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Lions say Ford family has a succession plan in place

Martha Firestone Ford AP

When longtime Lions owner William Clay Ford Sr. died, his widow Martha Ford took over the team. That came as a surprise to many, as it had been assumed that her son William Clay Ford Jr. would run the Lions.

Now there are questions being raised in Detroit about how much longer the 90-year-old Martha Ford will continue to run the team. The Lions are declining to go into specifics about that, except to say one thing: The Lions are not now and will not be for sale, and the Ford family has a plan in place to continue running the team.

“I’m very involved in the plans to succeed Mrs. Ford within the family and the ownership, and beyond that I’d rather leave all that to those who are in the room as opposed to talk about it outside the room,” Lions President Rod Wood said on WMGC-FM, via the Detroit Free Press. “But I can assure the fans and the community that the Ford family’s committed to owning the Lions long term.”

The league’s other owners would surely like to know that the Lions will have a strong plan in place to avoid a situation similar to what is currently unfolding in Tennessee, where ownership is divided among the heirs to team founder Bud Adams, and there’s been some talk that the team might need to be sold. In Detroit, the Ford family insists the next generation will continue to run the team, even if the Fords haven’t yet named which member of the next generation will run the team.

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43 Responses to “Lions say Ford family has a succession plan in place”
  1. thehatefulnerd says: Feb 21, 2016 11:36 AM

    They’ve had such a stellar succession of GMs and HCs, how could anyone question them?

  2. sonhoodoo says: Feb 21, 2016 11:38 AM

    Is there another term aside from “succession plan”? Yeah, it refers to who will take over, but having the word “success” in there is really leagues away from any definition of the Fords ownership of the Lions.

  3. ctiggs says: Feb 21, 2016 11:40 AM

    No shocker they have never had a vision in place either.

  4. staffordsyear says: Feb 21, 2016 11:53 AM

    One things for sure, no matter how bad or good this franchise will ever be, they’ll always be in Detroit.

  5. 12brichandfamous says: Feb 21, 2016 11:54 AM

    She’s tough and will see it through!

  6. groleo45 says: Feb 21, 2016 11:57 AM

    It’s really interesting to me that Bill Ford Jr. is not more visible; he seemed poised to take the whole thing over about 10 years ago or so. It took his mother coming into power for the realization to finally be made to let the football matters be dealt with by the football people.

    It makes you wonder though, if not Junior, who would it be?

  7. vikescry1 says: Feb 21, 2016 12:00 PM

    thank you, sincerely the rest of the nfc north…

  8. kevingreene160sacknoHOFclub says: Feb 21, 2016 12:01 PM

    Awwww, I was just thinkin how cool it was that Emperor Palpatine’s sister gets to grind a franchise into the dirt.

  9. ariani1985 says: Feb 21, 2016 12:29 PM

    Since when did E.T. RUN the team?

  10. ctgiant says: Feb 21, 2016 12:30 PM

    Kudo’s to Mrs. Ford! Unlike John Mara President & CEO of the giants, who is just a lawyer, da’s gone, and mom’s gone, he just inherited the team as did Steve Tisch through there respective fathers death.
    A lawyer & Film Maker neither knows zip about running a NFL team, but there ego’s and money make them a great pair.
    Mrs. Ford hired former GM Ernie Acccorsi to help find the best football people, saying “we don’t know much about football, so were going to get football people in here to help us”.
    How I wish John Mara would say that!
    CT GIANT

  11. typicalnipple says: Feb 21, 2016 12:32 PM

    They should get the family involved. The family of Big John Football.

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 21, 2016 12:33 PM

    Good, this team should stay in Detroit and in the Ford family forever. Everybody here will appreciate that greatly just as soon as the perpetual winning dynasty assembles, and there’s no reason why it can’t start this year.

  13. jdbaker01 says: Feb 21, 2016 12:49 PM

    Sell the team to Matt Millen so they can draft some WRs.

  14. cowboysallday says: Feb 21, 2016 12:59 PM

    I miss football😦

  15. tommytd says: Feb 21, 2016 1:17 PM

    Lions/Ford and Bears/McCaskey – get used to mediocrity fans ’cause that’s all they’re capable of offering. They’re just not football people.

