Controversy, of course, dogs some (but not all) of the American owners of Premier League clubs. As this English newspaper article from 1967 shows, it wasn’t the first time fears of an American invasion have been raised. That year, England’s Wolverhampton Wanderers showed up in America dressed as the Los Angeles Wolves in the United Soccer Association league in 1967, the season ending with Wolves beating the Washington Whips 6-5 in overtime in front of 17,824 fans to win the title. And apparently, Los Angeles sports mogul Jack Kent Cooke was so impressed he made a bid to buy the club.
And he wasn’t the only one: according to the piece below, Atlanta Chiefs owner Dick Cecil flew to England in an effort to take over Aston Villa.
Jack Kent Cooke, incidentally, wasn’t really a “yank”: the owner of the LA soccer franchise, he was better known as the Washington Redskins owner during their era of great success under coach Joe Gibbs, and was Canadian born-and-bred. He became an American citizen in 1960, receiving a special fast-track waiver from the president, and made his sports name first with the Los Angeles Lakers. And according to the Daily Mail, he was not out to make money but had “the Soccer bug”, rather unlike another fellow from Tampa Bay some decades later. . .