[18] The three existing European teams (London, Barcelona and Frankfurt) were joined by three new teams in Amsterdam (the Admirals), Düsseldorf (Rhein Fire) and Edinburgh (Scottish Claymores). Of the 28 NFL teams, 26 paid $50,000 each in startup costs for the WLAF. [6] Team payrolls and budgets were controlled by the WLAF office[6] but not all teams were owned by the league; in May 1992 it owned five (including Barcelona, London and Frankfurt) and partially owned three. [21], The London Monarchs left Wembley Stadium for reasons of cost, size and availability,[18][19] and the team's home games were played at Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Clive Allen also kicked for the Monarchs,[45][46] while fellow footballers Jesús Angoy, Manfred Burgsmüller and Silvio Diliberto kicked for the Barcelona Dragons, Rhein Fire and Amsterdam Admirals respectively. With the team struggling financially and generating little fan support, the NFL was not interested in keeping the franchise alive, and replaced it with the Cologne Centurions for the 2004 season. [31] Radical changes were made to the two British teams and venues for the upcoming 1998 season.


The Sacramento and San Antonio franchises left the WLAF, with their ownership groups attempting to secure franchises in the Canadian Football League in preparation for the CFL's U.S. expansion in 1993. USA Network carried most of the WLAF games on Saturday and Monday nights in the 1991 season and again on Saturday nights for the 1992 season. "[3], Pasquarelli also named J. T. O'Sullivan as the best 2007 NFL Europa player at a time when O'Sullivan was no higher than third on the quarterback depth chart of the Chicago Bears. This had the interesting side effect that a touchdown and point-after kick (seven points) could be equaled by one regular field goal (three points) along with a long field goal (four points).

Rules unique to WLAF included assigning increasing point value to field goals based on distance and a requirement that at least one non-American player must participate in at least every other series of downs.

[27][29], The London Monarchs moved to Stamford Bridge for the 1997 season.[30]. At a press conference in San Diego during Super Bowl XXXII weekend, the league announced that it would be rebranded as NFL Europe. ABC showed the 1991 World Bowl, while USA carried the game in 1992. The WLAF played two seasons in the spring of 1991 and 1992, with 10 teams playing a 10-game regular season culminating with the World Bowl championship game. From 1995 to 2005, Fox showed the World Bowl and two or three regular season games annually. The Scottish Claymores began to divide their schedule between Edinburgh and Glasgow's Hampden Park, having previously only played at Murrayfield. The NFL announced plans for a "stronger international focus on regular-season games outside the United States. On the other hand, TV contracts were canceled when teams moved, such as the termination of the league's deal with satellite TV platform Digital+ in Spain after the demise of the Barcelona Dragons. Only two games remained tied after overtime in WLAF/NFL Europe history: London Monarchs vs. Birmingham Fire in 1992, and Berlin Thunder at Hamburg Sea Devils in 2006. This format lasted for only two seasons, and consequently there were no league games in 1993 or 1994. If still tied after 10 minutes, the game ended as a tie. ), In WLAF/NFL Europe, however, the overtime period lasted for only 10 minutes, with a rule that each team must have the opportunity of possession at least once. Notable national players included Scott McCready, an English wide receiver who played some preseason games for the New England Patriots; the Claymores' wide receiver Scott Couper, who played a preseason game for the Chicago Bears; Constantin Ritzmann, a German defensive end who had played for the University of Tennessee; and Rob Hart, an English rugby player who became a placekicker[43] and kicked barefoot. [1] The average ratings for ABC's coverage declined from 1991 to 1992, from around 2.1 to 1.7, and those of USA Network dipped from 1.2 to 1.1. [6] In the cities of London, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Montreal, crowds surpassed early expectations. [7] The Monarchs' home attendance led the league,[10] and the 1991 World Bowl played at Wembley Stadium was attended by 61,108. Fox Sports had become a co-owner of the league,[19][49] and from 1995 to 1998 the primary TV carrier was FX, which carried two games a week on Saturday and Sunday. After 1992, the World League was suspended for two years. All six teams played in a single division. In 1995, league attendances averaged less than 15,000. This selection process was abandoned after the 1997 World Bowl. The spring developmental league had enough NFL support to continue, but without any North American teams. Ties are registered as a half win and a half loss when calculating the win-loss percentage. [15] Paul Tagliabue mentioned plans to bring it back with only European teams, possibly in 1994.

[1], The WLAF was set up as a professional American football league for North America and Europe consisting of six teams from the United States, three European teams and one Canadian team.
[25][26] Meanwhile, the WLAF signed some players who had been more famous in other leagues and sports – in 1996 the London Monarchs signed former NFL star William Perry[27][28] and the Scottish Claymores' kicker was Scotland's national rugby union team captain, Gavin Hastings.


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