Phoenix club (sports)

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For other uses, see phoenix club (disambiguation).

The term phoenix club is one used in professional team sports to refer to a new parent company that is set up to replace the parent company of a club that has failed in business terms but not in sporting terms, ideally while maintaining the continuity of the sporting activity.[1] In some cases, the phoenix club is created by the supporters of the club which has ended (or appears to be on the point of ending). A phoenix club will often have the same or similar name, logo and playing uniform to the original club. The term is particularly prevalent in the United Kingdom in relation to association football, though it is also used in other countries.

The term is also occasionally used to refer to a club formed by disgruntled supporters of a major team when a change of ownership or policy causes them to lose faith in the management of their favoured side (as happened in 2005 when FC United of Manchester was formed by fans of Manchester United as a protest at the sale of the latter to Malcolm Glazer).[2] although their status as such may disputed if the original club is still in existence at the time.

The term is taken from the mythical phoenix bird, which is said to resurrect itself from its own ashes. In the Australia-New Zealand A-League the demise of the sole New Zealand team, New Zealand Knights FC, resulted in the newly created club actually calling itself the Phoenix, albeit that the club moved a different city, Wellington.

In some cases, phoenix clubs will retain the name of the club which they replaced, implying a continuation from the former team. In other cases, name changes occur, perhaps due to proprietorial ownership existing on the old club's name.

The definition of a phoenix club does not include teams which have been re-founded as the original club, it has to be a legally separate entity for the club to be considered a phoenix club.[clarification needed][citation needed]

It does not also include teams that relocated and/or been renamed as a going concern, although many of the former may have their founding date as the day they have moved and still have strong links to their past, however they are considered to be the same club and therefore cannot be a phoenix (unless their previous entity officially folded and was liquidated).
(For a list of relocated teams, see Relocation of professional sports teams)

However, the term phoenix club is one that could de disputed depending on what criteria are used, as there is no single universally accepted definition. Furthermore there may be changes in what each country's football governing body and legal system defines as a phoenix club and not a resurrected club. For example: The Scottish Football Association has a different interpretation from the (English) Football Association with regard to phoenix clubs. Therefore Rangers FC is not regarded in Scotland as a phoenix club (despite a new company having bought the assets of the The Rangers Football Club plc in 2012 after a failure to agree a CVA with its creditors and consequent liquidation); whereas in England, Darlington 1883 is regarded as a phoenix club having gone through similar circumstances.

Association football[edit]

Austria[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established 3rd Phoenix club Year established
Wacker Innsbruck FC Swarovski Tirol[citation needed] 1986 FC Tirol Innsbruck[citation needed] 1993 Wacker Innsbruck (2002)[citation needed] 2002
FC Linz FC Blau-Weiß Linz[citation needed] 1997
SV Austria Salzburg (1933)a SV Austria Salzburg[citation needed] 2005
ASKÖ Paschingb FC Pasching[citation needed] 2007
1. FC Vöcklabruck Vöcklabrucker SC[3] 2009
Hakoah Vienna SC Maccabi Wien[4] 2010

a The original SV Austria Salzburg became FC Red Bull Salzburg after being bought out by the Red Bull company. The new owners completely re-branded the club and renounced any history prior to 2005, becoming a completely separate club.
b ASKÖ Pasching relocated from Pasching to Klagenfurt and became SK Austria Kärnten, effectively a new club.

Belgium[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
Beerschot AC FCO Beerschot Wilrijk[citation needed] 2013
R.E. Mouscron Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz [citation needed] 2010

Bulgaria[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
FC Etar 1924 Veliko Tarnovo OFC Etar Veliko Tarnovo[5] 2013
FC Chernomorets Burgas PSFC Chernomorets Burgas[citation needed] 2005
PFC Naftex Burgas PFC Neftochimic Burgas[citation needed] 2009

Chile[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Regional Atacama Deportes Copiapó[citation needed] 1999

China[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Wǔhàn Guānggǔ F.C. Wuhan Zall F.C.[citation needed] 2009

Costa Rica[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Asociación Deportiva Limonense Limón F.C.[6] 2009
A.D. Generaleñaa AS Puma Generaleña[7] 2010

a A.D. Generaleña merged with A.D. Pérez Zeledón to become Municipal Pérez Zeledón, de facto only continuing the Pérez Zeledón heritage.

