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www.myfootballclub.co.uk – very interesting idea


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Football is the people's game. Even now. Even in the face of American billionaire take-overs, far eastern politician scandals, and vaguely dopy, dazed looking Russians.

Football is not an elitist sport. It appeals to all ages and income groups. It's watched by men, women and children. Clubs accept anyone through their doors. You don't have to be dressed in any particular way to get in - you can even take most of your clothes off if you so wish, even if you are a 25-stone beer-monster. You don't need a blazer or a double-barrelled name. You don't need to know the club secretary or buy expensive equipment or have a wife in a Laura Ashley dress who can make lemonade and potted meat sandwiches.

And it's played absolutely everywhere. No matter where you live in the land you are close to a football club of some sort. It is inescapable. Clubs at all levels are to greater or lesser extents the focus of their local communities. They are a historic and vital part of our civic and cultural make-up.

Football, quite simply, rules.

So it's a surprise that no one has come up with the idea of a group of fans collectively owning and running a club before now. It has been tried with small cabals of people before, and it exists in some way at some Spanish clubs. But what has not been tried before is the idea of having 50,000 stakeholders in a club all of whom actually run the club, voting on all decisions. Yes, in a real way, actually running the club.

And you don't have to be rich to take part. Your share costs just £35. Sounds impossibly idealistic doesn't it, but that's what is happening at www.myfootballclub.co.uk and it's about to be put to the test.

Set up by a Fulham fan, Will Brooks, the idea is to get 50,000 people to cough up £35, and use £1.4million raised to buy a club. Once done, all decisions will be made by the membership. You'd vote on everything from transfers, to kit sponsorship, to youth development strategy. You could scout a player, put it to the board that he be signed and then it'd be voted on by the membership.

There'd be no manager, just a head coach. All decisions a manager would normally make will be made by the membership. This will include team selection! Made by the membership submitting a preferred 11 based on the coach's pre-match report, the most popular choices will make it into the team. How great is that?

You also get to vote on tactics, to test out all those theories you've always had about playing a new 3-1-3-1-1-1 system if you can get enough to support your crazed theories.

It sounds like a lot fun already doesn't it and approx 48,000 agree and have signed up. So if you want to take part in this revolutionary, democratic idea, then you've only got about a week or two to sign up and take part in the launch of this unique and exciting project.

A really interesting aspect of this is how it runs totally against the prevailing trend of big money buy outs. At a time when football at the highest levels is under-going a cultural and financial revolution that is taking it further away from the people whom it is played for, here is an idea that turns that notion totally on its head. Not only will the club play for the people it will be owned and run by them.

I'm no communist loony but the idea of 50,000 people making decisions about a club is irresistible. It would be the ultimate test of whether all the crap we spout routinely from the terraces or in front of the TV is of any merit at all. Do we know what we are talking about or are we blow-hard gobsh*tes who have never had to have our pontificating and grand ideas tested out on the pitch?

It will need the membership to act responsibly and a board will be in place to prevent the membership bankrupting the club. In other words it will be better run than Leeds United. But with an initial base of 50,000 and with that expanding after the purchase of the club, the mad fringe of members who want to sign one-legged strikers and put LSD in the water will be diluted by the majority of less whacked-out people.

My instincts are that while some fans are stupid, fickle and gutless, most are not and many have seen a lot of football. I calculate that I've spent one and half years of the last 35 just watching football. Put together 50,000 people and you will get a lot of football wisdom that will, in all probability, largely agree on most things.

Normally I'd say you can't run anything by committee as anyone who has ever sat on any committee will tell you, you need a leader to get things done, not endless debates. But this will be a bit different. The majority opinion will rule, plain and simple. One member, one vote. Absolute democracy for better or worse.

Can you imagine if it works and the club is successful? It could revolutionize how sporting clubs are run at all levels. Imagine if, as we've always suspected, the people really do know more about football than the current crop of owners, chairman and managers. It's a lovely thought.

Apparantly there has been interest from Conference and lower league sides in being bought out. Leeds United is the current if unrealistic favourite to buy but perhaps a more reasonable choice would be Accrington or Morecambe.

Considering we all only have £35 to lose, this is an experiment well worth supporting.

In an era when some of the people who are in control of football we suspect to be corrupt, morally bankrupt, actually evil or simply ego-maniacs, this is an audacious attempt to do things differently.

Football really is the people's game, so maybe now is the time for the people to take charge.

Now, who's in favour of naked women selling foot long hot dogs at the ground? So that's unanimous then!

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That is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever seen in my life.

Put together 50,000 people and you will get a lot of football wisdom that will, in all probability, largely agree on most things.

You have got to be kidding me.

"Hey, lets run a club consisting of 50 thousand armchair GM's!"

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Yeah, the increased level of 'perceived' geniuses.

There's a reason professional teams hire scouts and managers. Its because they have a skill set. This dumb concept is simply playing on the fact that every Tom Dick and Harry thinks they can be do the same job, but they cant, which is why they arent. Ever heard of some no name getting on with a club because of their "knowledge" of the sport? Fuck no.

I have one thing to say to each moron that thinks they can actually contribute.

"Stick to Fantasy Sports you idiot."

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whatever, we'll see

anyway i don't see this as a way to necessarily build a colossal dynasty of a club, seems more fun than anything to me

say for instance you voted to select a certain striker to start the game and he pots the winner, wouldn't that be extra satisfying?

I wouldn't want to be the guy that sets up the voting for every single decision but that's his problem.

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"say for instance you voted to select a certain striker to start the game and he pots the winner, wouldn't that be extra satisfying? "

And would that same person hold themselves accountable when things went in the shitter?

Nope, or certainly not as much as someone who is actually employed to make those sorts of decisions, which is why this would fail miserably. The term 'Back to the drawing board' would become 'Back to the fridge for some more Forget Juice'

It be fun to get on a message board and state/vote on what you think should happen but realistically you can get your rocks off on fan-sites. Would you really want Ollie or Dinghy (no offence guys ;) )as part of the decision-making team?

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i don't know what you mean by 'fail miserably'

i think people will get enjoyment out of this, adn that alone is enough reason to do it

50 000 votes is, in theory, enough to balance out the ollies and dinghys (no offence guys).

i guess the question is what type of people have signed on? in my experience most limeys you talk fitba with have a pretty balanced view of things, on the whole.

that said, i wouldn't want to try this with 50 000 leafs fans though

and as for accountability when things are going awry- that's what message boards are for

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pished @ work
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