Sorry, but there is no Dr. Lawrence Britt. Lawrence Britt (not a doctor; not a political scientist) wrote a novel about right-wing extremism. Britt was (is) no fan of conservatives and the Bush administration in particular. That's not to say his points aren't worthwhile -- but there is absolutely no academic study behind them. Just sayin'. I get enough emails with incorrect sources as it is. I don't want to have to start scrubbing Techdirt, too.
Cleveland may have tried to sue Modell, but the Oakland Raiders and other teams had already clearly demonstrated that an owner can move his team (and its name) now matter what the city or the league wants. Modell voluntarily left the Browns name behind. The NFL kept the name in an informal "trust" and awarded it (and all the history associated with it) to the expansion franchise that was awarded to Cleveland a few years are the original Browns left for Baltimore. That's quite a sacrifice for someone who owned the team during some of its glory years. I suppose the Hotspurs owner could leave the name and history "in trust" to the English Football Association and start with a new locality name and nickname starting only with the players and managers from the old team -- starting an entirely new "brand" like Modell did. Kind of high risk, though.
It's fairly easy to understand a team named for a large area (like New York City) keeping its name if it moves around in the general metropolitan area. What seems odd is a team named for a very localized area (like Tottenham) moving to another area that no one considers to be the "Tottenham metropolitan area." Moving the team (nick)name makes sense. That (at least in the U.S.) is the real brand. It can lead to ridiculous new names (Utah Jazz after moving from New Orleans; but at least we don't have the insanity of the New Orleans Jazz playing in Salt Lake City), but all of the records and history follow the nickname (or whatever you call the part of the name not associated with a place). Seems to me that Hotspur F.C. (the Spurs) should be able to move wherever they want and either take on another name linked to the new area or just make a go of it without a placename in their title.
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