Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of! Football Finance

How utterly, utterly absurd!

Posted by John Beech on April 20, 2011

There are reports that a Dubai Sheikh is set to buy a La Liga team, possibly Getafe, and add the words ‘Team Dubai’ to the club’s name (1).  This is as absurd as Manchester City becoming Manchester City Team Abu Dhabi, for example, or Chelsea becoming Chelsea Team Chukotka, only to be renamed Chelsea Team Moscow if another report is to be given any credence (2).

It betrays both a crass view of a club as the owner’s plaything (you can add your own bit here about Fayed, Fulham and Michael Jackson here) and a stunning inability to understand that a football club is essentially about local identity and local fans (insert your own more positive bit about Arsenal and ‘custodians’ here).

Of course, it could never happen in England.  Oh, hang on though, perhaps it’s a bit like having the word ‘Dons’ in your club’s name when you are not in Wimbledon (or, as a nod to my readers North of the border in Dumbarton, for that matter, Aberdeen).

Any offers on the most absurd possible name for an English club as ‘X Team Y’ reflecting the whim of the owner?


13 Responses to “How utterly, utterly absurd!”

  1. John Beech said

    As thosee eagle eyes at Supporters Direct have pointed out, another report suggests that Zaragoza is the unlucky victim of this absurdity (A)

  2. Ian Ditchfield said

    Welsh rather than English, but that quibble aside, I think “Total Network Solutions” will take some beating for absurdity.

  3. Steve Crabb said

    Cardiff City Team Kuala Lumpur, perhaps?
    What next? A team being called ‘Arsenal’ when they are half way across town from Woolwich?

  4. Steve Grant said


    As far as I can tell, the original source for this was Arabian Business, which as I’m sure you’re aware, believed that Sulieman al-Fahim was a billionaire, so the cynic in me tells me to wait until something’s formally done before actually believing it’s going to happen. 😉

    I’m baffled as to how Getafe would be worth anywhere near €90m, they’re a small provincial team with crowds usually below 10,000. While they may have built up debts, I struggle to see that they would be that high (unlike Zaragoza with their reported €130m debt!)

    • John Beech said

      It does seem odd, but the Getafe story seems to have acquired legs since I posted (A). Mind you, Zaragoza may push forward in extra time!

  5. As a historian of Arsenal ( the fact has to be acknowledged that Arsenal played as Woolwich Arsenal FC in 1913/4 at Highbury.

    But then with ridiculous names, Tottenham is not Hotspur (they just took the name from another club of the era), why is Plymouth Argyle, and who was Accrington Stanley?

    Arsenal, the club I have supported all my life, became “The Arsenal in 1914 by which time they had as much to do with munitions factories as The Wednesday, of the same era, had to do with, well, wednesday.

    Near me Rushden and Diamonds have nothing to do with diamonds, but a lot to do with Irthlingboro where they play and where the original Diamonds played.

    The fact is names become romantic when old, but crass when young. Why not change names sometimes just for the hell of it. My ex-wife changed her surname from that of her family, to my name on marriage, back to her family name on divorce, and now to the name of her new husband on re-marriage. If she can do it, why can’t a football club?

    • John Beech said

      Accrington Stanley I think comes from the pub where they were based (The Stanley Arms?) and distinguishes them from their predecessor, Accrington FC. Spurs were Hotspur FC before they became Tottenham Hotspur, but I’m not sure why. Likewise Argyle becoming Plymouth Argyle.

      Not convinced the married name analogy quite works – ‘owners’ giving their names to trophy possessions?!? 😉 And no, I’m starting a debate on that!

      • Tottenham comes from the fact the club adopted “Tottenham” in front of the original Hotspurs FC once they had settled in the Tottenham area of London, they started playing on the public Tottenham marshes so it’s been in the clubs history for a while.

        i wonder who/how/where Crewe Alexandra comes from?

  6. John Beech said

    My favourite suggestion so far, via Twitter, is Crawley Town Team Narnia.
    (I’ll happily acknowledge authorship if he confirms he is happy to be named.)

  7. John Beech said

    Confirmation that the club is indeed Getafe from tweeter Abdalla M. Taryam at the press conference. No name change, but ‘Team Dubai’ will be added to the logo and put on the shirts for next season if not this season.

  8. In response to comment 2 . Total Network Solutions is no longer the team name. They are The New Saints

  9. campbell yule said

    The Sons of the Rock Dumbarton FC could be Team Brabco 743
    and if you can find out anything about who they are there is a cyber bottle of your favourite Red.
    We know who the ringleader is and his son who has no official connection to the club wanders into board meetings ,Allegedly,
    Its not only the big club who have fantasists as owners John

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