Fri 23 Apr
This is just the beginnings of what could be an amazing change in football.
Time is of the essence, so excuse where this is an unfinished article. It’s at the next stage from notes on a beer mat, but we want to get this out there. We have the beginning of something.
With the fans behind it it can happen and can only be good for football; making the league more competitive and consequently the whole football proposition, entertainment and business, a more attractive one.
The fundamental thing behind this is football on the pitch.
The so called ‘Top 6’ believe we will watch them in another unfair league and factor that into their financial instrument's (your club) value.
Nearly all Liverpool fans, for one, would never go to the games, nor watch on TV. Nor would neutrals turn on. The owners will lose those LFC v Barca Euro comeback nights as the crowd would be plastic with no real fans to engage and roar the home side on. Thus rendering their business devalued as an entertainment vehicle. It just wouldn’t be entertaining and therefore lose its value. The owners have no choice - if the fans revolt.
Let's level the playing field while we have the chance.
A 'Fan Share' issue, with shareholders creating a ‘Fan Group’, and within that an elected ‘Fan Committee’. Fans would effectively buy a 50% share of every league club.
A windfall for every league club.
Funds spent on laid-off players and local staff to run the club, assets like training ground improvements and tactical software. No owner debt or dividends to be paid, yet; but the value of their investment goes up because of this.
Only individual fans can buy the shares and only for one club, per fan, ever (one exception in more detail later).
The shares can only be traded amongst fans and never sold to non-fans. As long as the club exists, the shares and the fans exist, and with the same authority.
Fans have a vote/ say on the club's direction - someone on the board (with a casting vote) and other representative positions, made available.
Club owners don’t lose value - they can still sell the 50% sellable/ normal business shares, for business control of the business and its profits/ dividends.
Raises cash for every club, allows them to re-employ staff and continue to take the club forward.
Use something like the Chiliz Crypto technology model. Coins = Shares. All on the blockchain so it’s secure, decentralised and honest.
Full financial transparency. The Fan Committee will elect an appropriately qualified financial expert to represent them and keep them informed of the club's finances.
Top 6 are punished appropriately:
No TV money for next year; Both Premier League and Champions League revenues diverted - money shared between every other team in the 4 leagues equally - they abused us all. We all deserve to get stronger and they weaker, so this doesn’t happen again. Teach them a lesson they won't forget and level the unfair advantages they have been taking.
Top 6 share issue money dispersed amongst lower leagues - for player recruitment and re-employing staff laid off during pandemic
Every club issues for sale Fan Shares for 50% share of the club.
Fan Shares can never be sold to non-fans - the owners will have 50% of shares (which can be sold) and the other 50% owned by fans, as long as the club exists.
Using the blockchain - secure and can't be messed with.
Tiered issuance, so 50% immediately, 25% next year and 25% of shares released in 3 years.
Clubs still need to spend wisely
Season ticket holder can buy first/ early
Each fan is only able to buy shares in one team - KYC required.
CAN CHANGE TEAMS BUT NEED TO WAIT 3 YEARS AND CAN ONLY DO ONCE.
Need a clause for kids who are bought shares as a baby, for example, but they support another team later.
Money raised goes to the club - a way to instantly raise funds when needed most.
Owners still run club, but can only sell their own shares, Fan Shares cannot be sold to non-fans, ever.
Value of the club for the current owner is not lost - if someone wants to buy Liverpool FC they have to pay same to get half the share, but effectively own the ownable/ buyable part of the club and take the same profits - apart from the fan dividends, set out next.
Fan Share take 10% of the dividend/ profit total, taken by owners/ current shareholders shared amongst Fan Share Holders.
If there is massive excess in the Fan Group funds then it can be given as dividends to fans for their shares, or charity for grassroots or other. Not my call.
The Fan Shares and their privileges will always now be part of the deal, whoever buys a league club, as long as the club exists in the English league system.
No fan can hold more than 10 shares.
Only one share is required to vote and has the same voting right as 10.
Online blockchain vote for Fan Share-holders to elect:
1. a representative for the fans on the board of the club, 2. a legal representative and 3. a fan spokesperson, 4. treasurer and whoever else needed to run the Fan Group correctly.
Dividends (see below) go towards paying for representatives
Roles might be full time at a big club
An appropriately sized office will be given over for the Fan Committee to operate from, at the stadium, or training ground.
