Is AFC Richmond A Real Team? What Ted Lasso’s Football Club Is Based On


  • The Ted Lasso football team, AFC Richmond, is a fictional club but is partly based on Crystal Palace F.C.
  • Ted Lasso’s production and attention to detail create the illusion that AFC Richmond is a real club.
  • AFC Richmond plays against real football clubs on the show, with real players and pundits making cameos, adding to the realism.

Ted Lasso is about a folksy American college football coach who is hired as the manager of a London-based soccer team, but is the Ted Lasso football team a real club? Starring Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, the critically acclaimed Apple TV+ series’ success has raised awareness of football for American audiences, who know it as soccer. However, does AFC Richmond actually exist? In season 1, Ted Lasso was set up to fail by AFC Richmond’s new owner Rebecca Welton but they ultimately became friends and led the club to success.

While Ted Lasso was in over his head as a “gaffer,” his genuine niceness and how much he truly cares for his players earned Ted the admiration and trust of the team. This included AFC Richmond’s aging Captain, Roy Kent, and their star player, Jamie Tartt. Through the three seasons, Ted Lasso ended up working with Rebecca to build the team into a legitimate contender, and along the way, they played against real-life football clubs which also included cameos from real-life players. But what about AFC Richmond’s real counterparts?


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AFC Richmond Is Inspired By Real Teams

Ted Lasso‘s production and attention to detail are so thorough and persuasive that American fans may be surprised to learn that the Ted Lasso football team is a fictional club. AFC Richmond is partly based on Crystal Palace F.C., which is also based in South London. Crystal Palace’s team, nicknamed The Eagles, plays in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Richmond is a real part of London but the area’s football team, Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C., plays in the National League South, five divisions below the English Premier League. Ted Lasso filmed at the Eagles’ Selhurst Park football ground, although Crystal Palace exists in the show’s universe.

Ted Lasso has done an excellent job of creating the illusion that the Ted Lasso football team is a real club, complete with adopting Crystal Palace’s colors of red and blue. Boosting AFC Richmond’s convincing authenticity, the show has created a ton of AFC Richmond merchandise for sale so that fans can wear the colors of the Ted Lasso football team. This even includes being able to purchase personalized AFC Richmond jerseys, as well as the requisite T-shirts, hats, mugs, and stickers. Part of the magic of Ted Lasso is the fictional AFC Richmond looks and feels as real as the biscuits Ted Lasso brings Rebecca every episode.

Ted Lasso shoots at Crystal Palace F.C.’s pitch to generate a palpable authenticity. The series even agreed to let the Eagles beat AFC Richmond on the show as payment for letting Ted Lasso use their stadium. Plus, many American fans don’t know the difference between English soccer clubs and Ted Lasso plays into this since it reflects the mustachioed coach’s own ignorance of the sport. For some Ted Lasso fans, AFC Richmond is their first real exposure to the game called soccer in America, known as football everywhere else in the world, but the show’s world is endearingly believable.

The Cameos Add To The Realism Of The Series

Ted Lasso and Coach Beard standing next to each other at a match

What really blurred the line between the Ted Lasso football team and reality is that AFC Richmond played several teams from the real world on the show. The real players on those teams even appeared in the show as fictional versions of themselves. There are also several real-world pundits on Ted Lasso, often mocking the manager and his approach to the game. Thierry Henry has the biggest role of any pundit on the show, as he actually gets called out many times with Coach Beard often yelling “Shut up Thierry Henry” more than once in the series. Gary Lineker, Chris Kamara, Jeff Stelling, and Arlo White also appear as versions of themselves.

As for the teams, AFC Richmond plays real clubs like Everton and Manchester City in the series. Not only that but there are many fictional characters in the series who are based on real-life footballers, including Roy Kent himself, who is based on Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane. Possibly, the biggest addition to the cast that helped set the Ted Lasso football team in the real world was the arrival of Pep Guardiola when AFC Richmond played Manchester City. Guardiola currently manages Manchester City in real life and is one of the greatest managers in European football history, making this the best Ted Lasso cameo in the show’s three seasons.

  • ted lasso

    Ted Lasso

    Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) is an American football coach who moves to England when he’s hired to manage a struggling soccer team despite having no experience. With cynical players and a doubtful town, Ted will have to convince them that he’s fit for the job. Ted Lasso has become one of Apple TV Plus’ most successful shows, earning over 10 Primetime Emmys.

    Release Date:

    Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Hannah Waddingham, Nick Mohammed, Brendan Hunt, Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Juno Temple, Toheeb Jimoh, James Lance

    Comedy, Drama, sport



    Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence

    Streaming Service(s):
    Apple TV+

    Bill Lawrence

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