Thursday, February 19, 2009

Year Two


Back in August 2007, I, along with 26,000 people paid £35 to join an international online community with the intention of buying an English football club.


MyFootballClub’s tagline was (and still is) “Own the Club, Pick the Team”. We didn’t know which team we were going to buy but we just wanted to be part of this exciting venture.

Anyway, in February 2008, Ebbsfleet United of the Blue Square Conference League was purchased, its debts paid off and by May 2008, they were FA Trophy winners at Wembley for the first time in their history (I was there!!!). Ok, this last bit wasn’t solely due to MyFootballClub but it’s a good coincidence, no?

Do we really own the club? Well, we are members of a Society which owns the club so technically, yes. Do we pick the team? Every week, members can vote on whether the manager/coach picks the team or the members pick the team. Democratically, the vote has always been for the manager to pick the team but it seems to be getting closer. You’d think that many people joined to pick the team but hardly any take part in the voting/selection at all, showing the relative unimportance of this attention grabbing selling point.

Do we make any decisions and what else do we do? Well, we voted to sell John Akinde, we voted to sign up Darius Charles, we’re about to vote on kit supplier and 1000 members stumped up £20 each to buy striker Michael Gash who is our highest goal scorer this season.

Tonight at midnight, the memberships of 26,000 will expire unless they renew. Many will not renew for various reasons, eg it wasn’t what they thought it was, the club wasn’t on their doorstep, they can’t afford to renew, they’re no longer interested, the forums can sometimes be daunting, etc. If not enough people renew or sign up (I believe the Society can operate on a minimum of 10-12,000 members), then there could be financial difficulties for MyFootballClub and Ebbsfleet. Here’s an interesting unbiased article on it and it was on the BBC too.

Me, I’ve renewed for two more years – can’t understand how people thought it would all work out perfectly in year one when something like this has never been done before. It's a marathon, not a sprint!

Anyway, I’ll be cheering the team on at Wrexham this weekend – a big hurdle but one more step towards Wembley again!

4 comments:

  1. Pretty cool. Usually when I purchase something, it immediately turns to krap.

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  2. Well, I shall be rooting for them. Unless they play Preston of course and then I'm afraid my loyalties lie elsewhere!

    Let's hope enough people do renew to keep it going. It is such a fab idea.

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  3. I still think it is a great idea, but I'm not renewing, mainly because I just wasn't participating, which is entirely my own fault. Once I have a bit more spare cash I may get involved again

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  4. Well done for sticking with it. I've written about my experience of joining as an idealistic enthusiast, becoming disillusioned and then finally drifting away. It was a brave experiment but poorly executed: http://blog.matthewcain.co.uk/myfootballclub-a-case-study-of-bad-consultation/

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