In 2014, Tifosy ran an incredibly successful campaign, raising a staggering £270,000 for Portsmouth FC’s academy. It was the largest football crowdfunding project in the UK.
Portsmouth FC is an incredibly unique club in England, with huge support throughout not only the city but also the country. The likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho have all expressed their admiration for the buzzing atmosphere they experienced at the home of Portsmouth FC, Fratton Park.
The club had never owned its own training ground inside Portsmouth city, and Tifosy partnered with the club to ensure they had a permanent home for the club's academy – something that would cost £250,000. It was an ambitious campaign and one local newspaper even described it as “a mammoth task to raise a quarter of a million pounds in two months.” If successful Pompey will become the first professional English club to reach such an ambitious target through the FanFunding initiative.
Manager Andy Awford said at the time that it was important that “future players of this wonderful club have a permanent place to train in the heart of the community beside the first team...for the first time we will have our own dedicated training facilities for both the first team squad and our academy.”
Andy was particularly fond of Tifosy’s campaign, having been a product of the academy himself. He believed that “every child growing up supporting Pompey should at least have the opportunity to play for this wonderful club – and without a properly set up academy, this simply isn’t possible.”
Football legend and Tifosy ambassador Gianluca Vialli attended the launch at Fratton Park and had some very positive words to say about the club and the campaign: “Portsmouth are developing a blueprint for how clubs outside of the top tiers in leagues across the globe can survive with fans running their own clubs.”
The campaign got off to a fantastic start, raising over £30,000 in the two days following the launch. Fans were able to contribute as much or as little as they wanted and rewards for their contributions included a signed and framed jersey, a training session with coaches, and names engraved on a plaque displayed outside the new training complex.
Over the course of the next couple of months, all expectations were exceeded. The love that fans around the country had for Portsmouth FC was evident, with the target being beaten by an incredible £20,000. Vialli was particularly pleased with the result, stating that “Pompey have pioneered a concept that does actually work and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work in other situations, too. In 10 years’ time, people might remember that it changed the way football fans work together with their clubs.’
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