Say they ain’t Socialist, Joe

Joe Posnanski provides some great insight on how to pick a team to become a fan of in the English Premier League [EPL].  But Joe’s not from Miami by way of Havana during the time bracketed by the Bay of Pigs and the fall of the Berlin Wall, so I had to slightly alter his approach.

I took a look at EPL team owners to avoid selecting a team associated with any communists, socialists, mobsters, pornographers and the Boston Red Sox. A quick rundown of the 20 EPL teams listed alphabetically:

  1. Aston Villa – Randy Lerner – £1,100 million – American who inherited wealth. Sold NFL Cleveland Browns after his father died. The first of four EPL ownerships which overlap with [mediocre] NFL franchises. Given that inherited wealth is practically guaranteed to disappoint [second only to drunken gamblers], pass on Aston Villa.
  2. Arsenal – Alisher Usmanov – £13,300 million – Minority owner a Russian billionaire mobster. Majority owner is Stan Kroenke – £2,580 million – Kroenke Sports Enterprises owns teams in almost all American sports leagues: NFL Rams, NBA Nuggets, MLS Rapids, NHL Avalanche. While I love Stan Musial, who Kroenke is supposedly named after, this Stan reminds me more of Junior Soprano, boss in name only.  On the plus side, interesting read on their new self-financed facility.  More on the mobster Usmanov.  Ugh, pass on the House of Usmanov.
  3. Cardiff City – Vincent Tan – £757 million – Malaysia-based company which controls a wide array of businesses, including resorts, gambling, and property. Option #1
  4. Chelsea – Roman Abramovich – £9,300 million – Another Russian mobster.  Abramovich described as “one of a small group of businessmen who opportunistically seized control of the country’s vast natural resources.”  While not dispositive, name association with the sordid clan from Arkansas not helpful.  Then there’s this.  Multiple passes on, not to, Chelsea.
  5. Crystal Palace – CPFC 2010 was established by a consortium of four British businessmen, Steve Parish, Martin Long, Stephen Browett and Jeremy Hosking [£193 million], each owning a 25% share of the company.  Option #2.
  6. Everton – Robert Earl – £270 million – London-born businessman founded the Planet Hollywood chain and was president of the Hard Rock Café.  Minority owner Bill Kenwright – £30 million – Former actor and now theatre producer.  Kenwright is the son of a Liverpudlian builder and tells stories of his schooldays with Paul McCartney and George Harrison. See this is what I was expecting more of.  A front runner emerges at option #3.
  7. Fulham – Shahid Khan – £1,100 million – Pakistani-born American billionaire businessman. Owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars and an auto parts manufacturer.  Let’s be frank, the wrath of Ricardo Montalban and Bill Simmons have ruined the Kahn brand name.  Pass on Fulham.
  8. Hull City – Assem Allam – £650 million – Yorkshire-based, Egyptian-born businessman, owner of Allam Marine, an industrial generator manufacturer. Rags to riches story, studied economics, became an accountant and took a risk on a company he was employed with.  Option #4.
  9. Liverpool – John Henry – £968 million – Just another former MLB Marlins carpetbagging owner who now owns the Boston Red Sox.  In addition, their fans ripped the just deceased Thatcher.  Even a LeBron James minority ownership cannot make up for Henry and his band of hooligans. I don’t just pass on Liverpool, I would not oppose a non-lethal flood washing away any remaining Beatles memorabilia within city limits.
  10. Manchester City – Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – £12,000 million – While not THE Sheik, still a Sheik.  This on a top team, in the top league, in a country who gave rise to the term hooligans and then made that term relevant in the sports world.  How didn’t this make the AMEX ‘priceless’ ad campaign?  In addition, the town of Manchester is known to be dominated by socialist faction.  Wow, I pass on the club and the whole damnable city.
  11. Manchester United – Malcolm Glazer and family – £2,800 million – NFL Tampa Bay Bucs owner with family assigned to key positions with both franchises. Familiar scenario with predictable results, see Los Angeles Lakers post-Buss denouement.  In addition to corrupt town, the Team manager is also a socialist. May all matters Manchester be cursed.
  12. Newcastle United – Mike Ashley – £2,300 million – English billionaire retail entrepreneur in the sporting goods market. Option #5.
  13. Norwich City – Delia Smith and family – £20 million – Celebrity chef who left school at 16 to work as dishwasher. Later became a food columnist and eventually a book writer.  Option #6.
  14. Southampton – The Liebherr family – £4,000 million – Inheritance from a German-born, Swiss-based industrialist. See Aston Villa inheritance rule.  Pass on Southhampton.
  15. Stoke City – Peter, Denise and John Coates – £925 million – Peter Coastes was the son of a miner and the youngest of 14 children. He worked as a clerk in a pottery store and made much of his fortune from Bet365, the online gambling company. If selected, would take a herculean effort not to make allusions to ‘being stoked.’ Pass for now.  Open to reconsideration if Pete Rose named manager.
  16. Sunderland – Ellis Short – £850 million – American equities trader who was the subject of an arrest warrant by South Korean authorities after allegations of stock manipulation over the purchase of Korea Exchange Bank in 2003. Yeah, pass on Sunderland.
  17. Swansea City – Martin and Louisa Morgan – £50 million – Rags to riches story. Martin Morgan left school and sold linen Later worked as a welder, then as a travel rep at resorts across Europe before launching a travel agency with his wife.  They became millionaires when they sold it to Thomson. The couple have helped to regenerate the city of Swansea.  Option #7.
  18. Tottenham Hotspur – Joe Lewis – £3,200 million – Currency speculator with ties to lefty George Soros and a resident of the Bahamas. Further research unnecessary here, could never have rooted for a Hotspur anyways. Pass on Tottenham.
  19. West Ham – £400 million – David Gold & David Sullivan – Porn industry fortunes. Pass [or psst] on West Ham.
  20. West Bromwich Albion – Jeremy Peace – £50 million – English schoolboy and  stockbroker who worked his way up at a company called Quadrant Group. Early investors in the UK telecommunications market in the 1980’s. Option #8.
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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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