Supporters Direct has begun its Crowdfunder campaign, in advance of the official launch of Supporter Ownership Week on the 11th April. The crowdfund will look to raise in excess of £20,000 to assist with the work that Supporters Direct does to convert clubs into supporter ownership.
Each time a club becomes supporter owned it is a massive effort from the supporters but also from the staff at SD; whether that’s to explore the appetite amongst the supporters & community, develop a viable bid or advise on the best structure, each case will have its own complexities.
The size of club will have a bearing on the value of support but on pure time alone it can easily run into weeks and months, a cost that is largely borne by SD.
James Mathie, Club Development Manager for Supporters Direct, said: “The good news is that supporter ownership of clubs is really building up a head of steam. We owe a lot of that to the 40 clubs that are inspiring the next wave to come through. At the moment we are at various stages of exploring and securing this ownership model for 10 clubs, and we want to do more to encourage this growth still further, and support those that make it, to help them really see the benefits of the model. What is great is that increasingly we are working with clubs that recognise the benefits and choose to become supporter owned, rather than it being a model of last resort”
The work of Supporters Direct has been essential in creating 40 supporter owned clubs in the U.K with each club set up on the principle of delivering community benefit before a ball is even kicked. The mutual model of ownership places a club at the heart of its community and it is hoped that this fund will help to grow the network of clubs and deliver a legacy for years to come.
The crowdfund is one element of a host of activity which will see online Q&As with key figures at supporter owned clubs including Julian Tagg, CEO at Exeter City and Spencer Harris Director at Wrexham FC. Supporters Direct will also be hosting a drop-in session at the National Football Museum and a special event focussing on “The Pompey Story” documenting the trials and tribulations of how Portsmouth’s fans saved their clubs from the brink of extinction.
If you want to help change the game and provide a sporting future for a community under supporter ownership in the U.K you can donate to the Crowdfunder campaign by going to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/supporter-ownership-week