I've never been sure how the so called custodians of a sport allow owners to just ruin a communityThe world is changing faster than we think, Ray. Well, across the pond at least, so there's the next one. This time it's the Oakland Raiders, one of the traditional... franchises (thought twice about writing "clubs") on the West Coast. They just filed a request about a relocation to Las Vegas in 2020.Today i turn my attention across the waters to America in what i found a typical story to break out of the great American sports owners
After 56 years in San Diego the Chargers are moving to Los Angeles
They gave the usual Manchester United style bollocks press release
"Proud to announce","looking forward to an exciting new era","San Diego will always be in our hearts" etc etc etc
So why the move?
Well the stadium that hosts their match day experiences aka as the ground is knackered
They need a new one.
Well after 56 years why didn't they maintain it or build their own.
Well that's easy.They wanted the city of San Diego to build them a new one.They wanted the city to pay by either imposing a hotel tax or local citizens aka fans should cough up taxes
Now this is not a skint team and they don't have a skint owner
They just have a greedy owner who it has been claimed has tried to blackmail the city of San Diego
Tut tut surely not.Thank goodness we at Manchester United don't have that
So off they go to Los Angeles leaving behind a community of several generations of support plus people now out of work etc etc
Obviously the press statement with hearfelt thanks makes it all ok
And if it doesn't.Well tough shit
That's the American way of rewarding support and recognising community obligations
At least the owners can gather round the table on Thanksgiving and try to believe that family matters
Is this a lesson for the future of Manchester United?
Probably not but you never know
But then if you never go or intend to go to Old Trafford it won't matter whether you watch the feed with United playing in Manchester,London or whisper it quietly Liverpool!!!
Although their owner has a history with blackmailing local authorities and forcing moves across the state, it's sad to see them leave the Bay Area and a huge fan base after 60 years, which is hell of a time according to american sports standards. Their new "home" in the middle of the desert is expected to cost nearly 2 bn USD.
As i once lived for 3 months a year in the States i appreciate that sport is mostly completely different to the UK but still after 60 years should they be allowed to just uproot for no other reason than shirt sales ie money?
It did amuse me at baseball games when the fans would turn up about the third innings with a jumbo hot dog,a pile of nachos and several beers.
They would wait,usually until the seventh innings stretch,sing "Take me out to the ballpark" and then leave
I never did see the point
I also went to quite a few football games,sorry soccer games in and around New York
You would have fans sitting next to each other wearing Liverpool and/or Manchester United shirts,even though neither were playing shouting lots of important things,like "you bum" and "bench him"
You know really getting behind their team
And yet for a college game they would get 100,000 and all supportive
I never did get to a basketball game
Probably just as well