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  • Writer's pictureFred

Schalke '21 v Cleveland Browns '17

The 2017 Cleveland Browns tied a record for the worst season in National Football League history with an 0-16 record. I lived through it, that 2017 season was abysmal. But unless you were the GM, who was fired, or one of the players, who were cut or traded at the end of the season, there weren't any long term repercussions for the Browns. They made the playoffs last year and were NEVER in any danger of getting kicked out of the NFL. Why? Because the business model is set up for 32 millionaires to make money. Winning is preferred, but the NFL is ultimately a business investment where revenue streams are as important as the results on the field. If you are terrible for a year, you are rewarded with a high draft pick the next year. NFL football is about the League.

Now we've mentioned this before, but soccer in South America and Europe is ultimately about the club. The world's top soccer conferences (not MLS), base their leagues off of the promotion/relegation system. If you suck at the top level of soccer in soccer crazy countries, you are punished with demotion, loss of revenue, and loss of franchise value.

With that being said, when teams are faced with relegation, there's a different level of desperation that sets in when you lose a lot. A desperation that doesn't escalate to these levels in the states:

Example #1

Just last month in Chile.

Chilean club Colo-Cola faced relegation for the first time in their 96 year history going into the last game of the season. Their own fans placed a Win or We Kill you banner on their training grounds.

Luckily they won.

Example #2

At the end of the 2015-2016 Premier League season, Aston Villa was relegated for the first time in 30 years. Villa fans chanted for Owner Randy Lerner's death. Those links on YouTube have been disabled. Here's a link where Villa fans simply wanted Lerner "out."

Randy Lerner lost almost a half a billion dollars when he sold Villa after relegation.

Example #3

When I saw the headline, I thought ESPN was overreacting, lots of bad soccer teams fire their staff. But the Bundesliga record in question is that Schalke now has their fifth head coach....

THIS SEASON! Can you imagine any American sports franchise with 5 head coaches in a season? Schalke now sits at 1-16-7 and would probably need to win 7 of their last 10 to avoid relegation.

Schalke could go bankrupt or fold if that happens.

Example #4

Parma Calcio finished dead last in Serie A in 2015. Heavily penalized and heavily in debt, Parma went bankrupt and dissolved.

The team was re-established later in the year, 3 levels of soccer down the pyramid in Serie D. "The death of Parma (in 2015) could be attributed to a combination of bad luck, bad ownerships and bad people." - Football

Example #5

FC Dynamo Moscow played in the top division of Russian (or Soviet) soccer for 96 of their 97 years in existence. When Dynamo was relegated to the 2nd division in 2016....

Something, something, Yevgeni Muravyov---

You know what? I don't like polonium.


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