The news of the transfer of the club to the fans was to please the fans, but caused the next portion of criticism and ridicule. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of how the promise will be realized in practice, partly by distrust of the said Fedun, who managed to accustom to the constant changes of course.
However, subscription campaign just started and too early to draw conclusions. But it seems strange that after the 5th place in the championship protest-minded audience rushed to buy seats for next season. Especially against the backdrop of significant price increases: for example, the most expensive categories of subscriptions have grown from 199 000 to 217 000. The price for season ticket to some sector outside the gates remained the same – from 7000 roubles. For comparison, got to the Champions League “Krasnodar” has set a more modest price tag – from 4000 to 45,000 rubles.
A revolutionary statement Fedun whether caused years of fatigue, or resentment, or a basic desire to throw the asset. For 15 years the owner of “Spartak” has spent on the club and its infrastructure at $2 billion, but has not received the benefits you were hoping to receive.
First Fedun spoke about the desire to make Spartak really popular back in 2004. Then, he was planning to sell part of the shares through the stock exchange. In the future, this idea has been repeated every few years – and finally took shape in a specific program.
The idea Fedun, a controlling stake will go to a nonprofit organization consisting of active fans of “Spartacus” – season ticket holders, a long time attending matches. For residents of the regions is planned as a separate program for membership fees. In the end, all these people will be able to determine the shape design, transfer policy and other important things. How it will transfer control of the club, the businessman said. Many aspects, however, still exist only in theory.
It is interesting to understand which model focused Fedun, promising “Spartak” changes. Football clubs, where the fans actually operate something, a little. And very little, if we talk about top level. In most cases this is only a simulation, the game in democracy. Listen to the fans on certain issues, but the stock they do not own, or are minority shareholders, but the real power is concentrated in very different people.
Examples of fans affect something, most of all in England. Usually this happens in three cases: the fans are unhappy with the policy of the club and create in the lower leagues alternative; the team is in a deplorable state, and the trust buys back its loyal fans – so, for example, was with Portsmouth; the club went bankrupt, and the fans have recreated it under a new guise.
The most striking example – semi-professional “United of Manchester”. This club was founded by fans of “Manchester United” in protest against the purchase (or, as they say, the capture) their favorite team by the family of the glazers.
The slogan of FC United – “Our club – our rules”. Each registered member of the club, and they are now more than 2000, making an annual contribution of £12 ($18), and in exchange is allowed to vote by e-mail. Election of the Board, price policy, relations with sponsors – all key issues are resolved that way.
The basic principles of the “United of Manchester”: one member – one vote; all the profit stays in the club and not going in someone’s pocket; refrain from placing sponsors on the front of the form and support of young fans. Since 2005 the team is moving in the direction of the Premier League, but not as confident as I would like. Last season, she flew out of the sixth division, so the meeting with Manchester United has been postponed.
However, this occurs not only in the lower leagues: 20% share of the Welsh “Swansea” (10-th place in the championship is the second division) belongs to the Society of fans. Membership fees are just £10 per year – even the “United of Manchester” anymore. The purpose of this society is to defend the interests of fans on the Board. Modestly, but still.
In an interview Fedun said that based on the experience of “real” and “Barcelona”. Spain officially registered members of the club called “Socios”, they also pay annual fees: €184 for Barcelona, real Madrid are about €150.
In return, the fans get to choose the President, and these elections are held according to all rules of big politics. With unkept promises, war of compromising evidences and present the ballot boxes. To become a candidate for the presidency is not easy, in the last election it was necessary to collect 2534 votes in his support, as well as to provide financial guarantees – 15% of the budget of the club.
The current President of Barcelona, Among Bartomeu was elected in 2015 and will stay at his post until 2021-th. In the election he won the Joan Laporte, who held this position from 2003 to 2010, and initially were favourites it Laporte.
The name Bartomeu was associated with the controversial transfer of Neymar, the official amount of which, as it turned out, was far too low. The then President of Barcelona Sandro Rossel this story was worth the post, and Bartomeu was his Deputy and also was accused of fraud. Charges against him were dropped only in 2016.
When Rosell resigned, Bartomeu automatically began to fulfill his duties. The public were outraged, so the club held early elections, which, Among had to lose. But he was lucky: “Barcelona” took three titles in a row, which of course affected the rating of the former Vice President. In the election he won 55% of the vote.
