Football team bought out by online collective

From the department of smashing-common-assumptions:
An online collective of football fans from more than 70 countries agreed in principle Tuesday to buy a controlling interest in an English football club.

The deal will give them a vote on everything from team lineup selections to which players should be transferred.

Ebbsfleet United, a lower-league professional team, said it was overjoyed by the deal with MyFootballClub, calling it a world first and the start of a new age in football club ownership.

"This is a brand new concept, basically a massive trust," said Roland Edwards, a director and club secretary of Ebbsfleet United in Kent, southern England.

"These individuals have bought the team. They will help run it; they will feel part of it," he said in a telephone interview.

Ebbsfleet United is currently in the fifth tier of English soccer, known as the Football Conference, which is the level below the four divisions of professional soccer - the Premier League, League Championship, League One and League Two.

Edwards said he hopes its new owners will help push it up one notch to League Two. Ebbsfleet United is ranked ninth in the Conference, which has 24 teams.

Edwards wouldn't disclose the price MyFootballClub agreed in principle to pay for a 51 percent stake interest in the club. He said the deal would be completed in several weeks.

MyFootballClub, which charges its 20,000 members a 35 pound annual fee, has a kitty of more than 700,000 pounds , and its money will not only help operate the team but deepen its pockets to buy new players, Edwards said.
There's a lot that organisations and fans can do with the internet to allow things like this. It'll be really interesting to see how this works out in practice.

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