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What if the rule was one football team per city?

What would it mean for the game if the powers that be turned around and ruled that each city, and related district, was from this point forward only allowed one team. One football team per city. I mean aside from the impossibility of actually merging disparate corporate entities that teams actually are, with holdings and property and debts and whatnot else. What actual effect would this decision have on the game. A good one, I think. 

For the first thing, one football team per city would raise the standard of football played, if only because there would suddenly be, for example, create a slew of highly financed superteams in England.  After London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield and  Bradford come population-wise before Liverpool and Manchester. And this list already makes 7 superteams.  Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Brom combine to form a side with a large enough fan-base and big enough TV Clout to suddenly become competitive again on the largest scale. Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers likewise. Bolton Wanderers, Bury, Manchester City,  Manchester United, Oldham Athletic, Rochdale and Wigan Athletic would combine too, with all these sides forming richly funded teams with huge fanbases, bringing in fresh talent for more money and giving more fans a chance to win with their local team, meaning there is no longer a drain from the less popular regions of fans switching to Chelsea or Manchester City or whomever. People would have a good chance of winning with their home town club.

AC and Inter Milan could be friends
Image Courtesy REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Which brings me to my next point: One football team per city means more hometown clubs. Because the Premiership right now is a 20 team league, looping in teams from beyond the 7 I’ve mentioned above means more regions, more teams and more fans get a chance to share in top flight football. Bristol becomes a powerhouse. Coventry does too.  I think it could really help with nurturing youth talent too. if the whole of Manchester weighed in behind one single team, then that team would have access to all the youth teams, all the school teams, all the talented players coming through. It would become a huge thing to represent your city. Manchester Stadium alone would have to be something like the Camp Nou at least and every young player would dream of representing his city, being a local hero, without the tarnish of a divided loyalty between any of his friends, family or colleagues.

Farther afield, it would make for some fascinating European combinations. Both Madrid teams lining up together. Both Milan sides. Rangers and Celtic finally burying the hatchet. Bayern and 1860 merging. Fenerbache, Besiktas and Galatasaray all joining up seems even more radical than anything I’ve mentioned so far. Benfica and Sporting would also be uneasy company. The Champions League would be even more massive and bring about a potentially even greater payment yield.

So what would the sides look like? It’s a contentious question. But I’ll take a shot:

London FC

AC Manchester

Merseyside United

Oh what? You don’t agree with those teams? I’m shocked. But that’s the beauty isn’t it? There are simply so many players to choose from. One football team per city would mean we get rid of something like the bottom three divisions in every country and move the fanbase to a more exiting, better staged and presented better experience with much more of a community ethic.

What say you?

Would you limit one city to one team?


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