What if Donald Trump Bought Your Soccer Club?

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Lots of people hate Americans. As an American, I always like to think that, like, Americans are a diverse group of people with different tastes, political beliefs, and values (to an extent). Thus, you can hate some of us, but not all of us. Still, people hate Americans. And I can kinda understand why.

Look at what Hicks & Gillett did to Liverpool. Or the Glazers to United. Sadly, the American businessmen who go abroad and look to personally profit off a nice, juicy, large business with big revenue streams are precisely the last person you would ever want anywhere near anything you care about in anyway. I would not let the Glazers dogsit my dog for two hours. A lot of bad things can happen in 120 minutes, after all.

And then I thought of an absolute nightmare.

Over six years ago, before he started robbing banks, Brian Phillips wrote a nice, short feature (or “blog post”) that made fun of the new rich/faux-rich people who bought soccer clubs for the wrong reasons or ran them in the wrong manner. Every few months, I email Brian to tell him how brilliant this post was. Basically, we live in this funny, fake world where millionaires-on-paper love to pretend to be billionaires and want the public to look at them like they are in fact billionaires.

Lots of great reporting has been done on GOP candidate Donald Trump and his finances by the New York Times and elsewhere, but here’s the reality: you can tell if somebody is a billionaire by (1) if they are a major shareholder in a large, publicly-traded company and sometimes do interviews or (2) if they have a single, private company which they never will talk about in public. You’re a Koch or a Soros, and there is no middle ground.

For example, billionaires would never invest in New Jersey because they know that New Jersey is New Jersey and no amount of money can change that sad fact (sorry, New Jersey). A Third World country has tremendous growth potential as the infrastructure improves and the young, working-age population gets better access to education and healthcare. New Jersey, though, is New Jersey. And that’s that. And Donald Trump’s business associates lost lots of money trying to erect a casino play-land.

Donald Trump, though, is a skilled negotiator in that he only negotiates with other stupid faux-billionaires that don’t insist on thorough accounting and fair-minded deals. These other faux-billionaires hear the name “Trump”, think of Donald’s dad, and want to bask in the brand-glow of a “Reality TV star” with hair befitting an oompa-loompa. A real billionaire would never make eye contact with Donald Trump on the street. Donaldo would pester the billionaire about “some deal” and that poor poor billionaire would waste so much time and energy politely smiling and nodding.

So, ahem, with that Trump baseline in mind, he is a faux-millionaire (with lots of money overseas) and afraid to release his taxes because he knows this, I really think after Trump loses Florida and ergo this presidential election, he’s going to buy an EPL club. Granted, it won’t be easy: he lacks enough money to buy all the necessary shares at a big one, but there are some bottom-feeders starved for cash “brand recognition” and always on the cusp of relegation: could Trump make a de facto branding deal with the owners behind Sunderland? Maybe.

Basically, I’ve always believed that laws only exist as a reaction to a bad situation. We have stops signs because people do not stop their cars at intersections or pay attention. The EPL has a “fit and proper” test for club owners because the vast majority of foreign vulture investors aka owners are neither fit nor proper. And that is why Trump would be a perfect “partner” and/or super small minority shareholder (like 1-5 shares).

When this happens, please do not shoot me. I am only the messenger.

Please check out the Kick Starter campaign for Elliott’s new soccer book here.

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