Tuesday, November 1, 2011
ATTN: Soccer Dreamers
Being both true blue American and sorta Dutch-ified, I could retire like a rock star now if given a buck for every fan I've had tell me how they'd love to have a real, live stake in a real club. If only, if only.
Well, it's time to put your money where your fantasy is, because Dutch second flight side Cambuur SC have a proposition for anyone ready to live that wacky dream of professional soccer ownership. The club, best known in the States for employing (and still loving) Gregg Berhalter, are offering 2499 private shares at €1000 a pop.
Naturally, shareholders will be invited to the shareholders' meetings, vote per share on any club referendum and reap any earned dividends. And of course, none of that is the point (even if two shareholders will be elected to actual Cambuur board). No, the point is you can tell everyone and anyone: "Yeah... I'm part-owner of a Dutch club."
This is no great cash fiend ploy: they are looking to invest the windfall. Cambuur is feeling both smart (with this idea in part put together by American ex-GM/NSC pal Alex Pama) and ambitious in order to live back in the Eredivisie. Normally, the club could win promotion with the realization that it they'd go straight back down with the coffers fuller, needing another promotion to begin with - as Alex put it - 'some fat on their bones' for survival.
They've threatened to go up a few times recently, but if the club can sell off these shares (only about 100 gone so far), that essentially eliminates the need for the initial yo-yo up-down bank boost one-shot cup of coffee. They can go up once and be capable of gradually growing their staying power.
Or, who knows? Perhaps with you on the board, they could even one day make it to Europe for the first time - probably after they've managed to spend three straight season in the Eredivisie for the first time, but still. Dreams only come to the dreamers.
If you would like more info on buy in at Cambuur, call them at +31 58 296 3300 (10:30-5 on Mondays, 9-5 Tuesday-Friday) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you do become a member of the soccer elite with a share, please email me so I can hear about it.
- Greg Seltzer