Report: League has discussed possibility of Chargers moving to London

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The Chargers’ return to Los Angeles isn’t going well. And that reportedly is making them a candidate to become the NFL’s first permanent team in London.

According to Vincent Bonsignore, who covers the Rams for TheAthletic.com, “[T]he possibility of the Chargers moving to London has been broached among league personnel.”

It’s an unusual report, to say the least, and it invites speculation as to the motivations of those who have leaked to the media the notion that the Chargers could be the team to relocate to another continent.

Consider this reality, which isn’t mentioned in Bonsignore’s lengthy story: It has become a given within league circles that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has secured a de facto right of first refusal on moving to London. At a minimum, the Jaguars would need to say that they aren’t moving before the Chargers or anyone else would. (Unless the NFL plans to place two teams there.)

So maybe someone is trying to force Khan’s hand, nudging him to poo or get off the loo regarding a move to England by throwing the Chargers into the mix. Or maybe someone connected to the Rams is trying to bring to a head whatever issues may be percolating behind the scenes regarding the actual or perceived inability of the Chargers to pull their financial weight in the stadium the Rams and the Chargers will share.

Indeed, before the Chargers could play in any city except L.A., Rams owner Stan Kroenke would have to agree to let the Chargers out of their 20-year lease. Given the unprecedented expense of the stadium that is nearing completion in Inglewood, it’s highly unlikely that Kroenke would cut the inventory of annual games to be played there from 20 to 10 without significant compensation from someone.

Then there’s the question of whether Chargers ownership would want to move the team so far from California.

As a source with knowledge of the situation has explained it to PFT, no one from the league has ever talked to owner Dean Spanos or any of the Spanos family members about a potential move to London. For years, the family has made a ritual of traveling from their home base in Stockton to Chargers home games. If those home games will be played more than 5,000 miles away, that’s a tradition that would be very difficult to continue.

“We are fully committed and focused on Los Angeles and look forward to continuing to build our fanbase as we transition to our new stadium,” Dean Spanos told Bonsignore. “We’re seeing progress every day, and we look forward to building on that.”

So, frankly, this report feels like it flows from a deliberate effort by the unnamed sources who have fueled it to pushing some other agenda. Whether it’s related to nudging the Jaguars to London or working out whatever issues may linger between the Rams and Chargers regarding their new home, something more seems to be going on than the early stages of an eventual breaking of the Chargers’ 20-year lease in L.A. and a departure to a city that is more than 20 percent of the circumference of the planet away from their current home.

58 responses to “Report: League has discussed possibility of Chargers moving to London

  1. NFL franchises aren’t civic assets or public trusts. The league just leases them out to a bunch of cities across America in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in stadium construction and maintenance costs.

  2. Rivers barely wanted to leave his family in SD to go play in Los Angeles. You think he wants to be in London while his 16 kids are in San Diego?

    Jokes aside, the Chargers need to return to San Diego. Not London, not San Antonio, or Portland, or Toronto. They belong in San Diego, with new ownership.

  3. It’s obvious the Chargers aren’t going to work in LA. If the Rams start to suck, they will have troubles, too. But the Chargers couldn’t sell out in San Diego.. where their die hard fans are.. it’s a franchise in trouble.

  4. Absolute nonsense until technology cuts down the travel time. And good luck convincing mid to top tier free agents to move out of the country.

  5. England’s taxes are idiotic. Almost all their rich moved out of the country (Mick Jagger started the out flood) and was vocal about it.

  6. They should make the Jags AND the Chargers move to London, then realign the AFC conferences so that they play each other twice a year to reduce the burden of international travel for each team…or just not try to expand into foreign markets who mostly aren’t interested.

  7. 1. It’s the National football league. Not the international football league.
    2. If this is true, why did they leave San Diego?
    3. This idea so dumb I don’t know where to begin.
    4. Thursday night games will have to be eliminated – travel

    The self destruction of the NFL continues…….

