13 November, 2007

Ebbsfleet United Bought by Unruly Mob

In one of the boldest and mosty interesting football ventures (gimmicks?) of recent times, MyFootballClub.co.uk have bought a cotrolling stake in Ebbsfleet United. Leeds, Oxford United and Accrington Stanley have also been mooted as targets, but it seems that the 'owners' have decided to put their money where their collective mouth is. The great unwashed public have all been welcome to join the scheme, so there should be a few interesting characters in board meetings!

So, who are Ebbsfleet, anyway? The club is a redux of Gravesend and Northfleet FC, renamed to tie in with the redevelopment of the area and to take advantage of the name of the nearby Eurostar Station - Ebbsfleet International. Their most famous former players are the irreverent Jimmy Bullard and Pompey backup keeper Jamie Ashdown. However, these luminaries are no longer at the club, so the new owners will have to pick from stars such as Luke Coleman, Danny Slatter and Paul McCarthy. Personally, I couldn't fit a Rizla between those 3.

The new structure is very different from a standard football club, as the owners pick the team and vote to appoint the board. This means that any manager will now only be head coach and will have to go with the democratic decision of the shareholders, or face the tin tack. This sounds stupid, but it's only an extra step away from the situation with a number of clubs in Spain, including Real Madrid and Barcelona. The force of fans as owners has been constricting and enabling at different times for these 2 teams, but Barcelona's relative rejuvination in the last 10 years has been partly down to the force of the grass roots purging the front office. If the lads and ladies who parted with their £35 give half as much of a shit as their Spanish counterparts then Ebbsfleet should be alright.

The problem is, many of these people will have bought their stake for novelty value and may be deeply disappointed that their money has bought them a tiny slice of an average Conference side. Let's hope that the owners don't decide to select the team in a mad drunken last minute scramble at 11:00 on a Friday night, choosing a strike pairing of 'that big bald fella' and 'captain bloke wassisface', with 'my arse' in goal.