Share & Share Alike?

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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6 Responses

  1. Red Ranter says:

    Fair enough. But you forgot to mention the MyFootball Club model. It is a try too, and you were critical of it. I understand your reasons for being critical of MyFC, but it surprises me that you have been fairly accommodating of the Share Liverpool project, when there is still precious little known about their ‘business model’. A not-for-profit thing is dodgy to me. Although Barcelona have found success in this model.

    Of course, I am a Man United fan and it would amuse me to no end to see the current predicament of ‘Pool.

    This is not saying that our club is foolproof at the moment, but at least we aren’t the laughing stock of the world — for the moment. (And playing some excellent football to boot.)

    PS: Have been a regular reader but have been averse to comment because of your particular distaste of anything in the Premier league — especially the so-called Big Four

  2. 200percent says:

    The biggest single reason that I am being accommodating of this project is because I believe that the devil is in the detail. The business model is sound. It’s covered by the Industrial & Provident Society Act, and it would essentially turn Liverpool FC into a massive co-operative society. The law itself provides enough safeguards to ensure that no-one can profit from it. It certainly works at smaller clubs (and I don’t use the word “works” in terms of “winning trophies” because, to me, that’s not what this is all about – I mean it in terms of “provides a stable type of club ownership, which prevents the club from recklessly running up debts and safeguards its future off the pitch”.

    My primary objections to MyFC are two-fold – firstly, I object at a personal level to Ebbsfleet United being used for such an experiment. I do not believe that there is a safeguard in place to cover the club should there be, say, a massive fall off in memberships if people don’t renew. Secondly, the issue of the Trust (which runs the club) having a contract with the Limited Company (which “maintains the website”) essentially means that someone will be making a profit from MyFC, under the cloak of mutuality law. I would happily bet a pound to a penny that those behind Share Liverpool will not have such clauses into the Trust user agreement should this take over ever happen. The public statements made by the MyFC “legal team” didn’t exactly fill me with confidence, either.

  3. Duffman says:

    Agreed, MyFC is a social networking business using Ebbsfleet as its centre. That’s a shocking way to treat a football club. This Liverpool scheme is an entirely different model similar to those used on the continent.

    I am also pessimistic over its prospects. However, it is an exciting idea which deserves support.

    Not from me though I hate Liverpool.

  4. ursus arctos says:

    There was an interesting article in Le Monde this week about a French knock-off of MyFC, which has collected 50 Euro a head from several thousand punters in the hope of buying a lower division club.

    The French equivalent of the FSA is investigating the entire enterprise, as they believe that they may have violated French securities laws on selling securities to retail investors (no prospectus, no disclosure of risks, direct solicitation, etc.)

  5. Tom says:

    Ursus, could you post or email me a link to the Le Monde article?

    I also think Ian’s support of the Liverpool scheme is entirely consistent with his coverage of MyFC and the Supporters Trust movement in general, as the former has little connection to the latter. Whereas the Liverpool scheme is endorsed by the Supporters Direct hierarchy.

  6. ursus arctos says:

    Tom, the article is here (http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2008/02/01/devenir-proprietaire-d-un-club-de-football-professionnel-sur-le-web_1006345_0.html) with the last paragraph being the key one. I’ve read a bit into the AMF’s refusal to comment on the basis of my own professional experience with them (and note that L’Equipe reached a similar conclusion here (http://www.lequipe.fr/Football/breves2008/20080201_185029Dev.html).

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