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Football PoDs and alternate possibilities.

Neoteros

Dux Mediolani
Location
Duchy of Milan
Two suggestions of my own:

*Alternate team colours of national sides - I have the mental image of the Wales side being known as 'Y Melysod' ('the daffodils' pls do not fail me google translate) because of their yellow jerseys, possibly in a TL where the St David's Cross became the national flag over the red dragon, but I'd be interested to hear suggestions from non-Home Nations/people who know what they're talking about.

*Everton being relegated from the top flight in 1998 - quite apart from the ramifications on the pitch, this could have interesting effects at a boardroom level given Kenwright (then a mere director) was influential in bringing Kendall back in 1997. Is it too much to hope that the worst professional Scouser of them all might be out on his ear?
On the former, Scotland could potential have gone for yellow as well.

Most nations use colours derived from the flag, but alternate oaths are open. Could a Chartist England (or Britain), or surviving Republican Spain wear purple? Could the Abruzzi have taken the field in red, white, or green? Juventus, famously, owe their colours to Notts County. If the UK contact was from elsewhere, then the Old Lady of Turin would dress in different colours.

Closer to home, Newcastle is one of the relatively few clubs called United which is actually a union if two clubs. If West had not suffered financial issues, the occasional "burgundy and blue hoops" away kit would be the home shirt. If they'd fallen any further, allowing East an outright takeover, they'd have ended up in... red and white stripes.
Juventus originally played in pink, so they could've kept that colour as their main one, instead of relegating it to the occasional second or even third kit.



As for the national teams... since Germany's colours descend from those of Prussia, post-Nazi Germany could've opted for the "republican" yellow as its official colour, while Italy could've gone with white (the traditional away colour) or red (a Garibaldi and Partigiani nod).

Speaking of Italy, Parma would've won the 1996-1997 Serie A, if it had won a match against Juventus it drew 1-1 in OTL. A 1-0 victory would've given them the championship, and their talent wouldn't have been poached by other teams (mainly Juventus itself) as hard as it was in OTL: Buffon, Chiesa, Crespo and Thuram could've stayed, maybe.
 
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Stateless

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In 1919 the Football League First Division was expanded. The top two teams from the 1914-15 season, Derby County and Preston North End, were promoted. The bottom team from the First Division, Tottenham Hotspur, were relegated, but the third-placed team, Barnsley, were not promoted in their stead. The final position in the First Division was given to Arsenal, who had finished fifth in the pre-war Second Division, following a ballot.

And some bribery.

Arsenal needed First Division football to pay for their new stadium, and could well have gone to the wall if they hadn't been promoted. Barnsley did not reach the top division of English football until 1997. Tottenham Hotspur weren't greatly affected by the relegation, except that Arsenal's continued existence prevented them from dominating the North London football scene. With either Tottenham or Barnsley taking Arsenal's place, Arsenal could have struggled financially, folded altogether, or moved again. Tottenham Hotspur would have dominated North London and could have grown larger than OTL. Barnsley could have had success on a level similar to other Yorkshire clubs of the era.
 

DocU

'Legacy fan'
Location
South Notts
What would the consequences have been if Herbert Kingaby had got a competent lawyer and successfully argued in court in the 1910s that the retain and transfer system was an illegal restraint of trade rather than it being fine in itself but being used against him maliciously (which would therefore not be illegal)?
I had that in the TL I started in the old place which began with Newton Heath going bust (and spiralled well out of my comfort zone)
 

OwenM

The patronising flippancy of youth
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Makes me wonder what things would be like if there was one football team seen as representative of "London".
This post made me wonder how it could happen.
I feel Arsenal are probably the best bets - say Norris gets away with merging Fulham in and takes the Stamford Bridge offer so Chelsea don't get founded.
Still leaves the various Southern League teams though, and it's not like they weren't usually the top London team historically either, without that happening. Maybe just an Arsenal/Fulham merger leading to using London in the name would be the way to change it? Idk.
EDIT: Huh, apparently Chapman did want them renamed London FC a bit later on. Hmmm.....
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
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This post made me wonder how it could happen.
I feel Arsenal are probably the best bets - say Norris gets away with merging Fulham in and takes the Stamford Bridge offer so Chelsea don't get founded.
Still leaves the various Southern League teams though, and it's not like they weren't usually the top London team historically either, without that happening. Maybe just an Arsenal/Fulham merger leading to using London in the name would be the way to change it? Idk.
EDIT: Huh, apparently Chapman did want them renamed London FC a bit later on. Hmmm.....
I think you could end up with a situation where you've got a 'London' team covering basically the old County of London but with teams like West Ham, Crystal Palace and the like still competitive in outer London.
 

