40.5% stake in the team. Snyder reportedly requested a debt waiver for $450 million to fund the deal, and it has been approved by the NFL finance committee. The total cost of these shares are more than $800 million, according to The New York Times. CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirmed the financial move, and added that Snyder will eventually sell minority shares back to other investors.
The last year has been a dramatic one for Washington, as minority owners Dwight Schar, Robert Rothman and Frederick Smith had grown uneasy about the direction the franchise was going in. Smith, who is the CEO of FedEx, which is a major sponsor for the Washington franchise, applied pressure on Snyder to change the team’s name — something that Snyder vowed to never do. According to a report from AdWeek, Nike and FedEx were among a group of corporations (PepsiCo was also included) whose investors wrote to them requesting that they end their relationships with Washington unless the team changes its name. The letters to Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo were from 87 investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion. It was a controversy Washington could no longer brush aside, as even federal officials got involved in asking the team to change its name.
Things got even worse in Washington, as Snyder reportedly claimed that Schar led an “extortion campaign” in an attempt to force Snyder out of ownership during a tumultuous 2020 season off the field. Snyder may have lost the battle when it comes to Washington’s team name, but appears to have now won the war.
Snyder now owns 100% of the team with the deal reportedly becoming finalized and approved by NFL owners.