Archive → April, 2012
The Premier League and many of the top clubs often make out ‘the fans’ owning and running their club is nothing more than a fantasy. Many people have this idea the fans would take over and then for some reason start making fantasy buys or sack the managers in some kind of xfactor voting game from the stands from a multiple choice button system. All of that is complete nonsense.
The fact is over 170 clubs in the United Kingdom have official supporters trusts and its also a fact 26 clubs are owned by the fans. All these clubs like normally owned clubs have good times and bad times. AFC Wimbledon went on promotion run after promotion run and are now back in the football league. They currently lie in 15th with 50 points in League 2 which for a club only created in 2002 is unbelievable. Exeter City are another clubs which are fan owned an have struggled for what ever reason this season on the pitch but its in the non-league where Chester are top of their league along with FC United who are just in the promotion leagues. Thats where the strongest chance of supporter ownership happens but this year its struggling Championship side Portsmouth which could be next fan owned club. For Portsmouth the most likely options are either be taken over by the fans or go completely bust. They are planning to raise the needed £1.6 Million to buy the club by first asking fans to put in £100 each. Considered the much smaller non-league side FC United have raised the same amount, Portsmouth fans must have a chance in my eyes but they need get behind it. Some clubs fans can easily put up a lot of money in a short amount of time. Bradford Bulls fans have in the super league have this week raised over £500,000 and the Wrexham fans last year raised £127,000 in around 7 hours.
Away from Portsmouth there are other clubs the next one to be fan owned will be Motherwell of the Scottish Premier League. They are in the final stages as Wrexham were last year and all that is required will be the confirmation the deal is complete. Tranmere Rovers are another club with advanced plans for a takeover and if that takes place they’d be the joint highest ranked club to be fan owned in England next to Portsmouth who are pretty much resigned to join them in League 1 next season. In same league as FC United sit Northwich Victoria who also have plans to save their club if they come into financial trouble and in the Conference North Corby Town are planning to create their own supporters trust. One of the biggest stories of the moment and the biggest clubs with takeover news is the Blackburn Supporters with plans to takeover their club with an investment model of investing £1000 per fan with generous dividends. For me that sounds to good to be true and likely too higher price to pay for some fans. What this does show is fans do have plans in all levels of the game and many are going ahead without the Premier Leagues backwards and limited views that it won’t happen. This is happening from non-league to League 1 and there are even plans all the way up to the Premier League and for me it’s only a matter of time. More clubs will struggle and each year more fans will takeover their clubs.