Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/17/13
See Part One of the article here.The NFL has experimented with spin-off leagues. They have had a World League which was based in several countries. Canada, Germany and Spain had teams as well as the UK and USA. Once again there was an initial interest, but after two seasons (1990 and 1991), and low attendances the League was disbanded. Was this the beginning of the end of a franchise dream? Not exactly.  In 1995 something a little different was tried out.Enter NFL Europe. From 1995 to 2007 six teams played across four countries. UK, Spain, Germany and Holland all had teams. The success of this league was that it proved to be a springboard for future NFL players. They would hone their skills here and go back to America and play for teams there. It was a win-win situation for all involved as the standard of play was better. Once again though attendances were low and it just wasn’t the real thing. It served a purpose but nothing more.With these experimental phases been and gone is the time right for a proper NFL team franchise to be based in London? There a lots of positives of course. We know how to stage the game. The fans are more knowledgeable than ever. Striking while the iron is hot could be the suitable phrase to use here. There are however some negative points. Wembley is the obvious choice to host what would be eight home games from September to January, this however could cause a fixture headache with the English Football Association, and they will have international soccer matches going on during this period of time, so potentially other stadium venues could be pursued. Twickenham the home of rugby could be one, or the Olympic Stadium another, but both of these would have to have trial runs surely to see if the NFL would see them as viable options.Another potential issue is that of new players coming into the league. The young players coming out of the draft would have to relocate into a country to which many of them have never been before, and if they are on long contracts it would see them away from their native home and of course families for an extended period of time. This would also be the case for players being traded during the course of a season. Veteran players could welcome a move to London to end their career in what would be to many of them a novelty idea. One more thing would be the scheduling of games. At present teams visiting to play a game here have the following weekend off to rest up after the long haul and inconvenience. This couldn’t be a luxury afforded to teams flying over to play a London team, also the London franchise would be crossing the Atlantic every other week, so would that be fair in terms of game preparation?It’s a fantastic idea, one which has fans divided over here. For now the general consensus seems to be that as a thought process a London based team would be welcome, but the pitfalls are clear and if it’s not done right the sports progress over here could well suffer.
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