Jason Sutch is a man with a mission. Rather than be content to watch the Philadelphia Union continually languish under what has proven (over the past couple of days at least) to be an unpopular ownership group, Sutch has started a GoFundMe page to raise $400 million and buy the Union from Jay Sugarman, Nick Sakiewicz, and the rest of Keystone Entertainment Group.
Sutch's campaign to buy the Philadelphia Union was started out of "frustration, pure and simple", and when asked if he'd hit his goal of $400 million, he replied "What I hope to do is raise the awareness necessary to try and force the hands of our ownership to make some necessary changes. If it takes $400 million, then that's what I shooting for. I'm confident it will take less." Sutch is also very confident that this aim will be met. "I would not have started this if I didn't think it would work. There are a lot of people in the fan base that agree with me. It will not happen overnight. But changes will be made."
Buying a sports franchise isn't an easy proposition, especially when the ownership group isn't actively looking to sell. I asked how he'd persuade Jay Sugarman, Nick Sakiewicz, and company to sell the club. "By providing them the necessary information, and proving to them it is the best possible option, from a business perspective." Sutch said. "If you're able to purchase the club, how would it be run? Would it be your club? Or would the people who contributed get a say? How will that work?" I asked, "It would be run with a greater level of transparency than what we have now. The plan is to let the football decisions be made by the head of football operations, manager and staff. Keeping ownership out of it. Using the youth system we have to fill depth spots on the roster. until they are ready to become starters with the club." Sutch then said "At this point I do not want this to be my club. I view every donor as a shareholder in the new ownership."
And if the bid fails? "Refunds, donations to Union sponsored charities, keg party... These are some of the options that are available should we not reach the goal." Sutch continued "This is the first real opportunity for the fans to stop yelling into the vacuum, and have our collective voices be heard. We are trying to fund real change in this club. Not just sitting online, or in the local bar talking about it." He continued "It's easy to say 'this will never work' or 'this guy is nuts', but if you believe for one second that it has a chance...drop a dollar in the bucket. You have nothing to lose, but we have everything to gain. We are working for you."
As of this writing, Sutch is $399,999,915 shy of his goal. If you'd like to contribute, check out the GoFundMe page.