The Carolina Panthers are one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but the latest news coming from the former owner is disgusting. Although many fans are quick to forget about the lockout prior to the 2011 season, it was absolute chaos full of lies and is rearing it’s ugly head again.
Documents have been leaked saying that the former Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, had lied throughout the NFL lockout about what the team’s revenue actually was. Richardson had claimed that team owners had “a negative cash flow of $200 million” which has been proven to be false and isn’t even the biggest story.
While Richardson was begging Carolina natives for more money, his team was raking in the dough making a profit of $112M in the last two seasons combined. Please explain to me how Richardson claims he was $200M in the hole when the team was pocketing nearly $78M in 2011 alone. During this time Richardson was also begging his fan base to support renovations for Bank of America Stadium, the Panthers’ 17-year-old home. The irony of the entire ordeal is what the Panthers have been putting on the field the last three seasons. Prior to Richardson banging his fist at the lockout negotiations table his team had just gone 2-14, but that didn’t stop Richardson and his partners from pocketing $12M.
Fans will remember Richardson from the lockout when he said ‘We signed a [expletive] deal last time, and we’re going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it” when talking about the owners stance on collective bargaining. It’s too easy to paint this guy out as a corrupt and awful human being, however the biggest question I have is what kind of impact it will have on the current team and it’s fan base?
Plenty of Panthers fans have to feel duped and although the Panthers still have some of the lowest prices in the NFL, I would expect a drop in attendance for sure. Cam Newton has faced enough challenges in his brief NFL career and to throw a corrupt front office on top of it just doesn’t seem right.
With some financial decisions to make in the coming weeks the Panthers are going to be in the spotlight with this awful news surfacing–the Panthers are currently $3.625M over the NFL’s salary cap.