Dan Snyder now owns the Washington Football Team outright. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com recently reported that Snyder has officially acquired the 40% interest in the team previously held by minority owners Frederick Smith, Robert Rothman, and Dwight Schar (Twitter link).
The three minority owners had filed suit seeking a ruling that Snyder must purchase all of their shares or none of them, as their value is higher collectively than individually (Snyder was reportedly willing to purchase the 25% share owned by Smith and Rothman but not the 15% share owned by Schar). The litigation had taken an ugly turn, with Snyder filing his own suit alleging that Schar had engaged in a smear campaign by leaking information concerning a $1.6MM settlement that WFT reached in 2009 with a former female employee who accused Snyder of sexual misconduct. To be clear, two separate investigations in 2009 failed to substantiate the former employee’s claims, and Snyder did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.
Whether Schar had anything to do with the reports on that settlement or not, it came just months after a number of former female employees came forward with allegations of a longstanding culture of sexual abuse. The NFL’s investigation into those allegations is ongoing, but it is not presently expected to amount to significant (if any) sanctions.
Snyder certainly doesn’t seem concerned that he will face any sanctions that will affect his ownership. As Peter King of NBC Sports wrote in his last Football Morning in America column, Snyder borrowed heavily to buy out the minority owners, a buyout that checked in at $950MM (Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweeted that the final price tag was $875MM, but either way, it was a sizable chunk of change).
Obviously, this development further entrenches Snyder at the top of WFT, and as King writes, the multi-billionaire has no intention of selling the club. Though he may take on other partners in the future to offset his newly-incurred debt, he actually intends to one day pass the club down to the next generation of Snyders.
So buckle up, WFT fans. In the 22 years of the Syder regime, Washington has won just four division titles and has just two playoff wins (both in the wildcard round). It has not won a postseason game in 15 years, though the club has put together a solid offseason and should compete for the NFC East crown again in 2021.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.