Congress should require Ford to sell Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions fans only hope for a future may be Congress voting through a bailout plan for the poorly-managed faltering Ford Motor Company.

Last I noticed, Ford Motor Company was asking for $9 billion of fans/taxpayers dollars while making no indications they intend to sell the Lions which are valued by Forbes to be worth $917 million.

Ford’s recent reported losses have been huge. According to their media.ford.com website they had a net loss of $8.7 billion in the second quarter of 2008 and according to CNN Money.com burned through another $6.3 billion in the third quarter of 2008. At that rate, it is possible they could eat up a loan of $9 billion in a short time.

With support from some of the local politicians and pressure from taxpayers around the country, Michiganders can present a scenario to Congress that includes the Fords being required to sell the Lions if they are included in any bailout.

I have had a few emails from people explaining how technically William Clay is not the owner of Ford Motor Company. Corporations are legally laid out however companies decide to lay them out. Ford’s website has William Clay listed at the highest position, Executive Chairman and you have to assume William Clay owns a decent portion of that stock recently valued at less than a Starbucks small coffee.

It is absurd to allow the Ford family to maintain an entity like the Lions in their portfolio while agreeing to hand over billions of tax dollars to save their auto company’s sinking ship.

If Joe Citizen is in desperate financial shape and asks a bank to bail them out of a foreclosure on their home, shouldn’t that bank make them sell his Bentley and second home on the ocean first? Even though the Bentley is not related to the house going into foreclosure, it is part of that family’s portfolio. Don’t get me wrong, the Lions are more like a rusted-out Yugo but you get my point.

If the Ford Motor Company is asking for $9 billion, Congress should minus the $917 million they are forced to acquire from the sale of the Lions then give them $8.08 billion instead.

First of all, handing these auto companies $34 billion is like flushing the money down the toilet but if Congress did approve a ridiculous bad investment of tax dollars like that, the people of Detroit could seize the opportunity and possibly get the Ford family off their field.

The Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons are great examples of how an NFL franchise can turn it around in one year if they are under the proper ownership and management.

Matt Millen, the creator of the Lions current dismal coaching staff and player personnel was sent packing the day after Mike Martz’ San Fran 49ers whipped the Lions earlier this season, earning Millen the Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week award on Sports Climax. 

Removing another cancer like owner William Clay Sr. would open the door to new ownership and a possible turnaround. Imagine, new ownership would lead to new management which leads to a new coaching staff (Google Bill Cowher) and smart draft selections, something this NFL team hasn’t experienced in a decade.

Congress, if you do bail out Ford Motor Company, remember to bail out the Detroit Lions fans as well, these poor loyalists have been through enough.

Copyright © 2008 – Sports Climax

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