It's eminently annoying to me that some English media and fans view Americans through the prism of a few choice owners who invested in English football. The feeling that I get is that a couple of in-it-for-the-money Americans colors how the general English populations thinks of all of us when it comes to soccer.

Maybe that's unfair to the majority of English football fans. I'm sure there are some who don't hold it against us commoners that Malcolm Glazer is a leveraging opportunist or that Hicks and Gillette can't get out of their own way at Liverpool. But Old Glory has been burned on Merseyside, and the innate inferiority complex that comes with being an American soccer fan makes me ultra sensitive to how my countrymen represent me abroad. Thank god for Randy Lerner.

What then to make of a report that the New York Yankees might be interested in bidding for Tottenham? More American ownership in England isn't necessarily a bad thing provided those doing the buying are committed to the game, willing to do right by the club, and aware of the risks involved. With Big George gone, Hank Steinbrenner is in charge at the Yankees; there's almost nothing about Hank that tells me the Yankees would be a good fit at White Hart Lane. Okay, so he's played some soccer. I guess that's better than nothing.

But the Yankees? The Evil Empire? If you're not a Spurs fan and were ambivalent or even like them a little, how can you not hate them immediately? I suppose Yankees fans unattached to an English club would have an easy choice, but the rest of us could never get past the connection. Any die-hard Red Sox fans who also root for Spurs might have some contemplating to do. Can they continue to love their English club in light of such a disturbing development?

Clearly I'm overstating it just a bit, but people care enough about their teams that at least a few people will consider it a problem. There may be nothing overtly "Yankees" about Tottenham should Hank Steinbrenner successfully buy the club, but the knowledge that the connection exists will always gnaw at certain Sox fans, Mets fans, and Yankees-haters. Only those with a pragmatic view ("If we win, I don't care who owns the club") will be unaffected. That's the healthy attitude, it's just hard for some people get to.

Hank and the Yankees might be great Premier League owners. They certainly have the cash to invest in the club, and smart owners know to delegate responsibility to smart people who understand the sport both on the field and in the boardroom. George Steinbrenner finally figured that out in the 90's, and it led to New York going on another run of World Series titles. If Hank learned the same lesson as his father, there's really no reason to fear that Spurs will be driven into debt or mismanaged into irrelevancy. Maybe they would be more Randy Lerner than Hicks and Gillette.

Foreign ownership of beloved sports institutions is a sticky issue with no easy answers. English football clubs have been snatched up by foreign interests, with the results being a mixed bag; I wonder how American sports fans would react if something similar happened with our most famous teams. Another "failure" by American ownership (again, should the Yankees/Tottenham thing actually happen) would be unfortunate and damage the Americans-in-soccer reputation even further.

Of all the interests in all the world to carry the next American banner to England...the Yankees? Blech. I think I'd rather have Diddy buy Crystal Palace.
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