Next season there will be six sides from London in the Premier League. We’ve lost QPR and gained Crystal Palace. [Pause to dab eyes at Harry’s demise and prepare a chuckle for Holloway’s invariably daft utterances.] So, no change there.

We tend to take it for granted that our top league will be include a large number of clubs from the capital – around 30% of the total – but, if you look at the premier divisions of our European neighbours, you’ll see that it’s something of an anomaly.

Paris has one team, PSG. Rome has two, Lazio and Roma. Madrid scores higher with four – that’s Getafe and Rayo Vellecano as well as the big two, Real and Athletico – but Berlin doesn’t have any. Admittedly, Germany is a bit unusual, given its turbulent history, but the previous capital Bonn didn’t have any either. Amsterdam has just the one, Ajax, while Lisbon has Sporting and Benfica.

If we go on to the ‘lesser’ footballing nations, the pattern continues. Brussels, zero; Vienna, two; Copenhagen, three; Athens, two; Oslo, one; Ankara, two (although Istanbul has five).

Across Europe, we’re talking about an average of two teams from the capital in the top league. Yet here in England we have six.

I’m not really concerned with how this has come to pass, historically. Nor am I asking what region is at the heart of English football – we all know that’s the North West! (We have four clubs in the Premier League at the moment, but the figure has been a lot higher than that: Lancashire teams have suffered a fair few relegations of late, but Blackpool, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley and Wigan have all enjoyed spells in the top echelon recently.) What I want to know is: does it make any difference?

Let me think for a millionth of a second... the answer is an emphatic YES! There are the two main reasons...

OK, has anyone ever heard of ‘Sutton’s Law’? It states that when diagnosing a problem, one should first consider the obvious. It’s named after the bank-robber Willie Sutton who, on being asked why he robbed banks, replied: “Because that’s where the money is”.

So, why do London clubs do so well? Er, because that’s where the money is! Also, it has to be said, the city’s cosmopolitan glamour definitely attracts the best players from abroad. It also acts as a magnet to youngsters from this country who fancy living the high life.

There’s nothing wrong with that, I guess, and it happens in other countries, too – but not half as much as it happens here. If you’re a promising Dutchman from the middle of nowhere and you fancy living in Amsterdam then you’re reliant on Ajax showing an interest. It’s probably not going to happen and you’ll end up in Rotterdam with nothing to do except play football, which is no bad thing. Whereas, if you’ve set your heart on living in London you have plenty of choice. When players are looking for a move, they have to take a good hard look at the place they’re moving to. As fans, we don’t tend to consider this but it has to be a factor, whether it’s schools for the kids, the right kind of housing or swinging nightspots (as the hip kids nowadays call them).

Secondly, the media tend to be concentrated in the capital, thereby skewing coverage in favour of local teams. The BBC recently moved some of its operations to Salford, but by-and-large London is the centre of the media world. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: London teams are the best because... London journalists (who support them) say they are the best. And the more positive coverage they get, the more advertising they attract, and the more cash there is to splash, and the more players want to play for a London club. And so on, and so forth.

Oddly, though, no team from the capital includes ’London’ in its name. I wonder why? Being automatically associated with a major city is a definite plus, both at home and abroad. [WARNING: the following sentence is likely to upset those of a nervous disposition...] We would have been much better off calling ourselves Liverpool FC in the first place! We had first dabs on taking the city’s name for our club, thereby ensuring superior coverage and sponsorship in the years to come. Instead, we stuck to our guns, leaving The Other Lot to take the city’s name and forcing us to have to explain to outsiders that Everton is a part of Liverpool, sometimes even making us say that we come from Merseyside so as not to associate ourselves with LFC.

I know it’s a terrible thing to come out with, but it’s true, goddamnit. The Reds could have called themselves Anfield United or something stupid like that. Instead of which, while supporting the greatest team the world has ever seen, we find ourselves in the same boat as West Bromwich Albion, obliged to explain our whereabouts! But I digress...

