Dan Snyder declined to pay annual dividend checks to minority owners Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Robert Rothman, says the New York Times in a report that cuts to the heart of a dispute among Washington Football Team ownership.
The report indicates Snyder's decision not to make the payments — which were due on April 30 — "was made without consulting" the minority owners and "triggered a series of accusations that include financial mismanagement of the team and efforts to smear Snyder."
As a result, the minority trio decided to get the NFL involved, at which point the league appointed an arbitrator to resolve the dispute.
In July, a little more than two months after the dispute began, FedEx – the naming rights sponsor for FedEx Field and a company founded by Smith, its current CEO — asked Washington to change its "Redskins" nickname. The next day the organization announced a thorough review of the name and, three weeks later, abandoned the 87-year-old nickname altogether for a new, temporary moniker, the "Washington Football Team."
The New York Times reports in May, a representative of Schar requested an explanation from Snyder's legal counsel as to why Snyder decided — without notice — not to pay and 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."
"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," The Times reports. "It is also unclear whether Snyder undertook some or all of the cost-cutting measures that Schar asked of him."
It was then that Schar and Rothman joined Smith in trying to sell off their collective 40 percent minority ownership stake in the team. In June, a lawyer representing the minority owners wrote to Snyder's legal counsel threatening costly litigation if Snyder didn't consider buying them out "at fair value," according to The Times.
Washington fans may find particular interest in this next passage from The Times: "Snyder does not need to buy out his partners because he already holds a majority of the team. He also has no plans to sell his stake, which he expects to leave to his children, according to several people who have spoken to him."
All parties involved, the NFL included, declined to comment to The New York Times. You can read the full report here.