The prospect of owning a sports franchise is one that many fans can only dream about.
Recently the Canadian Soccer League released information regarding the newest franchise to join the league. As part of the league's statements about the addition, financial information on what it takes to secure a CSL franchise was announced.
A franchise in the CSL is worth only $30,000 up front, according to the press release. $20,000 of that initial cost is to buy the rights to the franchise itself. The $10,000 is the amount necessary to keep the team in the CSL, an annual payment to the league.
That's where you, the reader, come into play.
I've always wondered what it'd be like to own a team. Feasibly, the closest the average person can come is fractional ownership in the Green Bay Packers or membership in FC Barcelona.
The Packers are a publicly owned entity that runs on a "stock" system. Shareholders own a piece of the team but the team itself is a non-profit; no shareholder makes money off of the team. Barcelona runs on a membership system in which no one can buy stock for the team (it's run as an organized association) but can join on as a "socis" and help to form part of the 170,000 member delegate based-leadership structure.
Now that the CSL has shown that the pricing for its franchises is incredibly low relative to owning a team in any sports league, it's very possible that a consortium of fans could purchase and run a team.
The only drawback to setting up an ownership group run by fans is the ability to pay for transfers, the upkeep of the pitch/stadium and to pay the salaries of the players.
A pitch (the business kind) and some thoughts after the jump.
As a pet project for the site I'd like to at least start a discussion on this topic. It's been a fantasy of mine since childhood to be involved in a sports franchise in some way, especially ownership.
The simple proposal to begin it would be to start with x number of investors and divide $30,000 by x to start off. Then it would be a discussion of how to secure funding to keep the team afloat and pay for expenses.
As for where the team would be, Ben Rycroft of Canadian Soccer News pondered about the state of Ontario soccer for future expansion:
"The question now becomes, with a player pool that is only so deep, has Ontario reached its cap for expansion? Or is there still room for more without sacrificing the quality of play?"
Canadian soccer is restricted to almost a single region of Canada. It will be interesting to see where the league goes from here on out with its choice of expansion locations.
In the comments section below feel free to discuss anything about this article. The business side, the validity, anything at all. This is something I'd love to see evolve into something real.