Football co-operatives

After our proposal last month in the Mutuals Manifesto for football fans to have a right to bid for ownership of their club, it is great to see the report in the Guardian that there is an open door to community ownership.

According to our own recent survey, conducted by YouGov after we launched the manifesto, 83 per cent of Manchester United fans and 72 per cent of Liverpool fans who expressed an opinion felt their club would be in better hands if it was owned co-operatively. Across the country 56% of fans, who gave an opinion, feel the same way.

According to the survey, Manchester United supporters would be willing to invest an average of just over £600 each, to buy their club. If all the club’s supporters in Great Britain did this they would be able to raise £2.34 billion – more than enough to buy the club.

Duncan Drasdo Chief Executive of the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) told me that: “We know there’s a huge appetite out there to change the ownership at United – and this shows there’s the commitment and the will amongst supporters to play a significant role in any bid and new ownership structure. £600 as an average is a credible figure but obviously some will put in less and some will invest substantially more.”

And Dave Boyle, Chief Executive of Supporters Direct, the organisation that promotes the democratic ownership of football clubs and a federal member of Co-operatives UK, commented that: “fans are realising that the choice is a simple one – pay someone else’s debts off and at the end, those people own it, or buy it yourself. These clubs should never have been allowed to be bought on the back of leveraged debt, but if the game’s authorities won’t act in the defence of our clubs, fans will have to.”

For less than the price of a Premier League season ticket, fans could share in ownership of their clubs and ensure that they are run in the long-term interests of sport. They really could be their team’s twelfth man!

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2 thoughts on “Football co-operatives

  1. Hello there i was vert intereste to see this article and would like to say if our country hd have offered this solution years ago our clubs would not have went in forgein ownership i think this is a wonderfull solution especailly in times of recession and it is abetter way of controling large payouts .if the sponcership and advertising rite are manager in accordance with the clubs constiution then when would a clug with this sort of strong public strenght in numbers this would be a very powerfull combination of talents.I have been in sales and marketing for over 25 years and now run a very small charity helping kids in ethiopia on apersonel basis and trying to start up football teams .i believe this has to be agreat way of giving back british clubs to british people.I also think that the pride that would be in the people owning and supporting while have amajor say is,FANTASTIC .I think if i where aiming at aslogan for the papers i would say this a
    A football team for our supporters
    and our members insupport of our team.
    just remember if you can help a small charity i would love to talk check us out on facebook under andy mccallion and in photo album ethiopia real people remember we may have some of the best kids footballers in our wee teams in the making with alittle support we could do alot for these kids this email may or may not reach the right people but i pray it does.if not god bless any way all you decide to do.

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