06 September 2007


An entrepreneur in England is recruiting members to buy into a scheme to purchase a lower-league football club and turn it into a fan-run organization.

Once a club is snapped up the members will each receive one vote-carrying share.

"Every decision that is made will be a joint decision and all along the way members will be guided by the respective experts at the club...

"Every decision that is taken, people will be happy with because they'll realise that's what the majority of members want to happen," Brooks said.

Emphasising the members' influence in their club, Brooks noted that fans would have a say in team formations and transfers into and out of the club.

This in turn would help, rather than hinder the coach, he argued.

"We do think he'll have a lot of influence. He will brief the members on suggestions for formations... He will have a very big input in guiding the members towards the team selection.

I found this story through the BTF Newsblog, and the reaction there is quite interesting in its dismissiveness. They seem convinced that, given the chance to make actual important decisions in the running of a sports team, impulsive fans would immediately wreck the team by making rash, emotional decisions about buying and selling players that should be better left to the experts.

You can probably see where I'm going with this. I am something of a democratic absolutists, an, while I don't think people have an inalienable right to democratically operating a sports franchise, I also don't see why it's such a terrible idea given that we ostensibly let them democratically run a government. The ridicule of the former should give us a telling idea about their commitment to the latter. Or perhaps it's that they are fine with the notion of allowing the proles to elect politicians, just not anyone who might make an actual important decision.

For similar reasons, I'm somewhat mystified and worried by the liberal fascination with H.L. Mencken, who famously warned "on some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." As disastrous as Genghis Bush's presidency may be, the solution to preventing a repeat performance isn't stripping away the democratic rights of those "plain folks," but educating and persuading them. Unfortunately this is beyond the pale for many urban liberals, who feel their intellectual superiority should grant them more political clout (in a similar way capitalists feel about personal wealth, I suppose).