Vincent Tan and the Worst Owners in Sports

Ryan TolmichCorrespondent IIJanuary 2, 2014

Vincent Tan and the Worst Owners in Sports

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    Cardiff fans aren't afraid to show their displeasure with their Malaysian owner.
    Cardiff fans aren't afraid to show their displeasure with their Malaysian owner.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    In the world of professional sports, there are quite a few people responsible for a team's successes and failures.

    To start, there are the players, as much of a team's success depends on those who are actually on the field.

    There is the coach, who is in charge of putting together the proper game plan to make sure his team is in position to win.

    There's the front office staff, whose personnel decisions are paramount in building a winner.

    Finally, and most importantly, there is the owner, who is responsible for backing each and every one of the people mentioned below while putting together a winning product both on and off the field.

    However, there are few things that inhibit a team's success like a bad owner, as a team's proprietor has every opportunity to go from savior to poisonous villain.

    With that said, let's take a look at the worst owners in sports and what they have done to earn themselves a spot on the list.

Honorable Mention: Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers

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    Donald Sterling's reputation may be saved by his current team.
    Donald Sterling's reputation may be saved by his current team.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Donald Sterling bought the then San Diego Clippers in 1981 for a whopping $12.5 million. However, the former attorney did not experience his first winning season until his 11th of ownership, as his Clippers have long been an NBA laughingstock.

    Whether it has been his frugal spending or scaring off coaches by using racial slurs, Sterling has done everything he can to sabotage the chances of LA having two contenders.

    However, a recent turnaround in the Clippers' fortunes are just enough to keep him out of the top 10, as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have brought the Clippers to relevance for the first time in Sterling's ownership.

10: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Toronto Sports

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    MLSE has a monopoly on Toronto sports, unfortunately for Toronto fans.
    MLSE has a monopoly on Toronto sports, unfortunately for Toronto fans.Brad White/Getty Images

    Despite owning the NHL's most valuable team, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, or MLSE, has done little to justify the club's enormous monetary worth.

    MLSE is the proud owner of four professional sports franchises, as the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC and the Toronto Marlies are all run by the ownership group that is worth more than $2 billion.

    Despite the astronomical funds, the teams that fall under the MLSE brand have had little success.

    The Maple Leafs haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1967, while the Original Six club hasn't claimed a division title since 2000.

    The Raptors have won exactly one division title in their 18-year history and have yet to escape the first round of the NBA playoffs.

    Toronto FC has a combined 50-105-66 record in MLS play and has yet to qualify for the MLS playoffs.

    Luckily for MLSE, it's been able to capitalize on one Toronto native's success, as rapper and Kentucky basketball aficionado Drake has been brought in to lead a Raptor revolution.

    If giving a rapper ambassador status for your basketball team doesn't signify a bad owner, I don't know what does.

9: Jim Crane, Houston Astros

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    Jim Crane has proven to be one of baseball's more frugal owners.
    Jim Crane has proven to be one of baseball's more frugal owners.Bob Levey/Getty Images

    When it comes to owning a team, spending money is essential. Signing star players, intelligent coaches and knowledgeable front office staff is paramount in on-the-field success.

    Unfortunately for Houston Astro fans, no one told that to owner Jim Crane.

    According to Forbes, 64 major leaguers were paid more than the entire Houston roster last season, who roughly made a collective $13 million.

    The Yankees, who are notoriously big spenders, could have fielded an entire lineup of players that were out of the Astros' price range.

    While money can't buy happiness, it can buy team success, as the Astros finished dead last in the MLB by a whopping 11 games.

    Money talks, folks.

8: Charles Wang, New York Islanders

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    Charles Wang's tenure with the Islanders has been anything but successful.
    Charles Wang's tenure with the Islanders has been anything but successful.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    "If I had the chance, I wouldn't do it again."

    What more is there to say about Charles Wang, who uttered this gem to Newsday back in 2009 when describing his tenure with the New York Islanders?