According to AS, the greatest number Socios Barcelona – 180 000. The “real” them 110 000, and this is only the third place – the other Madrid club, Atletico Madrid, has 150 000 registered supporters. Thus just go and become a member in the case of the same “leopard” is impossible – it is necessary that someone from the family was already in the ranks of the “Socios”. Otherwise, you need to stand in a “waiting list” and at least three years to prove the love for the club contributions. Still the same amount of time it will take to get the right to buy season pass, which also is not guaranteed – there are enough so.
But can we consider all these fans are full owners of “Barcelona”? Unlikely. And the share of their contributions in the income structure of the club is small. In season 2017/18 Barcelona first in the world (of sports clubs, of course) earned more than $1 billion (€914 million). Now multiply the number Socios on the size of contribution. It turns out a very modest figure.
In special cases, when the club is on the verge of bankruptcy, it opens doors to all comers. This was, for example, “Oviedo” in 2012. To save the club needed to raise €2 million in two weeks. The team has accumulated debts to the tax authorities, and the amount needed for the next payment was not.
Then, “Oviedo” addressed to fans, and in the end minority shareholders of the club were thousands of people from different countries, including Spanish players Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla and Michu. Supported “Oviedo” and real Madrid, who bought shares at €100 000. But the real impact on the life of the club they, of course, is not provided.
Another experience on the subject of the complicity of fans in running the club “Seattle sounders”. One of the most successful teams in American soccer founded in 2007, 2009 included in Major League Soccer. In the first season of “Seattle” was voted sports club of the year by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. The average attendance of its matches have been held on the level close to 31 000 people, it was a top record in the League. In five years the audience of “Seattle” has exceeded 40 000. And in 2016, the club took the MLS Cup is the main football trophy in North America.
From Seattle four of the investor. Owns a controlling stake in the venture, the entrepreneur Adrian Hanauer, the other three, Microsoft co – founder Paul Allen, a Hollywood producer, Joe Roth and comedian drew Carey. The fans are not just spectators, but partners are important processes. Several times a year the club meets with the Board of fans (are elected from among the holders of season tickets) and discusses all the questions. Every four years fans choose General Manager.
Significant moment: when the boss “Seattle” decided to change the name and team logo, the vast majority of fans voted to keep the existing one.
Moreover, “Saunders” there is a reserve team which plays in the second largest division, and 20% of the shares the trust owns the fans.
But for America, this story is rather an exception.
Closest to the realization of ideas Fedun came in the German football, where the investor can acquire the shares but a controlling stake (50% + 1 share) and will still have fans. Exception – only for those who have invested in the club not less than twenty years, as it happens in the “Bayer” and “Wolfsburg”. The first is strongly associated with the eponymous pharmaceutical company, the second automobile factory of Volkswagen.
This model eliminates the appearance in the Bundesliga Arab sheikhs, but allows clubs to preserve their identity. So in Germany do not like Red Bull, who managed to circumvent the rules and to state in the fifth League of their own “RB Leipzig” – at this level of the German football Union to control the situation a little more complicated.
The leadership of the most successful German team – Bayern Munich – from time to time declares the need for change, but while 75% of the shares owned by members of the FC Bayern München eV (the remaining 25% divided among sponsors) that elect the President.
In some cases, fans “Bavaria” shows the discontent in the stands and listen to them – as, for example, after a massive campaign for the return of the traditional red and white uniform at the start of the 2018/19 season.
What happens with “Spartakom”?
Revolutionary interview Fedun, in fact, you can fit in a few quotes:
“The worst thing that you spend your money, and in return receive a constant hassle. When Spartak wins, you hate the fans of the clubs that you win. When Spartak loses, hate you do everything.”
“The global challenge is that in five years the club was managed by his fans, devotees and they feel the most competent in the country.”
“I’m simple a fan, just like everyone else. I will not have the right of blocking of decisions and election results. However, after that “Spartak” it will not be my personal money.”
Fedun like offers fans to switch places: if you do not accept what I do, manage a club themselves. At the same time learn how hard it is.
In 2016, a similar process was initiated bottom – has even created a website kupispartak.ru. After registering, fans were sent a questionnaire asking how much they are willing to spend on “Spartacus.” On redemption of 100% of the shares it was not only about the model in which the fans get a vote.
But the idea failed – the project initiators, entrepreneurs Anton Medvedev and Georgy Kozitsynu, simply did not believe, thinking that everything is some kind of Ponzi scheme.
Should I believe Fedun? In 2023, a lot can change.