Red-blooded Canadian hockey fans have been playing armchair general manager for years. Of course we know what’s best for our favourite teams; if only the team manager inside each of us could manage a real team! Then we’d get it done right!
Well, here’s a chance for all our team executive dreams to come true: Alan Kasperski, manager of Toronto Rebellion rugby club and a true Internet populist, plans to buy an existing team, perhaps a junior-level team or a women’s hockey team, and allow Internet investors to become the owners.
Kasperski’s proposal predicts a $50 buy-in from potential owners, which buys them not only a share in the team financially, but a binding vote on matters like sponsors, suppliers, managers, and even potential player trades. He’s confident that decision making for a team done by a large group will produce better results than those made by an elite cabal of wealthy owners.
“If one man with lots and lots of money can own a team, why couldn’t lots and lots of people, each with a little money, own a team, too?” he wonders in his proposal, adding, “the wisdom of the crowd says that a big bunch of people are very often smarter than a small group.”
“It’s the ultimate rotisserie league. You would get to make real decisions about real people using real money,” said Kasperski, who has pitched his idea to, among others, Hockey Canada, which is asking for more information, and to the fledgling women’s pro league, which certainly should be interested. He also took it to the CBC, suggesting a launch could somehow tie in with its annual national Hockey Day. The broadcaster said he should come back with a sponsor and he’s working on that part.
The idea came from British website MyFootballClub.co.uk, which bought fifth-division soccer team Ebbsfleet United in 2008. By May of that year, Ebbsfleet had won the FA Trophy, the highest prize in their division.
But it’s not all smiles and sunshine for Ebbsfleet; as of March 2010, only 800 of the original 4000 buyers of Ebbsfleet have continued to pay membership fees for club ownership. Kasperski might need to find permanent sponsors to make his plan more stable.
What say you? If you had the chance to be a part-owner in a junior or women’s team, would you pay $50?