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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 12:11 GMT
Fans' website approves Fleet deal
Ebbsfleet United
Ebbsfleet United are chasing a play-off place
Members of fans' website MyFootballClub have approved the takeover of Blue Square Premier side Ebbsfleet United.

More than 18,000 members cast their votes in the past week on the 635,000 takeover, with 95.8% deciding on the purchase of the Kent club.

Fleet manager Liam Daish was backed by the same percentage of members to carry out any plans he has for the January transfer window.

MyFootballClub has 27,278 members who had until Wednesday to cast their vote.

MyFootballClub creator Will Brooks said: "We believe it is the first community website takeover of its kind in the world, not only in football."

In November MyFootballClub announced it had reached agreement with Ebbsfleet - formerly known as Gravesend & Northfleet until last summer - to buy control of the club.

Each of its members have paid 35 to provide a 700,000 takeover pot and, should the majority back the move to acquire a 75% controlling stake, all will own an equal share in the club.

As long as everyone takes it as seriously as the players, and I and the coaching staff do, then I don't see any problem

Ebbsfleet boss Liam Daish

When the deal goes through, MyFootballClub will assist manager Liam Daish - whose job title will change to "head coach" - with funds for the January transfer window.

In a landmark for English football, members will vote on player selection, transfers and all major decisions.

The first "internet" team selection is scheduled for March.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for the club," said Brian Kilcullen, who will take over as interim chairman from club chairman Jason Botley.

"It's been great to see Ebbsfleet fans and new supporters from around the world coming together, both at Stonebridge Road and online."

Daish's contract will be extended by a year to the end of the 2008/09 season as part of the deal and the Ebbsfleet boss backed the buyout.

"This will enable us to carry on at this level," Daish told BBC Radio Kent.


"I don't envisage getting 20,000 for a player, but I hope to be able to get a couple of bodies in and secure the players who are here already.

"Barring John Akinde everybody's contract is up at the end of the season. It will secure the services of these players and help them to push on to the next level."

But Daish urged members not to treat team selection as a computer game.

"They're dealing with a bunch of players whose livelihoods are at stake. They support their families with what they earn here, they don't earn anything else," he added.

"As long as everyone takes it as seriously as the players, and I and the coaching staff do, then I don't see any problem."

MyFootballClub website
MyFootballClub members could be in control of team selection

MyFootballClub members unable to attend Ebbsfleet's matches will have to familiarise themselves with the squad via the website.

A free match highlights package is to be made available to members along with a player statistic and analysis facility.

Ebbsfleet were formerly Gravesend & Northfleet but the club's name was changed in May in a bid to tap into the regeneration of the area.

They are ninth in the Blue Square Premier, three points off a play-off place for entry to the Football League.

The Financial Services Authority has approved the setting up of the MyFootballClub Trust to safeguard members' interests in the eventuality of the club running into financial difficulties.

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