Football clubs these days are global entities; they have a worldwide reach and command packed stadiums wherever they visit during their off-season tours. The vast sum of money that has flowed into the game during recent times has ensured that the beautiful game is incredibly alluring to potential investors, with the windfall from succeeding in any of the bigger leagues quite significant.
Therefore, clubs usually go all out in transfer windows, trying to buy the best possible players, throwing ludicrous amounts of cash in the hopes of competing with the so-called ‘big dogs.’
While this works out well in the short term, it financially cripples these clubs if they don’t take the right measures to balance the books and trim the wage bill to guarantee the continued smooth running of the club.
Also read: 5 big clubs which went bankrupt
It takes a certain degree of financial and economic acumen to run a club smoothly and ensure self-sustainability and profitability at the same time. The clubs that spend without any regard for long-term stability are usually forced to liquidate their assets and eventually end up bankrupt.
Here we take a look at 5 famous clubs who, through a combination of financial mismanagement, negligence and some torrid luck, ended up being wiped off the footballing map.
#5 Los Angeles Aztecs
Much like the North American soccer league itself, the Los Angeles Aztecs disappeared from the football scene as quickly as they came on to it.
The NASL was a bankrolled competition with the aim of helping football become one of America’s largest sports. To do this, many of the clubs brought in some of football’s greatest players a little past their peak; much like the MLS does now.
The LA Aztecs, in particular, were the Western version of the NY Cosmos, as they brought in the likes of George Best, Johan Cruyff and legendary manager, Rinus Michels. In the Aztecs’ first season in 1974, they managed to win the NASL by beating Miami Toros but failed to get past the semis of the playoffs after their triumph.
Co-owned by Elton John, the club’s average attendance was around 12,000, but like 6 other NASL teams, the Aztecs went bankrupt and dissolved in 1982.