Myfootballclub.co.uk is “the world’s first web community owned club”. It owns Ebbsfleet United, the Kent team currently playing in the Conference South. The club was taken over by the site when around 27,000 members paid £35 each in a deal estimated at £700,000. It shows what the power of a well-managed online community, when a footie fan can own part of a club for a bargain price and make real decisions regarding its future from the comfort of his living room. How does it work in reality when an online community has the power to make real decisions?
Funding An annual subscription from members pays for the running of the club
Boards The members are represented by a Society Board of 7 elected members. They monitor internal processes, set strategy, handle the confidential side of management and liaise with staff. Any current member of My Football Club can stand can stand for election. There is also a management board of three people who make day-to-day decisions at the club.
How does it work? Any member can raise a proposal for activities at the club. Their ideas will then be discussed in the site’s forums before being offered as a formal proposal. It will then be put to all the members and voted on.
Votes: Members can vote on any club management issues including player transfers, kits and ticket prices.
I think this is the type of thing we’ll be seeing more of in the future as online communities become more niche, focused and better managed.