Now if you have been paying attention you will recall that a little while back I mentioned “en passant” (as they say in Slovenia*) that David Beckham was going to buy a football club.
Thus once again you read it here first. Now it is true that I didn’t quite get the club right – I said Leyton Orient, and it turns out Mr B is going to create a club to play in the USA League. But he is going into the club business so I was right on that bit.
Now what is interesting is that in going down this route the venerable Beckham is directly copying the activites of Chelsea. Chelsea were formed in 1905, and without a team, a supporter, or anything else other than a badly built ground that was within weeks cracking up, and as is their way, they got into the Football League.
In order to cover up the fact that quite simply they bought their way into the league without having ever played a game, and without having a player on their books, Chelsea has ever since pushed forward the story about Arsenal being the original franchise club, Woolwich Arsenal having moved 1o miles from Woolwich to Highbury.
But in fact Chelsea were the original franchise team, because they really did create a franchise – no club, no team, but they bought a place in the league.
Anyway Mr Beckham (who is apparently married to Ashley Cole**) is buying a place in the American league in the same way, and not buying north London’s second club after all as I suggested.
Actually there is one other slightly amusing twist to the story about Chelsea going into the Football League. They also applied to go into the Southern League, but Tottenham, who were themselves in the Southern League at the time, vetoed the deal on the grounds that there were too many London teams already. So Chelsea went over Tottenham’s head into the Football League. Then a few years later when Woolwich Arsenal moved to Highbury, Tottenham tried the same trick of vetoing the change, and one of the reasons why the League threw out their objection was that they were fed up with Tottenham objecting to everything and everyone.
So there we are. Mr Beckham is buying WC Milan***
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
* Only if they are French tourists
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** There may be some misunderstanding here between the fact that both players are married to famous singers. No other point is intended.
*** This wine is rather good.