The family squabble over the future of the Denver Broncos isn’t getting any more cordial.
After Beth Bowlen Wallace released a statement Wednesday saying that the Broncos need a transition of ownership to help the team address its on-field failings, Pat Bowlen’s widow, Annabel, released a statement through an attorney in response to Wallace’s assertion.
“Ms. Wallace does not represent my client’s views or the views of the majority of the beneficiaries,” attorney Hugh Gottschalk said in a statement, via Troy Renck of ABC 7. “Moreover, Ms. Wallace has filed a lawsuit that alleges that Mr. Bowlen lacked the capacity to execute the estate planning documents that appointed the Trustees, and that the Trustees therefore have no authority. Although we strongly disagree with these allegations and believe the estate plan will be upheld at the trial scheduled for July of 2021, any efforts to even consider selling the team before the Trustees’ authority is confirmed is unwise and impractical, and would be contrary to Pat Bowlen’s wishes to have the Bowlen family continue to own the Broncos if one of his children develops the ability to take over the role of Controlling Owner.”
Wallace is the one who filed the lawsuit claiming that Bowlen was not mentally capable of making estate plans due to his onset of Alzheimer’s when the plans for the future of the Broncos franchise were prescribed. Bowlen passed away in 2019 due to complications from Alzheimer’s and the trial questions his capacity in 2009 to put the Broncos into the trust, which is overseen by Broncos president/CEO Joe Ellis, team counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly.
The trust appears to have focused in on Brittany Bowlen as the most likely, and potentially only, possible option to take over the operations of the franchise. Brittany Bowlen returned to a role with the organization last year.
It would seem incredibly difficult to deal with the future of the franchise before the lawsuit over the trust is resolved next July. The reality exists that the franchise will have to be sold should the family be unable to determine the successor as controlling owner.