Welcome to the World Football League Website

Presidents


Here is a brief summary of the two presidents the WFL had during its run.

GARY L. DAVIDSON

When the name of Gary L. Davidson is mentioned, many think about the leagues he helped to create. A lawyer from California, Davidson helped create "rebel" leagues such as the World Hockey Association and the American Basketball Association. Davidson founded the World Football League on August 3, 1973. He named himself the first president of the new league. Always with a knack for trying new ways to approach the game, Davidson modified some rules for the WFL to try and create more interest. He also encouraged teams to sign players for huge amounts of money, more than what the NFL could offer. As the 1974 season progressed, Davidson was at the middle of an attendance-padding scandal that robbed the WFL of any credibility it had left. After the 1974 season, with the seemingly Davidson trademark of losing money, Gary Davidson resigned as president. He claimed to leave because of personal reasons, but a report suggested that Chicago Fire owner Tom Origer forced him out, threatening to pull his team out of the WFL. The WFL turned out to be Davidson's last sports venture.

CHRISTOPHER B. HEMMETER

When Gary Davidson resigned, Chris Hemmeter stepped in to replace him. A land developer from Hawaii, Hemmeter was part of the ownership group that owned the Honolulu Hawaiians franchise. After seeing the massive financial hit the WFL endured in 1974, Hemmeter devised a plan to try and ensure that those types of losses would be reduced or eliminated. He called this "The Hemmeter Plan." The plan was to essentially save the owners from ruining their own franchises. The plan called for the teams to pay its players and staff based on the money that team made during its home games during the season. Apparently, the plan didn't work. By 1975, the WFL had little interest from the public and teams continued to lose money. On October 22, 1975, Hemmeter had no choice but to pull the plug. He couldn't see any reason for the league to continue losing money the way it had been for some time. Hemmeter went back to his land development business when the WFL folded.

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