It’s 2008, Manchester United have just won the Champions League and Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or by an overwhelming margin. Ronaldo and Messi are very much becoming household names as they start what would be called a domination in world football.
Real Madrid offer Manchester United a whopping £80 million for Ronaldo, a world record fee at the time.
Fast forward 10 years and Manchester United have offered Leicester City £80 million for Harry Maguire. Jack Grealish has been bought by Manchester City for £100 million and West Ham are asking for over £120 million for Declan Rice.
How did we get here? In the early 19th century football was a game for working class people to enjoy in the Winter months with their friends. The idea of kicking a ball around with a group of friends has been around since the Azteks, using a rock rather than a ball.
As years went by the popularity of Football has increased dramatically and is called “the world game” for a reason. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil had almost 700 million television viewers for the Final and the TV rights alone exceeded all of FIFA’s expenditures for the tournament ($2.4 billion).
What started off as a game for the people to enjoy, for factory workers to enjoy in their off days and for the fans to support on the weekends, has slowly shifted to a game about who makes and spends the most amount of money.
As the passion and popularity of the sport continued to grow, clubs started making more money from ticket sales, merchandise and sponsorships. Leagues started to make more from television rights and sponsorships. Agents started to make more as a result of an increase in player salaries, without decreasing the percentages they charge.
In 2021, Europe’s largest clubs came together and introduced the idea of a “European Super League”. Rather than playing in their domestic leagues, these big clubs were planning to come together mid week to play their own league as they saw an opportunity to make more money from television rights.
This threatened every other club in Europe and the backlash from players and fans is something like we’ve never seen before. Fans and players from all clubs came together to protest and stop the formation of the European Super League, showing the power of fandom and our community.
Football fan bases are the largest and most passionate fan bases in all of sports. To be a football fan is to feel belonging to a community that shares a common identity. Football is an important means for people to form and maintain strong friendships that might otherwise not exist.
Our unwavering loyalty and passion to a team, riding the ups and downs, is what makes the game what it is. Some of us are fortunate enough to turn this passion into a career. Whether you are a fan, player or both, football lives and breathes within the players and the fans who participate.
However, as the revenue of football corperations has increased in the last 20 years, fans access and benefits to the teams and players they support has remained the same. Players have seen an increase in fixtures and the amount of money clubs and agents are making from the players has risen dramatically.
Whilst football has always been about the players and supporters, corporations hold the majority of the power (leagues, clubs, agents, managers).
The current state of football institutions is one that is centralised. Clubs are in charge of communication, transactions and ownership and the role of a fan has remained the same throughout history. We provide so much value for the clubs we support, most of the time in return for nothing but bragging rights and the joy of winning.
We witnessed football fans collectively banding together to protest against the formation of the European Super League. A forced decision that went against the proposed actions of the large corporations that run our game.
What would it look like if the fans had more of a say into how football was run? What would football look like with clubs putting an increased emphasis on access for their fan bases? Could there be other ways to provide support to players rather than the current exploitative system?
The rise of web3 has unlocked new ways for clubs to give access back to their communities. We are entering a new age of ownership, access and governance and believe this model will help reshape football and put the power back into the players, and fans, hands.
We are entering a new age of ownership, access and governance and believe our model will help to reshape football and put the power back into the players, and fans, hands.
Co-ops and DAO’s (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation’s) often form in response to exploitive economic systems. We believe web3 will revolutionise the traditional way clubs and organisations are run and see an increase in access and benefits given to players and fans.
Our DAO will aim to help underserved individuals (the fans) and players meet their basic needs and we plan to do this through an effective, well resourced community. NFT FC’s mission is to simultaneously provide support to players early on in their career whilst also giving fans benefits and access that hasn’t been seen before.
Through the use of our DAO and community, we can support our players without having to take percentages of their football salary away from them at a later date. We are strong believers in the power and resources of a community over any one individual.
What will our community look like?
We plan to harness the power of the footballing community to provide support to as many football players as possible. The use of a DAO allows for football individuals to band together and use our shared resources to disrupt an exploitive system.
How will our DAO operate?
What if you were involved in helping find and support Cristiano Ronaldo in his early years and once he made it as a professional, your membership and early support gave you access to exclusive game tickets, signed memorabilia, in person meet ups and other benefits?
To learn more about how we plan to achieve our shared mission in depth, read our official whitepaper.
With the current state of football, there is no better time for clubs and organisations to transition to web3.
We’ve seen first hand the power of the football community and the benefits of giving fans more governance and voting power. We plan to be one of the worlds first football DAO’s to explore what we can achieve as a community.
With a shared passion and collective knowledge we believe we can revolutionise the future of football and pave the way for clubs and organisations to implement similar structures.
We’re actively seeking community members who want to play a more active role in our mission. It doesn’t matter what your skill set is or which team you support, if you’re just as passionate about our mission as we are, you’re the perfect fit.
Our trajectory will be dependent on the team we build and community we create.
Football has always been the world game. It’s always been about uniting people from all walks of life that seemingly have nothing else in common besides the kit they decide to wear. It’s been about the players and the sacrifices they make to be the best. Its about the fans and the raw emotion they bring to the game.
Football will always be about the players who play the game and the fans that support them. To join us on our journey, check out NFT FC on social media or join our growing community on Discord.