    Wang, whose team has infamously played in an arena dubbed the Mausoleum by visiting fans, has made his fair share of questionable decisions while in charge of the Long Island franchise.

    Whether it's firing a general manager after just 40 days or giving Rick DiPietro an absolutely outrageous 15-year deal, Wang hasn't exactly been a genius when it comes to personnel.  

    Despite hopes of renovating the Nassau Coliseum to keep the team in Nassau County, Wang announced the Islanders will relocate to Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

7: Fred Wilpon, New York Mets

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    Wilpon displaying a face that has been a fixture on Mets' fans faces for the duration of his ownership.
    Wilpon displaying a face that has been a fixture on Mets' fans faces for the duration of his ownership.Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    When you look up mediocrity in the dictionary, there's a giant picture of Mr. Met with a look of embarrassment on his face.

    All cliches aside, Fred Wilpon's Mets have been a disaster for the duration of his ownership, as New York's other baseball franchise is a perennial loser.

    Wilpon's magnum opus in team destroying came in 2008, when the team's finances were all but eviscerated by Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

    The Mets were "swindled" out of $700 million, or roughly 54 Astros payrolls, leaving the Queens-based franchise in need of an MLB financed bailout. In late 2010, however, Irving H. Picard, the trustee charged with recovering funds from the Madoff scandal, accused the Mets owner of having knowledge of Madoff's dealings. In March 2012, Wilpon agreed to a $162 million settlement with Picard.

    The Mets haven't made the playoffs since the Madoff scandal, as it has all but crippled the franchise.

    Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and beat the Mets.

6: Daniel Snyder, Washington Redskins

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    Daniel Snyder's Redskins are consistently one of the NFL's more messy teams.
    Daniel Snyder's Redskins are consistently one of the NFL's more messy teams.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Daniel Snyder is one of the more shrewd businessmen in professional sports, as his Washington Redskins are worth a grand total of $1.55 billion, according to Forbes.

    However, Redskins faithful would be much happier if the billionaire's football knowledge matched his business sense.

    Snyder, a man who has sued season ticket holders and banned signs from his stadium, has done little to gain respect from DC fans.

    However, his biggest enemy might just be his revolving door of head coaches, as the Redskins are now moving on to their eighth leader in Snyder's 14-year ownership. 

    With permanent fan protest and a never-ending supply of fired coaches, what's not to hate?

5: Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins

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    Loria is one of the roughly 17 fans that makeup the crowd at your average Marlins game.
    Loria is one of the roughly 17 fans that makeup the crowd at your average Marlins game.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    If there are two things people hate, it's deception and robbery, and Jeffrey Loria is a master at both.

    After swindling his way into a publicly financed $2.6 billion ballpark in which he receives 100 percent of the profits, the Miami owner blew up his team by trading away virtually all of the talent assembled to get fans to support the stadium plan.

    Loria, whose Marlins finished 38 games below .500 last season, has seen his team boycotted by his own fans, as he has been left alone in his bright, shiny new ballpark.

    On top of fan discontent, the "meddlesome" Loria has also lost the respect of his staff.

    Loria made a good chunk of money from his days as an art dealer, and he has seemingly continued the trend with his baseball team, as he now has a nice sculpture of a baseball park with no one to put in it.

4: Assem Allam, Hull City (or Hull Tigers?)

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    Allam has done little to earn the respect of Hull supporters.
    Allam has done little to earn the respect of Hull supporters.Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Many sports fans dedicate their entire lives to the club they support. Whether it is inking themselves with permanent tattoos or spending outrageous amounts of their hard-earned money to support the team they love, sports are a matter of life and death for many die-hards.

    However, when it comes to Hull City supporter group "City Till We Die", team owner Assem Allam hopes they live up to their name sooner rather than later.

    "'They can die as soon as they want," said the Egyptian-born businessman according to The Daily Mail, "as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football."

    Wishing death upon your fans is never a good thing. However, it might not even the most punishing blow he has laid upon Hull supporters.

