So, Chelsea could move to Earls Court and West Ham to the Olympic Stadium. The London merry-go-round continues.
Truth is though, are we ripping up the history of the game?
Think of the last London move, Arsenal leaving Highbury to go to, what was then termed, Ashburton Grove. At the time, everyone was disappointed at the past and the memories that would be left behind. Now though, people still reminisce about the Marble Halls but certainly they do not miss Highbury on a week in, week out basis.
Because the truth is, Arsenal is bigger than the ground; it is the area of London it has come to represent since it moved from Woolwich in 1913. By moving Arsenal just a few hundred yards down the road, Arsenal still feels like Arsenal. They still get off at Arsenal tube, despite nowadays walking down Drayton Park as opposed to the Gillespie Road. Plus, to Arsenal fans, they understand the limitations Highbury had on them as a club and organisation.
The same will be true at Chelsea. Anybody who has been to Stamford Bridge knows that the ground has reached its limitations. They need to move and, were they able to build a new stadium at Earls Court, just half a mile up the Finborough Road, Chelsea would still feel like Chelsea.
Heck, in their case, it would be as close to Chelsea as it ever was!
Even in West Ham’s case, although it is four miles away and closer to Leyton than West Ham, the Olympic stadium will still feel like home. I have spent a substantial amount of time living and working near the Olympic stadium since 2005, I can say for sure that it would still feel like West Ham heartland.
This brings us to the second round FA Cup draw and the potential clash between Wimbledon and ‘Franchise’ (I can’t bring myself to bring to name them). As opposed to moving a club a mile or two, moving those sixty miles was an incredible and sacrilegious move.
As someone who supports a club 40 or so miles closer to MK than Wimbledon was and was the club originally approached to make the move back in 1985, I still find it difficult to go there and not react to the sighting of a ‘Dons’ shirt as if I’d attracted the rage virus from 28 days later. I can’t imagine how Wimbledon fans would react even now. So, what could be a good story for the media could actually be a very dangerous situation?
So how far is too far?
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