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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Help ASFC Trust Own 49% Of Silverbacks Reserves! - By Steven Bayley

We recently had a lengthy discussion with Atlanta Silverbacks GM Phoday Dolleh about partial ownership of the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves squad - which may play in the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League this Fall - Spring. We’ve been offered a 49% ownership stake, but it's going to require immediate fundraising on our part. We’ve been told that this could lead to an ownership stake in the NPSL club. (More on that later.)

For the Silverbacks to compete in the ADASL, they will have an expectation on them to be dominant. It is critical for the Silverbacks as a club to live up to and exceed that expectation. Phoday sees it as both an opportunity to scout additional local talent for the 2017 NPSL team, and to give promising locally based players competitive match action.

What he is not willing to do, however, is to source standard local players through standard local channels and throw a Silverbacks jersey on their backs and have them represent the club as just another ADASL team.

Currently there are 5 players the club is supporting, living in apartments near the stadium through the end of September, who are traveling around getting tryouts with full time pro teams trying to catch on. Currently 4 players are training with NASL teams, and another 1 with a USL team. Ideally he wants these guys getting pro contracts, but if they don't latch on, he wants them in the ADASL squad. He wants to hold training with the ADASL squad every day, to reap the benefits of a viable year round organization both from the grassroots exposure our dominance of the ADASL will give the club, as well as a development for NPSL 2017. As supporters we want year round competitive matches for our total club. This is the way to achieve that affordably.

The standard costs to run an ADASL team with local players is $6000 for the season, all in. This is pretty much straight off the league documentation and includes League fees, player registration fees, referee fees, field rental fees, etc. With Phodays model including additional player costs, housing, stipends, etc. as part of the larger pro window shopping experience, he sees this running $10,000-$12,000 to do this right. He sees it as investments to protect and build the brand through these 18 year round in-town games the Silverbacks Reserves will get in the league. He wants us to raise the $6000 for the official team expenses, and he will match what we raise.

He wants us to control 49% of the Reserves with our 49% money. It will basically be an even partnership where he controls the players / on field and we control marketing, collaborate on revenue, perhaps we charge $2-$3 to attend matches at the Park, which we think is a better idea than offering free, therefore people respect it as a legitimate thing, as opposed to an adult league.

Part of experimenting at this level is seeing what we can do, and Phoday is interested in and willing to run these different experiments with the reserves and implement successful initiatives with the NPSL team in 2017. After we get up and running for the 2016 season, we will develop a separate fund, for which we will raise money, for national cup entrance and travel of Reserve team participation in 2017/2018 Amateur Cup and US Open Cup USASA qualifying track.

The money we invest in the Reserves although going to the ADASL for fees and gameday use, will be credited as overall investment in the Silverbacks club and count as the first money toward fan ownership in the larger Atlanta Silverbacks FC (NPSL) club, with additional discussions with the Trust about %'s this offseason to begin some % of fan ownership THIS COMING NPSL 2017 season, and working on a longer term plan and goals to get to a sizable investment portion.

ADASL games will take place in the main stadium at Silverbacks Park. All home games will be Sunday morning at 11:00 AM.  We are working with partnerships with local soccer pubs to provide shuttles for fans watching early morning English and European matches at 7:00 and 9:00 to shittle them staright to the stadium for the 11:00 kick.

So bottom line, we need to raise $6000 by September 11th. That is the challenge.

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