My solution to the London problem is to invoke Rule 7432, Sub-section 9a, Paragraph xiii of Fifa’s rule book: “No capital city shall be able to be able to provide more than two teams in a country’s top division, due to the unfair advantage such teams may accrue”. I’m not sure how they’re going to decide which two teams are allowed to stay, but frankly that’s not my problem. A lucky dip, maybe? The other four will have to start again in the Conference. Or they can go into administration and subsequently cease to exist, I’m not bothered. The main thing is, the playing field will be a little bit more level. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just get my solicitor to draw up the paperwork...

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Paul Kelly
1 Posted 17/07/2013 at 14:28:33
I thought Rule 7432, Sub-section 9a, Paragraph xiii of Fifa’s rule book was " All Kopites are gobshites and should be treated as such".

Must be on the wrong page.


David S Shaw
2 Posted 17/07/2013 at 14:45:41
Something different to read that, thanks.
Re Berlin, what about Hertha?

Also Liverpool are the second team from Liverpool to be called Liverpool, so we may have gone the way of the first, or even worse, gone the way of the second.

Damian Scott
3 Posted 17/07/2013 at 14:59:37
Hertha Berlin are from Berlin... hence the name ;-)
Kevin Tully
4 Posted 17/07/2013 at 14:50:34
The two biggest teams in the country come from Manchester now Kev. I would say in terms of global support, Liverpool would even be ahead of all the London clubs, even though they have never won a P.L. title!!

Manchester, and Liverpool to a lesser extent, can offer everything London can nowadays, except maybe the theatre scene - and that is not really a draw for P.L. footballers.

When posters were saying Fulham were sold because of their location, I would only partly agree.

The biggest club in the world are located in the shittiest, grimiest part of the North-West. Has anyone been to Salford, and walked around the terraced streets?

Again, Liverpool have a huge worldwide appeal, hence the massive commercial deals.

I would make the point that London clubs are at saturation point as far as attendances are concerned. Whereas we could easily add another 10,000 with a new ground and a little success.

Erik Dols
5 Posted 17/07/2013 at 15:04:09
In addition to Hertha Berlin, in Belgium the biggest team is Anderlecht. Anderlecht is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region. It doesn't really change your argument but the count for Brussels should be one.

In addition, Athens will have 5 (five!!) teams on the highest level next year, not just two like you said.

Patrick Murphy
6 Posted 17/07/2013 at 15:04:37
London can have 19 PL clubs if they want, as long as we make up the rest of the PL, my what a scenario that would be - with obvious benefits apart from the vast number of neutrals we could attract.

Seriously though, London is big enough to sustain those clubs, especially if they make PL. I don't know what is the most clubs it has had in the top flight or the fewest. The North-West has had an excellent record of the number of clubs in the the top division and our city has never been without top flight football at any time since it began.

Karl Masters
7 Posted 17/07/2013 at 15:25:38
It all goes in cycles - Kev.

Cast your mind back to 1983-84. To add to the general depression in the North the Old Div 1 contained 8 Southern Teams - Arsenal, Spurs, QPR, West Ham, Southampton, Watford, Luton, Ipswich; 10 Midlands teams - Villa, WBA, Birmingham, Wolves, Norwich, Forest, Coventry, Stoke, Leicester, Notts Co and only 4 Northern teams - Everton, Liverpool, Man Utd & Sunderland!

No Leeds, no Sheffield, no Newcastle, no Man City, no Wigan, Blackburn etc.

It was grim up North that year although all the silverware went to Merseyside!

Colin Glassar
8 Posted 17/07/2013 at 16:02:20
Karl, wasn't there a time in the late 70's early 80's when arsenal were the only London team in the top flight? The rest, Chelsea, spurs, WHU, fulham etc....we're all in the lower divisions.
Our (and arsenals) record in the top flight is something we should make more noise about.
Kev Johnson
9 Posted 17/07/2013 at 15:46:11
David and Damian - I originally thought Hertha Berlin were in the Bundesliga and I was surprised to see that they weren't, according to a couple of sites I used for reference. One of them was the usually reliable BBC! (This page: Anyway, turns out that's out of date and they have just been promoted back into the Bundesliga for the coming season. My mistake.

