By Nick Harris
SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year
12 November 2012
Since the stunning success of the London 2012 Olympic Games, English football has faced an inevitable backlash.
The Olympics united large swathes of the country to the extent that Londoners were even speaking to each other on the Tube. Freaky.
British Olympians won loads of medals, and so did the Paralympians at their Games, another inspirational event. No argument there.
But was the backlash just that – a reaction to an unreal summer with a home Games that most Britons will only ever experience once in their lives?
Or is there something much more fundamentally wrong with English football?
Do you, personally, think that salary caps are necessary and desirable? If that means clubs are more profitable, allowing the owners to keep any such profits, is that a good thing?
Is there a need for legislative change that forces ownership (or part-ownership) of every club into the hands of fans? Do most fans want that? Or are fans happiest when a benefactor is funding success for them?
A straw poll via Twitter yesterday suggested that the clubs perceived as having the best owners, currently, are Middlesbrough, West Brom and Wigan; and those with the worst are Blackburn, Leeds and Birmingham. Numerous other clubs appeared in both categories.
What Sportingintelligence would like to discover now, on a much bigger scale, is A) what makes a good and bad owner from the fans’ point of view; B) which clubs are delivering good and bad ownership; C) what the rest of football can learn from that.
Is there, for example, any such thing as a Manchester City fan unhappy with Sheikh Mansour to the extent you’d want a fan-owned collective controlling the club instead? Is there such a thing as a Chelsea fan who would rather Roman Abramovich quit and sold the club to the fans?
Would clubs currently owned by their fans such as AFC Wimbledon and (soon) Portsmouth prefer to stay fan-owned from now on, or if a genuine supporter of that club offered to be a significant financial benefactor, would it be acceptable?
Who are the best owners and why? Who are the worst?
There are various ways to take part.
Or copy and paste the questions below, insert your answers, and email using this link. Put ‘Football’ in the subject box.
Feel free to include any other observations, ideas, examples of clubs who are getting it wrong (or right) and why.
Alternatively, you can tweet to @sportingintel, nominating the worst owners (and why) and the best owners (and why), and use the hashtags #BestOwners or #WorstOwners
We will collect responses until the end of November and publish the findings next month.
Questions for Sportingintelligence survey
1: Who do you support, and how do you rate your own club’s owners (Good / neutral / bad).
Please feel free to expand on why.
2: Who do you think are the best owners in English football (if not your own club’s owners), and why?
3: Who do you think are the worst owners in English football (if not your own club’s owners), and why?
4: If you owned your club, or part-owned it, would you agree to share more of your club’s income with less rich clubs across football to help encourage better competition?
5: Are you actively interested in owning a share of your club? If so, have you done anything to try to achieve this?