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By Alex Jones :  13/11/2007 :  Comments (11) :
I hope this does not go down too much as an FM piece. It does however have much more relevance to be considered today as MyFootballClub have anounced that they have bought a club, Bluesquare Premier side Ebbsfleet United. The idea of this is to allow football fans the chance to actively run their own club. Especially for ToffeeWeb who have set up the Toffeeweb Trust with the aim of buing a stake in Everton in similar fasion.

I bring this up here as ToffeeWeb offers a similar way of many thousand football and indeed Everton fans to voice their opinions on many issues from the way the club is run to who should play next saturday. Now under this scheme at Ebbsfleet those fans can do just that. But could you just imagine what would happen if we tried this with Everton?

This is not specific dig or an opportunity to criticise individuals, or conversely to overly praise people for their opinions but the sheer scope of opinions on here would make this a nightmare! Many fans offer their opinions and cause many discussions and arguments ? for example, Dutch's idea to sell the injury-prone James Vaughan.

I'm not saying he is right or wrong, personally I'm with the latter, but if we were in control surely we would have to look at it from two ways ? the benefit to the team and benefit to the shareholders. Like the Ebbsfleet supporters will now have to face it is now beyond simple FM pick your best 11 and formation etc. To most Evertonians the idea of selling him turns the stomach.

But from a shareholders point of view... well that is different. Firstly consider his value around £10m ? and his importance to the team. With having five strikers and Tim Cahill maybe he is not as indispensible as some people make out he might be, the Yak and AJ are on 5-year contracts, Mcfadden may find his Scotland form, Anichebe looks like he could be a top player, Cahill is all but a striker and in reserve we have Scott Spencer, Lukas Jutekiewicz from Swindon, Kieran Agard and Jose Baxter coming through... mybe the £10m looks quite good. On a £35 investment the return is in the thousands, not bad for a player who only plays 5 games a season at best.

Now looking at it like that I'm sure some people will agree and others disagree which is exactly the problem to why this whole idea will fail. Although MyfootballClub has a 51% majority it probably needs a 51% majority from its stakeholders to make a desicion meaning the club is run by 25% of its Board.

Then consider our own transfers ? we get names branded about on here that would make the tabloids look boring! Yes we all would love the likes of Riquelme and Fernandes back, but sadly that isn't going to happen. I for one would not want Fernandes back, if he really wanted to join us he would have in August wouldn't he? In my opinion he is no better than the likes of Barmby, Jeffers and Rooney and a lot of us wouldn't welcome those three back surely?

We woudn't just be able to hit a player search button and see what comes up. We would have to listen to the advice of the manager and his (hopefully accurate) scout reports on players. Imagine doing that for Arsenal - I want to by this 15-year-old called Cesc Fabregas or some Ivorian centre back called Toure... We would want immediate big names and maybe we possibly could overlook such gems as Arsene found.

As for team selection, the only time wher that would never cause arguments would be when we only have 11 players that fit 4-4-2 perfectly! Which is ironic as I'm not an advocate of that formation as I'd pick 5-3-2! For what its worth I'd pick: Howard; Yobo, Stubbs Lescott; Neville' Baines; Arteta, Carsley, Cahill; Anichebe, Vaughan. How many other fans would agree with that? OK yes the Manager would get the final say and pick his XI but that seems to defeat the objectives of MyFootballClub who want to run all aspects.

There will never be a case where we will all agree on something and all progress will be slow ? asking every fan for their opinion to run a football club is just insane!

Also consider what you would do with AvdM at the moment, are there still Moyes Out activists around, who would you pick next week? All are questions the Chairman and Manager will be asking MyFootballClub over the season excpecting answers. All it would succeed in doing is turning the running of the club into a bureacracy.

Reader Comments

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Steve Lyth
1   Posted 13/11/2007 at 16:16:21

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Sell Vaughan ???? Dutch is and always has been a tad crazy, please stop further nonesense forthwith.
Alex Jones
2   Posted 13/11/2007 at 16:30:47

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On selling Vaughan I’m fairly certain I said: "I’m not saying he (Dutch) is right or wrong, personally I’m with the latter" - No on selling him.
What I did say was if enough people like Dutch voted in favour of selling any player in such a scheme as used by the MyFootballClub people then it could happen and tried to give a possible argument that they may use to persuade others.

i.e why MyFootballClub will fail!
Arthur Jones
3   Posted 13/11/2007 at 17:29:02

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More chiefs than Indians comes to mind , I cannot see how this could possibly work , A great idea for raising funds to help the club but that?s where it should stop . I can see a situation where the manager would change every week , absolutely no chance of long term stability . Put this one to bed ASAP
Dawson Boyle
4   Posted 13/11/2007 at 19:49:42

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Good idea, but what happens when the novelty wears off?

