Football embracing new ideas…

Posted in Other Stuff, Rants by tomgooday on July 30, 2009

Ok so I thought that it was about time that I blogged about two of my favourite things. Football and the interweb. What better way to write about them, than combine the two issues….

This blog post came about after I saw this…

Buy an English Football Club on Ebay.

‘The Tranmere Rovers Football Club is for sale on eBay, for a cool $10 million (£6m), put up for sale by its American owners Dornoch Capital Advisors – a move which has “appalled” Rovers chairman Peter Johnson.’

Check it out on Ebay

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Oooo I am glad the shipping is free!

Unfortunately it went unsold as the 6 million reserve was not matched.

This got me thinking what other crazy ideas have been used to draw attention to football?

My Personal favourite is

What is My Football Club, I hear you scream? And why should you really care? This is why…

The concept is simple. Get 50,000 fans from around the world to chip in £35 each and then take that cash, buy a Football club and let the 50,000 members vote on all of the major decisions such as what players should be on the pitch and who they should buy. Simple. Great use of the web, money and collaborative thinking.

This has to be the most original and revolutionary idea I’ve seen involving a football team.

In February 2008, the members purchased Ebbsfleet United football club for £600,000. Situated in Kent, England, Ebbsfleet United play in the Blue Square Premier, which is four divisions below the Premiership…However they are on the rise following this new idea. In May 2008, they won the FA Trophy at Wembley, the club’s greatest achievement in a history that dates back to 1890.

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The site has generated plenty of press coverage…

Here are some of the Milestones since the acquisition…

12 February 2008 – Members vote to accept Nike’s offer to become the club’s kit and merchandise supplier.

8 April 2008 – Members vote to freeze season ticket prices at the club.

August 2008 – Members and supporters raise £20,000 among themselves to buy striker Michael Gash from Cambridge City.

September 2008 – MyFC members voted 82% in favour of EUFC selling John Akinde to Bristol City for £150,000 (plus add-ons). This was a world’s first, where the fans had the final say in a transfer deal. Over 7,000 members voted in 48 hours.

November 2008 – The average home league attendance 1479, almost 400 more than the average for the 2007/08 season.

January 2009 – MyFC members vote to sign defender Darius Charles from Brentford for a club record fee of £25,000

February 2009 – A free admission match, decided by members, attracts an 18 year high crowd of 3,750 to Stonebridge Rd. The game is also broadcast live online for overseas MyFC members

So I will think you will agree this has been a great success. Embracing new ideas, technology and financial backing has paid dividends for all concerned. I am thinking about getting involved still myself.

Another example of football embracing new ideas is Coca Cola’s Buy a Player campaign developed by BD. The campaigns main attractions was that it empowered fans to win transfer funds for their clubs to spend on new players.


A great promotion or campaign tugs on the heartstrings; the fact that you could win yourself £10,000 is a big plus, but the £250,000 to buy a player for your cash-strapped football league team is equally engaging, and as the advert above says, mah you a hero. The Win a Player promotion perfectly marries the sponsorship of the Football League effortlessly with the real supporters on the terraces. A powerful and extremely simple concept.

Colin Kazim-Richards at the age of 19, was the first player purchased via the campaign he was signed on a three-year contract by Brighton & Hove Albion for £250,000 from Bury, it in turn, led to Kazim-Richards being dubbed the “Coca-Cola Kid”. Since this Kazim-Richards has gone on to bigger and better things…On 15 June 2007, Kazim-Richards signed a four-year contract with the Turkish club Fenerbahçe. He scored his second UEFA Champions League goal for Fenerbahçe in the quarter-final first leg against Chelsea on 2 April 2008.

So Football and the interweb and some clever thinking have brought about these ideas….I wonder what the future holds…?