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Vanity projects in football clubs/clubs run for the sole benefit of conglomerates

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    Vanity projects in football clubs/clubs run for the sole benefit of conglomerates

    So as a carry-over from other threads which current (or indeed past) football clubs do people see here as belonging to the categories in the title?

    I've had my eyes opened as regards to Forest Green Rovers which i considered as a green pioneer but which now, due to information from posters here (one reason why this site is valuable) I realise is not nearly as community or ecologically friendly as I imagined.

    Salford are another club who seem to fit the bill.

    Could a list be made, perhaps?

    #2
    I presume we're not talking about "works teams" here like PSV Eindhoven, Wolfsburg, or Bayer Leverkusen

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      #3
      Well, depends on how ethically they are run,

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        #4
        But all of these sides were originally run for their workers, and have become independent entities as time has gone on (think of pretty much all Eastern European clubs too). Were they run for "the benefit of conglomerates" or were they simply a team of workers? And is that substantively different from a team which grew up to serve a community?

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          #5
          Manchester City / New York City / Melbourne City / any other tentacle of City Football Group

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            #6
            Practically all big clubs fit the bill nowadays don't they? Man Utd serve the interest of the Glazers, City by the Qataris, Liverpool by Fenway etc. Fans might have some interest, they might do a bit of community work, but bottom line they exist "for the sole benefit of conglomerates"

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              #7
              Back in the day, wasn't Oxford United a vanity project for Robert Maxwell, and Fulham for Mohammed Fayed? Although probably an accounting/tax dodge in the case of the former. Walker at Blackburn was a different matter, he was local and loved the club - I think the same fairly applies to Dave Whelan at Wigan?

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                #8
                I had until recently thought that Solihull Moors were Solihull Motors - like the Vauxhall team.

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                  #9
                  My Grandad worked at the land rover plant adjacent to Solihull Moors' ground, although neither ground nor club existed while he was alive.

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                    #10
                    I'd like to know more about AFC Fylde. Pretty sure they're a bad lot, but don't have details.

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                      #11
                      Red Bull's franchise of clubs are a prime example. I notice that Bragatino in Brazil have become the latest to join the stable.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rogin the Armchair fan View Post
                        Back in the day, wasn't Oxford United a vanity project for Robert Maxwell, and Fulham for Mohammed Fayed? Although probably an accounting/tax dodge in the case of the former. Walker at Blackburn was a different matter, he was local and loved the club - I think the same fairly applies to Dave Whelan at Wigan?
                        Maybe we need another "plaything" category for those ones, given those clubs existed at the same or higher levels long before those chaps became involved. I'd apply the vanity tag more to the likes of Fylde, Fleetwood and Forest Green, who were all basically kicking a ball around a roped off field at the turn of the millennium in whatever incarnation they were in at the time until some individual decided to play Championship Manager with them. It's all semantics I suppose.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Nesta View Post
                          I'd like to know more about AFC Fylde. Pretty sure they're a bad lot, but don't have details.
                          Yeah, AFC Fylde are a mini-Fleetwood/Salford.

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                            #14
                            Gretna

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                              #15
                              Fylde were "Kirkham and Wesham" ten years ago and yes, a village team (although one good enough to win the FA Vase). Fleetwood won the Vase in the 80s, too, as did Forest Green Rovers.

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                                #16
                                Forest Green were overachievers before Dale Vince, to be fair, they'd been in the conference for a number of years already, albeit usually struggling. Did Vince only buy them because they have 'Green' in their name?

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                                  #17
                                  I mentioned this on the conference thread, but check out Salford's 'peninsula stadium' on google maps satellite view- it hasn't updated to the present reality yet, to say the least.

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                                    #18
                                    Looking at how Salford's ground used to be like

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                                      #19
                                      There have been a few in the League of Ireland over the years - Sporting Fingal and Dublin City, but have tended to collapse as soon as founded. Wexford FC were founded by current TD and MEP hopeful Mick Wallace, but built up a sizeable youth structure before going senior, and have genuine grassroots support within the county.

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                                        #20
                                        The Boys of Wexford eh

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                                          #21
                                          I would argue that virtually every contemporary professional club is being run either as a profit making exercise for its owners or a vanity project/marketing exercise. Some even manage to serve both goals simultaneously.

                                          As has been mentioned elsewhere, Real Madrid is formally owned by its socios, but it is nonetheless a massive vanity project for Florentino Perez, who has used the massive platform provided by the club and its "media partners" to build his construction empire and his personal brand. Similarly, Joan Laporta saw his presidency at Barcelona as the perfect stepping stone to the presidency of an independent Catalunya before things all went a bit Liverpool (or is it Roma)-shaped for his project.

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                                            #22
                                            I think The New Saints fulfil both of these criteria - changing their name to advertise a company and latterly a continuing vanity project for the guy whose company it was.

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                                              #23
                                              Where do Hoffenheim sit in this regard?

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                                                #24
                                                Originally posted by Nesta View Post
                                                Forest Green were overachievers before Dale Vince, to be fair, they'd been in the conference for a number of years already, albeit usually struggling. Did Vince only buy them because they have 'Green' in their name?
                                                He saved them from administration. They'd just been relegated from the Conference (reprieved due to the AGM Cup) and were talking of going part-time.

                                                Vince came in, somewhat unwittingly - admitting he knew nothing of football - and started throwing his money around. A year or so later they'd changed their colours and badge, then they went vegan as a club and started the whole promotion of his company. He is what makes them dislikable, with his stupid soundbites. Well, him and the idiot Bob Hunt who covers them on Radio Gloucestershire.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                                  I would argue that virtually every contemporary professional club is being run either as a profit making exercise for its owners or a vanity project/marketing exercise. Some even manage to serve both goals simultaneously.
                                                  Villarreal seem to me to be a club which, even though controlled by the supermarket giant Mercadona, has been guided in a sensible and largely non-vanity seeking way. See also: Levante.

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