Southpaw

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I'm thinking if there are ways to get football (more) popular in the US earlier than in OTL, when it happened around the US hosting the World Cup in 1994, which led to the subsequent founding of MLS. An earlier World Cup in the US would be the obvious path, but could one have been hosted in, say, the '60s or '70s?
 

OwenM

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I'm thinking if there are ways to get football (more) popular in the US earlier than in OTL, when it happened around the US hosting the World Cup in 1994, which led to the subsequent founding of MLS. An earlier World Cup in the US would be the obvious path, but could one have been hosted in, say, the '60s or '70s?
First time they applied was to be emergency hosts in 1986 (and they got no votes).
Maybe something with the ASL lasting longer in the 30s?
 

Dan1988

Sorry, sunshine, wrong place
I'm thinking if there are ways to get football (more) popular in the US earlier than in OTL, when it happened around the US hosting the World Cup in 1994, which led to the subsequent founding of MLS. An earlier World Cup in the US would be the obvious path, but could one have been hosted in, say, the '60s or '70s?
As long as NASL can be avoided completely or something else taking its place.
 

Southpaw

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As long as NASL can be avoided completely or something else taking its place.
My impression is not that NASL was a bad idea by itself but that it expanded too quickly and quickly became financially unsustainable, unlike the decades-long process this has been in MLS.
 

Dan1988

Sorry, sunshine, wrong place
My impression is not that NASL was a bad idea by itself but that it expanded too quickly and quickly became financially unsustainable, unlike the decades-long process this has been in MLS.
It wasn't just the financial problems and the hasty expansion. In order to market soccer to Americans (and potentially make it easier to broadcast on television), they basically dumbed it down and "Americanized" it to make it similar to other popular sports (and by 1960s/1970s standards of dumbing things down, that was considerable). NASL thus basically turned soccer into a fad much like XFL and arena football, and on top of that primarily using imported players rather than using whatever little talent pool there was (and continuing to import players rather than developing native talent).
 

Coiler

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How good would the Americans have been if they'd qualified for the World Cup in 2018 instead of Panama?
 

Stateless

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How good would the Americans have been if they'd qualified for the World Cup in 2018 instead of Panama?
Better than Panama I would guess, but they're a team short on quality at the moment. They would probably be in Pot 3, if they draw Poland, Peru and Egypt (for example) then they could get through. If they draw France, Spain and Japan then that's far more difficult.

Harry Kane doesn't get the golden boot (or has to share it with Lukaku, Griezmann, Mbappé, Ronaldo and Cheryshev).
 

Neoteros

Dux Mediolani
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How would European football look like if the Champions League had kept being the European Cup, a straight knockout tournament featuring only the winners of every national championship? On a borderline ASB note, what if OTL restrictions on foreign players hadn't been wiped out by the Bosman ruling?
 

Stateless

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How would European football look like if the Champions League had kept being the European Cup, a straight knockout tournament featuring only the winners of every national championship?
By the 1990s the big teams are going to start their own tournament with places going to non-champions - the European Super League - which was one of the main concerns that caused UEFA to expand the Champions League. With Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Internazionale, Juventus (for example) all taking the guaranteed competition against each other (and the television money), and presumably choosing this over UEFA's competition against Sparta Prague and Maribor, UEFA then have to decide whether they open their competition up as per OTL in the hope of enticing these clubs back, or if they offer the champion's spot to the next team in the list ('Congratulations on fifth place Ipswich, everyone above you has a better competition to play in, here's your first round tie against Atalanta.'), or leave those spots empty and have a competition in which the final is between Helsingborgs and Sturm Graz, which does have a nice feel but won't be subject to much bidding for television money.

With the Super League clubs no longer needing domestic competition to qualify for European competition though, it would be interesting to see whether they stay in their domestic leagues - probably so (television money), but winning the league is unimportant, whereas other teams in the leagues are trying to demonstrate their worth for Super League expansion. Maybe proposals like the Atlantic League (@Fletch) do go ahead for better competition for the sides outside the Super League.
 
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