For my final project I have to produce a 6 minute documentary about a topic of our choice. I have chosen to produce a documentary about fan owned football teams, primarily focusing on Banbury United Football Club based in Banbury, Oxfordshire. I will include interviews with members of the Banbury United board, fans and players. I will also discuss other clubs that are fan owned such as Wycombe Wanderers and Portsmouth FC, discuss the success and stability of this way of running a football club. I will also discuss fan owned clubs in other sports such as the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. My target audience is football fans aged 40-60, this is my target audience because research shows that older people are moe likely to watch documentaries as they might prefer factual programming. My main aim is to educate people about the success of supporter owned football clubs and show people there is a different world outside of the billionaire owners of Premier League Clubs.
List of supporter owned football clubs:
Banbury United F.C: They remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2014–15 season, when they were relegated to Division One South and West. In August 2015, a supporter-led Community Benefit Society took formal control of the club. Their first season in Division One South and West saw them finish as runners-up and qualify for the promotion play-offs, which they then won and were promoted back to the Southern League Premier.
Exeter City F.C: In September 2003, Dr David Treharne (who would later become the chairman of the Trust), his solicitor Simon Armitage, Ed Probert and Martin Ellicott, on behalf of the Supporters’ Trust, went to Doble’s jewellers in Exeter in their lunch break and handed over a cheque for £20,000 to purchase the club, which was “pretty much everything the Trust had”.The Trust’s purchase of the club was announced on 5 September.
Wycombe Wanderers F.C: On 30 June 2012, the Wycombe Wanderers Supporters Trust formally took over the club, which resulted in financial stabilization and ended a transfer embargo.
Newport County A.F.C: On 1 October 2015 Newport County Supporters’ Trust took over ownership of the club.
Supporters Direct has been working since 2000 to help supporters gain influence in the running and ownership of their club. In the last fifteen years we have helped our members to establish over 185 trusts in the UK and we have worked with supporters to purchase and develop more than 50 community owned clubs. We have supported these members in raising more than £50 million to be reinvested back into their clubs and communities including £6 million through community shares projects; an area where we are market leaders.
My first question was simply “Are you a football fan?”, I chose to use this question so I could get a rough idea of the amount of football fans and non-football fans answering my survey and then take that in to account when analysing my answers. I had more non-football fans answer my survey with 38.10%, 28.57% Football fans and 33.33% who watch occasionally. This gives me a range of different people answering my survey and should give me some diverse answers.
The second question I asked was if any of the respondents knew of any supporter owned football teams. Only 19.05% knew of supporter owned football clubs with 80.95%, this shows me that this s a good subject for my documentary as it will inform people of something thats fairly unknown. I also asked if they could name these teams in a follow up question to which Portsmouth were the only actual fan owned team named.
The third question I asked was if any of the respondents knew what a community benefit society is, the reason I asked this was due to many fan owned clubs using the Community Benefit Society model to run their clubs and to see if I needed to dedicate a part of my documentary on this subject. Only 3 respondents had heard of community benefit societies, this indicates that should feature an explanation and example of this in my documentary.
The next question I asked was if the respondents were interested in finding out about supporter owned football clubs, I had a near even split with 42.86% interested and 57.14% not interested. I believe this is due to the majority of the respondents not being football fans or being only casual football fans. There is some interest in the subject which I believe has come from the respondents who answered yes to the first question, this shows that I do have an audience.
My research has helped me establish what needs to be discussed in my documentary as well as if there is interest in the subject.
The Class of ’92
The Class of 92′ is a 2013 British documentary film, released on 1 December 2013. The film centres on the rise of six young Manchester United footballers – David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and details their careers for Manchester United starting with the 1992 FA Youth Cup win and ending with the 1999 Treble win. This my influence due to the style and format it takes with no just focusing on the players and the team but what else is going on in England.
Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad
Documentary following Rio Ferdinand a year after losing his wife to cancer as he tries to come to terms with the loss and its effects on him and his three children. This is an influence because I like that they showed Rio Ferdinand in a different light compared to how he is normally shown as this strong, fearless character but in the documentary he is shown as vulnerable and emotional. I want to do this with football as football is always shown as money fuelled and articles are often produced about top-flight players and their ridiculous wages or the high ticket prices whereas I want to show the lower levels and fan-owned clubs where the players play because they have a passion to play and ticket prices are around £5-£15 not £50-£100.
When was the initial idea to become a supporter owned club proposed and who came up with the idea?
How many fans are currently shareholders in the club?
We have seen other clubs such as Portsmouth become supporter owned clubs to come out of financial difficulty in recent years, was this the same for Banbury United and would you recommend this set up to other clubs in financial difficulty?
What do you see as the main benefits of the Community Benefit Society set up at the club?
Would you say becoming a supporter owned club has had a direct effect on the clubs success on the pitch in the past two seasons?
Where do you see the club being in 5 years time in regards to financial stability as well as what league they will be playing in?
The club were relegated the season before becoming a supporter owned football club did you see that change as essential to bringing the club straight back up?
Since becoming a supporter owned club you have been able to sign some key players to contracts is it possible that more players could sign?
The new set up has also allowed for multiple sponsorship deals including a new name for the ground through sponsorship are the club still looking for more sponsors?
Do you think that there has been more interest in the club and more fans at games since the switch to a supporter owned club?
March 13-April 7 Pre-Production
April 15th and April 22nd-Filming