Erik - you're right about Anderlecht. I don't know how I missed that! However, this site - - does state that there are two Athens teams (Panathinaikos and Apollon Smyrni) in the 'Superleague' for the forthcoming season.

Oh, and I meant to include the Swedish premier league, by the way. They have two Stockholm teams in the 'Allsvenskan'. Unless a passing Swede can tell me otherwise!

David Ellis
10 Posted 17/07/2013 at 16:38:08
Isn't it because London is a lot bigger (both absolutely and relatively as a percentage of England's population (around 20%)) than other European capitals. Rome, Berlin and Madrid are much smaller cities than London. Paris is bigger than they are, but still smaller than London.
And there aren't any decent clubs in the South apart from London clubs because the cities and towns that have grown up in the South are smaller than the industrial cities that developed in the Midlands and the North. This means that a lot of Southerners have supported London clubs even if they are not from London. The South East of England probably has 35-40% of England"s population and 50% of its GDP.
Kev Johnson
11 Posted 17/07/2013 at 16:52:21
Good points, David - especially about the lack of industrial cities in the South East. (When I lived in Liverpool, I thought Watford and Luton were London teams, but they're not at all.) The debate is free to go wherever it wants, although I did say that the point of my original piece wasn't to explain WHY there was so many "big" clubs in London, but to ask whether it offered them any advantage.

Having said that, it's interesting that of the original 12 members of the football league, none were from the South - they were from the North and Midlands.

Karl Masters
12 Posted 17/07/2013 at 16:26:35
I think you may mean 1979/80 Colin, but there were 3 London teams that year, Arsenal, Spurs and newly promoted Palace ( the team of the 80's ha ha ) with QPR, Chelsea and West Ham relegated in the recent past.

Incidenatally, I don't agree with Kev's assessment that it was all about money back then as it is now. Man Utd and Spurs were relegated in the 70's whilst teams like Watford, Luton, Notts Co and Swansea came up and hung around for a good few years in the 80's on meagre crowds most of the time.

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 17/07/2013 at 17:18:20
It wasn't about money as derby, notts Forrest, QPR etc...all showed in the 70s by winning things with a tiny fan base.
Mike Allison
14 Posted 17/07/2013 at 17:30:54
Enjoyable nonsense Kev so fair play to you for that.

I want to talk about this as at least its a different and interesting article, but its hard to know how serious you're being. I'll assume you know an actual rule is ridiculous and deal with your assertion that teams from the capital have an unfair advantage.

In as far as foreign players may want to live in the capital city, which is the most cosmopolitan and more likely to have others from their country or who at least speak their language, they would seem to have an advantage. London, and most capital cities are also, as you say awash with money, relatively speaking.

However, imagine if there were only two serious teams in London; so add up the average attendance of all the London clubs and divide them by two: that's how many fans each team would have coming through the gate week in week out. (I haven't bothered working it out, but lets say that's 100,000 for starters). You've now got two 'super-clubs' with whom no-one else can compete. The current splitting of London loyalties, fans, money and journalistic attention between three major clubs and (depending what you count) 7-10 minor ones actually increases competition and enables clubs from the industrial north to be the historically most successful.

If was a fan of any Spanish team other than Barcelona and Real Madrid I think I'd be advocating the opposite, and that Real's membership and fan base should be split among three or four clubs, reducing the size of the behemoth. Indeed lots of the lesser nations have had extremely boring leagues, as the one team from the capital pretty much wins it every year, the most extreme example being that Skonto Riga won the first 14 Latvian championships. New money is changing this in lots of countries, but I think

Now, on the comparisons to other countries: I think the history of each country is such that there's no point making comparisons. The decentralisation of France, the histories of Italy and Germany as separate states and city states and so on. The most telling thing however, is that you simply ignored Moscow, which has at least 5 of the historically biggest clubs in Russia, and all the others tended to be capital clubs from what are now independent countries, such as Kyiv Dinamo.

