Hmm. I\’m not quite sure what to think of this.

I really don\’t know whether a supporter owned club, entirely transparent and actually run by the supporters (as opposed to simply owned, like, I think, Barcelona is) is a good idea or not.

There\’s more here as well.

But as I\’m asked about economics (as is Chris Dillow if he\’s got the time) I\’ll stick with that part:

In longer words, It’s as near to pure communism or socialism as you’re going to get in football, and while a community owning the club is, in principle, seems attractive, there’s all sorts of areas that are heading for trouble on this.

I don\’t actually think that this will be the problem, if problem there is. There\’s nothing I can see wrong with either communism or socialism as long as it is voluntary. If people decide that they are willing to put up their own money and then own an asset in common, well, good luck to them. No skin off either my or your nose.

Further, we\’ve seen over the centuries that exactly these sorts of common ownership schemes can work very well. Building Socieities were all mututal (and some still are) as were many insurance companies.

Now whether or not this is going to work with a football club I have no idea (as I have no idea how a football club works anyway) but don\’t let the "socialism" bugbear lead you to condemn it. We should save the condemnation of socialism, or communism, for when people try to enforce it upon us, not when people decide to try it out for themselves.

After all, as above, there are times and industries where it works very well**: and isn\’t the structure of the family best described as a form of paternalistic* socialism?

* Not meant to mean the patriarchal part of paternalism though. Perhaps "parental" would be better.

** And of course this is one of the joys of liberal capitalism. That people can go off and make these experiments and then report back on whether they do work or not.

7 thoughts on “TCFKAGAN”

  1. I thought the whole point to communism is that it is enforced. If it’s not enforced, it’s a cooperative (and jolly good things they are too).

  2. Kay’s right. “Socialism” always means the imposed sort. Otherwise it’s just like an old-fashioned rugby club (but without the pleasure, usually, I suspect).

  3. Actually, I’d definitely agree that a co-operative for a football club would be a very interesting experiment.

    The trouble I have with this is that MyFC looks like it very much is imposing its own set of ideals on some rather unwilling TCFKAGAN supporters.

    I think this scheme has a better chance of working where the fans genuinely welcome the idea, or even a club being built up from scratch (and that’s essentially happened with AFC Wimbledon and FC United anyway, and they’re doing quite nicely).

    I’ve been having a bit of a to and fro with one of their advocates here:

    I’m still not convinced.

    And although, as is probably evident, I’m not at all convinced by this current experiment, I completely agree with the point about liberal capitalism 🙂

  4. The NFL Green Bay Packers have long been owned by the citizens of Green Bay who bought shares of stock in the team to keep it in town and hire professional management to ensure that it remains a winner.

    There’s nothing in the slightest resembling socialism about it. It’s about as socialist as General Motors or Wal-Mart.

  5. Pingback: TCKNAGAN Update « Gary Andrews

  6. From a socialist perspective, I could add the following. There are a number of clubs in England that are run by Supporters Trusts. These are not-for-profit organisations regulated by the FSA and governed by the Industrial & Provident Societies Act – the same laws that govern, say, co-operative societies. By and large, anyone looking to form a trust would contact a government-funded body called Supporters Direct. They are, it’s fair to say, the national experts on this.

    The problem that has been established with MyFC is that it is far from socialist. The Trust, which has been set up, it would appear, primarily to limit the liabilities of the 20,000 members of MyFC, is contractually linked to MyFC Ltd, which is the company “developing and maintaining” their website. Some of the clauses in their contract, as well as some of the “rules” of the Trust are very peculiar, to the extent that SD have already issued a press release condemning this take-over.

    The suspicion is that MyFC Trust is little more than a “shell” company, enabling MyFC Ltd to make a profit out of it all, through its contracts with the web site designers (who are, in practice, more or less the same people).

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