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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions ownership expected to stay in family, following death of William Clay Ford Sr.

It is expected that with the death of owner William Clay Ford Srthe Detroit Lions will remain in the Ford family.

Ford died of pneumonia at his Grosse Pointe home on Sunday morning. He was 88, five days shy of his 89th birthday.

On the ownership, the team released this statement: “Today we are mourning the loss of Mr. Ford and reflecting on the impact that he had on the Lions and on our community. Information related to ownership succession will be communicated at the appropriate time.”

In a Crain’s Detroit Business story from Nov. 24, a source said that Ford  intended to keep the team in the family.

It should be a smooth transition because his 56-year-old son, William Clay Ford Jr., has been vice chairman of the Lions since 1995, is involved in the team on a daily basis and has sat on several important NFL committees.

“I don’t think anything negative will happen. This is not a situation like the Raiders where Al Davis passed and left his son Mark unprepared to succeed him. He had not exactly been groomed as a successor over the years,’’  NFL writer Michael Silver said on an video.

“Bill Ford has taken on an increasing role over the years and certainly is essentially an owner now,’’ Silver said. “I think maybe you’ll see some more progressive things come out of the organization as tends to happen generationally. I think we saw that for example for the Giants and other organizations if it stays in the family, successors have been groomed for a long time and they may be a little more forward thinking in their stewardship.’’

Ford bought the Lions in November 1963 when he paid $4.5 million to buy out the other shareholders. estimates the team value at $900 million and Ford’s worth at $1.4 billion.

Ford is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Parke Firestone; his son Bill; and three daughters — Martha Parke Morse, Sheila Firestone Hamp and Elizabeth Hudson Ford.

It’s unknown if he left the team to his wife or if his children had shares in the Lions.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


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