MIKE O'HARA

Martha Firestone Ford reaches out to season ticket members

Posted Nov 14, 2015

Martha Firestone Ford has spread the message she previously gave to media and players to fans of the Lions in expressing a commitment to turning the team she owns into a consistent winner.

Martha Firestone Ford has spread the message she previously gave to media and players to fans of the Detroit Lions in expressing a commitment to turning the team she owns into a consistent winner.

Ford e-mailed a personal letter to holders of Lions season tickets on Friday that spoke of the disappointment her family shares with fans for the team’s 1-7 record this year and the appreciation of fan support.

Ford’s 212-word email was addressed to “Dear Lions Family” and included the phrase “You deserver much better.”
It ended by saying “please know that giving you a championship team is the singular goal for me and my family.”

Martha Firestone FordMartha Firestone Ford (Photo: Detroit Lions)

It was the third time in the last two weeks Ford made her feelings known publicly.

The first was in an announcement to the media on Nov. 5 of the major organizational changes that included the firing of team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew.

In the press conference at the Lions’ Allen Park headquarters, Ford stressed that the team would not give up on this season, and that she expected it to “improve, compete and win.”

Ford addressed the players on Monday, the first day of practice since returning from the bye and the beginning of preparations for Sunday’s game at Green Bay.

In speaking to the players, Ford explained the moves that were made and the direction she expects to head in. Many players took the session as a pep talk from the owner.

Ford became owner of the franchise upon the death of her husband, William Clay Ford, in March of 2014.

While long-term judgments and projections are difficult to make, recent events support observations that Martha Firestone Ford will have a more active ownership style than her husband, and that she will be less patient with losing and more likely to make changes.

Mr. Ford was more reticent to make his feelings known publicly.

The franchise is in the early stages of seeking replacements for Lewand and Mayhew. Sheldon White was promoted to assistant GM and has been given full power while in the position.

Head coach Jim Caldwell and the remainder of his staff -- three assistants were fired after Game 7 — will finish the season, but his future after that is in doubt.