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Internet Fan-Run Club Needs Boost

The future of the phenomenon of online-owned soccer teams is in jeopardy, as the owners of the world's first Internet-run team, Ebbsfleet United, need at least 3,000 investors to pay up on Thursday in order to retain rights to the English Conference team, writes ESPN Soccernet.

Ebbsfleet was originally purchased on Feb. 19, 2008 by web site MyFootballClub.co.uk, where more than 20,000 people from all over the world paid almost $50 to have their input in running the team, but now a year later those annual memberships are up for renewal and "numbers are dwindling."

Ownership numbers maxed out at 32,000, and on-field success followed as well, with Ebbsfleet defeated Torquay United 1-0 in the final of the Football Association Challenge Trophy at Wembley, but team owner Will Brooks conceded, "If the model doesn't fund the club going forward, then I wouldn't call it a success. It will be a one-off, something that won't be repeated."

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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