GLF 45: Franchises or Not?

Last updated : 19 August 2017 By GLF

Graham has a look at this new trend.



Over the summer I have been a bit confused over the reaction of the media to the formation of Airdrie Utd at the expense of Clydebank.It appears to have been accepted pretty easily.It was almost as if it was wrong for Airdrie to die but not for Clydebank.This also follows the ease that the media has accepted that it was OK for Meadowbank to die and be replaced by Livingston.I think this shows that they fail to understand where this could all end up.

I am a big follower of the NFL from the States where the teams are true franchises and readily move around the country to find the best market place.There have been incidents where teams have literally left a city over night, as the Browns did recently when they moved from Cleveland to Baltimore and changed the name to the Ravens!It has also seen a number of teams currently clamour for a move to LA as this is the biggest city in the US without an NFL franchise.I am not sure that this will ever happen here but it does leave the door open for unscrupulous people to buy clubs and move them wherever they want.

Let's also look at why it was okay for Clydebank and Meadowbank to disappear.Firstly they were never going to sell many papers or attract many viewers or listeners.This would immediately alienate them from the press.But apart from that cynicism, it was also because they had nothing going for them; no real home, no fans to talk about and no real history.

Look at Clydebank's entry in this season's Wee Red Book, there is no ground, no manager, no phone, no fax etc.And in the end this has led to no club!While I have every sympathy with both clubs' small number of fans, who have probably now been lost to senior football, it was almost inevitable that they were prime targets for ambitious vultures.

But lets also examine the Airdrie situation further, they were forced out of the SFL due to their financial position, failed to gain re-entry through re-election as it would send the wrong message to other.Then the same SFL vote them in at the expense of one of their existing members.It all seems a bit morally wrong, are this new Airdire any more viable than the old one?

Maybe if we don't get clear of our troubles, we could just go out and take over Albion Rovers and move them to Motherwell, or indeed Airdire themselves!!In fact I have told some Airdire supporters that a merger would be a good idea, and that we could keep the Football Club from their name and the Motherwell from ours.Keep Claret and Amber tops, and their white shorts, and play at Fir Park - I don't see a lot wrong with that!!

Also, could franchising be the Old Firm's route into England??Watch out Norwich, Bradford etc, the big Scottish vultures could be looking for easy pickings!

Graham Barnstaple

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