Guest Jeffery S. Posted February 9, 2007 Share Posted February 9, 2007 quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard I did mention the ethnic Swedish angle a few posts up so wasn't trying to sweep that fact under the carpet. 20,000 or so people, which appears to be the population of the biggest island in Aland where the town of Marienhemn is located, is usually not a big enough population to sustain fully-pro soccer in Europe regardless of cultural factors. Given the short summer season in Finland, the team is probably basically semi-pro. Villareal has a population of 40,000, and the nearest town is Castellon, which had a team in top flight some 18-20 years ago and are dire rivals. But the owner is rich. How big do you think some of those Norwegian towns are in top flight? I'll bet there are towns of that size or lower and very isolated (Sogndal, where Reda started). Or have you looked at the attendance figures in Scotland lately, where Hastings is at Inverness getting 7000 is a huge gate and a special occasion. Apart from size, if the region has resources beyond population, it could have a base for sponsors, perhaps it is a tourism area and the local tourist board throws in money. Perhaps some other key service company. Perhaps it is an area with special gov't funding because of its isolation or sociological make-up. That said, my opinion is that any time you are playing in top flight in pretty well any league in Europe except the absolute minnows, you are doing well for a start. You are going to get a salary you can live on and play pro. There is a lot of experience to be had, if they go play a bigger team, maybe with national team players on it, that is a step up. And if he shines and they relegate, a bigger team will pick him up. You are in the mechanism, whereas in North America you really are not. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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