Are the website inventors out for a quick buck, or do they plan to keep the club afloat in the long term?

I fear the latter and another community club going to the wall.
Mike Murray
5   Posted 13/11/2007 at 20:08:59

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I’m from Crosby originally but haved lived in Gravesend for over 20 years, so Ebbsfleet are my local team. I’ve hardly ever been down there but as both a football-lover I felt immediately obliged to get involved - wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t my local team , or Marine perhaps ! My brother-in-law is a die-hard Fleet supporter and I know how much the club means to him and the guys he meets up with at Stonebridge Road. Trust me, his, and his fellow Fleet die-hards’ , passion is as intense as ours. Apparently the 1000 or so hard-core are going mental on their forums - theats to ’string up’ the board and everything!! For me, the success of this project is dependent on local support and interest beyond the initial hype and novelty as posters have rightly suggested here. hence. It’ll be interesting to see how the project develops. On one hand it seems like a recipe for utter chaotic madness, but on the other hand, at that level of football it just might work but I think the concept will require some degree of governance in order to be practical. I hope it does work. The Fleet supporters have had to put up with a lot over recent months with the name change and now this. They’re quite right to be up in arms about what’s happening to their club right now - they deserve success as a result. It certainly puts my reservations about Kirkby very much into perspective. At least, we’ll still be Everton and we won’t have 49,000 non-supporters trying to pick the team, voting to sell off our ’crown jewels’ and scouting for new players!!! Ouch...could you imagine?
Paul Harnett
6   Posted 14/11/2007 at 10:02:28

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Thanks for the comment Mike - its the first one I’ve heard from someone close to Ebbfleet despite scouring the internet this morning.

Personally I’m intrigued by the idea - think £35 is reasonable for a year’s entertainment watching the impact of such a takeover. If there are going to be experiments I’d rather take the risk on democratic chaos than dictatorial order from someone interested in fleecing the club. It could well be that interest wanes after the first year but maybe not. The choice of Ebbfleet seems quite sensible (and that was voted on - albeit with heavy advice from the guys who run - the extra injection of cash may well prove to be the requirement that pushes the club towards the Football League. All in all, it feels like a worthy experiment in an age when football is in danger of eating itself, and a logical follow on to the other recent fans experiments at MKDons and UnitedFC. I’d give it a chance - and if the founders make a bundle while they’re at it, so what?

Oh yes - and we should remember that other club owned by the fans - Barcelona! Sure - plenty of chaos at boardroom level - but doesn’t inhibit success!

BTW I tried to register using the name "Bluenose" but its already taken!!!
Emil Mathias
7   Posted 14/11/2007 at 11:05:33

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i joined the myfootballclub thing when it first launched, as thought it was a great idea. Think it will be great to be part of it. Also chucked a bet on Ebbsfleet winning promotion, so will more than make back my £35 if they do! With an injection of support and funds they should get into the league proper. If not everyone will leave I expect and it will be deemed a failure. But will be a fun experiment nonetheless.
Danny Gorman
8   Posted 14/11/2007 at 12:50:55

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"But will be a fun experiment nonetheless. "

Does anyone else think that running a club by fun experiment is both sick and rotten?
Monty Carlo
9   Posted 14/11/2007 at 12:55:20

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I loved the early incarnations of Championship Manager. It was a brilliant game for letting the user really feel like he was involved in a club - buying the players, picking the team, managing the training, player discipline, re-negotioting contract etc.

However, when I wanted to make a substitution I only had to press a button on the keyboard and the game (and the referees watch) stopped while I did my thing. What will happen at Ebbsfleet when a player is injured? Will the ref hold the game up while everybody gets their lap top out to vote on who should replace the injured player?
Paul OHanlon
10   Posted 14/11/2007 at 14:28:12

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Stopped reading this article when I seen Vaughan valued at £10m. Where’d you get that figure from?

Whilst he’s got bags of potential you’re living in Kenwright cuckoo land if you think anyone outside of Everton would value a 19yr old who’s been injured for the majority of the past 2 yrs at £10m.
Ian Aldrich
11   Posted 15/11/2007 at 14:24:28

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I think JV is well worth 10 mil and plenty more besides when compared to the fees a certain Franny jeffers and Theo Walcott etc. And lets not forget how long Joleon was out injured before he signed for us and he?s had no problems since (touch wood). If we?d signed him from somewhere else for 10m I?d be delighted with that business.

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