The Power of Possession
Bournemouth University Multimedia third year student Liam Buckler, investigates fans starting their fightback to take back control of their clubs.
In the topical, post sacking era of ex England manager, Sam Allardyce, greed in football continues to be ever growing. Fans are becoming priced out of football; the billion pound Sky TV Premier League television rights has separated football fans from the working class game. Fans, however, have had enough with professional football being consumed with greed and they increasingly want to take back control of their football clubs, which are the cornerstones of their communities and working class cities.
The model of private ownership has failed many clubs whose sole purpose is to make money; meaning the interests of the fans is an irrelevance. Many clubs, such as Portsmouth, who became the largest fan owned club in the country back in April 2013, are majority owned by supporters’ trust, which is a non-for-profit organisation, which puts the interests of the club first. Since 2013, there has been a growing trend of Supporters Trusts being set up in order to get clubs back into community and fan ownership.
Supporters Direct is an organisation set up in 2000 that has helped supports gain influence and ownership of their club. More than 192 supporters trust have been set up in the UK since 2000 and developed more than 40 community ownerships, including Portsmouth, the largest fan owned club in the country.
The new Supporters Direct Chief Executive Ashley Brown and Portsmouth Supporters Trust Chairman, recently appointed to the chief executive role in October 2016, has been charged with the task of helping to save clubs from falling out of administration and into liquidation. Portsmouth Football Club has become the pioneers for other fans of football clubs desperately attempting to save their clubs from oblivion. Ashley Brown, also a director at Portsmouth FC, believes the template for fan ownership is the only way fans can save their football clubs from questionable owners, otherwise, he believes, football clubs face an apocalyptic future.
This is a new journalistic angle and the new appointment chief executive of the Supporters Direct, Ashley Brown, who I will be meeting on October 31st at Fratton Park, will be the first since Ashley has done since his appointment in his new role. I will also be interviewing figures from The FA, The Football League, Supporters Direct, Portsmouth Football Club, the sports minister and Borrusia Dortmund on the growing trend of football ownership and its future. This will be an exclusive in the timing of the interview with Ashley as he takes up his new role on the day I interview him in Portsmouth and is the news angle, which my target publication, The Guardian, would publish.