Club Franchising

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by RichardL, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    The was an article in The Times (UK) a few days ago about the first home match played by Wimbledon FC at their new home 80 miles away in the town of Milton Keynes. While not particularly wishing to get into the "should franchising be allowed or not?" debate, I am curious as to how the American media (especially the media of the cities involved) reacts to such moves, bearing in mind they do seem to be more commonplace over there.,,1-934-828372,00.html

    A UNIQUE solution to a unique problem will finally be unveiled on Saturday. Or, as the match between Wimbledon and Burnley should more appropriately be tagged — “Stealing somebody’s club: the way forward for football in the 21st century”.
    On a hockey field somewhere in the South Midlands, the club that ran away from their fans gets the chance to fulfil its loathsome destiny. Bottom of the Nationwide League first division (oh, joy) and still short of the 28,000-seat stadium that was part of the unique package placed before the dimwits at the Football League and Football Association, Wimbledon will limp 80 miles north, the pariahs of the professional game. Like all marriages of convenience, I’ll give it two years, tops.

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  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Chicago Fire
    It varies from case to case. In the NFL, for instance, their was mass outrage when Baltimore bolted for Indianapolis, and when Cleveland left to go to Baltimore. Other times... well, when the Cardinals left St. Louis to go to Arizona, I remember signs in the crowd at the last game reading "We'll help you pack." Similar for baseball. Presumably, until quite recently you could still find New Yorkers ticked off about the Giants and the Dodgers heading west... in the late 1950s! And yet I don't think there was anything near that level of outrage when the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins about the same time, or 15 or so years later when the expansion Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers. So.....

    Predictably, when it's a franchise that does well and has deep roots in the community, and the owner moves the team to get for a "better" deal (usually for himself), there's outrage. When it's a struggling team that doesn't have much of a hold on the town, there's more indifference.
  3. anderson

    anderson Member+

    Feb 28, 2002
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Interesting read.

    Here in Houston, we lost the NFL Oilers in 1996. Although some people will swear that the Dallas Cowboys were more popular here, the Oilers had been here since 1960 and were a major part of the sports culture. Most Oiler fans were very disappointed to see the team leave, but also relieved to be rid of the team's owner, Bud Adams - a deeply unpopular fella. The blow was also lessened by an assumption that Houston would certainly get another NFL team - and without Bud Adams. Of course, even if Houston had never gotten another NFL team, it probably wouldn't have been that big a deal. The UT Longhorns and A&M Aggies are the teams that people really care about.
  4. bright

    bright Member

    Dec 28, 2000
    Central District
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    American professional sports are dominated by the owners. This goes all the way back to the way baseball teams were run in the early part of the century. Fans and regular people have a much harder time identifying with the team as "their's" because of this, and if they manage to do so it is often in spite of the owner.

    College sports better mirror the "club and community" vibe that European professional sports seem to have as these teams seem to represent the community and the people. They are controlled by elected boards who are beholden to alumni, and a lot of the funding comes from alumni.

    - Paul

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