There is no denying that people hate sports teams folding, relocating or being booted out and most never return but there are teams that have gone due to various reasons only to return to the league they came from years later, below are three examples with a potential fourth example coming next year.
1. Sydney Kings returned to the NBL competition in 2010 after being removed in 2008.
2. South Sydney Rabbitohs returned to the NRL in 2002 after being booted in 1999, won title in 2014.
3. Cleveland Browns were reformed and returned to the NFL in 1999 after the original team moved to Baltimore for the 1996 season.
4. Brisbane Bullets may be back for the 2015/2016 NBL season after folding in 2008.
Although the Cleveland Browns were moved to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens, legal battle erupted and after negotiation between all major parties, the Browns were declared deactivated and the intellectual property from the team name to the training facilities of the Browns were not included in the move and were protected in a trust to allow Cleveland to have the Browns back when the NFL expanded which happened in 1999 therefore the Ravens have no claim on the past success of the Browns.
South Sydney after they were left out of the league at the end of the 1999 season was reinstated to the NRL for the 2002 season thanks to court cases and people power and now with private ownership the team has become a success by regularly featuring in the finals and winning the 2014 NRL Premiership.
Sydney Kings collapsed due to fraudulent actions by Firepower International chairman Tim Johnston who brought the club for two million dollars, Sydney Kings players were owed a total upwards of a quarter of a million dollars while Super Rugby team and NRL team South Sydney Rabbitohs were left in the lurch financially after Firepower collapsed, the Kings returned to the competition in 2010 and after a slow start is now playing great Basketball.
The Brisbane Bullets fell after Eddy Groves business empire started to collapse in early 2008, banks loaned money to Groves against the value of his company’s shares and unfortunately for Groves and the Bullets his company had a massive net profit loss of 42% which combined with rumours that the company were in default of it’s lending covenants the banks were owed money and the Bullets were cut loose to try keep ABC Learning Centres afloat, unfortunately for the Bullets no buyer was found and the team was gone at the height of success.
It is now believed a return of the Brisbane Bullets would create a more solid foundation for the NBL for teams would now be in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane and so the NBL will be working overtime for the Bullets to return for the 2015/16 season.
The Melbourne Tigers situation is closer to the Cleveland Browns than the others although the team (now Melbourne United) never really left it’s home but changed everything else while keeping the Intellectual Properties of the Tigers to itself but it is hoped that common sense will prevail and the IP of the Tigers is released and in a Browns like deal a place in the NBL is given to the team in the future.