The Broncos already had a bit of an ugly family squabble over future ownership of the team, before the death of Pat Bowlen.
But the guy who has been overseeing the team says nothing has fundamentally changed because of Bowlen’s departure.
Via Mike Klis of KUSA, Broncos CEO and team president Joe Ellis said Bowlen left plans in place to cover the future of the team.
“I don’t want to talk too much about it other than to say Pat was prepared for this day,’’ Ellis said. “He put a plan in place. It was his plan. As a trustee, it’s my obligation and our obligation with my other two fellow trustees to carry out the plan.
“My role which he assigned me and talked to me about and asked me to take on is to be what is known as the controlling owner delegee. Not just CEO and president but to be here to represent him until a child is ready to take over. That’s what the plan is and I’m going to follow through on that and honor him.
“I know there’s some stuff out there that may be concerning to fans. Everybody here knows what Pat wants and what he’s all about. Outside of winning games, which is very hard to do in this league, everything else is in my opinion easily achievable. And we’re going to continue to do that and do great things in the community and obviously try to get better on the field and I’m optimistic about what John has done in the offseason.’’
Ellis is one of three trustees overseeing the team, and is the controlling owner delegee.
There is some dispute among family members over who will take control. Beth Bowlen Wallace, an older daughter from his first marriage, said last year she’s ready to take over. The trustees responded with a statement that she was “not capable or qualified at this time.”
The preference appears to be 29-year-old Brittany Bowlen, a daughter from his second wife Annabel. She’s returning to work for the team, after previous experience in the league office.
The dispute is currently in league arbitration, with Carmen Policy overseeing the case.
The one person who definitely won’t own the team is former quarterback and current General Manager John Elway.
“No,’’ Elway said. “No. 1, I don’t have the money. I wish I did. I wish that wasn’t an issue. . . . “It’s a different galaxy.
“I’m happy with where I am. I’m proud to work for the organization and the opportunity they provide and so we’ll continue to work our tail off. Look forward to this season. The ownership will play itself out. That’s obviously been talked about for a long, long time and there’s a transition plan that Pat together and I’m sure Joe will execute it the way Pat wanted it.’’
Some of the surviving relatives might not agree, as there’s also a lawsuit pending from his brother which is asking for Ellis and the other two trustees to be removed.