DENVER – Deviating from his past silence on ownership matters, Denver Broncos General Manager and President of Football Operations John Elway weighed in on the situation Friday, showing strong support for the succession plan Pat Bowlen put in place in 2014.
“I want to make one thing clear about yesterday’s news: Joe Ellis is doing an incredible job & I have full confidence in him. He’s got all of our support,” Elway tweeted. “Pat put a lot of good people in place to follow his plan, and that’s what they’re doing.”
I want to make one thing clear about yesterday's news: Joe Ellis is doing an incredible job & I have full confidence in him. He's got all of our support.
Pat put a lot of good people in place to follow his plan, and that's what they're doing.
— John Elway (@johnelway) June 1, 2018
Elway’s comments came in response to Beth Bowlen Wallace’s comments Thursday in which she said she was seeking to become the controlling owner of the Broncos.
The Pat Bowlen Trust, which was put in place as Bowlen’s health declined in 2014, has the final say in determining which of Bowlen’s seven children eventually becomes Bowlen’s successor.
And the Trust put a vote of no-confidence toward Bowlen Wallace Thursday, saying she wasn’t the only Bowlen child interested in becoming controlling owner and that it had informed her that “she is not capable or qualified at this time.”
Bowlen Wallace responded to that claim from the Trust Friday as well, saying she was disappointed by them and that she disagreed with them.
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) June 1, 2018
"While I can certainly respond to each of those statements, I don't believe that will be productive," she said.
"I want to do what is in the best interests of my family, the team and Denver fans. I care deeply for my entire family and I would never do anything to create divisiveness in the family," she continued in the statement. "It remains my sincere hope that I, together with my advisers, can sit down the the trustees and their advisors to resolve this situation. The fans and league deserve this, and we have repeatedly offered to meet with the trustees to accomplish this objective. Therefore, I will not respond to their inaccurate statements at this time."
Denver7 reported Thursday night that Ellis, the Broncos’ president and CEO, was extended for several years in his role as CEO, leaving him time to groom a successor.
Though two of the minority owners of the team, Kerry and John Bowlen, said they supported Bowlen Wallace, 28-year-old Brittany Bowlen has emerged as the leading eventual candidate for the job, given her advanced education and interest in NFL matters. But she is still young; for comparison, Pat Bowlen was 40 when he took over as the team’s principal owner and CEO in 1984.
Following a drubbing in Super Bowl 48, the Bowlen family announced that Pat had resigned control of the team as he battled Alzheimer's. Ellis took over the day-to-day operations. It has left to Ellis and the other two trustees to direct the team in the present and make a decision on a potential future owner among Pat's children.