What’s The Panthers’ BIGGEST Problem? OWNER Jerry Richardson!

by Marc James
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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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Insanity is widely defined as doing the same thing over & over again and expecting Different Results. Since 1995, that is precisely what Carolina Panthers Owner “BIG CAT” better known as Jerry Richardson has done with his beloved and maligned franchise.

Remember last year’s Jerry Maguire manifesto by the anonymously “Perturbed Panther PSL Owners” in the Charlotte Observer? Here are a few excerpts below:

“Your unabashed admissions of ‘bottom line worship’ might explain why, for the past 10 years, you allowed the team’s rosters and coaching staffs to be constructed by a now former General Manager who had spent of his prior career as a sports beat reporter for an out-of-state newspaper, then scouting and compliance administrator with a west coast NFL team.”

“Mr. Richardson, you and your private business partners have made hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to your original vision and determination, backed by the good people of the Carolinas who have continued to invest their time and money in a team that has only made it to the playoffs four times and has never had consecutive winning seasons!”

Those sentiments are a microcosm of an angry, disgruntled fan base who are sick and tired of the same old rhetoric. If anybody in America or the rest of the free world FAILED 75% of the time at their job, he or she would be redirected to the Unemployment line faster than Usain Bolt. That is essentially what Richardson has done since the team’s inception waaaaaaaaaay back in 1995. 4 Playoff appearances (including a run to the Super Bowl) in 18 seasons?!?!? That is not what I would call a quote “Return on My Investment” for a PSL Holder or a “DIE HARD” fan that bleeds Panther Blue & Black.

The estimated value of the Panthers franchise grew from $200 million in 1995 to $1.04 billion in 2011. According to Forbes Magazine, the organization and ranks as the 13th most valuable professional sports team in the nation.

Remember when Richardson lamented financial hardship for he and his “Good, Ole Boy Network” Partners during the NFL’s Lock-out in 2011? Per a jaw-dropping article by (in March 2013) of Richardson’s audited financial statement, the Panthers made more than $100 million in profit over the fiscal years covering those two seasons: 2010-11 & 2011-12.

“The statement is for the years ending March 31, 2011, and March 31, 2012. Over the first period, as Richardson argued that the NFL’s business model was hopelessly broken and steered the owners toward a showdown to extract more money from the players, the Panthers recorded an operating profit of $78.7 million. The team had gone 2-14 on the field, but Richardson and his partners were able to pay themselves $12 million.

Over the following year, after the owners had won their lockout and reduced the players’ share of league revenue from 50 percent to 47 percent, the Panthers brought in $33.3 million in operating profit. Richardson began lobbying for public subsidies to renovate his 17-year-old stadium. The team went 6-10.”

For some conspicuous reason, When an owner cheaps on his head coach (Ron Rivera), Front Office (EX G.M. Marty Hurney), Coordinators (Mike Shula, Sean McDermott), Stadium Renovations, etc., the franchise gets what they paid for or should I say what they didn’t pay for on Sundays which are Four consecutive and soon-to-be FIVE straight “NON-Playoff” Seasons
It is so easy to blame quarterback Cam Newton, lack of Wide receivers NOT named Steve Smith, the Turnstile Offensive Line, or porous Secondary, but at the end of the day, week, month, and yet another Underachieving Season, Point Your Collective Fingers at One Person ONLY: JERRY RICHARDSON.

By THEE “UNSILENT MAJORITY” Marc with a “C” James

Listen to “The Drive” Every Day (Mon.-Fri.) from 3-7 with Yours Truly & Taylor Zarzour on 610 “The Fan” WFNZ in Charlotte.
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