Croatia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
HNK Dubrovnik HNK Dubrovnik 1919[citation needed] 2004
NK Varaždin NK Varteks[8] 2011

England / Wales[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
Leeds City F.C. Leeds United A.F.C.[citation needed] 1919
Wigan Borough F.C. Wigan Athletic F.C.[citation needed] 1932
South Shields F.C. (1936)a South Shields F.C. (1974)[citation needed] 1974
Merthyr Town F.C. Merthyr Tydfil F.C.[9] 1945 Merthyr Town F.C.[citation needed] 2010
Accrington Stanley F.C. (1891) Accrington Stanley F.C.[10] 1968
Gateshead A.F.C. Gateshead F.C.[citation needed]a 1977
Newport County (1912) Newport County A.F.C.[citation needed] 1989
Aldershot F.C. Aldershot Town F.C.[11] 1992
Maidstone United F.C. (1897) Maidstone United F.C.[citation needed] 1992
Wimbledon F.C.b AFC Wimbledon[12][13][14] 2002
Telford United F.C. AFC Telford United[citation needed] 2004
Hornchurch F.C. AFC Hornchurch[15] 2005
Barking & East Ham United F.C. Barking F.C.[citation needed] 2006
Runcorn F.C. Halton Runcorn Linnets F.C.[citation needed] 2006
Farnborough Town F.C. Farnborough F.C.[citation needed] 2007
Scarborough F.C. Scarborough Athletic F.C.[16]
Scarborough Town F.C.
2007
2008
Halifax Town A.F.C.[17] F.C. Halifax Town[18] 2008
Darwen F.C. A.F.C. Darwen[citation needed] 2009
Fisher Athletic F.C. Fisher F.C.[19] 2009
Gresley Rovers F.C. Gresley F.C.[citation needed] 2009
Chester City F.C. Chester F.C.[20] 2010
Farsley Celtic A.F.C. Farsley A.F.C.[citation needed] 2010
Kings Lynn F.C. King's Lynn Town F.C.[citation needed] 2010
Rushden & Diamonds F.C. AFC Rushden & Diamonds[21] 2011
Windsor & Eton F.C. Windsor F.C.[22] 2011
Croydon Athletic F.C. AFC Croydon Athletic[23] 2012
Darlington F.C. Darlington 1883[24] 2012
Hereford United Hereford F.C.[citation needed] 2014
Salisbury City F.C. Salisbury F.C.[citation needed] 2015

a South Shields F.C. (1936) became Gateshead United F.C. in 1974
b Wimbledon F.C. became Milton Keynes Dons F.C. in 2004; see Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes.

Finland[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Tampere United TamU-K[25] 2009

France[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
ASOA Valence AS Valence[citation needed] 2005
Gap FC Gap Foot 05[26] 2012

Georgia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Metalurgi Zestafoni FC Zestafoni[citation needed] 1990
2004

Germany[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
FC Sachsen Leipzig SG Leipzig Leutsch[citation needed]
BSG Chemie Leipzig (2011)[27]
2011
SpVgg Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin SV Blau Weiss Berlin[citation needed] 1992
DVV Coburg FC Coburg[28] 2011

Indonesia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Putra Samarinda Pusamania Borneo F.C.[29] 2014

Israel[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Hapoel Jerusalem F.C. Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem[citation needed] 2009

Iran[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
PAS Tehran PAS Hamedan[citation needed] 2007

Japan[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Yokohama Flügels Yokohama F.C.[citation needed] 1999

Latvia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
FK Liepājas Metalurgs FK Liepāja[30] 2014

Macedonia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
FK Pobeda FK Pobeda (2010)[31] 2010
FK Bashkimi (1947–2008) FK Bashkimi (2011)[citation needed] 2011

Northern Ireland[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Ballymena F.C. Ballymena United F.C.[citation needed] 1934
Newry City F.C. Newry City AFC[32] 2013

Panama[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Chiriquí F.C. Atlético Chiriquí[citation needed] 2002

Peru[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established 3rd Phoenix club Year established
Juan Aurich (1922–1992)[citation needed] Aurich–Cañaña 1993 Juan Aurich (1996–2004)[citation needed] 1996 Juan Aurich (2005)[33] 2005

Poland[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Amica Wronki Błękitni Wronki[citation needed] 2007

Portugal[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
S.C. Salgueiros Sport Clube Salgueiros 08[citation needed] 2008

Republic of Ireland[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
Cork City Cork United[34] 1940 Cork Athletic[34] 1948
Galway United F.C. (1937–2011) Galway United F.C. (2013)[citation needed] 2013