Just a few other points. West Bromwich Albion play in West Bromwich, not sure what the problem is there geographically. Athens has all three of Greece's biggest clubs, as Piraeus, home of Olimpiacos, seems to be considered to be within Greater Athens. To further defeat your theory, AEK, despite the 'advantage' of being in the capital, were relegated to the 3rd tier of Greek football last year.

All in all, it just seems that you're saying "Tottenham have more money than us and get to sign more players and that's not fair", but we only have to compete with one neighbour in our city, they have to compete with several. Imagine if they signed everyone that Arsenal, West Ham, Fulham etc signed and only Chelsea were their rivals for players who wanted to live in the capital, they'd be out of sight for us wouldn't they?

Kev Johnson
15 Posted 17/07/2013 at 17:58:36
"It's hard to know how serious you're being". That's just the way I like it, Mike, just the way I like it! [Exits, smiling]

Mike Allison
16 Posted 17/07/2013 at 17:55:20
...okay, turns out if I read it properly I'd have said AEK are in the 2nd tier, but it is their first time ever.

...and the "but I think..." sentence was just going to say that lots of champion clubs still come from capitals.

Trevor Lynes
17 Posted 17/07/2013 at 18:35:33
The one thing that sticks out is that Liverpool as a city has won more trophies than ALL the London clubs put together....that's a stat worth printing !!
Paul Ferry
18 Posted 17/07/2013 at 18:40:18
Tell a Norvician that Norwich is in the Midlands (599) and you'll be Kirkby kissed
Phil Walling
19 Posted 17/07/2013 at 18:45:56
I know some people get very exercised about where we play but, as far as our name is concerned, we could be called Liverpool or even Merseyside FC and with this Board in control we`d still be up Shit Creek!
Dennis Stevens
20 Posted 17/07/2013 at 19:09:49
No doubt this thread will be sized upon by the club to prove there's support amongst supporters for the next badge design to replaces 'Everton' with 'EVERTON' because we think we'll do better with EVERTON in capitals!

Oh, & '... notts Forrest ...'?? - FFS, Colin!

Ross Edwards
21 Posted 17/07/2013 at 19:24:18
I would personally choose to ignore whatever Mr Cookoo Clock Blatter at FIFA and his irritating sitekick Monsieur Platini have to say.


With this board, I wouldn't be surprised if this club was renamed Bill FC, the stadium named after Bill with a statue next to Dixie's of Moyes and BK arm in arm. Utter clowns all of them.

Ian Bennett
22 Posted 17/07/2013 at 19:31:26
A while ago a tv debate was ongoing which was the British second city. Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Birmingham all put themselves forward with fairly crap arguements. The scouser response was "London".

Genius. Liverpool to me in one breath.

Ray Robinson
23 Posted 17/07/2013 at 20:22:28
This post reminded me of the rule, which in the days when the Inter City Fairs Cup existed, prevented two teams from the same city competing. Needless to say we usually lost out to that lot across the park. The rationale at the time was that the Cup was designed to promote trade links between different cities, so there was no need to duplicate. How times have changed! Imagine Arsenal not being allowed to compete in next year's Champions League just because Chelsea finished higher in the league. Come to think of it though, Everton would have qualified because Spurs would have been debarred too!
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 18/07/2013 at 00:54:20
Ian, I believe there was a debate in Parliament in the 1910s to make Liverpool the official Capitol of the UK, due to the status as the world's richest city with 75% of all of the world's ships coming in or out of Liverpool at the time and bringing immense wealth with it. Hence the ambitious and luxurious buildings of the time such as the 3 graces and the Anglican Cathedral.
Phil Roberts
25 Posted 18/07/2013 at 01:09:00
The other issue is where are all the greedy bankers who can afford the corporate boxes?

