The NFL is and always will be looking for new ways to make money. But it seems as though the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell are nowhere near close to realizing the dream of an NFL franchise in London.
It has been a plan of Goodell’s to open up new avenues for making money as the majority of big markets in America have become saturated with football teams aplenty. But one thing stands in the way of Goodell and the NFL, the players.
Plenty of problems
What player in the right mind would want to be drafted out of college and play for a London franchise? Not many if any. It is hard enough making it in the NFL as it is, let alone when you’ve got to contend with the endless logistical problems that come with the possibility of an NFL franchise in London.
This is one of the main reasons that the assistant executive director of external affairs at the NFL Players Association, George Atallah, told the Guardian many “challenges” need to be overcome before an NFL franchise can become a reality.
“There are a lot of unresolved issues,” Atallah siad. “There are challenges with the time difference, facilities, medical staff and other things related to the changes to players’ working environment that would need to be agreed.
“A permanent team in London would require a collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union, and the NFL have not got to the point where they have said we want to raise it.”
Jags remain favorites
Many believe that the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise is the most likely to make the move across the pond. They are one of the so called ‘small market’ teams with a smaller fan base than most teams in the US. They also have an owner that was willing to sign an agreement that will see his team play one home game a season in London for at least the next three years.
It is understood that sources say that the NFL believe they are well on their way to having a London franchise by 2022. If that is their plan, they’ll have to convince NFL players present and future first.