First of all there aren’t really any spoilers involved in this missive so I’m not ruining the ending of a show you should have finished weeks ago!
Watching the MAX series Succession which I thought was brilliant in its casting, length of series and character development it got me thinking. First, why couldn’t it have had an ending I liked? Secondly, what happens to our favorite family businesses when the leader passes? How do they create that plan of succession to the throne. Only one of the Philadelphia sports teams has taken that into deep consideration.
Jeffrey Lurie has always been ahead of the curve as an owner. He has a balance in aggressiveness and forethought that few business leaders have ever shown. He has created an organization that survives momentary dips in performance and has enjoyed long term relevance. They have a long term vision but choose when it is appropriate to go all in on pursuing a championship. Lurie displays a calm and focused presence that has benefitted this fan base. For those who watched the series, he is everything that Logan Roy is not.
Lurie has already created and let people in on his succession plan. His son Julian will be the one who ascends to continue the legacy that his father began. The 28 year old has the title of “Business and Football Operations Strategy” and grew up loving the Eagles. He was educated at Harvard and spent multiple seasons working in the NFL Offices in Manhattan. He’s being exposed to every facet of the team and when his Father decides he is ready to walk away, he should be well prepared to take over. I love the plan. I trust Jeffrey Lurie. It all works.
What about the other teams? John Middleton owns the largest percentage of the Phillies and has grown in his leadership control. As it is a group ownership, the idea of who will be in charge later is a matter of question. It also should leave people concerned about the approach they will take. Middleton has been quoted before that “nobody cares whether I make money or lose money” and that is true. Fans want a winner. Middleton has done everything he can to get that for the fans. It is clear he has studied the Eagles model and he does his best to connect with the fans. He works the crowd at games and understands this fan base. We are blessed. I hope the next leader has the same mentality but that is far from a certainty.
The 76ers appear to have no plan in place. Ownership certainly has a plan but it centers about building a new stadium. I’m tentatively in support of that but a long term vision never has been the 76ers reputation when it comes to the actual product. The Flyers are owned by a conglomerate which I never prefer. You are subject to the whims of corporate suits who are answering to a board and a stock price.
Not surprisingly, the Eagles seem to be in the best position when it comes to a succession plan. They won’t be seeing the drama of the Roy’s or the fallout of a fight for the big chair.
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