This week, the renewals are due for MyFootballClub.co.uk, the fan website that, last year, brought Conference club Ebbsfleet United. The numbers, so far, do not look good for the club.
Over at Soccerlens I crunch through the numbers and try my best to analyse why there’s been such a drop in membership (if my figures are correct, about 20 thousand won’t renew) and also what this means for the club.
It probably won’t be pretty.
When I first heard about MyFC, I was naturally cynical. I’ve spent enough time watching, reading and reporting on football and have seen enough ambitious and often hare-brained schemes collapse.
MyFC always seemed a bit different.
There was always a chance it would work, that the club would achieved success and, buoyed by that, it attracted legions of more fans and would be able to compete in the league.
There was also a (to me) higher chance that the voting elements, especially fans voting on picking the team, would cause more problems than it was worth. And the idea of a business model based on an unpredictable number of yearly subscribers looked shaky.
That said, even I’m surprised at how quickly things look like they’ve started to go wrong. I always maintained the idea would have short-term success but the acid test would come about two or three seasons down the line. Looks like my estimate was a little out.
Ebbsfleet were owned by fans but not owned by their fans. That, I think, was always going to be a key issue.
Anyway, that’s the article. Read. Comment. Bookmark. Pass it on. And if there’s anything you can add to it, please do.