Somehow, I don't see that many in L4

Roman Sidey
26 Posted 18/07/2013 at 02:57:25
The PSG one always intrigued me, but almost every Frenchman I've met who's from Paris supports rugby and doesn't give two shites about football.
Michael Coffey
27 Posted 18/07/2013 at 08:13:27
I remember peters shreeves, or ken shellito, or some other long forgotten trophyless london manager moaning in the eighties about how no london club could ever win the title because they had to play too many derbies !
Brin Williams
28 Posted 18/07/2013 at 07:54:48
Manchester, and Liverpool to a lesser extent, can offer everything London can nowadays, except maybe the theatre scene

KT 565 - Theatre scene and who is the world renown impresario responsible for that - none other than our very own Billy 'The only True Blue'!!

James McPherson
29 Posted 18/07/2013 at 08:53:57
Kev, interesting article. As already said, good to read something different.

In the spirit of openness I have to share a story that corroborates one of the key thrusts of your article: the draw and attraction of London.

I have my own business with a key client in Canada, I have know this client many years and have developed a good business relationship. Ordinarily, I will go out to Vancouver to see the client - however in April the client came over to the UK for the first time. As is often the case he brought his wife over and wanted to build a vacation around the business trip. He had few days in London, bit of a tour of England then 3 days in Liverpool, flying back from Manchester.

He stayed at my home throughout his stop in Liverpool. As is always the case he was very positive about the warmth and hospitality of the Liverpool people.

He likes the EPL - no special affinity - just interest. On the last day, business concluded, I took him on a "football tour" - - both grounds. I could sense that there was a degree of reticence in a guy who's normally very outgoing. My curiosity got the better of me and asked him what was up. At first he fobbed me off weith some spurious chat - probed again - his response was prefaced with "James, can I be frank..." - sensing the worst - he just said - (sorry I do not wish to offend - and more importantly I say this as someone who hailed from L4) - this part of Liverpool is just derelict wasteland - he stated that he had never seen so many boarded up and derelict housing/shops. The poverty and urban decline, something that we have got used to I suppose really took him aback.

This got me thinking about attracting businesses, relocating people and attracting footballers to this environment. I came to the conclusion that environment would indeed play a part - particularly if you are foriegn seeing the place for a first time - whilst also in negotiations with a London club.

The pull of London is so strong and the disproportionate nature of it is broadening significantly year on year. Football merely reflects the wider economy in this regard. We are morphing into a pattern that is quite prevalent in continental europe which is to have capital centric wealth. The Olympics, HS2 heralded as UK wide opportunities are only paradoxically going to exacerbate the gulf. Football is as I say a mere example of it.

Hugh Walker
30 Posted 18/07/2013 at 13:42:34
The reason there are more teams in London is because the massive population of London can support those teams. Greater London is has a population *11 times* bigger than that of Liverpool.

That London has 6 Premier League teams and Liverpool has 2, then, would seem to suggest that there's actually a disproportionately large number of Premier League teams in Liverpool, not London.

Jay Harris
31 Posted 18/07/2013 at 14:33:15
Hugh can I just correct you there.

If you are talking about Greater London then you must consider it against Merseyside not Liverpool.

Clubs used to be community clubs not necessarily "City" clubs and a lot of the following has been built up over generations which if you consider Blues are now all over the world with the transigent nature of business and work.

I have no problem who is in the Prem as long as we win it again sometime soon.

John Pickles
32 Posted 18/07/2013 at 14:38:23
I think there is a disproportionally large amount of teams in the PL who play in red. I would like to see it reduced............ to none!
Iain Johnston
33 Posted 18/07/2013 at 17:36:45
The City of London only has two teams, Chelsea and Fulham. The rest are in Greater London.
Bit like Manchester and Greater Manchester.
Iain Johnston
34 Posted 18/07/2013 at 17:43:00
James, very good illustration mate.
Kev Johnson
35 Posted 18/07/2013 at 17:43:11
Iain - come off it. The City of London is a medieval boundary! At that point, Surrey was anywhere south of The Thames!

