AFC Richmond: Fictional Underdogs to Global Phenomenon


“Believe” – the cornerstone chant of AFC Richmond, a fictional English Premier League club, has resonated far beyond the confines of the television screen. The brainchild of the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso,” AFC Richmond has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, blurring the lines between fiction and reality.

This article delves into the world of AFC Richmond, exploring its origins, impact, and the questions it raises about the beautiful game.

From Sketch to Screen: The Birth of AFC Richmond

The story of AFC Richmond began in a writer’s room brainstorming session for “Ted Lasso,” a comedy series centered around an American football coach hired to manage a struggling English Premier League team.

Creators Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly needed a relatable yet fictional club to serve as the backdrop for Ted Lasso’s unconventional coaching methods and unwavering optimism.

Inspiration struck when Sudeikis suggested Richmond, a real town in southwest London. However, no Premier League team exists there.

So, AFC Richmond, complete with its crest, stadium (filmed at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park), and fictional history, was born.

Beyond the Script: Building a Believable World

The creators meticulously crafted a believable Premier League experience for AFC Richmond. The show features real-life Premier League pundits like Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher offering commentary, adding a layer of authenticity.

Additionally, cameos from renowned footballers like Thierry Henry and David Beckham further solidify the club’s place within the Premier League ecosystem.

The showrunners also built a rich tapestry of characters surrounding AFC Richmond. From the initially skeptical owner, Rebecca Welton, to the gruff but loyal team captain, Roy Kent, each character adds depth and humor to the narrative. The on-field struggles and triumphs of AFC Richmond are interwoven with the personal journeys of its players and staff, creating an emotional connection with viewers.

Lasso’s Legacy: Lessons in Belief and Teamwork

At the heart of AFC Richmond lies Ted Lasso, the eternally optimistic American coach with a lasso and a heart of gold. Despite lacking traditional footballing experience, Ted’s unwavering belief in his players and his emphasis on positivity create a unique team culture.

He prioritizes mental well-being and camaraderie, challenging the often-cutthroat world of professional sports. While his methods are unorthodox, Ted’s core message of “believe” resonates with audiences.

He encourages his players to believe in themselves, in each other, and in the power of teamwork. This focus on human connection strikes a chord with viewers regardless of their footballing knowledge.

Beyond Entertainment: The Global Impact of AFC Richmond

The popularity of “Ted Lasso” has catapulted AFC Richmond into a global phenomenon. The club boasts a dedicated online fanbase, complete with fan clubs and social media communities. Merchandise sales featuring the AFC Richmond crest have skyrocketed, blurring the line between fictional club and real-life brand.

More importantly, the show has sparked conversations about sports psychology, leadership, and the importance of mental health in athletics.

Ted Lasso’s approach challenges traditional notions of competitiveness, highlighting the value of compassion and fostering a supportive team environment.

The Question of Reality: What Does AFC Richmond Represent?

The success of AFC Richmond raises an interesting question – what does a fictional club represent within a very real sport?

It serves as a blank canvas for viewers to project their own hopes and dreams onto. It allows them to experience the Premier League through the lens of optimism, humor, and character development.

AFC Richmond highlights the human side of football, reminding viewers that behind the billion-dollar industry are real people with emotions, challenges, and dreams. The show celebrates the power of teamwork, camaraderie, and the unwavering belief in something bigger than oneself.


Q: Is AFC Richmond a real team?

A: No, AFC Richmond is a fictional team created for the show “Ted Lasso.” However, the showrunners drew inspiration from real-life clubs, particularly Crystal Palace F.C. based in South London.

Q: What league does AFC Richmond play in?

A: In the first two seasons of the show, AFC Richmond competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. However, the season 2 finale sees them relegated to the Championship, the second division.

Q: Where is AFC Richmond’s stadium?

A: The show films at Selhurst Park, the real-life stadium of Crystal Palace F.C.  Within the show’s universe, this is referred to as Nelson Road Stadium, the home ground for the Greyhounds.

Q: Can I buy AFC Richmond merchandise?

A: Believe it or not, yes! The show has a dedicated online store where you can find jerseys, hats, scarves, and other AFC Richmond gear, just like you would for a real club

Q:  Will AFC Richmond ever be in FIFA?

A: As of now, AFC Richmond is not playable in the EA Sports FIFA video game series. However, with the team’s growing popularity, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them included in a future iteration.

Q: What’s the story behind AFC Richmond’s nickname, the Greyhounds?

A: There’s no official explanation within the show, but greyhounds are known for their speed and agility, which could reflect the team’s desired playing style.

Q:  Is AFC Richmond getting a third season?

A: Great news for fans! “Ted Lasso” has been greenlit for a third season, so you can expect to see more of AFC Richmond’s journey on the pitch.

Beyond Season 3: The Future of AFC Richmond

With season 3 of “Ted Lasso” concluded, the future of AFC Richmond remains uncertain within the show’s narrative. However, its impact on popular culture is undeniable. It has transcended the boundaries of television, becoming a symbol of hope, positivity, and the power of believing in the seemingly impossible.

Whether AFC Richmond graces our screens again or not, its legacy is secure. It has sparked conversations about football beyond tactics and statistics, reminding us of the human element that makes the sport so captivating.

The club serves as a reminder that with a dash of optimism, a sprinkle of biscuits, and a whole lot of “believe,” even the most improbable dreams can come true.

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