The New York Cosmos are back! The legendary name had been more or less in mothballs for years under the control of G. Peppe Pinton, long rumoured to have been asking for extravagant payment for the trademark. And given what a circus the team was at times (even if this wasn’t always a bad thing), it’s perhaps appropriate (if rather sad) that the trademark of the team has been purchased and will apparently be used for a reborn Cosmos as “a traveling array of all-stars, playing matches around the world.”
It doesn’t sound all too promising, to be honest. The new owner of the name is one Paul Kemsley — or PK as he apparently likes to be called — a former director of Tottenham Hotspur and close friend of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who also appeared on Britain’s version of the Apprentice.
But just a few months ago, Kemsley’s £500 million property empire collapsed. The company, Rock, was once a major investment of Tottenham owner Joe Lewis, and Kemsley was also close to Tottenham’s former owner, Alan Sugar. Kemsley left Spurs in 2007.
The Times recently explained Kemsley’s growing list of problems:
The collapse of Rock is the latest reverse for Mr Kemsley, who was estimated to be worth £180 million in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List. Last year he was embroiled in litigation with Spreadex, the spread-betting company, after placing several huge bets the week before the collapse of Lehman Brothers that the bank would recover. He also advised Frank Lampard, the Chelsea and England footballer, on a foreign exchange punt that went wrong and became the subject of legal action.
Kemsley is known for his aggressive takeover moves, once saying that “If I want something, I will buy it.” He’s had his finger in numerous gambling pies, and was a well known player in high-stakes London poker circles. He owned a racehorse with Harry Redknapp at one stage.
So Kemsley seems to have earned himself a reputation for overstretching himself — will this be the case again with the New York Cosmos? The idea of turning them into a travelling all-star team is even touted by the Daily Mail as a precursor to seeking an MLS franchise.
Of course, if it turns out any of Kemsley’s old muckers in England such as Joe Lewis or Alan Sugar are interested in investing in the team as serious venture in an actual league (whether USL-1 or MLS), there might be a lot more substance to the rebirth, but that’s a big stretch. Right now, it looks like a sharp bit of speculation by a man known to take a punt on a long shot.
Does anyone see a travelling all-star team having any success in this day and age?