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Dec 9, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions helmets sit on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Rumors: Martha Ford, wife of William Ford, takes over as Detroit Lions owner

After William Ford’s passing on Sunday afternoon, it was believed his son, William Clay Ford Jr. would take over ownership of the Detroit Lions franchise.

That appears not to be the case however as the widow of William (Bill) Clay Ford Sr., Martha, is now the owner of the organization.

“Pursuant to long-established succession plans, Mr. Ford’s controlling interest in the Lions passes to Mrs. Martha Ford,” read a statement from the team. “She and her four children will continue to be involved in the ownership of the franchise, as they have during Mr. Ford’s tenure.”

The reason for keeping Martha Ford as the team owner allegedly has to do with tax implications.

As for Bill Clay Ford, he will remain in his current role as Vice Chairman and will maintain his overseeing of business operations.

President Tom Lewand and General Manager Martin Mayhew will handle the day-to-day operations of the team.

William Ford died of pneumonia on Sunday at the age of 88 at his Michigan home. He had owned the Lions since 1963.

Tags: Detroit Lions

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