Sports & Management Research Institute (SMRI) promotes the idea of FANS OWNED COOPERATIVE SPORTS CLUBS in India since 2015 to transform the Indian sports industry by creating new employment opportunities. It will also be a great revenue source for the government without spending any rupee.

The rationale behind the concept of Fans Owned Cooperative Sports Clubs is given below

  1. Most of the world’s most valuable clubs are owned by their fans and these clubs are working based on Cooperative Principles. Eg: REAL MADRID (Spain), FC BARCELONA (Spain), BAYERN MUNICH (Germany), ATHLETIC BILBAO (Spain), BORUSSIA DORTMUND (Germany) and BOCA JUNIORS (Argentina).
  2. Most of the football clubs in Spain and Argentina are owned by the fans. It is mandatory in Germany that a minimum of 51% of the shares of a football club must be with its fans.
  3. More than 200 fans-owned football clubs are working in the UK under the guidance of SUPPORTERS DIRECT, an umbrella organization set up originally by the British government (with cross-party support) to provide support and assistance for its member trusts to secure a greater level of accountability and deliver democratic representation within football clubs and football’s governing structures. Supporters Direct also works in other sports. It is also funded by UEFA to work in football across Europe.
  4. India’s great cooperative organization AMUL has started to save milkmen from the exploitation of traders and agents. Today AMUL is jointly owned by 36 lakhs (3.6 million) milk producers of Gujarat.
  5. In 1957, A K Gopalan (AKG) initiated INDIAN COFFEE HOUSE, a restaurant chain in India, run by a series of worker co-operative societies to protect the jobs of employees of Coffee Board and now Indian Coffee House is the most preferred restaurant chain in India.

Fans-Owned Cooperative Sports Clubs- Features & Advantages

  1. People (Fans) ownership & control
  2. Investment from fans (No investment required from Government)
  3. Minimum one club per district & one mother club at the state level
  4. Minimum 3 lakhs members in one club & maximum 9 lakhs. (One member is equal to one family. So the club will directly reach 3 lakh families)
  5. The value of one share is Rs.1000 and the minimum share capital of the club will be Rs.30 crores
  6. The annual turnover of the clubs will be approximately Rs.100 crores
  7. Capable to create a minimum of 500 direct jobs in the first 3 years and while the club engages in other sports, the employment will be increased proportionately.
  8. A football match between two cooperative sports clubs itself will create 1500+ temporary jobs.

Benefits to the Government

  1. The government can create employment opportunities without spending a paisa
  2. Cooperative sports clubs can create very huge economic impact in the local economy like Indian Premier League and Indian Super League
  3. Cooperative clubs will provide revenue to the government by taking the existing government-owned sports facilities for lease. So the government does not need to spend money on the maintenance of the sports infrastructure.
  4. Like CHINA’s strategic involvement in the football business such as co-owning MANCHESTER CITY FC, India can also take some strategic steps in world sports through fans-owned cooperative sports clubs.
  5. Like AMUL spurred India’s White Revolution, which made the country the world’s largest producer of milk and milk products, Fans-owned Cooperative Sports Clubs can ignite the SPORTS REVOLUTION in India and can make India a SPORTS SUPERPOWER.

Actions to be taken

  1. Government has to make new policy to promote FANS-OWNED COOPERATIVE SPORTS CLUBS in India and must ensure hassle-free registration (Asia’s first fans-owned cooperative sports society applied for registration in March 2016 did not receive registration yet)

The benefits of fans-owned cooperative sports clubs will be high for the nation. Therefore, we request the Honorable Prime Minister and Sports Minister to extend the government’s support towards promoting & building ‘Fan Owned Cooperative Sports Clubs in India’.

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