US Independent Soccer Association launches fan-owned club initiative
The National Independent Soccer Association partners with crowdfunding girl to offer fans an ownership stake in clubs08 January 2018 | FT Editor
The co-founder of the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) of the US, Peter Wilt, has announced the creation of a program to form fan owned soccer clubs throughout the USA. Wilt is the founder of Chicago Fire, and co-founded NISA as a 3rd division initiative last year.
NISA and its partner on the initiative, national investment crowdfunding firm Cutting Edge Capital, will help communities build soccer clubs founded and partially owned by fans. The initiative uses recently approved crowdfunding equity legislation. The program will be available to new and existing clubs. Clubs will be able to join NISA, add a fan ownership component and truly become part of the fabric of their communities.
“This is a historic direction for an American professional sports league,” Wilt said.
“It serves two important purposes. First, it creates the platform for new clubs to raise the seed capital needed to launch a new pro soccer club for their market. Second, and more importantly, this initiative will connect these clubs with the fabric of their community, build a foundation of support and ensure they never leave for a different city.”
“This isn’t for all clubs,” NISA co-founder and General Counsel Jack Cummins said.
“Some will still want to control 100 percent of their ownership. However, for others, having fan ownership will strengthen the connections to their communities. This is another important step to develop a league that conforms to what has workedtime and again in the global game,” Cummins continued. “Eliminating entry fees and territorial restrictions, having fan ownership in teams, and promotion and relegation are NISA’s keys to revolutionizing soccer in the United States.”
The minimum ownership share for fan ownership is 10 per cent.
Cutting Edge will work with NISA to design a uniform offering approach, which will be provided to each prospective club market. They will then work witheach prospective market in reviewing the club’s offering documents.
The announcement of the community ownership initiative came during a speech Wilt gave offering NISA’s endorsement of US Soccer Presidential candidate Eric Wynalda. The current longstanding US Soccer President, Dr Sunil Gulati, is not seeking re-election.
You can follow NISA on Twitter @NISAleague
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