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Monday, December 11, 2017

ASFC Trust Offered A Spot On Silverbacks Board - By Taylor Peyton

Atlanta Silverbacks FC and The Atlanta Silverbacks Trust recently announced via a joint statement that partial fan ownership could be coming to the club soon. “The Atlanta Silverbacks Football Club and the Atlanta Silverbacks Trust have joined forces to offer an opportunity for partial fan-ownership of the Silverbacks. With this purchase, the Trust would own a 25% stake in the club and have a full voting representative on the Board of Directors of the club, giving the Trust a say in how the club is operated and developed” the opening paragraph of the statement read.

 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!

The ASFC Trust have several different membership options available. An Individual Membership costs $100 and gets you 1 season ticket and one vote in all Trust decisions, a Family Membership costs $250 and gets you 4 season tickets and one vote in all trust decisions. Don't live close enough to Atlanta to justify buying a package that involves the price of season tickets? The Trust has something for you too. An Out of Town Membership costs $50 and still comes with a vote in all Trust decisions. If membership doesn't interest you, then there's also an option to donate any amount you wish to the Trust.

 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.

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