Talk about being fanatic. A Cleveland area businessman had decided to sue the NFL and its teams in an attempt to end the current lockout between the front office and the players union (NFLPA). Ken Lanci, a Brown’s fan that bought 10 Personal Seat Licenses in 1997, claims “his right to buy tickets through his personal seat license has been violated because of the lockout. By participating in the lockout of the players, the Browns have affirmatively acted to destroy the value of the PSL agreement as it relates to Lanci," the lawsuit reads.
He asked the Common Pleas Court in Cuyahoga County to overturn the decision to lockout the players which is jeopardizing the 2011 NFL season. He is also asking for $25,000 apiece from the Cleveland Browns, the league and its teams for breach of contract.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, Lanci summed up his complaint: "It's a fight between billionaires and millionaires. There isn't any sympathy for multi-millionaires. It's just not going to happen. And somebody has to stand up and say, 'Enough's enough.”
Industry experts doubt his case has any merit since there will be a refund policy in effect if no games are played. A Chicago lawyer that has represented fans in court before said,"Mr Lanci has an uphill battle" and Ohio State law professor Larry Garvin seems to think, "He has effectively no chance of winning."
Greg Aiello, the NFL spokesman issued a written statement that said: "We have not seen the lawsuit but certainly understand the frustration of Mr. Lanci and so many other fans. NFL clubs all have announced refund policies to protect fans during the work stoppage.
Syracuse sports management Professorbrought up flaws with Ken Lanci's claim:
- “Timing: No games have been missed yet and the season is still months away.
- Actual damages if games are missed: Lanci's case is based on paying for permanent rights to buy tickets to Browns games. What percentage of the value of that perpetual license is lost, they asked, if a few games, or even a season, are canceled?
- A lack of rights to see certain players play: They noted that games with replacement players, like the NFL used during a 1987 player strike still count as games under the law.
- Labor issues already being covered in Personal Seat License contracts: A procedure is spelled out already if there is a labor problem.”
No one really knows Mr. Lanci’s true intent here. He himself is a self-made millionaire and should know the legal aspects before he filed his lawsuit. Either way, the fans have spoken.