An EPL team in America? Moooooooooooooooooooooo 

An EPL team in America? Moooooooooooooooooooooo

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' owner Malcolm Glazer, who is a dead ringer for the guy who hosts "Inside the Actor's Studio," increased his stake in Manchester United to 5.9 percent ($73 million at the moment) this week as News Corp.
chairman Rupert Murdoch sold of his interests in the team and in so doing became the third-largest shareholder of the most famous and highest valued sports franchise in the world. (The first- and second-largest, by the way,
aren't English either; they're Irish and Scottish, respectively.) The news comes after a month
chock full of rumors that the publicly-held Red Devils were being eyed by a number of international suitors with the capital to pull off a takeover of the club. Man U's stock has reached a two-year high of 200 pounds as a result.

There's no doubt that Glazer, whose family built its fortune in oil and is estimated to be worth $1 billion, wants to own another team. He tried to buy the
Los Angeles Dodgers, currently owned by News Corp., earlier this year but that attempt was reportedly scuttled by NFL regulations. It has been speculated
that Glazer will partner with United's largest shareholders, a couple of racehorse owners from Ireland, to take a controlling interest in the team.

The thought of an American owning the world's favorite soccer team caused me to ponder the chances of bringing an EPL team to the States. Certainly, Glazer would never yank United out of Manchester and set up shop in Tampa; by
all reports, he values his life. But I could see a first-division team, or perhaps an expansion team, coming to New York and doing quite well.

I don't think expansion, as it is known to Americans, exists in the Premier League since it adds new teams from its lower divisions on a yearly basis. So it might be more practical for an American to buy an existing and
struggling first division team that has very little fan support, bring it to New York, and spend loads of money on players so that in a year or two--after the team has
improved enough to make the Premier League--the likes of Man U, Arsenal, and Liverpool are playing once a year to packed houses at Giants Stadium.

Transportation might be a pain, but EPL teams usually play just once a week and if the team can charter a Concorde they'll get to England quicker than they can fly to Miami.
And while English fans might puke at the notion of an American team, the Premier League owners, eager to get
a piece of the American market, would love it and Murdoch, whose Sky TV televises EPL matches, could easily get the New York team's games on his Fox network.

It's just a thought, and a nice one for U.S. soccer fans.

-MLS commish Don Garber announced the league's plans to expand with new teams in Cleveland and either San Diego or Houston. The latter two seem logical, as both cities have large Latino communities, which have been an important
part of fan bases for MLS teams in San Jose, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. At first glance, Cleveland seems to have all the sports it can handle with the
reincarnated Browns, the Indians and their new field, and now the Cavs and LeBron. And Ohio--not a huge state--already has an MLS team, albeit one (the Columbus Crew) that has its own stadium and routinely fills it. So
Garber must be seeing a huge demand for soccer in Cleveland.

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Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:19 am MST by Lakers Tickets

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