  8. 1. It’s the National football league. Not the international football league.
    2. If this is true, why did they leave San Diego?
    3. This idea so dumb I don’t know where to begin.
    4. Thursday night games will have to be eliminated – travel

    The self destruction of the NFL continues…….

  9. Ever seen the tax rates in London? No way any NFL football player, especially one that currently gets paid in a state with no state tax, is going to pay the UK tax rate of 45%. Never gonna happen.

  10. The league wants a London team within the next decade, no news there. Thought the Chargers fall into the possible “Top 5” potential teams to make the move, the issue of the lease and Spanos ownership as Florio points out is as good a reason as any to think this is BS. The Chargers are much more likely to head back to San Diego than they are a permanent fixture in London. It will be fun to speculate, but London will happen for someone.

  11. That wouldn’t make the entire division alignment thing an absolute clustercuss at allllllll . . . AFC West: Denver, Las Vegas, Kansas City and London?

    So, AFC West: Denver, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Houston
    AFC South: Jacksonville, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Miami
    AFC North: Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo
    AFC East: New England, NY Jets, Baltimore, London

  12. Way too late for this, but the Chargers would have been the perfect Las Vegas permanent road team. Fans could fly in from around the country and bet against them. Bookies would clean up because the Chargers are so random.

    Raiders would have a great fanbase in LA, but NFL is still butthurt about Old Dead Al’s antics from 30 years ago to do the best thing for the league.

  13. rabbi187 says:
    November 5, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Absolute nonsense until technology cuts down the travel time. And good luck convincing mid to top tier free agents to move out of the country.

    ——————————————————————————-

    I agree. If I were a player I would have my agent put a clause that I will not play in London. Taxes are to high and who wants to deal with people who hate Americans?

  14. I think Kroenke would love having LA all to himself and would gladly let the Chargers out their lease, maybe even kick-in a few bucks to encourae them to leave.

  15. That will be a long commute for Rivers. Maybe he can dust off a Concorde to help make supper at home?

  16. Why not send the Bucs to London? Bucs ownership own a soccer team out there, why not add their NFL team?

  17. There need to be two European teams to make this work. They should be in the same division.

    AFC East
    Pats
    Jets
    Euro 1
    Euro 2

    Pats, Jets, AFC rotating opponent 1&2, NFC rotating opponent 1&2 go to Europe for 2-weeks each season. Play both road games.

    Euro teams come to the States for 2-week trips four times per season.

    Euro teams could both be in London, London + another English city, London + city on the Continent.

    Jags and Chargers make sense as the teams to move. Dolphins replace Jags in AFC South. Bills go to AFC North (where they always belonged), someone else moves.

  18. Never say never with the NFL, however this is highly unlikely.

    Any franchise in London will have to be home grown.

    There’s the international pathway, there are UK training camps but NFL UK would need to put together some kind of feeder league, maybe in partnership with UK universities to replicate the college system.

    Getting Grid Iron in ahead of rugby and cricket (they’re the big university sports – soccer you play for an actual established team through their academies)

    Lot of ground work to get a London based UK franchise and it would need to be successful to convince free agents to sign and trades and draft to work.

    It’s one thing sending a player from Florida to California, it’s a totally different deal to go from Michigan to London. Enforcing that type of move would be…… difficult.

  19. rabbi187 says:
    November 5, 2019 at 12:00 am
    Absolute nonsense until technology cuts down the travel time. And good luck convincing mid to top tier free agents to move out of the country.

    Not really. Players would leave just like other leagues that have teams in Toronto. Plus, they would probably go to a Hawaii like college schedule, with 2 or 3 home games in a row, then 2 or 3 road games.

    Playoffs would get the BYU treatment and not play on Sundays to not penalize traveling team.

