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5 Mistakes MyFootballClub Made On Day One

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:

  1. 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 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.

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  1. sean

    February 20, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Year two drop offs were expected to be significant due to members that were “club specific”. Others thought the venture would be fifa 09 and it wasnt,some found they were just not expecting how much there is to running a club. The team running out on a Saturday is the culmination of lots of hard work,not the job itself. The members left have already committed to financing Ebbsfleet in full.So “Ebbsfleet kicked to the curb” may be a slight exageration. On Saturday Ebbsfleet travel to Wrexham two games from wembley for a second season running.

  2. Pingback: Football Superstars: The Future of Online Football Games | EPL Talk

  3. Pip Moss

    November 18, 2007 at 8:55 am

    MFC Members will be allowed to vote on if we want Ebbsfleet. A deal has been agreed in principle to buy Ebbsfleet, once due diligence is completed the membership of Ebbsfleet United and MFC shall vote on whether to sign on the dotted line, essentially.

    The reason Ebbsfleet wasn’t on the top 15 list was because no-one had heard of it, but we can only buy one of those clubs if they are amicable to our approach, and though I obviously don’t know the details, I trust the web team made the best choice out of the clubs actually available.

  4. weenie

    November 15, 2007 at 11:41 am

    As with everything new and untried, there’s bound to be mistakes and whilst I’m an optimist, I know there will be other things that will need tweaking and fixing as time goes by.

    And who’s this Ebbsfield anyway?


    Come on the Fleet!

  5. Simon Burke

    November 14, 2007 at 10:40 am

    This is all very interesting as its certainly a precedent.
    However I read that fans/members can vote on formations and transfers… this I find to be a disaster waiting to happen. But lets sit back and see what happens.
    ONe thing that is disappointing is myfc never contacted the Ebbsfield Supporters Trust – is it right for fairweather fans to have bypassed the true fans of the club? If this was a big club there would be outrage.

  6. Anonymous

    November 13, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Personally, I think you should report on the positives of this historic moment for Football rather look for issues that really are not worth reporting. The website is back up and running and the location really does not matter to most members [many of who live abroad]. I believe this concept will succeed so sit back and report on the positive parts of the journey.

  7. The Third Half

    November 13, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    And to the point about the two separate emails…

    The email could have been sent to everyone at the same time, however depending on servers, it could have taken a while for the email to reach the intended destination (ie I send an email to you and it takes 3 seconds for you to receive it while I send the same email to another friend and it took five minutes for him to receive it). So that is really a mute point.

    Johnathan Starling

  8. Kent

    November 13, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    From doing a little reading on the MyFootballClub forums, it seems that people think the leak came from the fact that Ebbsfield United’s supporters trust was informed on Sunday. If that is the case then there is little MyFC could do. Hopefully the rest of the process will go smooth and we will soon be selecting the team, making a few transfers and hopefully getting promoted.

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