Cablevision Systems Corp. chairman Charles Dolan lost out
last week on his bid to add the Cleveland Browns to his portfolio of sports franchises.
The National Football League last week approved a $530
million bid by credit-card magnate Al Lerner over a $525 million bid filed by a group of
investors led by Dolan and his brother, Larry.
The Dolan team -- which included entertainer Bill Cosby and
former NFL head coach Don Shula -- actually received nine votes on the first ballot from
team owners. But after several subsequent votes, the league unanimously approved
Larry Dolan, in a prepared statement, said the group was
"keenly disappointed" in the decision, but he was thankful to the NFL for
considering its application. "Being part of this competition has been a wonderful
experience for our family ... I want to recognize the special efforts of my brother,
Charles, and my two sons, who joined us in this endeavor."
Not winning the Browns was a rare setback for Charles
Dolan, who already owns the New York Knicks National Basketball Association and New York
Rangers National Hockey League teams.
Both Larry and Charles would have held 30 percent interests
in the Browns. Another 30 percent would have gone to a Dolan family trust, while Shula and
Cosby would have split the remaining 10 percent.
Charles Dolan could not be reached for comment on the
Lerner's bid was the most ever paid for a
professional-sports team. The new Browns franchise will begin play next year.