We already discussed funny sounding South American club names in a previous article but this one is the most peculiar for many reasons. Spanish club Móstoles Balompie won promotion to Spain’s fourth tier league, Tercera División, and president Javi Poves decided on a name change: Flat Earth FC. And this raised a lot of questions in my mind and so I’ll share my curiosity with you.
What is the flat earth theory?
That flat earth concept has been around for centuries. The Catholic Church believed the earth was flat and was the centre of the universe (known as a geocentric model). That was until astronomers like Galileo Galilei suggested a heliocentric model (the Sun being the centre of a solar system) and he was charged with heresy.
Nowadays, we have modern flat earth societies that promote the same idea that the earth is flat. Famous believers include B.O.B. (probably more notable for this than his music now), NBA point guard, Kyrie Irving, and Mike Hughes, a “daredevil and flat-Earth conspiracy theorist”. Their ideology is heavily flawed and has already been refuted by centuries of scientific proof but you can’t stop a modern-day conspiracy theory with facts.
Is this just a publicity stunt?
I did consider this and so did many other media outlets due to the ridiculousness of it all. Javi Poves said the following about the name change:
“We are a professional football club in the Spanish fourth tier and we are born to unite the voices of millions of flat earth movement followers and all those people who are looking for answers.”
Flat Earth FC has its own website but it is more of a landing page than anything else (speaking of landing, I bet they don’t believe in the moon landing either but I digress). But while researching this article, I went to look up the “former” club, Móstoles Balompie and everything remains intact: the old club’s website, their details, links to their history. It almost felt like a breakaway team rather than a restructure and renaming of the original club. Perhaps they hadn’t got round to shutting it all down? Or is it all an elaborate hoax to promote their promotion? It’d be very drastic, considering they’ve only joined the fourth tier. That’d be like Notts County renaming themselves something foolish after promotion back into League 2.
Who is Javi Poves?
The club’s president is behind the name change and his past is certainly different from his peers in the sport. Poves was born in Madrid and played for Atlético Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at youth level. His career continued with little impact as he turned out for mostly amateur B teams. His only La Liga match came for Sporting de Gijón in 2011. When he joined, he returned the free car given to him by the club and refused to use a bank account. His views on professional football might have had something to do with it:
“Professional football is only money and corruption. It’s capitalism, and capitalism is death. I don’t want to be part of a system based on people earning money at the expense of the deaths of others in South America, Africa and Asia. To put it simply, my conscience will not let me continue with this.”
Jokes aside, he hasn’t said anything wrong here. It just doesn’t go with the general mantra of world football and that’s probably being aligned with his flat earth beliefs (if anyone has dug that deep).
Will they be playable on Football Manager 2020?
This is purely for my own benefit. I love an unorthodox Football Manager challenge (as you’ll have seen with Cruijffbal) so managing a team called Flat Earth FC would be remarkable. But unless Sports Interactive/Sega agree to add the fourth tier to the official game, we’ll have to rely on the truster modding community to add it in. Or you could just add it using the Create A Club feature.
It all seems weird. I think flat earth theories are complete nonsense but this name change out of nowhere smacks of a marketing ploy. The fact they’re offering new shirts and merch makes me wonder if this isn’t just a giant Spanish Ponzi scheme.
Apart from a load of Spanish flat earth truthers who have endorsed the new club name, one of the biggest names associated with Flat Earth FC is Alfio Basile, former Argentina, Atletico, and Boca Juniors coach. He posted a video dated 1st July 2019 endorsing the club. I don’t even know what to say to that.
Look, Javi Poves is a man of principles and one of them involves a planet that isn’t spherical (technically, Earth is a spheroid and not a true sphere due to the effects of gravity and rotating). Spanish football could do without anymore controversy after they La Liga were fined for illegal spying through their official app. Shirts go on sale on Friday 5th July if you want one. Maybe an astronaut can use one as a flag and take it to outer space.
The video details the whole thing below is from Telemundo Sports (heh, Telemundo) but in Spanish without English subs.