Next on the “vote bagging” agenda: Making beer VAT exempt
Power to the people. To the masses belong football clubs. At least a part of it.
Or so sayeth Britain’s PM whose party face elections in six weeks. He has come up with the utopian proposal to divest football clubs from owners who run clubs like some esoteric financial instrument loading the books with unsustainable debt. Man Utd and Liverpool provide real time examples. Then there is Portsmouth imploding after living beyond their means.
Yes, Gordon Brown is favoured not do well and this could be just a cynical vote grabber. It will also not go well with the free market EPL that chafes at this sort of interventionist government meddling. But lets step aside from that for a moment. This is exactly the sort of reform that will bring back fans who have long soured on the game as clubs drift away from their community’s moorings because of disconnected and self centered ownership.
Louis Van Gaal maybe “jealous” of Man Utd but he coaches in a league where the clubs are 51% owned by fans. Or Barca where each supporter gets a share and a vote to decide who runs the club every four years. The English league is the most widely followed league in the world generating huge amounts of revenue but they carry a majority of the European footballing debt making the situation more dire in their instance.
There is no reason why a mixed ownership model will not work. After all it seems that the recent desperate efforts to turn a football club into a cash cow maybe misplaced as it is actually an unsound investment. Their more traditional role was to generate goodwill and comfort within the community. A shift to a fan owned enterprise will bring back to it its original intentions and purpose.