It’s been almost five years since MyFootballClub (MYFC) acquired Football Conference outfit Ebbsfleet United, completing the first ever crowdsourced takeover of a football club. The project was first announced in 2007 and offered wannabe owners to have their say on how a football club was run, from the boardroom to the pitch.
By pledging £35 a year, subscribers would be eligible to vote on all major decisions, including budgets, sponsorship deals, significant transfers and team selection. The level of direct democracy that MYFC was prepared to offer its members was unprecedented and ensured that it generated enough media attention to achieve the required funds to purchase the North Kent club.
The takeover was completed in February 2008 and success soon followed, with the club winning the FA Trophy at Wembley. However this was followed by relegation in 2010 and financial instability. Ebbsfleet won promotion back to the Conference at the first attempt, but subscribers have deserted in their droves and it now appears as though the relationship between MYFC and the supporters has deteriorated beyond repair.