Each time a share is sold on, to another fan in the future (on the blockchain), a % is taken as a fee for the ‘Fan Group’ administration, for the running of the Fan Share system and representatives. (This can be coded on the blockchain). The club can also take a small % as ongoing revenue.
Fans with shares get ticket discounts - to fill stadiums when needed, full and loud stadiums are paramount to the traditions of English football and future of it. Suggest underprivileged kids in the area are on standby for tickets.
Note: After listening to representatives of the fans on TalkSport I am fully confident that good representatives can be sought from shareholders that would be an asset to the club - the chap from the Arsenal Supporters Trust was one of the best public speakers I have ever heard. There are businessmen who would love to run the club for the fans and do it perfectly.
No TV money for a year
Paid to lower leagues, 20% to Championship, 40% div 1 and 40% Div 2.
Level the playing field.
Champions League money and Premier League - level the playing field.
Revenue from TV given to smaller clubs must be spent on players and staff, assets for the club, (lots of them laid off during covid so they can now be re-employed - IE not all just paid to the owners). More staff means the club gets stronger. Assets for the club also allowed - ie tactical software, training ground upgrades.
First Fan Share issues, for so called ‘Top 6’, the revenue raised is shared equally between all 92 clubs. They betrayed us all.
Owners are welcome to leave the club to the fans, in which case 50% of TV money will be paid. - needs work but they may bleat about how it will ruin and break them/ the club - then leave and it will be run by the fans wholly, if you love your financial instrument they would leave it.
Note: Some of the above fines and a share issue might be enough to revive Bury Football Club and make it the first club solely run by fans.
New owners standard test - morals included, ANY new owner needs to be interviewed and cleared by the Fan Group Committee.
Approval of main sponsors that represent the club - yearly.
Twelve-month roadmap for the business from owners must be approved by fans, with the timelines and potential issues. Penalties for deviating from the Roadmap (what? Needs more detail). It's a normal business practice to provide a business plan to shareholders for the following year.
Roadmap must have fan approval once a year.
One FAN representative on the club directors board, with the casting vote when needed. - needs work.
Fan’s have no votes on issues relating the basic running of the business, other than approving, or not, the plans via Roadmap and must have reasonable objections. - needs work
Stadium naming and other related Stadium business, club badge, kit, club music, helps club website and more
Malcolm Clarke, chair of the Football Supporters' Association, said 22nd of April 2021:
“The owners of the big six have shown how powerful they are – their plans were so awful that within 24 hours a fan-led review that will look at the very power structures of football was announced. It’s the best own goal we’ve ever seen.
“We welcome the release of the Terms of Reference and look forward to supporters being at the absolute heart of this review. The status quo cannot continue and we will demand change.”
MJD: No, fans need to make sure this time it counts and change happens. The government need to be involved, but we should be telling them what we want, not them telling us.
We need action now. It won’t happen otherwise. UEFA have suddenly found 4 Billion down the back of the sofa to appease these Greedy 12, how does this help?? It’s like bailing out the bankers and will just make them more powerful.
Fans in each country could also mobilise to have the same rights and standings on UEFA and FIFA. Voted democratically on the blockchain to have a real say in OUR game.
Consider the multiple Owners’ and Directors’ Tests and whether they are fit for purpose, including the addition of further criteria;
About time, but good. Owners should be approved by the Fan Committee for each team.
Assess calls for the creation of a single, independent football regulator to oversee the sport’s regulations and compliance, and its relationship with the regulatory powers of The FA and other football bodies;
About time, but good. Fans should be an elected part of that structure.
Examine the effectiveness of measures to improve club engagement with supporters, such as structured dialogue, that were introduced on the back of the Expert Working Group;
No idea what this means, but we haven’t really heard a lot about it anyway, so can’t be the change we are after. Engaging and involving fans is more than adequately covered and problem solved in this document.
Investigate ways league administrators could better scrutinise clubs’ finances on a regular basis;
Covered and solved in this document already
Examine the flow of money through the football pyramid, including solidarity and parachute payments, and broadcasting revenue;
Fairer revenue splits is of course agreeable. This document also levels the playing field in a similar fashion. Covered and solved in this document already.
Explore governance structures in other countries, including ownership models, and whether any aspects could be beneficially translated to the English league system;
Good idea, but let’s do something that works for us. Covered and solved in this document already.
Look at interventions to protect club identity, including geographical location and historical features (e.g. club badges);
Covered and solved in this document already.
Examine the relationship between club interests, league systems and their place within the overall football pyramid.
League system is fine, why tamper?