  20. On Monday, LA Times columnist, Bill Plashke, wrote a devastating commentary regarding to what degree the Chargers are unwelcome in LA and why they should move ASAP.
    That couldn’t have helped their longevity in town…

  21. I predict the London team will consistently be one of the youngest teams in the league. Tough to get free agents to come. Tough to get rookies to extend and stay.

  22. These owners are very wealthy. Make the San Diego owner build him a stadium back in San Diego where they belong. He doesn’t need tax payer money they are just greedy as hell.

  23. The Chargers belong in San Antonio. Big fan base in south texas absolutely rabid about football. It’s also a 4 hour drive and nearly 300 miles from Dallas so Jerruh’s argument about it impacting his market doesn’t hold up.

  24. To be honest speculating on why the story may be leaked might just play right into the hands of those doing the leaking. There could be a dozen reason the story was leaked but if people in the media do their own speculation it just feed the leakers.

  25. What a mess the nfl has done! Move the chargers anywhere in North America and make sure spanos has a new stadium. The owners make so much money that they can easily help another out to make that happen. Even move back to San Diego and build a new home. It isn’t working in Los Angeles obviously!

  26. Txraiders said: It’s obvious the Chargers aren’t going to work in LA = True
    Txraiders said: If the Rams start to suck, they will have troubles, too = True
    Txraiders said: it’s a franchise in trouble = True

    Txraiders said: But the Chargers couldn’t sell out in San Diego.. where their die hard fans are.. = Not True
    The last 6 years of fan attendance dwindled because it became evident that San Diego was not going to support Spanos. San Diego was not going to give all of the freebies that Spanos got before. Spanos was going to take his team and leave unless he got what Jerry Jones has. Flashy and over-the-top is not San Diego’s style.
    Besides, the Chargers never put tarps in their stadium like another California team…

  27. The thing about this goofy idea is that if the Chargers (London Redcoats?) remain in the AFC west, each west coast team will be required to make play in London every year — a long line flight from the west coast.

    If the team were to be reallocated to the AFC east, then the Jets, Pats, Miami, and whomever else remains will visit London every year, and the rest of the conference, with all its rivalries, will be reconfigured. No-one will be happy with that.

    Either way, that is going to get tired real fast.

  28. If only there were some other precedent to a city being unable to support two NFL teams… Oh wait there is. And it’s Los Angeles.

  29. Hello Mike….the Chargers are on another continent…it’s called Los Angeles. They’ll never make it there and the “relocation” is a disaster. They can’t meet their financial contractual agreement with Kroenke. The NFL has a failing franchise on their hands. Spanos is lying.

  30. Maybe just get rid of the division system all together so you don’t make three teams have to travel back and forth so often like that.

  31. Call me nutty but maybe Spanos is in over his head and has no way out.
    He should have stayed in San Diego.
    He’s stuck in LA and maybe has to sell the team?

  32. The NFL and their greed caused all this commotion. Build your own stadiums and truly mean you care about the fans that support the teams the NFL just moves

  33. Jags owner Khan is breaking ground on a billion dollar development around the Stadium in Jax this off season. Not sure why you would do that if you were going to move the main tenant.

  34. So if the relocation fees from San Diego to Carson (120 miles) is $650 million then the relocation fees to London (5478 miles) would only be: $29.67 Billion.

    Spanos does not have the pocket change for that.

  35. “ who wants to deal with people who hate Americans?”

    There’s the most stupid thing I’ll read all day

    I have toured many times in the UK doing the lighting on concert tours. The fans give you a tremendous reception and have always been very well treated there

    Your claim is pure ignorance

  36. I agree with most, stop playing with this franchise and move them back to their home in San Diego!! Never should’ve left and forced themselves on a city that doesn’t even want them in LA. But London?? GOH with that ridiculousness!!!!

  37. The Chargers belong in San Diego. Why not bomb Qualcomm While it’s empty and build a new, reasonably sized stadium.

  38. The NFL is hell bent on moving to London go ahead and do it already so it can massively fail when players won’t want to go or resign there because of their high as hell taxes.

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