A new potential reason as to why Browns owner Jimmy Haslam decided to fire both Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi has emerged. According to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, the relationship between Banner and Lombardi ended on bad terms as the two clashed over multiple decisions throughout their tenure together.
Meanwhile, Haslam was getting fed up with the discord and had growing reservations about Banner’s ability to do the job. So as a way to rid himself of all of the issues, he canned both Banner and Lombardi.
Browns CEO Joe Banner and his top lieutenant Mike Lombardi ended on bad terms with each other, and their discord led to Jimmy Haslam firing both, league sources told cleveland.com.
Banner and Lombardi clashed over a number of things, but the disconnect came to a head during the tumultuous 25-day coaching search.
By the end of it, Banner wanted to fire his embattled GM, and Lombardi knew it. If he didn’t know, he missed the writing on the wall.
But what Banner didn’t know, and should have, was that Haslam had also grown weary of him during the search — portrayed as dysfunctional in the local and national media — and was gearing up to fire him.
The owner and the CEO didn’t see eye-to-eye over a number of candidates, and Haslam came to feel that Banner was the reason some didn’t want to interview for — or accept — his coaching job.
Cabot also reports that Banner never saw his firing coming.
Still, two sources said Banner was “flabbergasted” by his firing and never saw it coming. They said Banner thought Haslam was happy with Banner’s first 16 months, during which he attracted excellent top-level executives such as President Alec Scheiner and general counsel Sashi Brown and had overhauled the entire operation.
Insiders also said Haslam may have had second thoughts about firing coach Rob Chudzinski, even though he was completely on board with it at the time.
That last sentence about second guessing the firing of Rob Chudzinski tells you everything you need to know about what’s wrong with the Browns. It’s quite clear that Haslam does not truly know what he wants. And when you don’t know what you want, you try to sway a 72-year-old Bill Parcells to come run your franchise.