Growing up in Canada, hockey was always the sport that could bring families and friends together but could just as easily break a relationship; whichever the experience, there was no doubt that Canadians were passionate about hockey. Things have changed rapidly, people are still passionate, but with the naming of arenas to the highest bidder, tickets to games too expensive for the average family, and team owners with their own objectives – which may not necessarily be putting the best team forward, I lost interest awhile ago…
How awesome would it be if fans could come together, and support their team, in a way that’s more meaningful than painting their faces with the team’s colours, and sporting an oversized jersey? It’s been happening in Europe since 2000 through Supporters Direct.
The concept behind Supporters Direct grew when Brian Lomax’s favourite team folded from its debts and poor management; rather than simply throwing money at the team to keep it afloat, the idea was that fans wanted a return on their investment in the form of shareholding and a real representation on the team’s board.
With their mission to “promote sustainable spectator sports clubs based on supporters’ involvement and community ownership,” Supporters Direct has grown to fans taking full control of football clubs and operating them as fan cooperatives, and these cooperatives becoming increasingly influential and respected by government and leaders running the game in the UK.
Supporters Direct ultimately promotes the social, cultural and economic value of sports clubs in communities, and empowers fans to get involved in their team and community’s future.
Thank you Supporters Direct for making our world wonderful!
LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: Which team, in any sport, would benefit most from fan cooperative ownership?