London has been used to describe a larger area for hundreds and hundreds of years. Greater London is effectively far-flung suburbs like Enfield, Bromley or Richmond in Middlesex, a county which now only exists as a postal code. Holloway (Arsenal), Tottenham (Er, Tottenham), Newham (West Ham) and South Norwood/Croydon (Palace) are very much in London, as is White City/Hammersmith (QPR)

Shaun Brennan
36 Posted 18/07/2013 at 18:27:25
Iain, don't think Chelsea and Fulham are in the city of London mate. I think they are in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

Confusing hey..

I live in beckenham and was tying to describe all the different congutations of this city to my friends from back home last weekend.

Tony Draper
37 Posted 18/07/2013 at 19:24:42
L4 4EL

Anything beyond that is the province of the devil.

Ian Bennett
38 Posted 18/07/2013 at 19:56:36
Steve 755 - Sure was. I studied Economic history at uni in Liverpool, covering 1800 to modern day. I love Liverpool, I love it's history, its trade links and its architecture.

The original catholic cathedral plans were impressive if you havent seen that. I wonder if Kenwright had a hand in this? I think it would have been the worlds biggest cathedral in the world. I saw a model of it years ago at St George's hall (another great building).

Iain Johnston
39 Posted 18/07/2013 at 21:20:52
Cheers lads!, Yeah the mrs has told me that the City of London is tiny. Kev, Good point about Palace, they're further south than Millwall? (lookin at me London AtoZ), I'm confused, I'm shutting up!!
Daniel Starkey
40 Posted 19/07/2013 at 17:32:47
Generally speaking it's the teams from the North West that have garnered all the trophies down the years, London 19 titles, City of Liverpool 27, Manchester 23. In the North West we have won 56 titles compared to London's 19. I think it's obvious that they have an advantage when it comes to the cup because of Wembley, London 28, City of Liverpool 13, Manchester 16, but not if you think of them as regions.
David Hallwood
41 Posted 20/07/2013 at 10:21:07
Good read Kev, but as already stated the majority of the league trophies are in 'north, and it's only two clubs in London that are in with a shout, and out of the rest there is only Spurs in the mix. However if titles were given out for the most delusional supporters, it would be between them and Newcastle every year.

As for London attracting the best talent, because it's 'swinging' London....mmm. For my money if a player chooses location over quality of football his priorities are wrong and he's a tourist rather than an ambitious hungry footballer and is best left alone.

Kev Johnson
42 Posted 20/07/2013 at 10:41:51
David - thanks. To be honest, I was aiming at "good read" (and something a bit different) rather than irrefutable argument.

Ultimately, you're right that players should make their choice on purely footballing grounds - but the fact is, many don't and it's something we, as fans, tend to overlook. Of course, plenty do: I remember the ultra-glamorous David Ginola deflecting questions about Newcastle with the comment that he'd chosen the team, not the city.

On reflection, I think Mike Alison (631) is probably right when he says that in Spain they would probably want more teams in the capital, not less, thereby reducing the power of the big two - although, my researches indicated that Madrid already has more teams in the top league than any capital city apart from London. Hats off to him for researching the Latvian league! Contrariwise, hats ON to him for the comment "I'll assume you know an actual rule is ridiculous" which made me laugh for quite a long time. Some people, eh?

I'm a little surprised that no one picked up on the media bias angle, but there you go.

David Hallwood
43 Posted 20/07/2013 at 12:04:20
Kev-The reason why no one picked up on media bias is because it is so prevalent that it isn't noticed anymore. The Scots are so fed up with London bias that they may jump ship to break from the shackles of what has become a Florentine city state.

I often say half jokingly that the rest of the country should join the scots and declare independence from the south-east, because London sucks the life blood out of the rest of the country.

Mike Allison
44 Posted 20/07/2013 at 13:21:47
Kev I've read some crazy things on here over the years, its best not to assume anything. You've also referred to a rule in the early days of UEFA competition where only one team from each city was allowed in a competition.

