AFC Bournemouth has recently been sold to an American consortium headed by Bill Foley and including actor Michael B. Jordan.
The south-coast club joins the list of American-owned clubs in the Premier League following the sale of Chelsea this summer. By my estimations, 50% of Premier League clubs now have owners from the land and red, white, and blue.
If just four more clubs are purchased by our transatlantic neighbours, then the country will have the lion’s share of the decisions on the English top-flight - so get ready for pre-season drafts, championship rings, and a bombardment of the word ‘franchise’.
Different Sporting Cultures
As much as I respect the United States, I think it’s fair to say that their sporting culture is radically different to our own. When, for example, was the last time you saw a mob of Stone Island-wearing, beer-swilling away fans in the stands of an NFL game? When has an NBA team been involved in a relegation scrap? Have any MLB players made last-minute deadline day moves to a rival club?
The answer to all those questions is ‘never’, for the USA has always had its own way of doing things, whether it be the metric system or the pronunciation of the word ‘aluminum’. That’s all well and good, but I’m not sure if an American-run Premier League is a step in the right direction.
At least ten PL clubs have full or partial American owners, the latest being Bournemouth. Though the notion that the average USA citizen knows nothing about ‘soccer’ is untrue, I worry that our great allies will try to implement their own customs and ideas on our cherished national sport.
Owners Must Respect Footballing Culture
We’ve already witnessed Todd Boehly’s ridiculous All-Star game being rightfully panned, as well as several Premier League pre-season games taking place in the USA. We wouldn’t mess with their sports, so why are they so determined to tinker with ours?
This isn’t an attack on the United States by any means, but it’s a reminder that the country views professional sport much differently to us. If you ask me, we should all take a step back and ask ourselves if we really want to sell off our beloved Premier League so easily and with such little pushback. Us Brits know nothing about baseball, for example, and you don’t see a queue of UK business people forming to buy the New York Yankees. If they did, then fans of the famous team would be well-within their rights to worry about it.
American owners must respect our sporting tradition the same way we must respect theirs. I’m all for the Premier League attracting more global fans, but I worry that Ted Lasso really will end up managing one of our clubs if we’re not careful.
LORD PING, THE ONLINE CASINO FOR OPINIONATED PLAYERS!
Disclaimer: Opinion content is provided by experienced journalists and are not the views of Lord Ping