clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Democracy in Sports - What does it mean?

The young movement in America has at its strongest example the light of Barcelona and Real Madrid. A regular fan (ok, not so regular they are always rich businessmen really) can be elected as the President. They can urge the manager to sign certain players (Henry) and free up funds in order to transfer said players onto the club.

But these aren't the only example. Notts County's experiment failed when the voters chose to sell-out to an unknown group for funding. They've lost their star player and may even lose their Director of Football Operations.

Today, at the BBC one of their bloggers goes deep into the issues of Supporters Trusts and Democracy in Sports. His suggested way to have an "English Barca" is for an EPL club to fail ala Lehman Brothers.

I would love to see an English Barca emerge - and I wish the trusts at Manchester United and Newcastle and the Liverpool fans' groups ShareLiverpoolFC and Spirit of Shankly all the best - but the finances of our biggest teams are now so complicated, so massive, a fans' buy-out is almost impossible to imagine. When Liverpool host United on Sunday their joint debt will be over £1bn - that's a lot of pledges on a website.

The only scenario that is going to bring about a Premier League Barca anytime soon is for a club to fail. And I mean really fail. Not just the company that owns it. A Lehman Brothers, a sacrificial lamb. That would wake up fans, the media and the governing bodies to the perils of short-termism, unregulated speculation and warped competition. Any volunteers?

In the meantime, the supporters' trust movement should just comfort itself with the knowledge that it is very probably right about most things, it's just that most people aren't ready to listen yet.

So as this first season of Sounders FC ends, and the term of the first 10 elected to the Alliance Council ends. I ask you, what rights and responsibilities should the Council have, what about the broader Alliance itself? How would this benefit the Sounders millionaire and billionaire owners? Drew Carey inspired many of us with a change in American sports, but what are the next steps for us on the Alliance Council and how do we get to become an American Barca?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Sounder At Heart Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A twice weekly roundup of Seattle Sounders and OL Reign news from Sounder at Heart