'Fleet fans must pay net fee'
PUBLISHED: 17:08 10 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:28 23 August 2010
THE Fleet could lose more players and face the threat of relegation if fans fail to renew their membership to the website that owns the club, the chairman has warned. Ebbsfleet United is controlled by thousands of fans through website MyFootballClub.co.u
THE Fleet could lose more players and face the threat of relegation if fans fail to renew their membership to the website that owns the club, the chairman has warned.
Ebbsfleet United is controlled by thousands of fans through website MyFootballClub.co.uk, the only kind in the world, and its finances and future are dependent upon members paying an annual fee.
Purchased in February 2008 by 20,000 fans, the number dwindled to 9,000 last year, seeing the entire squad replaced, and eight days prior to this year's deadline only 2,000 have so far signed up.
Urging fans to renew, chairman Duncan Holt said: "We are at a crux. We need those renewals and a relegation would be very tough for the club to take.
"Should that happen we would have to take a long hard look at where we would go next. The reality is though without the money you don't get the quality out on the pitch.
"I believe that if people get behind the club we have a firm foundation and can really push on towards getting into the football league."
The MyFootballClub membership has been split into two tiers, a £50 subscription which includes the ability to have all access to the inner workings of the club, make decisions on who should play and vote on ticket prices, and a £100 package which has additional perks such as regular detailed reports and discounts on prices.
The fees from the MyFC membership are all used for players' salaries and last year's reduction saw the weekly wage budget drop by almost half to £6,500.
With all the players on single year, 43-week contracts, manager Liam Daish was forced to sign an almost entirely new team at the start of this season.
Mr Holt added: "We had to clear out the entire squad last year. If Liam keeps us out of relegation he has done a fantastic job."
To counter the fall in membership, Ebbsfleet has introduced a number of changes.
"How many people can say that for just £50 they can have complete access to the books of their football club, have a say in the team selection and in selling or signing players? That is the message I want to get across to people," said Mr Holt.
Another idea being introduced is for every member to apply to be director for a day, enjoying access to the director's box for both home and away fixtures.
Visit MyFC at Myfootballclub.co.uk for further information.