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Report: Dan Snyder withheld payments from minority investors

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Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder withheld dividend payments to minority owners Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Robert Rothmann, according to a new report from The New York Times

The payments were due in April, and according to the report, the NFL stepped in due to the financial dispute and appointed an arbitrator to settle the matter.

From the Times:

It is unclear how much money the three limited partners were owed, why Snyder delayed payment of the dividends, or whether he notified them in advance. It is also unclear whether Snyder undertook some or all of the cost-cutting measures that Schar asked of him.

This dispute has multiple layers, as Schar questioned the money management and efficiency of the organization under Snyder's leadership. It's unclear if the withholding of dividend payments stemmed from uncertainty surrounding a COVID-impacted 2020 season or for other reasons. 

According to documents, Schar's chief financial officer sent correspondence to Snyder's attorney that "requested documents regarding the team’s financial performance, including financial statements for the past two seasons, details on wages earned by team employees, budget projections for this year and information on “all cost-cutting measures” since 2018, presumably to determine whether the team was managing its money efficiently."

Beyond that, it appears the missed dividend payment might have a direct influence on the team's decision to change its name.

FedEx formally asked Washington to drop the "Redskins" moniker in early July, about two months after the football team failed to pay Fred Smith his annual dividend. Smith serves as CEO of FedEx. 

The shares from Smith, Rothmann and Schar remain up for sale and account for about 40 percent of the team. The article states that Snyder has no intention of selling his controlling interest in the club and he plans on leaving the organization to his family. 

 

While head coach Ron Rivera has led the team to a 1-1 record through the early portion of the NFL season, the legal and boardroom battles seem nowhere close to finished. 

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