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07 Mar 2018

Fan-funded football club aiming to break into Scottish top flight
BY Tom Walker

The initiative is the brainchild of former Motherwell player, Chris Ewing (centre), who is currently looking to find a site for a new stadium

The initiative is the brainchild of former Motherwell player, Chris Ewing (centre), who is currently looking to find a site for a new stadium
photo: OurFootballClub.com

A fifth-tier Scottish football club has set its sight on reaching the Scottish Premiership by 2025, using a radical online venture funded by fans.

Edusport Academy, which currently plays in the Lowland League, has launched a campaign encouraging fans all over the world to become members.

For an annual fee of £25, fans will be able to influence key decisions – from choosing the team’s new name, electing board members and recommending signings.

The initiative is the brainchild of former Motherwell player, Chris Ewing, who in 2011 founded a full-time, all-year-round, private football academy in Glasgow, targeting young French footballers.

Also called Edusport Academy, the facility currently offers young French players year-long football coaching, English language tuition and inclusive accommodation at a cost of around £17,000 per year.

As part of their education, the students have benefitted from the experience of playing in the semi-professional Lowland League.

Now, Ewing is altering the structure and separating the club from the academy.

Under the name “OurFootballClub.com”, the initiative has already attracted fans to sign up from more than 25 countries.

When the new club reaches 10,000 members, £50,000 will be donated to grassroots football in Scotland, with the membership deciding where the money should be channelled.

Edusport Academy currently plays its home games at the Lesser Hampden stadium in Glasgow, but talks are now underway with the local council to find a site for a new stadium for the club.

Owner Chris Ewing said: “What started off in 2011 as a private football academy has evolved into a football club with full membership of the Scottish FA, playing in the fifth tier of Scottish football, just one step away from professional football.

“The business model that was originally set up is now maybe not best placed to support the ambitions of the football club and that is what lead me to think of alternatives.

“I think the OurFootballClub.com model is a good alternative, something new and exciting and creates a football club for the modern generation of football fan.

“We want this to be the most innovative fan experience in the game. We aim to offer the best and most immersive supporter experience in world football, which is exactly what we feel the game needs.”



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