The statement also cited pre-existing examples of fan ownership in soccer both abroad and domestic. It mentioned the partial fan ownership requirement in Germany, as well as the fact that Barcelona and Real Madrid are entirely fan owned. In America, San Francisco City FC and Minneapolis City SC seem to be the most prevalent examples of fan ownership in American Soccer.
You can read the statement in full here.
The response to this announcement has been very positive from Backs fans, ex-players, and several other members of "Soccer Twitter" that don't even necessarily identify themselves as Silverbacks fans. Former Silverbacks Joe Nasco, Matt Horth, and Jimmy Maurer were among the former players to voice their support for the movement. Jimmy Maurer has played for the New York Cosmos since leaving the Silverbacks in 2013 and is still active today, while Joe Nasco and Matt Horth have retired from playing and are currently coaching at their Alma Maters; Birmingham Southern College and Gordon College, respectively. Matt Horth, being the legend that he is, even went so far as to JOIN the Trust!
Congrats to the team and the fans on this one! Huge news and very excited to see the future of the club going forward! #bestfansever https://t.co/XzUmV6920U— Joe Nasco (@joenascogk18) December 1, 2017
Really cool to see the moves made by my former club @ATLSilverbacks! Great decision and will happily join the effort! @ASFCTrust https://t.co/NHeJuRdON7— Matt Horth (@mhorth18) December 1, 2017
👏👏👏 Congratulations on this new partnership. Very cool to see and wishing the best of success with it. https://t.co/U0S97BmIfv— Jimmy (@JimsMaurer) November 30, 2017
A goal has been set for the Trust to raise $100,000 to buy a 25% stake. If achieved, this would be a permanent stake. (They will NOT have to come up with $100,000 every year to keep their stake in the club). If the money is successfully raised, all other dues and donation money that follow will also go towards operating costs for the Silverbacks. If the $100k is not successfully raised, the funds that were raised will still go towards operating costs for the Silverbacks. That is the purpose of the Trust, after all. Should the Silverbacks ever fold (the Trust do not plan on that happening as their goal is to strengthen the team for generations to come), the trust would vote on whether or not to start a 100% fan owned club that would most likely start off in the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League.
I myself have been included in Trust planning discussions since the Spring of 2016 when I started this blog, so I know how serious the group of people in the Trust are about doing whatever they can to help the Silverbacks thrive in this very crowded Soccer market. It is definitely worth getting involved with this cause.