According to a report, Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly won’t partner with Jon Bon Jovi to pursue ownership of the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo News reported that Kelly and Bon Jovi met last week, but Kelly was reluctant to join the group over continued concerns the team could be moved.
Citing a source, the report said that Kelly and bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach won’t partner with Bon Jovi’s Toronto-based group.
“I can confirm that Jim Kelly met with Jon Bon Jovi, but Kelly and Jeffrey Gundlach will not be pursuing a relationship with the Toronto group,” the source told the newspaper via e-mail. “Kelly and Gundlach do not feel confident that their aspirations for keeping the Bills in Buffalo long-term are aligned with the interests of the Toronto group.”
Morgan Stanley reportedly met with Kelly and Gundlach on Aug. 7, with the pair looking to be matched with an established group pursuing the Bills because they’ve had trouble making such a connection on their own.
Kelly’s brother and business manager, Dan Kelly, reportedly met with bidder Donald Trump while there has been no contact with the bidders thought to be the front-runners, Terry and Kim Pegula, owners of the Buffalo Sabres.
Bon Jovi’s group, meanwhile, is not exceedingly popular in the Buffalo area. It’s Toronto ties have promoted fear among fans and civic leaders alike that the group, should it successfully buy the franchise from the Bills’ trust, would move it to Toronto.
The meeting with Kelly was seen by some skeptics as a desperation public relations ploy to win back a wary public. Kelly, an icon with the Bills after leading the team to four straight Super Bowls in the early 1990s, could have helped give the Bon Jovi group credibility regarding the Toronto fears.
Instead, Kelly didn’t come on board, while reports circulate that the Bon Jovi group is experiencing “major tension” internally and is seen as “unfocused and disorganized.”