As for Madrid, Getafe isn't really in Madrid, its more of a Watford or Reading from what I understand.

As for media bias, until someone shows me hard facts I tend to ignore accusations of media bias. They all tend to be a bit "woe is me" and are totally subject to 'confirmation bias' type psychology where evidence to the contrary is ignored if it doesn't fit the pre-conceived world-view.

I also agree with David to a large extent. With possibly a few exceptions, any player selecting on the basis of location rather than football is one to be avoided.

Kev Johnson
45 Posted 20/07/2013 at 13:32:32
Mike - I think you'll find that was Ray Robinson @ 696 who referred to the one-team-per-city rule for the Inter City Fairs Cup, not me.
Patrick Murphy
46 Posted 20/07/2013 at 13:45:05
So Mike, the powerful moguls and owners of Newspapers and TV stations are not prone to being bias. Why do they bother with owning them in the first place especially the Newspapers? They choose which causes to support and which to undermine, they do it in all spheres, Politics, Sport, Religion, Business etc. You name it and they show their bias in a relentless and ruthless manner, the only place I can think of that perhaps doesn't suffer this is Toy Town or Dingly Dell or some other children's mythical location.

Kev Johnson
47 Posted 20/07/2013 at 13:57:20
You say that, Patrick, but even the recent Toy Town versus Dingly Dell game was bedevilled with rumours of match-fixing, ref-nobbling and and pitch-tampering, with both clubs accusing each other of a violently unjust propaganda war.

I fear the same sort of thing may occur when Celtic play their Champions League qualifier against the allegedly Norwegian Elfsborg.

Elfsborg? I ask you!

Patrick Murphy
49 Posted 20/07/2013 at 15:05:54
To be fair Kev, Big Ears has stated on numerous occasions that he is searching 24/7 for investment and that the move to "hilly, lumpy, bumpy part of town outside of town". was ill-judged and he didn't have enough support or finance for the deal, but the search for facilities and facilitators is ongoing.
Mike Allison
50 Posted 22/07/2013 at 07:59:58
Patrick I accept almost all of your post, I just think you have to leave sport off the list of things they show a ruthless bias about. It won't make them any money to show bias to one team or the other, so they don't care.
John Shearon
51 Posted 22/07/2013 at 14:30:33
I remember the primate city question from my school days - usually associated with the developing world where one monster city dominates a country at the expense of development in the regions and, consequently, has a disproportionate number of governmental, cultural, industrial and sporting entities. Although London is extreme by European standards it still has siome way to go to match Buenos Aires or Montevideo where their respective top flight flights are contained within the city boundaries.

Have Os Belenenses lost their top flight status in Portugal - a fine Lisbon club with few airs or graces?

Scott Bosworth
52 Posted 22/07/2013 at 17:28:04
What Mike Allison said above. Having London split up in so many directions is a great blessing to competition, just as having City come into power has a dilutive effect on United's power.

Living in the USA, there is a clearly strong relationship between money, market size, the best players, and winning. Every team in every sport in the entire country lives in the shadows of New York and Los Angeles, with Chicago (size), Miami (glamour), and Boston (history, money) being the only cities even remotely close. As a supporter of historically smaller teams, I would absolutely love to see 1-3 more teams in New York and Los Angeles, if only to dilute their markets and level the playing field a little bit. It's simply unfair when the New York Yankees, get to build a 100,000-seat stadium sell shirts, hats, and other logo-stamped gear in a city of 10-15 million, because even if a club hits the same % of fans as a team with a 60,000-seat stadium in a city of 1 million, it has a massive financial advantage.

Thank goodness for West Ham, Crystal Palace, QPR, and every other club that manages to whittle off a handful of fans from Chelsea and Arsenal.

Guy Hastings
53 Posted 23/07/2013 at 13:04:46
Kev 209 - an elf crossed with a Borg. It's the children I feel sorry for.
Roberto Birquet
54 Posted 24/07/2013 at 10:40:38
I was once playing footie in the park (Regent's Park, nth London), and was chatting to an Inter fan I was marking.

