Sir Elton John is best known for helping craft a handful of the most memorable melodies of the past 30 years. Well, he’s known for that and the world’s most flamboyant collection of sunglasses. Now, for the second time, John has stepped in with significant investment in the soccer team he grew up rooting for, English Championship side Watford. The difference is that this time, instead of bankrolling the team out of his own pocket, he’s proposing funding the team’s summer transfer targets by holding a concert at the team’s stadium.
(Watford’s new strike force, brought to you by this guy.)
According to the WATFORD OBSERVER, John pitched the idea after being re-named “Honorary Life President” of the Watford Hornets on his 62nd birthday last week, and he immediately pitched the concert idea as a way to re-create an incredibly successful — and similar — idea from 2005, when John hosted a gig at the team’s Vicarage Road ground and helped raise a whopping $2 million+. Now, instead of using the money to help fund the team’s stadium advances, John explicity wants the money to go toward signing new players.
It’s a bit like Jon Bon Jovi holding a concert to raise money for the Phillies to sign a new free agent pitcher. It’s the kind of thing we just haven’t seen before, and you’d have to say that Elton John is just about the last person you’d think would usher in a trend in sports funding.
Will the concert raise enough money to help Watford move back up the Championship ranks? Who knows. The team is in the middle of a bleak season, and it’ll doubtlessly need 10-20 times the money John can raise in a single show.
(John’s last Vicarage Road concert.)
But it is a start, and an inventive one at that. Hear that Bruce Springsteen? It’s your move, Bruce. Just pick a show to dedicate to your team, and send the money along. Providing Springsteen’s team isn’t the Yankees, of course. That would just be cruel and unfair to all humanity.