Boca Reveal Bombonera Upgrade That Every Club Should Be Forced To Have
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Boca Juniors celebrated their 32nd Primera Division title on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Union de Santa Fe. They finished seven points above hated rival River Plate, and to add insult to injury, they unveiled a clock displaying and tracking their 112+ years of unrelegated existence.
Founded in 1905, they won promotion to the Primera Division in 1913 and they’ve been there ever since. Infamously, River Plate joined the Primera Division in 1909 but suffered a historic relegation in 2011.
This addition to the Bombonera mirrors that of Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion. The German club hasn't been relegated since its founding in 1919, and they have a clock that shows their current unmatched streak in the Bundesliga, with the league beginning play in 1963. The wisdom of such a clock was almost questioned this season, but Hamburg and Bobby Wood ultimately survived on the final day.
This got us thinking. Every club, by mandatory FIFA rule, should be forced to have one of these clocks inside their stadium. Promotion and relegation is such an integral part of the game, and if we're going to unfurl banners/put trophies in cabinets, what better way to keep track of your club's ability to survive relegation than a giant, ticking clock?
I’d like to see some more creative approaches than just running scoreboards, (a giant crocodile with a clock in its mouth would be my favorite approach), and this seems like a no-brainer for clubs like Celtic (127 years without relegation), Inter Milan (108 years) and Ajax (100 years) — to name just a few.
It would also be a fun exercise for yo-yo clubs like Notts County (16 relegations) and Birmingham City (14 relegations).
Arsenal fans would have something to hold onto as the English side with the longest run since relegation (last suffered in 1912-13), and the clocks would also come to demonstrate some of the more absurd streaks. For example, Rochdale A.F.C. would've built a pretty impressive total at one point, only because they spent 36 straight seasons in what’s now Football League Two.
I would especially suggest this feature to MLS stadia and clubs in the United States/Canada. We know some teams have elected to relegate themselves from the USL to the PDL from time to time, so they'd have to reset those clocks accordingly, but everyone else is doing pretty well.
If you see a guy holding a large alligator with a clock in its mouth at Minnesota United's TCF Bank Stadium, that's me.