Senior Staff Writer
Washington Commanders owner, Dan Snyder, is in the hot seat once again, which may lead to Snyder’s timely exit from the National Football League.
The Washington football organization has been dealt an intricate hand this offseason, rebranding the team to the Commanders, welcoming a new franchise Quarterback, Carson Wentz, and now allegedly cooking the books.
Earlier this month, reports surfaced from Front Office Sports stating that Washington is being investigated for carrying two books of financial records, hiding the reality of the organization’s current financial state. According to the letter via the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to the Federal Trade Commission, owner Dan Snyder and the Commanders have potentially engaged in unlawful financial conduct for years.
Former Vice President of Sales and Customer Service, Jason Friedman, made two allegations. Friedman was released from his duties in October of 2020. However, communication between Friedman and the organization can be traced up to earlier this year in an email from Friedman to team president Jason Wright asking for a return to his duties.
The first allegation exposed Washington for withholding as much as $5,000,000 in security deposits from season ticket holders that should have been returned. The Commanders kept the money paid as security deposits with little attempt to remind the ticket holders. On top of that, they were “gathering juice.” Gathering juice is when an organization falsifies revenue numbers to save money. Friedman claims that he falsely processed thousands of dollars from outside events at the stadium, such as a Kenny Chesney concert, in an attempt to undermine the organization’s ticket revenue.
In the NFL, the total accumulated ticket revenue is dispersed among all 32 NFL teams. With Snyder undermining their ticket sales, he saved money by giving up less of his revenue to be shared.
Dan Snyder and the Commanders deny any allegation of improper financial records. The team has had several former employees sign affidavits and swear that they have never witnessed anyone else keeping a second book on record. The Commander’s organization is working to discredit Friedman by clarifying that his job would never give him access to the information he is exposing.
The longer the investigation goes on, the more the evidence piles up against Snyder. It has been a long time coming; Snyder has brought negative press to the league too many times for being the face of one of the most iconic teams in the NFL. The investigation continues, but time is running out for the Snyder family in Washington.