Romania[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
FC Corvinul Hunedoara SC Corvinul 2005 Hunedoara[citation needed] 2005 FC Hunedoara[citation needed] 2009
FC Argeș Pitești F.C. Arges 1953[citation needed] 2012
FC Politehnica Timișoara SS Politehnica Timișoara[citation needed] 2012
CSU Voinţa Sibiu LSS Voinţa Sibiu[citation needed] 2012
FC Vaslui FC Vaslui 2002[citation needed] 2014

Russia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
FC Spartak Ryazan FC Ryazan[35] 1995
FC Amur Blagoveshchensk FC Amur-2010 Blagoveshchensk[citation needed] 2010
FC Ryazan FC Zvezda Ryazan[citation needed] 2010

Scotland[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878) Airdrieonians F.C. (2002)[36] 2002
Clydebank F.C. (1965)a Clydebank F.C.[citation needed] 2003
Gretna F.C. Gretna F.C. 2008[37] 2008

a The Clydebank F.C. prior to the current club were themselves a phoenix club; in total there have been 6 clubs in the Clydebank lineage dating back to 1888.

Note: The SFA has a different interpretation from the FA with regard to phoenix clubs. Therefore Rangers FC is not regarded as a phoenix club despite a new company having bought the assets of the The Rangers Football Club plc in 2012 after a failure to agree a CVA with creditors, whereas Darlington 1883 is regarded as a phoenix club in England having gone through similar circumstances.

Serbia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
ŽAK Subotica FK Spartak Subotica[38] 1945
FK Hajduk Kula OFK Hajduk[39][40][41] 2013 [42]

Slovenia[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
I. SSK Maribor NK Branik Maribor[43] 1949 NK Maribor[citation needed] 1960
NK Izola MNK Izola[44] 1996
NK Steklar NK Rogaška[citation needed] 1999
NK Korotan Prevalje DNŠ Prevalje[citation needed] 2002
NK Ljubljana FC Ljubljana[45] 2005
NK Olimpija Ljubljana (defunct) NK Olimpija Ljubljana (2005)[46][47] 2005
NK Šmartno ob Paki NK Šmartno 1928[citation needed] 2005
ND Mura 05 NŠ Mura[citation needed] 2012
NK Beltinci ND Beltinci[citation needed] 2006
NK Naklo (defunct) NK Naklo (2010)[citation needed] 2010
NK Drava Ptuj NŠ Drava Ptuj[citation needed] 2004
NK Primorje DNŠ Ajdovščina[48] 2011
NK Nafta Lendava ND Lendava 1903[citation needed] 2012

South Africa[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Bush Bucks F.C. (1957) Bush Bucks F.C. (2007)[citation needed] 2007
Bay United Bay Stars[citation needed] 2011

South Korea[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Bucheon SKa Bucheon FC 1995[citation needed] 2007

a Bucheon SK relocated and became Jeju United FC in 2006. The phoenix club was created due to the relocation after the reversal of controversial decentralisation policy at the time.

Spain[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established
CP Mérida Mérida UD[49] 2000 Mérida AD[50] 2013

Ukraine[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
FC Chayka-VMS Sevastopol FC Sevastopol[citation needed] 2002
FC Dnipro Cherkasy FC Cherkaskyi Dnipro[citation needed] 2010
FC Obolon Kyiv FC Obolon-Brovar Kyiv[citation needed] 2013

United States[edit]

Original club 1st Phoenix club Year established 2nd Phoenix club Year established 3rd Phoenix club Year established
Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1977–83) Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1988–94) 1988[51] Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1994-1997) 1994 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2011
San Jose Clash/Earthquakes (1994) San Jose Earthquakes 2008[52]

Basketball[edit]

Poland[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Prokom Trefl Sopot Trefl Sopot[53] 2009

Slovenia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
ŽKK Maribor KK Maribor[citation needed] 2005

United Kingdom[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Thames Valley Tigers Guildford Heat[54] 2005
Hemel Hempstead Lakers Hemel Storm[citation needed] 2010
Manchester Giants (1975–2001) Manchester Giants[55] 2011
Essex Leopards (1994–2003) Essex Leopards[citation needed] 2013

Ice Hockey[edit]

Sweden[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Hammarby Hockey (1921–2008) Hammarby Hockey[56][57] 2008

Latvia[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Dinamo Riga (original) Dinamo Riga (current)[citation needed] 2008

United Kingdom[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
MK Kings MK Lightning[citation needed] 2002
Haringey Racers London Racers[citation needed] 2003

Rugby League[edit]

England & Wales[edit]

Original club Phoenix club Year established
Brighouse Rangers RFC Brighouse Rangers (1915)[citation needed] 1915
Crusaders Rugby League North Wales Crusaders[citation needed] 2011

References[edit]

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