January 20 – LaLiga’s Atletico Madrid is bidding for a club franchise in Ottawa to compete in the Canadian Premier League (CPL).
The Spanish club wants to announce the new club in the coming weeks as it seeks to gain greater exposure in North America. The team would debut later this year in the second season of the CPL.
Atletico have singled out Ottawa Fury FC as the launchpad for their new franchise. Fury FC were founded in 2011 and played in the North American Soccer League, which went defunct two seasons ago. The Canadians then had a spell in the USL’s top division (United Soccer League Championship), the second professional tier of the game in the US.
In 2019, the club did not receive a license from US Soccer and Concacaf to continue playing in the USL and they sold the USL franchise rights to Miami FC.
It is unclear how much of the original Fury branding would be integrated into the Atletico franchise.
In the past, Atletico Madrid have seen franchises as part of a strategy to build their brand. They had a Kolkata franchise in the Indian Super League, but broke up after the league’s third season in 2017, unhappy about how the franchise was run on the ground. That same year, Atletico Madrid also announced that they’d obtain a majority stake in Mexico’s San Luis. The club now compete as Atletico San Luis in Mexico’s Liga MX.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1582495284labto1582495284ofdlr1582495284owedi1582495284sni@o1582495284fni1582495284