Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen’s brother has filed a motion in Colorado District Court to remove the three-person trust that is currently controlling the team, the Denver Post reported Thursday.
Bowlen relinquished day-to-day control of the club in 2014, acknowledging at the time he had Alzheimer’s disease. A trust headed by team president and CEO Joe Ellis has run the club since.
Bill Bowlen said he wants to remove the trust “due to their failure to uphold Pat Bowlen’s wishes and act in the best interest of Pat Bowlen, his family, and the Broncos,” the newspaper reported. Bill Bowlen sold his stake in the Broncos to Pat in 2002, who the petition says owns 76 percent of the team. Another brother, John, owns the rest of the team.
“I am a huge fan of the Broncos, and have been for decades. Unfortunately, over the past 15 years, I’ve noticed that the operation of the Broncos has deteriorated, while my brother’s health has worsened,” Bill Bowlen said in a press release.
“I have real concerns with these trustees, their conduct and how they got to the positions they are in. They have little or no accountability to anybody but themselves. They have not complied with the rules of the NFL and I am uncomfortable with the way they have handled my brother’s affairs. I know what his wishes were, and these individuals are definitely not following them.”
Pat Bowlen has seven children, and two of his daughters - Beth Bowlen-Wallace and Tiffany Bowlen - have expressed interest in controlling the team.
Dan Reilly, legal counsel for the Pat Bowlen Trust, released a statement Thursday night. “We have not seen this lawsuit and first learned of it through a media report tonight.
“Although we are currently reviewing this matter, we are aware that the counsel submitting this complaint on behalf of Bill Bowlen is the same one that has been representing Beth Bowlen Wallace. The trustees will continue to execute Pat Bowlen’s long-standing succession plan for the Denver Broncos in compliance with all NFL ownership policies.”
—Field Level Media