Ebbsfleet United: An update

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.


5 Responses to “Ebbsfleet United: An update”

  1. 1 Rob February 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Take a look at http://www.freemyfc.com

    A number of members who have been silenced by those in control at myFC can fill you in on some of the goings on over the last year and why the project has failed to deliver as expected.

  2. 2 Gary Andrews February 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Rob,

    Yep, I’ve been following bits and bobs on Free MyFC for a while now 🙂 It’s all very interesting and just a bit depressing. It’s an interesting idea, but one that appears to have been badly executed. If things do go seriously wrong, I hope the Fleet trust can get a go at running it.

    • 4 weenie February 24, 2009 at 10:13 am

      At the end of the day, a huge drop in membership was inevitable – those who signed on a whim, lost interest, moved on, didn’t like the club that was purchased etc were never going to renew. Hardly shocking behaviour as depicted scandalously and negatively in the press.

      Those that are left are the ones who want the project to succeed, want the club to succeed.

  3. 5 Matthew Cain March 25, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I’ve written about my experience of joining as an idealistic enthusiast, becoming disillusioned and then finally drifting away.

    It was a brave experiment but poorly executed: http://blog.matthewcain.co.uk/myfootballclub-a-case-study-of-bad-consultation/

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