I don’t follow English football too much and the only interesting thing about Wimbledon’s football team that I can offhand recollect is Vinnie Jones’ famous grab of Paul Gascoigne’s privates.

But this story of Wimbledon building a new club from scratch makes for a very good piece of sports writing.

It amounted to the only case of identity theft of a club in the nearly 150 years of English tradition. Four Wimbledon fans rebelled. They called for open tryouts for players willing to start up a new club, A.F.C. Wimbledon. The tryouts, held on Wimbledon Common in June 2002, attracted 250 volunteers. Players came from near and far, including one from Finland and another who was a member of Chile’s under-21 national team.

I wonder now that the EPL is full of Arab sheikhs and Russian dons and Indian chicken barons, what if Manchester United decided to relocate to, let’s say, Doha?

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