Would you still be a Chelsea fan if they moved to a different city?
If they had a crunch away game three years after that switch, who would travel to cheer them on: the long-time supporters or those from their new home? Or both?
Thankfully I doubt we will ever have to answer these questions as it doesn’t happen in the UK (the outlier of the Wimbledon/MK Dons situation aside). Here in the States though, teams shifting to another part of the country is commonplace.
“Franchises” are able to pack up and leave, settling in a new base hundreds - sometimes thousands - of miles away. I thought about it this week when the New Orleans Saints took on the LA Rams to fight for a place in the Superbowl.
The previous week I was in the Superdome to watch the Saints defeat the Philadelphia Eagles, with the Pennsylvania side bringing thousands of travelling fans with them. The home club’s win set up a showdown with the Rams for the NFC Championship, effectively a semi-final and the second-most important contest of the season.
This time I was outside the Superdome three hours before kick-off to see a free concert and afterwards I milled around until close to kick-off, hoping to pick up a spare ticket to the game. In that time, I saw only three supporters wearing Rams gear.
But then, this is only the third year they have played in LA - well, from 1946 until 1994 they were also the LA Rams. Before that they were the Cleveland Rams for a decade. Most recently, between 1995 and 2015, they were the St Louis Rams.
They started in Cleveland, went to LA, switched to St Louis, and are now back in LA. Those three moves total about 6,000 miles, further than the distance between Stamford Bridge and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
So, who were those trio of followers? Mid-Westerners who grew up cheering on their hometown team, fans who maybe had season tickets for two decades? Do they still root for them even though they now play in California?
Or were they supporters that the Rams picked up since the relocation? If so they are recent recruits as the Rams played their first home contest in LA only 30 months ago, although you could argue that their first home match in LA was in 1946, I suppose.
Anyway, fingers crossed, the only move the Blues will be making is one towards the top of the Premier League table.