Wood: Fords have no interest in selling the Lions – Detroit Free Press
The Lions have steadfastly refused to detail their succession plan for ownership, but team president Rod Wood said in a radio interview this week the Ford family has no interest in selling 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,” Wood said Thursday in an interview on WMGC-FM (105.1). “But I can assure the fans and the community that the Ford family’s committed to owning the Lions long term.”
Martha Ford has been the team’s primary owner for nearly two years, since her husband, William Clay Ford, passed away in March 2014.
Under her guidance, daughter Sheila Ford Hamp has taken on a more prominent role in the organization, while Bill Ford Jr., the team’s longtime vice chairman, is no longer involved in day-to-day operations of the team.
Wood declined to get into what he called “any of the inter-family discussions” when asked if there’s peace within the Ford family.
But the change in family dynamics has not gone unnoticed by other NFL owners.
New York Giants owner John Mara said Ford, 90, has “made some amazing changes” over the past two seasons, while Colts owner Jim Irsay said Ford is “very engaged and alert” when it comes to NFL business.
“And I know her daughter’s getting more involved,” Irsay said asked about Ford at the NFL Honors show at Super Bowl 50 earlier this month. “I knew Bill Jr. a lot better, but I know she’s getting involved, so it’s great. I hope I’m in that condition when I’m 90, that’s all I can say.”
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@davebirkett.
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