Some clarity emerged about the operation of the Saints on Thursday. Gayle Benson, the widow of deceased Saints owner Tom Benson, will run the team.
She announced her late husband’s plan was for her to be the franchise’s controlling owner.
“My husband’s plan and desire was for me to have full voting control of the Saints and to serve as Controlling Owner of the team per NFL rules,” Gayle Benson wrote in a letter to the 31 other teams today (via PFT). “I understood this and want to reassure you that I am fully prepared to assume this role. Moving forward, I too, will provide the Commissioner my very own Ownership Succession Plan of the New Orleans Saints.
“Please rest assured, I will own and operate this franchise until my death and do so with the same drive and focus towards success that my husband displayed throughout his life.”
Tom Benson owned the Saints from 1985 until his death last month. Benson married Gayle, his third wife, in 2004. Her involvement represented a point of contention with some of Benson’s heirs, and Tom Benson changed his will to keep his daughter and grandchildren from a previous marriage out of the ownership picture. The case was settled early last year.
Gayle Benson writes that the Saints are in good financial shape and will continue to play in the Superdome.