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Fan ownership and the future of football

A new document entitled, Fan ownership and the future of football has been written by Supporters Direct Chief Executive, Dave Boyle and released by Co-operatives UK.

For the first time, the rules of FC Barcelona have been translated into English and the New Insight document explains how the co-operative model works for Barca and why fan ownership is vital for the future of football.

The paper came as a result of a meeting between Boyle and FC United’s General Manager, Andy Walsh had with Barcelona’s Chief Executive Joan Oliver and Chief Marketing Officer Lander Unzueta back in September 2009.

The direct connection between United fans and Barcelona supporters goes back almost 12 years. Recently retired Barca President, Joan Laporta, met with representatives of The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA) in November 1998 during the campaign to stop Rupert Murdoch taking over Manchester United.

As Chair of IMUSA at that time, Andy met up with Laporta and Barca fans from the independent supporter group L’Elefant Blau whilst attending the 1998 Champions League game between the two sides in the Camp Nou.

Andy said: "Barcelona is one of the world’s leading clubs but more importantly it is wholly owned by its members. We are often told in this country that mutual ownership structures are fine for smaller clubs but the member-ownership model does not work at larger clubs. Barca’s constitution is very different to FC United but they are very firmly member owned."

Secretary General, Co-operatives UK, Ed Mayo said: "FC Barcelona - or Barça - is the poster child for co-operative football. The beauty of its team play is mirrored by the elegance of its structures of member ownership and participation. With the health warning that you can only grow community ownership rather than hope to import it, it is with great pleasure that we publish the constitutional structure, in English, in the UK for the first time."

And Laporta adds: "I am proud to see that our statutes can serve as a reference. I sincerely hope that they can be a source of inspiration for the construction of club models based on member participation."

Click on the link above to download the full document.

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First Posted ~ 10:18 Wed 8 Sep 2010
News ID ~ 3054
Last Updated ~ 14:07 Mon 21 May 2018