It is usually best to separate business from personal matters, but sometimes that's impossible. To a certain extent, the recent decision by Jim and Meg Irsay to end their 33-year marriage could have potentially impacted Jim's ownership of the Indianapolis Colts.
Irsay assumed the position in 1997 after the death of his father Robert, the previous owner. Because the acquisition came after Jim and Meg wed, the inevitable allocation of assets associated with divorce might have affected ownership.
That concept has been quickly put to rest, however. Per the Indianapolis Business Journal, Jim will remain in full control of the team. The Irsays released this statement on their impending divorce:
After 33 years, we have mutually agreed to end our marriage. Meg will continue to pursue her professional interests and her commitment to our children and grandchildren, while Jim will maintain 100 percent ownership of the Indianapolis Colts and his other business interests. Although the decision to end our marriage is a difficult one, it is the right decision for us and our family. We appreciate your respect for, and understanding of, our privacy.
Robert Irsay bought the franchise in 1972 for $15 million, per Forbes, which lists Jim at No. 342 on its list of the 400 richest Americans. Robert moved the team to Indianapolis in 1984. Irsay's net worth is a reported $1.6 billion thanks to the massive success of his football team and other assets.
As mentioned in the Indianapolis Business Journal report, Jim had to endure a 22-month legal battle with his stepmother to obtain control of the franchise upon his father's death. He vowed at that point to maintain control of the team no matter what issues impacted his personal life.
Irsay's passion for his franchise comes out when he expresses himself on Twitter. He is perhaps the most active owner on social media. You can find posts that range from venting sessions after a tough loss to trivia or weather and injury reports.
We r 10-1-1 all-time when playing on Thurs. Name the team that beat us. N name team that tied the us. 1 guess only-headed to TENN!— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) November 13, 2013
For the team on the field, it is at least good to know that talks of a potential ownership change won't become a distraction. The team is in first place in the AFC South with a record of 7-3. With Andrew Luck excelling under center, the Colts are in position to be perennial contenders for the next five to seven years.
The future of the organization seems bright. After Thursday's announcement, it seems clear Irsay and the Colts will be together for a long time.