Fan Ownership is definitely one of the most innovative Football Governance models. The #FutbolPopular15 Congress in Murcia gathered the early adopters and gamechangers in Spain.
Spain is a country known for its devotion to football, but it’s also related to several examples of badly managed clubs. Hence, the ‘Fútbol Popular’ movement was incepted as a natural response to this situation and due to the voracious approach of modern football. Following the principles of the supporter ownership model, a group of both resurrected teams and community based clubs is starting to consolidate a a fanbase that assimilates the Fútbol Popular as the ideal model and lifestyle in the beautiful game.
Murcia hosted us warmly during some sunny August days, where we had the chance not only to take part of the II Encuentro de Fútbol Popular, but also to share our views on how New Power is changing the global landscape through the use of new technologies and the empowerment of crowds. In that context, football is no exception to the rule and we argued that the fan ownership model is actually the most developed stage of New Power in football. We spoke about empowerment, fanfunding, transparency, crowdsourcing and obviously #FanPower.
Organized by CAP Ciudad de Murcia, FC United of Manchester’s Spanish cousin, the Congress gathered all 9 fan-owned clubs from Spain, some Spanish supporter trusts, international guests such as ASD Ardita (Italy) Cork City F.C. (Ireland) and FC United of Manchester (England). Alongside, supporter organisations like FASFE and Supporters Direct Europe took part of the activities. In addition, specialised media as Wanderers and Panenka shared their views on the power of new media. In the end, it was the perfect setting for knowledge transfer and the exhibition of best practices and failed lessons. But especially, it was the ideal scenario for collectively building the foundations of a movement that will definitely scale up.
It was gratifying to perceive how the Fútbol Popular movement showed coordination and a sense of collective thinking towards common goals. A strong foundation is assured for the challenging tasks ahead!
Amongst the cultural and geographical diversity of all clubs, there is a common ground: the belief that this will be the long-term answer to a football business model that could anytime collapse. Nonetheless, interesting roles from certain clubs stand out. CAP Murcia made it to the Spanish 3rd Division and they’re nowadays the most popular fan-owned club in sunny Spain. On the other hand, Xerez Deportivo FC resurrected from the ashes of the former Xerez CD (they used to play in the First Division!) and they have a great potential for growing their socio base. And lastly, the case of Avilés Stadium CF is remarkable for two things: they managed to create a football club and to be up and running in less than two months; and for the assertive implementation of the power of social media, design and technology to effectively mobilise and acquire socios for a brand new club (+ 600 as of today). They leveraged on #NewPower and gained outstanding results!
In the end, the movement drafted and approved their Manifesto, which will be shared to the public shortly. The Fútbol Popular is a reality and it is stronger than ever. And the best aspect is not strictly linked to the clubs; it’s actually the people who are making possible this alternative model in football through transparency, empowerment and mass collaboration. That is exactly what FanVox is all about. ¡Enhorabuena!
Take a look at some highlight of the event here!