He looked at my shirt, and asked: "Where is Everton?"
"It's a district of Liverpool," I replied.
"Oh, right, like Chelsea?" he mused.

"er, no."

John Keating
55 Posted 24/07/2013 at 11:30:59
I hear lots of guys meeting people from overseas who haven't a clue about Everton and where it is.
To me it's just ignorant as I think most football fans have a good idea where teams are from.
I personally have come across the opposite. I travel the world and most fans I speak to know all about Everton.
A couple of days ago I was sitting in a bar in Kerch in the Ukraine - not a big place. Anyway these group of lads were giving some guy in a RS top a real real hard time ! They came in the bar and saw me looking at them.
One of them came over and asked me in English if I actually was. I asked him what the deal was with the guy in the RS top.
He just said he was a "Liverpool fucker wanker pig" or words to that effect.
I asked him why he didn't like the RS and he told me because him and his mates were "Good Everton fans"
Mind you I'm in Singapore now and there's loads of the RS shirts about !!
Mike Andrews
56 Posted 24/07/2013 at 14:33:32
Kevan, thank you for the article and for provoking a thread that is a pleasure to read and that lacks the bile and animosity of some others!
A couple of things have occurred to me while reading. You ask why it the uk is different from other European countries. It may be that London is not only the political capital but also the financial and commercial capital too. OK industry may be based outside but the owners are still London focused. Paris the same but France is a much bigger country and therefore has teams spread. Italy though may have Rome as political HQ but Milan is financial capital and therefore has the two richest clubs, Turin is industrial capital and can again support two major players (Torino are rising again).In Germany the money is managed mostly in Frankfurt the industry in Bavaria and look where the big teams are. Likewise the richest club in Holland is PSV because of the historic link with Phillips.
As for the side discussion about taking a different name being called Ajax or Juventus (with the cities sometimes tagged on as an afterthought) has not done either of them much harm has it?
Roberto Birquet
57 Posted 24/07/2013 at 15:53:59
On names...Actually, the Madrid-based Atletico (no h, it's Spanish, not English) only carries the afterthought on its badge: from Madrid. The city's name is not part of the club's name. Say Madrid in Spain and the people understand you're referring to Real Madrid.

Equally, there are countries that refer to us as Everton Liverpool, just as we say Atletico Madrid.

Kev Johnson
58 Posted 24/07/2013 at 18:28:05
"Everton Liverpool"! Are you sure, Roberto? Examples, please. That sounds downright disturbing. By the way, I think your anecdote about the Milan fan not knowing where Everton or Chelsea are located is probably more representative than John's Ukrainian experience. I think quite a lot of fans are in the dark as to where teams are on the map. While Mike Andrews is right about Juventus not being held back by their not being named after a city, I can't help but think that it's got to help. As I recall, Ajax used to be called "Ajax Amsterdam" in the 1970s, although I may be getting that wrong. Those were the days before we pronounced the "j" as a "y" in foreign teams, so I always associated the great team of Cruyff and co with a popular bath cleaner of the time!

Paul Smith
59 Posted 25/07/2013 at 20:51:24
This thread seems written out of pure boredom, how could you forget about Hertha Berlin, I was wondering too Damien 564
Paul Smith
60 Posted 25/07/2013 at 20:54:11
John Keating, great little note lad I enjoyed reading that.
Mike Kemp
61 Posted 26/07/2013 at 13:00:35
Regarding Hertha Berlin... They were a victim of the Cold War and the split of Berlin into two zones... I believe the original club had links with the Nazi party and after the war they suffered in the new climate that prevailed.

I don't really consider any of the London teams as 'big' as their support and popularity seems manufactured – particularly Chelsea. There are a number of sleeping giants such as Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday who I would consider bigger in terms of support and history...

However, I would still favour any of these teams over Newcastle... the most hyped and rubbish club in the country.

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