    The now famous name change issue is a bitter one for those that reside in Hull, as Assam's rebranding of Hull City to the Hull Tigers is wiping out the team's 109-year-old history.

    According to Allam, City is common and useless, and being known as the Tigers will give the team international appeal.

    If that isn't enough to describe Allam's lack of awareness, there's always his plan for if he were to own Premier League powerhouse Manchester City.

    "By next year I will change the name to Hull Tigers," said Allam according to The Guardian. "If I were the owner of Manchester City I would change the name to Manchester Hunter – you need power."

    Hull Tigers vs. Manchester Hunter. Now there's a game I'm looking forward to.

3: James Dolan, New York Knicks and New York Rangers

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    Dolan's Knicks and Rangers have struggled under his ownership.
    Dolan's Knicks and Rangers have struggled under his ownership.David Dow/Getty Images

    When it comes to destroying two beloved sports franchises, few owners have done it so masterfully as James Dolan.

    Dolan, who took ownership of the Knicks and Rangers in 1999, has made some of the most absurd decisions in sports history, as he has long been a believer in heart-over-head decision making.

    Whether it is his long-term love affair with hiring Isiah Thomas to do things he isn't competent in, or holding on to Rangers general manager Glen Sather roughly five years after his welcome has been worn out, Dolan certainly does take care of his friends.

    However, he does little to take care of his team, as his current edition of the New York Knicks defines his tenure. The Knickerbockers are 9-21 entering their Jan. 2 matchup with San Antonio. The Knicks may not lead the league in much, but they certainly top everyone when it comes to off-the-court nonsense.

    However, rather than shake things up in an effort to win, Dolan made what seemed like the only logical step: he banished the Knicks City Dancers, who were undoubtedly the cause of the Knicks early-season slump.

    Maybe Dolan should spend more time focusing on himself and his own decisions, as his teams are among the worst run in professional sports.

2: Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

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    Jerry Jones has long been one of the most hated people in sports.
    Jerry Jones has long been one of the most hated people in sports.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    When it comes to being the poster boy for overbearing owners, there is no one that compares to Dallas owner/general manager/president/ruler of the universe Jerry Jones.

    Whether it's his role as the face of the franchise, his unceremonious firing of team legend Tom Landry or his team's lack of success despite being "America's team," the Cowboy's owner has been vilified by many throughout the country.

    While many owners let knowledgeable people handle the sporting operations, Jones makes sure his opinion is felt in every decision, going as far as to stand on the sidelines in what ultimately creates the ultimate owner/head coach power struggle.

    Jones has all but named himself starting quarterback, head coach and NFL commissioner, but at the end of the day, would anyone be surprised if he tried?

1: Vincent Tan, Cardiff City

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    Vincent Tan has experienced very few happy moments with Cardiff supporters.
    Vincent Tan has experienced very few happy moments with Cardiff supporters.Michael Steele/Getty Images

    We have finally arrived, as we can officially discuss the man of the hour: Cardiff's Vincent Tan.

    Tan's recent actions have caused quite a stir, as the Malaysian businessman's decisions over the past few weeks have catapulted him to the top of the list. 

    It started with changing the club's famous colors from blue and white to red and black, although that seems normal compared to his recent hijinx. 

    From there, he has been disgusted by his goalkeeper's lack of goalscoring ability, attempted to change transfer policy to only sign players with the number eight in their birthday, and booed his own team off the field

    He has fired beloved manager Malky Mackay, while insisting that "not a single penny will be made available in January" for new signings, according to BBC.

    When it comes to making headlines as an owner, none do it better than Vincent Tan, which is why he is truly sports' worst owner. 

    Here's to a new year of more Tan nonsense, as this month's transfer period is sure to provide us with even more reason to love/hate the almighty Tan.

     

    Who do you believe is the worst owner in sports? Have your say with a comment below or tweet @R_Tolmich with who you believe should top the list!