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'Websfleet' inspires American sports bid

PUBLISHED: 10:47 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 23 August 2010

EXCITED: Ryan Bingham

EXCITED: Ryan Bingham

EBBSFLEET United s ground-breaking MyFC initiative is to be used to form a baseball team - by a mayor in a small American town. Ryan Bingham, 26, who holds office in Torrington, Connecticut, has given the go-ahead for a web-based community to replicate t

EBBSFLEET United's ground-breaking MyFC initiative is to be used to form a baseball team - by a mayor in a small American town.

Ryan Bingham, 26, who holds office in Torrington, Connecticut, has given the go-ahead for a web-based community to replicate the idea of MyFootballClub (MyFC).

He hopes the plan will emulate the success of Ebbsfleet United which was purchased by 35,000 fans from around the world with an annual subscription of £35.

MyFC bought the Stonebridge Road outfit in 2007 and now another similar scheme, OurBaseballHaven.com, hopes to attract 900 members to buy a share in the club Mayor Bingham wants to create.

He said: "This company came to us with the idea of making fantasy baseball a reality and that really appeals to us.

"We have a great ball park in the town and something like this would really help put us on the map.

"I hadn't heard of the Fleet until I started researching the idea and it seems that they have achieved success - if we could repeat this we would be delighted."

The mayor estimates 900 members, paying $100 dollars each will secure the $90,000 dollars needed to launch a team.

Although Mr Bingham attended university in Leeds for a year and made frequent visits to the capital he had not previously heard of Gravesend, Northfleet of Ebbsfleet.

The Republican politician has now vowed to visit the area next time he makes the trip across the Atlantic.

"I have an election to compete in November before I am able to assess my financial position to see if it is possible to get back to England," he said.

"I've been told you can get to the area in 17 minutes on the high speed train so that is all the more reason to make a visit.

"We are excited by what MyFC has achieved for Ebbsfleet. It is an exciting idea."

Since the original MyFC deal membership has now dropped to about 10,000 annual subscribers, but the unique plan made headline news around the world and gave the team global interest.

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