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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 06:13 GMT 07:13 UK
Fans close in on club takeover
By John Sinnott

Boardroom
MyFootballClub aims to take control of a club
Website MyFootballClub has achieved its target of recruiting 50,000 fans - only three months after launching its bid to take over a football club.

Four clubs have already approached the website, which will now collect 35 from each member towards a 1.4m takeover fund to buy a club.

Members will have the right to vote on all major decisions affecting the club.

"There has been much takeover talk but this has caught the fans' imagination," creator Will Brooks told BBC Sport.

"The website has received over 100,000 in six hours."

A new fan base of tens of thousands will greatly enhance a club's prospects

MyFootballClub's Will Brooks

Currently, Leeds is the club members would most like to take over, followed by Cambridge United, Nottingham Forest, Accrington Stanley, Barnet and Brighton.

After reaching the milestone of 50,000 members, Brooks has now set his sights on surpassing Barcelona's 155,000 membership base.

Brooks added: "In three months, over 50,000 have registered with MyFootballClub and now hundreds are becoming members every day. In time, we could match Barcelona's 155,000 owners."

Four clubs - from the Football League and the Conference - have been in touch with Brooks to explore the possibility of being taken over by the website.

"To be in a position where clubs are now coming to us is quite an endorsement," said Brooks.

"A new fan base of tens of thousands will greatly enhance the club's prospects.

"On top of money from the MyFootballClub members, there will also be a significant boost in ticket and merchandise sales, as well as the potential for more lucrative sponsorship and television deals."

Barcelona's fans vote on who will be the club's president every four years but Brooks' vision for any club taken over by MyFootballClub offers supporters a more radical model of involvement.

"The football club will be run in an extremely prudent manner, with all the requisite personnel and expertise at every level," he revealed.

606: DEBATE

"Club employees will brief members and all major decisions - on and off the pitch - will be put to the members' vote."

Over the last three months the website has negotiated a sponsorship deal with EA Sports and brought in former Fulham managing director Michael Fiddy to provide legal advice.

The Financial Services Authority has also approved the setting up of the MyFootballClub Trust to safeguard members' interests.

"Members will own the football club through the MyFootballClub Trust," said Brooks. "Every member has one share in the Trust and therefore one vote."



SEE ALSO
Fans given club takeover chance
01 May 07 |  Football
Takeover website brings in Fiddy
30 May 07 |  Football


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