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(BBC)   Internet-owned soccer team sells player for $280k following online vote; Dimitar Berbatov awakes clutching his heart   (news.bbc.co.uk) divider line 11
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597 clicks; posted to Sports » on 29 Aug 2008 at 6:53 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-08-29 08:24:50 PM  
Most clubs would have zero players if they let the fans decide who to sell.
 
2008-08-29 08:36:50 PM  
Zombie Hitler: Most clubs would have zero players if they let the fans decide who to sell.

Except yours.

They'd sell the owner as well ;)
 
2008-08-29 08:40:17 PM  
Back on-topic, just to fill people in - any fool with about $70 spare could have bought a controlling stake when the club was selling; the club needed around $1.4m to keep it afloat; 20,000 people bought into it and since then another 10k have joined up since, presumably at the same price.
 
2008-08-29 09:32:49 PM  
Prospective from an Ebbsfleet United owner:

About four months after the purchase of the team was approved and having the team's debts eliminated, Ebbsfleet won its first piece of major hardware, the FA Trophy at Wembley Stadium in front of about 45,000 fans, providing another $500,000 into the club fund. We've got sponsorhips with EA Sports and Eurostar, a major rail company based out of the UK.

The start of the season has gone OK, and the team is still on target to reach its goal of a play-off spot for promotion into the Football League's League Two. The player involved in the deal, John Akinde, is a home-grown talent that had drawn the attention from numerous teams INCLUDING Chelsea. It doesn't seem like a lot of money, but it will help the team bring in more players to climb the table, and it allows Akinde a chance to reach his fullest potential (it sounds like it might be Bristol City of League One is the other team involved in the deal).

I'm not surprised the deal was OK'd, but I AM surprised that it passed by that much of a margin. It shows that the people that bought in are serious about growing the club into a true contender.

/myfootballclub.co.uk
//Up the Fleet!
 
2008-08-29 10:12:25 PM  
sephjnr: Back on-topic, just to fill people in - any fool with about $70 spare could have bought a controlling stake when the club was selling; the club needed around $1.4m to keep it afloat; 20,000 people bought into it and since then another 10k have joined up since, presumably at the same price.

what's the ROI?
 
2008-08-29 11:00:35 PM  
sephjnr: Zombie Hitler: Most clubs would have zero players if they let the fans decide who to sell.

Except yours.

They'd sell the owner as well ;)


The man just sold James Milner for 12 million pounds. I think we'll keep him around a little bit longer. ;)
 
2008-08-30 12:08:09 AM  
akugyaku: what's the ROI?

The opportunity to have a say in the management and growth of a english soccer club from essentially the ground up.

The team is technically now owned by a Trust, meaning that no one is making a profit. If for one reason or another the team is sold (must be approved by 75% of its members), all proceeds will be distributed to charities designated by the trust.

So the people that bought in did so out of desperation to put the game back into the hands of the fans. It is a movement borne out of frustration from situations like Man City, Liverpool, Leeds, etc. where ignorant billionares (a majority from outside the UK) have disregarded the football community at large.

I've gotta say that in the process of becoming a member, Ebbsfleet United has leapfrogged just about every pro team I've ever followed or worked for. They're right up there with my college team as far as loyalty, and I get a ton of satisfaction out of the Fleet's success because I'm personally connected, even from out here in California.
 
2008-08-30 12:37:04 AM  
Does anybody know how they shape up financially against the other teams in their division?
 
2008-08-30 01:33:10 AM  
DocSatchmo: akugyaku: what's the ROI?

The opportunity to have a say in the management and growth of a english soccer club from essentially the ground up.

The team is technically now owned by a Trust, meaning that no one is making a profit. If for one reason or another the team is sold (must be approved by 75% of its members), all proceeds will be distributed to charities designated by the trust.

So the people that bought in did so out of desperation to put the game back into the hands of the fans. It is a movement borne out of frustration from situations like Man City, Liverpool, Leeds, etc. where ignorant billionares (a majority from outside the UK) have disregarded the football community at large.

I've gotta say that in the process of becoming a member, Ebbsfleet United has leapfrogged just about every pro team I've ever followed or worked for. They're right up there with my college team as far as loyalty, and I get a ton of satisfaction out of the Fleet's success because I'm personally connected, even from out here in California.


So the Blue Square Premier Table is the old Conference? I hate how they keep changing league names in England.

BTW for the uninitiated, there are 24 levels of play in English soccer, ranging from the Premiership to the fourth division of the Bristol Downs Football League.

/Come on your Glovers! It's a long story...
 
2008-08-30 01:47:16 AM  
Ebbsfleet's division, the Blue Square Premier (formerly Conference National), has a pretty wide-varying economic profile. Certain teams are well-established and are on solid economic footing thanks to either strong growth or a dream run in the FA Cup against Premiership clubs and are at the highest point in their club's history (Stevenage Borough, Burton Albion)

Some are teams that are seeing their finances struggle due to recent relegation from League Two (Cambridge United, Torquay United).

There are some clubs that have just recently been promoted to Blue Square Premier and/or have floated between leagues up and down for a few seasons and are fiscally solid but still waiting to get a foothold (Lewes, Kettering Town).

Ebbsfleet United falls somewhere in the middle. They've been around for almost a hundred years but have always been second- or third-banana in their area of Kent. Their organization is dedicated to reaching the Football League, but finances were tough.

Example: In the original pitch to the owners, the team secretary hosted a video tour of the team's locker room and facilities. He took the video crew into the shower room and showed off the team's "hot tub": a recycling bin that they filled with hot water.

The team was in a rut and was maybe two seasons from bankruptcy when the MyFootballClub model surfaced. Despite the financial challenges, there were some strong points the team had going for it. They had just signed on Eurostar as a sponsor and they wanted to establish the club as a key part of the new development of Kent centered around a new international high-speed rail station on the London-Paris route. They had a great coach and motivator in ex-Coventry City defender Liam Daish. They had a ground that they owned outright. They were not too far from London geographically, allowing new owners to make a weekend trip to the pitch.

A year later, the team is financially stronger than ever. Season ticket sales are up, sponsorship revenue is up, the team is making numerous appearances on Setanta Sports as part of a league deal, they've signed on Nike to produce and assist in merchandising and they're still reaping the benefits of winning the FA Trophy championship at Wembley Stadium back in May.

Membership is annual, so members essentially pitch in $70 a year. Since the ownership, pledge drives have been held to raise money for the team to purchase new goals and training equipment, donate funds to acquire an additional striker, and establish a charity fund in the name of a fan favorite. The web team has developed new forms of revenue such as online referral fees from iTunes, Hertz and other companies, a hi-def web video player with complete games and commentary, and TV development deals for a documentary detailing the relationship between the football and online communities within the club.

It's really exciting to be a part of it all right now, and you really get the sense that you're on the verge of something special. It's a unique social experiment that combines the emotional investment of being a fan with the community opportunities that go along with crowdsourcing.
 
2008-08-30 06:08:39 AM  
DocSatchmo: (it sounds like it might be Bristol City of The Championship is the other team involved in the deal).

FTFY ;)

Seriously, congratulations.
 
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