One of the trends I’ve remarked on here in the past has been the growing involvement of fans in the running of their own clubs. AFC Wimbledon and FC United, Clubs in Crisis

MyFootballClub is an exciting new development of this kind. John Sinnott has the details.

9 of the 15 clubs being voted for on the site hail from the southern part of the UK, which demonstrates as well as anything the way the grass roots game has quietly grown in that part of the world since the Second World War.

UPDATE: Please see Clive Moon’s thoughts in comments, and read the views of Simon at Losing the Dressing Room.

7 Replies to “MyFootballClub”

  1. My personal view is that this is likely to be a scam.

    As a Brighton fan (number 4 on the list), I *might* feel that I could help the club with this. However, when 50,000 have registered, and the vote goes to Leeds, and the organisers then go down the list to find a club that is *actually* available, would I really pay up £35 for, say … Woking? (Margate, maybe, but Woking?)

    No, there would be a huge shortfall, and would you expect those that pay to get their money back? Maybe the £27.50 for the club Purchase Fund, but not the £7.50 membership fee. Even 1000 x £7.50 is a nice little earner!

    Even if everyone paid up, £1,3750,000 might sound a lot of money, but would not go far and would depend on everyone renewing every year. As for it buying a club “without debt, and the potential to reach the Premiership”…

    And if I were a Woking fan, would I really want a Brighton fan voting on my team’s players and tactics?

    I notice they’ve dropped the bizarre claim of “£14M for new players every season. That’s what 500,000 MyFootballClub members would enjoy spending every year in the transfer market”. That would require more than 1 in 10 of all fans to pay up. Likely?

    Of course, I might just be getting too cynical in my old age!

  2. I can’t see this being a scam, not with all the radio (Five Live) and publicity (BBC Sports website) that it’s been getting. I’m sure legal and tax bods would be taking a keen interest so where would the ‘scammers’ hide?

    Whether it would work is a different matter.

    For 35 quid, I think it’s worth a punt and I’d like to help any lower league club, I have no preference, just thinking about how this would help English football in general.

    Would be nice if it was a club near where I lived so I could go to the home matches but if it was a club like say Barnet, well, I’d just follow their progress in other ways.

    35 quid – you spend more than that on a night out and only have a hangover (or kebab belly) to show for it!

  3. I have to say that i don’t think there’s any chance of this being a scam. The story has been covered by the BBC, the Telegraph and the Times amongst others. If it was set up as a scam, the scammers will need to work out how to make it happen for real because they’ve no hope of slipping away quietly.

    I do think the idea is fraught with potential difficulties though. Not least getting the money out of everyone. Once 50000 members have signed up they will ask everyone to stump up £35 by paypal. People were happy to sign up for free but when it comes to actually handing over hard earned cash, I suspect 50000 may quickly become 30000 or even less. Especially once scam rumours start to circulate the internet blogs. I’m sure the organisers have considered this too though.

    Whether the team will be successful or not remains to be seen. The idea is that collective intelligence will be more effective than one manager’s blinkered perspective. However, it makes you wonder how much collective intelligence is out there when you consider that, judging by the top ten voted for teams, thousands of people reckon that you could buy Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool for £1.375m. Or that £1.375m would make the slightest bit of difference to a Leeds or Notts Forest.

    Thankfully, the organisers seem to have a bit more nous about them and, we are assured, will not waste time or money pursuing clubs which are unrealistic targets. The aim should be a non-league side with the potential to play league football within 2-3 years. A squad of professional players with a professional coaching team should have the ability to achieve promotion from part-time leagues despite the meddling of well-intentioned but ill-informed football fans (of which i am one and proud!!) The couple of years playing non-league should be time enough to iron out the creases.

    Its a great idea and should be a great laugh. £1.375m would go a long way in non-league football. Consider also that sponsorship money should be boosted by all the publicity and that 50000 Joe and Josephine Bloggs will be buying replica shirts, plus kiddy replica shirts for all the wee baby Bloggs plus all the exisiting revenue streams. I don’t think Division 1 is beyond realms of possibility. The Championship and Premiership may just be a wee step too far.

    However, if we do get to the Premiership I hope you will all join me in voting for me to play centre forward.

    An after thought. Does anyone think it would have been a better idea to buy a welsh club for a greater chance of Champions League football each year? I’m sure TNS or the likes don’t have income of £1.375m each year. Just a thought

  4. I’m with Clive on this – either deliberatly or undeliberately this seems to be a scam.

    All the risk is with anyone who wants to hand over £35 and none appears to be on the people behind the concept.

    Even if they do end up buying a club or refunding the balance if the thing collapses they get their £7.50 plus the interest on people’s deposits. They may or may not be well intentioned but they really don’t have to do much more than update a website occasionally to make a decent amount out of it.

    OK £35 is not a great deal of money so dream a little if you want to burn a bit of cash. But please don’t mention Barnet FC in this again – we don’t want or need this sort of involvement at our club.

  5. I am with Clive mooon on this. As Woking fan myself (since he mentions them) and from Leeds (which he also mentions) I feel some unease about the whole idea. Woking fans have mentioned the scheme on their fansite and there is a general agreement that we don’t fancy the idea of some faceless group of internet wizz kids picking our team or trying to buy our club. We like the owner we have got now, thanks.
    Ditto Leeds although given the current situation there I think a fiver would close the deal with Ken Bates.

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