  16. vikingf0rlife says: Feb 21, 2016 1:29 PM

    I don’t know what’s worse the Lions franchise or the Ford automobile company. Either way they go hand in hand and they have both sucked for last 80 years or so….

  17. conormacleod says: Feb 21, 2016 1:38 PM

    I don’t care how sharp her mind is, letting a 90 year old run am NFL team is a mistake. My 72 year old mother couldn’t even use the gps on her smart phone.

  18. drlightning says: Feb 21, 2016 1:47 PM

    Next owner of the Lions….Matt Millen!

  19. jimmysee says: Feb 21, 2016 1:49 PM

    Mrs. Ford was the right man at the right time for this sorry franchise.

    And I say that with great respect.

    Detroit fans deserve better.

    I hope her successor from within the family keeps pressure on football management and lets them know the status quo is unacceptable.

    We were hoping for that in NYC when George Steinbrenner died — but the Yankees have lost their way. There is no longer the firm hand on the throttle in the Bronx.

  20. lingsun54 says: Feb 21, 2016 1:52 PM

    If they hire the right people and don’t interfere they have the chance for long term success. Bob Quinn will most likely be the best GM the Lions have had since Packards were built in Detroit.

    You can say this about the Fords: unlike Jerry Jones they want to win more than they want control.

  21. surfinbird1 says: Feb 21, 2016 1:55 PM

    The family that gave us the Pinto has got it together.

  22. matt2calvin says: Feb 21, 2016 2:00 PM

    Those of us in Detroit understand the importance of this situation. Mrs. Ford hired a GM from the NE Patriots, because she doesn’t know football. That GM has complete control of the football side – that was a very intelligent move.

    Those of us in Detroit also know the background of Bill Ford Jr. He was in charge of Ford Motor Company, but because of poor performance was replaced by a “car guy”. Now the company is thriving because they hired the right guy.

    Mrs. Ford is positioning her daughter to lead the Lions, not her son – I’m sure she has good reason. But the fact remains that the family will not be making football decisions – only the GM will have that power.

    He might turn out to be the wrong GM, but at least we now have football people making the football decisions in Detroit, and that is a step in the right direction.

    .

  23. mrwalterisgod says: Feb 21, 2016 2:04 PM

    How about a successful plan, do they have one of those?

  24. whodey83 says: Feb 21, 2016 2:07 PM

    That’s a man, baby!

  25. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 21, 2016 3:02 PM

    vikingf0rlife says:
    Feb 21, 2016 1:29 PM

    I don’t know what’s worse the Lions franchise or the Ford automobile company. Either way they go hand in hand and they have both sucked for last 80 years or so….
    __________________

    Ahhh, the naïve people who send their money overseas to build up someone else’s infrastructure, educational systems, roads, etc. Who really cares about America’s middle class. standard of living and future employment opportunities? Ignorance is bliss.

  26. senatorblutarsky says: Feb 21, 2016 3:06 PM

    mrwalterisgod says:
    Feb 21, 2016 2:04 PM

    How about a successful plan, do they have one of those?
    __________________

    In case you haven’t been paying attention, yes, most people believe they do.

  27. putthatkoolaiddown says: Feb 21, 2016 3:07 PM

    groleo45 says:
    Feb 21, 2016 11:57 AM

    It’s really interesting to me that Bill Ford Jr. is not more visible; he seemed poised to take the whole thing over about 10 years ago or so. It took his mother coming into power for the realization to finally be made to let the football matters be dealt with by the football people.

    It makes you wonder though, if not Junior, who would it be?
    ——-
    The daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp, has stepped uo into a leadership role. She will take over the team. Book it.

  28. cmp2020 says: Feb 21, 2016 3:46 PM

    I think we have reached the pinnacle of comedy from the commenters who are trashing the looks of a 90 year old woman. For endless material, you should hang outside a retirement home and rip on all the old people who have accomplished more in life than you ever will. It will be hilarious. These people have supermodels for grandparents lol. Stay classy!

  29. realtruthteller100 says: Feb 21, 2016 4:07 PM

    the south had a seccesion plan too and look how they turned out

  30. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 21, 2016 5:10 PM

    Among the worst owners in pro sports. Zero interest in winning a super bowl, only in providing enough lip service to the fans to keep the money machine rolling.

