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New bidder enters the race to purchase the Carolina Panthers

Fanatics owner Michael Rubin is interested in making an offer to purchase the Panthers, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

According to a report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Michael Rubin — owner of online sports apparel retailer Fantatics — is a potential new bidder for the upcoming sale of the Carolina Panthers.

Sources say Rubin — whose primary home is in Pennsylvania and who owns a stake in the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and the Premier League team Crystal Palace -- is considered a serious bidder in the race to buy the first NFL team up for sale in 3 ½ years.

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Rubin, who is worth $3 billion according to Forbes, is a more familiar name for NFL owners, many of whom have already embraced him over the years. Fanatics runs the NFL’s online store and sells more NFL-licensed gear than any other business in the world.

Rubin would join David Tepper and Ben Navarro as potential bidders for the Panthers franchise, who were put up for sale by current owner Jerry Richardson in December after multiple accusations of workplace misconduct surfaced.

March is expected to be the ‘action month’ for the process of the sale, according to Katherine Peralta and Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

March is going to be “the action month” in the sale process, a source familiar with the matter told the Observer. That means the names of a few more serious bidders could also emerge in the coming weeks as the process unfolds.

With the emergence of three candidates who are interested in purchasing the franchise, the reports of March being the ‘action month’ could be accurate. As always, stay tuned to CSR as we’ll provide any new information whenever it becomes available.

In the meantime, what do you think of the prospect of Rubin purchasing the team, Panthers fans? Do you have a preferred candidate? Share your thoughts in the comments!