Ever wanted to own a soccer club? Do you have access to nefariously obtained billions or assets that you can leverage to borrow ungodly amounts of money? No? Well, there's still a way to get a foot in the door, and be part of a growing and global fan ownership movement.
SD Eibar is a tiny club in the Basque region in Northern Spain. Their picturesque stadium holds just over 5,000 fans. They make little money in revenue, but they spend even less, a community club happy to simply exist to do battle against the Goliaths of the Spanish Leagues. This year, however, Eibar have a problem. They are actually good, and have been promoted to the Spanish Primera. Why is this bad? Because the Spanish Primera requires all of its teams to have access to working capital based on the aggregate finances of all 20 clubs, many of whom are in serious financial distress. Eibar is not at all in financial distress, but will now be forced to raise over 1.7 million euros before the start of next season or else be relegated to the third division. According to columnist/translator/podcaster Sid Lowe, Eibar was not optimistic about reaching this goal, but as of this post they're already over 50%, and you can help buy buying a share for 50 euros.
Remember Portsmouth FC? They were in the Premier League, and were pretty good! That's because they borrowed an irresponsible amount of money to buy world class players like Nwankwo Kanu (yay!), Sol Campbell (nice pickup!), and Jermain Defoe (boo!). They won the FA Cup in 2008, were runners up in 2010, and then were relegated, and then relgated again, and again, and then put on the chopping block for complete liquidation. Then something cool happened. Portsmouth fans decided to band together and buy the team. And then they did, and Pompey became the largest supporter owned football club in England. You can join the cause, as they are currently issuing shares for 1,000 pounds per share.
I know several clubs are listed on stock exchanges, most notably Manchester United, who famously issued shares on the NYSE, in an effort to connect the club with its fans/raise as much capital for the Glazers as possible without actually putting their own money into the club (RIP, Malcom). There are also many supporter-owned clubs all over the world, although most of the big ones like Barcelona and Real Madrid don't issue new shares, and the wait to actually purchase a share of those clubs is almost as long as the wait for Arsenal.com to post a press release after a new signing.
Do you know of any other clubs currently selling shares to average Joes like you and me?