    There are at least a dozen owners in the league like that. Parity only works if everyone is really trying to win. When 1/3 to 1/2 the teams just want to keep making bundles of money but care zip about winning parity is a meaningless concept

  31. connfyoozed says: Feb 21, 2016 5:17 PM

    We have a succession plan in place. We just aren’t going to tell you what it is.

  32. xbam says: Feb 21, 2016 5:51 PM

    I’m smelling a Matt Melon comeback!

  33. vikingf0rlife says: Feb 21, 2016 6:24 PM

    Ahhh, the naïve people who send their money overseas to build up someone else’s infrastructure, educational systems, roads, etc. Who really cares about America’s middle class. standard of living and future employment opportunities? Ignorance is bliss.

    ______________________________________

    Assumptions make you look dumber than you already are their kid! You have no clue what I buy and just because people might choose to buy a Japanese car that is made by American employees on American soil doesn’t mean that all the money goes over seas or they’re naive. It does in fact mean more people buy cars that were designed and invented from other countries because the options here (ie. Ford) are absolute trash, just like your football team!

  34. ariani1985 says: Feb 21, 2016 7:48 PM

    Packerloser4life,

    Shouldn’t you be trolling a packer article?

  35. calvinthegreat82 says: Feb 21, 2016 8:07 PM

    ariani1985 says:
    Feb 21, 2016 12:29 PM

    Since when did E.T. RUN the team?

    _______________________________________

    I guess he forgot already that he trolled this article…..DOH!

  36. liondriven says: Feb 21, 2016 8:34 PM

    .
    .
    one of the worlds’ most recognized and respected names…
    .
    generation … after generation…
    .
    Ford Roars.
    .
    .

  37. rlpftt says: Feb 21, 2016 9:25 PM

    one of the worlds’ most recognized and respected names…
    .
    generation … after generation…
    .
    Ford Roars.

    ___________________________________

    Mustangs and the F-Series trucks are pretty darn good, but one thing for sure…..the Lions sure as hell don’t roar!

    LoLions!!!

  38. redman9143 says: Feb 22, 2016 2:18 AM

    He want’s to assure Lions fans the Ford family will keep the team. I don’t think the fans are excited about that. lol

  39. Florio Believer says: Feb 22, 2016 10:00 AM

    Any chance PFT can get a better pic of Martha? This one’s kinda scary….

  40. ivanpavlov0000 says: Feb 22, 2016 2:33 PM

    senatorblutarsky says:
    Feb 21, 2016 3:02 PM

    Ahhh, the naïve people who send their money overseas to build up someone else’s infrastructure, educational systems, roads, etc. Who really cares about America’s middle class. standard of living and future employment opportunities? Ignorance is bliss.
    —————————————-
    If you think Ford, GM and Chrysler are “US/American” car companies, then you’re the one being “naïve.” Newsflash … there’s no such thing as an American car, German car, Japanese car, etc. They’re all international companies that put the business interest of the corporation first. Also, where the parts inside the car were made is just as important as where the car was assembled.

  41. ivanpavlov0000 says: Feb 22, 2016 2:39 PM

    I’m completely (100%) confident that the Lions are on their way towards winning a Super Bowl. It’s very clear that fielding a championship team is more important to Martha Ford than it was to her husband. That’s why she’ll be handing the reigns over to her daughter Sheila, and not her son Bill.

    Also, now that the Rams are moving back to LA, I’m geographically required to cheer for the Rams (instead of the Lions). So of course the Lions will start winning.

  42. rlpftt says: Feb 23, 2016 12:44 PM

    vikingf0rlife says:
    Feb 21, 2016 1:29 PM

    I don’t know what’s worse the Lions franchise or the Ford automobile company. Either way they go hand in hand and they have both sucked for last 80 years or so….
    ——
    Let’s see, in the past 80 years the Vikings have zero championships, the Lions have 4.

    Pipe down there Viking fan, Minnesota is nothing more than mediocrity.

  43. rlpftt says: Feb 23, 2016 1:57 PM

    …the Lions actually are more embarrassing as of late. Their whole team has been in full swing decline for the past 3 years.

    LoLions!

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