The most unique clubs in world football


1. Asbury Park F.C.

The most allegorical

Asbury Park FC looks like an average football club, with one difference: it does not organize matches. Once again this season, the APFC is wearing a black jersey with a wide white collar, a bit vintage, reminiscent of its heyday… eight years ago, when the club was born. A club which certainly has a jersey, but which has no team. And don’t plan to create any. The project was born in the minds of Shawn Francis and Ian Perkins. Two New Jersey residents who named the APFC after their great neighborhood park, Asbury Park. Then the two friends decided to make the club a caricature of « modern football » regularly decried by old-fashioned fans. Themselves claim a popular « old school » football linked to local communities. At Asbury Park FC, it’s all about merchandising. Thus, on their website, you will be able to find jerseys, tracksuits, scarves and other « goodies », but you will not see game tickets. The following? Creators want to boost their presence on social networks.

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Ebbsfleet United FC.

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2. Ebbsfleet United FC

The most utopian

In 2008, an English journalist, Will Brooks, tried to buy a club with the idea of ​​giving full power to the supporters. But his meager salary does not allow him to achieve his great ambitions. So he created the MyFootballClub site, through which he raised money (you have to pay to become a member) and bought a Kent club, Gravesend & Northfleet FC, soon to be renamed Ebbsfleet United FC. The club then had 32,000 members. All donors will now have decision-making power over the life of the club. The choice of staff members, the team, the transfer policy. In 2008, the club won the FA Trophy, a competition reserved for semi-professional teams in the United Kingdom. But the fans are getting tired, and fewer members mean less money for the club. Five years later, it has only 1,300 members and is drifting towards regional divisions. Later, the success of other internet-born clubs indicates that Ebbsfleet United was premature, at a time when crowdfunding had not yet entered the mainstream.

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SC Corinthians.

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3.SC Corinthians

The most democratic

A football club that changes the political history of its country, is it possible? In Brazil, yes. In 1981, when the payment system for the championship was very unequal, the football clubs were under the yoke of the dictatorship in place. Seventy percent of players earn less than the minimum wage. Only the big stars are paid well. SC Corinthians will change things. This São Paulo club sees the arrival at its head of a 35-year-old sociologist, Adilson Alves, who proposes to redistribute the money generated in ticketing and television rights to all club employees on an equal basis. And, under the influence of the club’s star, Sócrates, a tall straggler with shaggy hair held by a bandana, the players vote for all the important decisions in the life of the club. They themselves decide on the training conditions, the recruitment of players and coaches. In 1983, when the dictatorship was losing momentum, Timão players entered the pitch with inscriptions on their shirts encouraging Brazilians to vote. The team’s shimmering style of play makes their message believable. Intellectuals like Oscar Niemeyer or Jorge Amado support Corinthian democracy, the memory of which persists in the history of Brazil.

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Forest Green Rovers FC.

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4.Forest Green Rovers FC

The most ecological

Forest Green Rovers FC is an English club that has just won League Two (fourth division). But its fate really changed in 2010 when Dale Vince, a green economy entrepreneur, bought the club. The man, who became rich thanks to Ecotricity, a company specializing in the sale of green energy, imposes his values ​​on the club. From 2015, the club becomes vegan. More meat at the bar. No more for gamers. Today, the club, which evolves in… green, has a jersey made from recycled plastic and coffee grounds. The New Lawn, the FGRFC stadium, is equipped with solar panels and, for lawn maintenance, watered with rainwater, pesticides and fertilizers have been banned, pending the construction of a 100% green stadium. wood. With this green publicity, the club has fans in more than 20 countries. And it was crowned the world’s greenest team by FIFA and the first carbon-neutral football club by the United Nations. Not a bad track record.

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FC Midtjylland.

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5. FC Midtjylland

The most scientific

In the province of Jutland, Denmark, a club founded in 1999 has already won three championships since its creation. And it owes this feat in part to science. Under the impetus of Rasmus Ankersen, president and former player of the club who had to stop his career at the age of 21 following an injury, who was inspired in particular by the Moneyball system set up in MLB (Major League Baseball) by Billy Beane. This American coach had unexpected results thanks to an objective analysis of statistics, which he used in his strategy and to recruit players. The story will become a film, « The Strategist », with Brad Pitt in the lead role. In 2014, English businessman Matthew Benham joined FC Midtjylland. He made a fortune from his sports betting business. And like Ankersen, he is a firm believer in statistics. The club’s motto then becomes: « Beware of your eyes. » Decision-making will no longer be guided by emotions or impressions. Going forward, algorithms to identify undervalued prospects will be used to shape the Wolf workforce. Club officials analyze performance indicators before making a decision on the composition of the team, the choice of coach or to identify young people from the training center. Since the arrival of Matthew Benham, the club has therefore won the Danish championship in 2015, 2018 and 2020. Like what, football and science are compatible.

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Sunderland AFC.

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6. Sunderland AFC

The most cinematic

Long ago, Sunderland had their heyday in the Premier League: six times champion of England between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. But it is while vegetating in the lower divisions in recent years that he has become a global phenomenon. This club nestled in a working-class town in the north of England with its life-and-death supporters was portrayed from 2017 to 2019 in two seasons by the Netflix platform in a documentary called “Sunderland ‘Til I Die”. We see the love of supporters for their club on one side and the reality of football business on the other. Today in League One (third division), the Black Cats still have this Netflix club image. And the model is making babies. Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds (seen in particular in « Deadpool ») and Rob McElhenney bought a small British club vegetating in the fifth division, Wrexham FC, after seeing the documentary on Sunderland. Their idea is to make their own documentary with this club. In Sunderland, the supporters would exchange this worldwide popularity for a rise in the Premier League.

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Hashtag United.

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7. Hashtag United

The most digital

Hashtag United operates in London, but the territory it ties into is the internet. Founded in 2016 by Spencer Owen, an English youtuber, the club is now in the eighth division. He was in the tenth division four years ago. Its founder still aims to bring it up to the Premier League. So this club starts on YouTube, with Spencer’s channel. The latter dreamed of being a comedian, but his funniest jokes are those when he films himself with his friends playing football. Then the friends begin to take up challenges (small bridges, touching the bar) which recall the world of the “FIFA” video game. Between that and the jokes, his number of subscribers is growing. So the youtubeur decides to make a real football club, he who has long dreamed of buying one. The strong presence of the club on the internet attracts sponsors. Who participate in the economic model. This allows him to strengthen the team and to recruit players who have tasted pro English football. Hashtag United got two lifts in four years. The Premier League is far, but not so much. And, in 2020, the club created a women’s section.

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Athletic Club.

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8.Athletic Club

The most historic

At a time of globalized « foot business », Athletic Club de Bilbao is still playing in La Liga, at the highest level of Spanish football, despite only playing with players from the Basque Country. This identity policy started in 1911, after a Spanish Cup match where the club was accused of having played with non-selectable players. Unacceptable accusation for the noble Rojiblanco club, which will now decide to play only with Basque players, of Basque origin or trained in its academy. No other professional football club has such a policy. And despite this limited pool, Athletic has still won the Spanish Championship eight times. Ironically, this club was founded in 1898 by… English people working in the port of Bilbao. Hence Athletic and not Atlético.

By Romuald Gadegbeku Posted 1 hour ago

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