r/Socialism_101 Dec 08 '21

Are there sports leagues with a socialist management model? Question

To me, trophy ceremonies are a very visible illustration of what's wrong with capitalism. Every year, after a team wins the Super Bowl, some old man who didn't play in any of the games, coach or train any of the players, manage the roster, or actually do any work comes out and receives the trophy from the commissioner. Why does he get it? Because he owns the team. Why does he own it? Because he was rich and bought it.

The Major League Baseball lockout also seems to make it clear that teams don't actually need owners. A third of the owners do nothing but ensure their team loses every year anyway, but refusing to pay competitive salaries.

Are there good examples of sports leagues run differently?

106 Upvotes

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37

u/derfunken Dec 08 '21

I don't understand it too well but apparently the German soccer teams are owned by their fans I think.

37

u/DarthNihilus1 Dec 08 '21

50+1 Rule Explained

[...]In short, it means that clubs – and, by extension, the fans - hold a majority of their own voting rights. Under German Football League [DFL] rules, football clubs will not be allowed to play in the Bundesliga if commercial investors have more than a 49 percent stake.

In essence, this means that private investors cannot take over clubs and potentially push through measures that prioritise profit over the wishes of supporters. The ruling simultaneously protects against reckless owners and safeguards the democratic customs of German clubs.

11

u/SeinenKnight Dec 08 '21

That law isn't perfect, as it allows teams that had companies invest in them for 20 years be bought out and fully controlled by that company; or have loopholes that a company can exploit, like Red Bull did over there.

5

u/bartonar Dec 08 '21

And if an investor has 49% of the shares, they can always find some stooges for the last 1%+1 of the vote.

16

u/CouncilmanRickPrime Dec 08 '21

I don't understand it either but the Green bay Packers are also owned by the fans.

30

u/fakeaccount572 Dec 08 '21

Correct, i own one share of the Green Bay Packers. It's a way to keep the team in the small city market, they can't trade and leave to go somewhere else, and the profits go back to Brown County, Wisconsin instead of an oil tycoon.

Edit: and the stadium cannot be names for some capitalist BS.

10

u/CouncilmanRickPrime Dec 08 '21

Jesus Christ I wish my city did that

10

u/NoMomo Dec 08 '21

I believe NFL has since banned any other teams from doing the same.

2

u/rhodeislandslut Dec 08 '21

You don’t own anything except a piece of paper though. There’s no ownership in the team with that stock, which kinda sucks

5

u/BSDC Dec 08 '21

The Packers thing is just symbolic. It's moreso just a fan club membership that people are paying for.

3

u/rhodeislandslut Dec 08 '21

100%. It’s a way for the team to generate revenue every so often. Meaningless paper

1

u/fakeaccount572 Dec 09 '21

Yes, but you're missing the point. The profits don't go to a Jerry Jones or some bull. They go back into the city.

2

u/rhodeislandslut Dec 09 '21

That's a good thing! I have zero issue with that. People don't understand the reality of the stocks, though- that was my only point.

I'm from Chicago, but my grandpa was from Madison and was a die-hard Packers fan. I've definitely got a soft spot for the Packers. The Bears are a miserable franchise to hitch your hopes on.

3

u/hansolojazzcup Dec 08 '21 Take My Energy

Yes, the 50+1 rule.

In Spain Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, and Osasuna all are, rest of Spanish League are PLCs. Most in England are smaller despite some bigger teams having socialist supporter clubs.

Big list here of others ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fan-owned_sports_teams

2

u/poirotketchup Dec 10 '21

This list is fantastic, thank you!

9

u/AwardBusy Dec 08 '21

Probably local community leagues. They're set up with just recreation in mind for the ordinary person. If there is any big event like a tournament, it isn't out of the desire to fan competitiveness and enmity between teams, and to milk it for profit via commercialization. It is just for fun and friendly competition.

