Explained What Are Fan Owned Football Clubs, Their Ownership And How do These Clubs Operate

Explained What Are Fan Owned Football Clubs, Their Ownership And How do These Clubs Operate

Find out what fan owned football clubs really are and how they operate under the fans’ jurisdiction 

Now that the godforsaken European Super League is no longer upon us, fans can surely let out a sigh of relief. In all honesty, it was nothing short of spectacular to see how footballing fans from all parts of the world reacted with hostility towards the European Super League idea.

Everyone is more than glad that the League is not something to worry about anymore. But as a result of all the ESL chaos, fans of many clubs decided to take matters into their own hands.

So let’s find out what these fan-owned football clubs are and how do they operate:


Fan owned football clubs ownership explained: Can fans even own football clubs?

What makes you think they can’t? All you need are two major things: 1) enough money to buy a stake in the club if not the entire club. 2) To pass the oft-ridiculed ‘Fit and Proper Person Test’.

As per the rules, you fail this test (more strict in the Premier League than EFL or in the National League) if:

  • You have influence over, or a major interest in another English club.
  • You have been prohibited by law from being a director
  • You are filing for bankruptcy
  • You have been director of a club which has suffered at least two unconnected events of insolvency
  • You have been a director of at least two clubs, which while you were a director, has suffered insolvency.
  • If the club is a privately owned company then you will have to make an appropriate offer which should be accepted by existing owners. On the other hand, if the club is a plc then you need to have some shares in place before taking ownership of the club.

How do fan-owned football clubs operate/work?

Minority fan-owned clubs are the ones where Supporters’ Trusts work with private or richer investors while still affecting the direction of the club.

The other clubs are owned entirely by fans and run by a trust. They are maintained by a democratic membership and use a ‘one-member one vote system, with the day-to day handlings of the club taken care of by trusts of elected members. These clubs also have manifestos towards objectives like community support and sustainability.

Why are some clubs owned by fans?

Well, why not. Fans are crazy about these clubs and want to use their right to have a say in the running of their favourite clubs. Not just that, fans want ownership and accountability for their undying support and love for the clubs. After the miserable idea of a European Super League which only benefited the rich clubs and their owners, it is high time fans took over in order to keep the spirit and passion for the game alive for years to come.


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Vinamra Mehrotra

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