MyFootballClub announced today they have agreed to buy Ebbsfleet United, a non-league team in England with hopes of being promoted to the Football League for the first time.
Despite MyFootballClub’s track record of acting very professionally since they launched their site in late April, businessman Will Brooks and his team at MyFootballClub are guilty of making five mistakes that could have easily been avoided:
- The Independent newspaper knew who the club was before the MyFootballClub members did.
In an article printed in Tuesday’s edition but released online on Monday night U.S. time, The Independent dropped a major hint who the club was. Why and how did The Independent newspaper know before paid members?
- What happened to MyFootballClub members being allowed to vote whether or not Ebbsfleet United was a club that members wanted?Fans were allowed to vote on what clubs they would like to see purchased. However Ebbsfleet United weren’t included in the top 15.
- Ebbsfleet United was presumably chosen because of its close proximity to London (where the MyFootballClub creator lives).It would have been more preferable to select a club around the center of England to make it fair for fans across England to support. Stafford Rangers, for example, would have been a perfect choice being not too far from Birmingham.
As a side note, when EPL Talk learned about the major hint that The Independent dropped on Monday night, we were able to narrow who the mystery club was down to one of four teams by excluding those clubs who had been in the Football League before and ruling out the clubs too far from London.
- People who expressed an interest in MyFootballClub but who didn’t sign up were informed who the mystery club was before the paid members were.In EPL Talk’s example, we signed up for MyFootballClub under two email accounts. One where we paid the $70 membership a few months ago and another where we didn’t pay the membership fee. When the news was announced this morning via e-mail, the one to paid members was sent approximately ten minutes after the non-paid member email.
It’s not a huge issue, but it’s the principle that counts.
- MyFootballClub’s websites were ill-equipped to handle the amount of traffic to the site today and crashed.The organization has seen the incredible amount of press and rise in popularity since the launch in April. However, they weren’t equipped to handle the flood of traffic coming from links on the BBC website to MyFootballClub.co.uk
For an organization to have seven months to prepare for this and then shut down the forums because of technical problems is inexcusable. On the biggest day in the history of MyFootballClub when fans from around the world want to share the excitement, it’s a bad first impression for technology not to be working.
Let me add that I’m in support of MyFootballClub and wish them the best of luck, but I do hope they learn from their mistakes and create a football club that we can be proud of. This is just the start of an interesting journey and all eyes will be on MyFC and Ebbsfleet United over the coming weeks.
Ebbsfleet United’s next match is this Saturday away at Oxford United at 10am ET.
Listen to EPL Talk’s interview with MyFootballClub from May with Tim Glynne-Jones.