Strang: Cheer up Warriors fans - could be worse

BEN STRANG
Last updated 18:18 12/04/2014

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OPINION: Owen Glenn says this, Eric Watson says that, the Warriors are in the middle of an owners spat.

Since Matt Elliott decided or was forced to resign after the Sharks loss the club has been in turmoil.

First it was the players fault, then Glenn blamed the front office for forcing Elliott out, and then Watson jumped in and hit back at Glenn.

It's the ultimate Warrior's royal rumble.

Fans shouldn't be too worried though because Glenn, Watson and the front office team really aren't that bad in the grand scheme of things.

It could be far worse.

Sports team owners can be great.

See Paul and Liz Blackwell at the New Zealand Breakers, the Steinbrenners at the New York Yankees, or even Roman Ambramovich at Chelsea.

Ninety per cent of the time, they make the right decisions, and the club is never in turmoil.

Then there are the following lot.

Harry Frazee - Boston Red Sox

We might as well start with one of the worst.

Frazee purchased the Red Sox in 1916 for about $500,000, and won the World Series in 1918.

From there it went downhill.

As the story goes, Frazee's first love was Broadway, so he sold Babe Ruth, the greatest baseballer of all time, to the rival New York Yankees, to fund his theatre productions.

He left the club in bankruptcy in 1923, and the club didn't win another World Series title until 2004.

That's an 86-year wait for success

John Spano - New York Islanders

To be clear, Spano never actually owned the Islanders, so maybe it should be John Pickett on this list.

Spano agreed to purchase the Islanders ice hockey franchise from Pickett in 1996 for US$165 million.

The only problem was that Spano didn't have the money, and duped Pickett into thinking he was a successful businessman worth about US$230 million.

In the end, Spano was sentenced to 71 months in prison for bank fraud and forgery in trying to purchase the Islanders, after the whole caper fell to pieces.

Pickett did eventually sell the Islanders in 1997 to a legitimate group led by Phoenix Coyotes co-owner Steven Gluckstern.

Stuart Lovering - Barry Town

Barry Town was one of the better clubs in Welsh football when Lovering took charge in 2003.

With the club in financial difficulties, Lovering promised to run it well and take it to untold glory.

So much for that.

When Barry Town was relegated from the top tier of Welsh football, Lovering hiked ticket prices.

That was after he attempted to actually take the field in their final match of the season, with relegation assured.

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When offers came in to buy the club, he rejected or continued to raise the asking price, he moved the team's home matches to another town and in May of last year he withdrew the team from the second division of Welsh football.

Vincent Tan - Cardiff City

You've got to feel for Cardiff City fans.

Having made it into the English Premier League, the club was on a high, but underneath that success fans were rightly annoyed with their relatively new owner.

Tan took over the club in 2010, and since then the billionaire has pumped more than $240 million into it.

He's also changed the colour of the club's shirts from blue to red, and the club's crest, apparently to improve their marketability, particularly in Asia.

Last year he fired the club's chief scout Iain Moody, replacing him with a 23-year-old friend of his son, who appears to have no footballing experience.

The team will probably be relegated from the Premier League this year, but Tan insists he has "saved the club" and that fans should be grateful.

So Warriors fans, as you can see, it's not that bad.

- Fairfax Media

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