Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner's sale of the Cleveland Browns for a reported figure of US $1billion has been formally approved.
The sale of the team by Lerner to Jimmy Haslam, agreed back in August, was voted through at a meeting of NFL team owners in Chicago.
"Jimmy Haslam, who agreed to purchase a controlling interest in the Cleveland Browns in August, was approved by a unanimous vote from the other clubs at the NFL's Fall Owners Meetings in Chicago, the NFL announced Tuesday morning," said a statement on the Cleveland Browns website.
Lerner, who completed a takeover of Villa in 2006, inherited control of the Browns in 2002 from his father Al Lerner.
Four years earlier, Al Lerner paid $530million for the franchise, which joined the league as an expansion team and returned American football to Cleveland following the departure of the original Browns to Baltimore after the 1995 season.
The Lerner years were never greatly successful, however, with the team enjoying only two winning seasons in 1999 and 2007, reaching the play-offs once, and combining to go 69-146 under the family's control.
Since Lerner took over at Villa Park, Browns fans became increasingly frustrated by what they perceived as the owner's preference for the Barclays Premier League team at the expense of the Browns.