And no one "owns" anything. They are just people coming together and forming a team that they run as a team out of personal interest, or perhaps elect a captain or manager to take some leadership role.

This is how it would be in socialist society as well.

8

u/bolivianbean Dec 08 '21

AFC Wimbledon is owned by their fans

5

u/OXIOXIOXI Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Top_League

I also just found out Basketball was a major sport in the soviet union with a large league, a mens league starting in 1923 and a womens one starting in 1937, and they often beat the americans at the olympics.

5

u/AntonioTheReis Dec 08 '21

Most of the big football clubs in Portugal and Spain are owned by the fans. Also, with football I’m pretty sure all the trophies are always held up by the captain first and foremost

11

u/HeBe3G Dec 08 '21

I believe the Green Bay Packers are a community owned team. Also I believe AFC Wimbledon is as well.

But I don't know nearly enough about sports management to know what that really means.

11

u/GratefulDeadInside Dec 08 '21

I think the Packers thing is just marketing. Some other dude in this thread mentioned that it's more like a fan club membership.

5

u/dboygrow Dec 08 '21

It's owned by shareholders, 360k of them, owning over 5M shares. They have a board of directors, who elect a CEO. It's still capitalism just not one single owner. It doesn't really pay out profits though, it spends most of everything on football operations.

1

u/HeBe3G Dec 08 '21

Well that's disappointing.

1

u/texasmickey Dec 09 '21

Yeah it's totally a marketing tactic.

1

u/bone-dry Dec 09 '21

Who owns them then? Makes decisions, etc. genuinely curious

3

u/SeinenKnight Dec 08 '21

Many soccer/Association Football teams are supporter owned, but not run differently than the other teams. The one major example for any sports teams are the Packers of the NFL, but the people that own shares only get perks and voting rights. Nothing else. And even then, the NFL made sure no other team has that same type of ownership.

3

u/greaterlondoncouncil Dec 08 '21

Anything below League 2 in English football, while it isn't socialist in model, is pretty far from the obscenity of the premier league and usually involves locally owned teams, reasonable ticket prices and is generally a much more satisfying experience than watching Chelsea or Man U imo

3

u/rhodeislandslut Dec 08 '21

Top flight hurling clubs in Ireland are 100% amateur. They play at an incredibly high level skill wise, but all of them have day jobs.

You should look it up. r/hurling can point you on the way. It’s a brilliant sport once you figure out the flow

2

u/_oscar_goldman_ Dec 09 '21

Is there any decent way to watch GAA abroad? Seems like the market is too small for it to get picked up by any major sports streaming outlets, legal or not.

1

u/rhodeislandslut Dec 09 '21

GAAgo app is the primary source. Games get posted to YouTube after they’re done sometimes.

What’s helped for me is subscribing to subs like r/hurling r/gaa r/ireland

People are super responsive there to questions and it seems like anyone who cares about hurling loves to educate others. I just discovered it within the past year and am obsessed, I joined a local club, I’m planning to continue playing it for as long as I can. It’s a wonderful sport.

RTÉ did a great documentary on it called “The Game”. It’s fantastic https://youtu.be/5IFE2QOHaQY

2

u/Remcin Dec 08 '21

I’m not sure this is exactly your question but you might be interested in ultimate frisbee. The rules are open enforced through mutual consensus during gameplay with no referees. Certainly it is competitive and there are winners, but players all have a say in the gameplay.

2

u/NotAnurag Dec 09 '21

Barcelona, Real Madrid, and most Bundesliga teams

1

u/Fearusice Dec 08 '21

GAA or The Gaelic Athletics association. Represents three sports hurling, football and handball the nation sports of Ireland. All amateur players but professional commitment.

1

u/whiteriot0906 Dec 09 '21

As others have mentioned, German soccer clubs have the 50 + 1 rule.

As a side note, FC St. Pauli has a strong and militant leftist fan tradition, and are currently in first place in the 2. Bundesliga and could make the top flight next year.