The idea of fan owned team has vexed sports fans (me specifically). When I get into a discussion about sports in a meta sense, what’s wrong with them and how they’re set in the U.S. leads fans into a set-up of disappointment someone always points to the Packers.

The Packers are the one really fan-owned team in the United States. That they are fan-owned is the one reason they haven’t moved to Milwaukee. The Mariners wanted to move to Tampa Bay: “man, wouldn’t it be great if we could buy them and they’d never leave?”

That idea is pretty much impossible in the United States, since the four major leagues make any sort of non-profit or corporate ownership impossible through their operating rules.

The one sport in the U.S. (and a possible third or fourth major sport if hockey continues to fall) is soccer and as far as I can tell, there are not limitations in the MLS or the USL to either non-profit, fan owned corporations owning teams. And, the idea of a truly fan owned teams in English soccer can be pointed to with Cambridge United, FC United and now myfootballclub.

And now, if it all works out, we might have our own fan-owned soccer team here on the west coast. The owners of the first year California Victory of the USL 1st Division have been pretty flaky. They’ve been kicked out of the ownership of their Spanish team, and there is a lot of speculation that they’re going to give up on their American side as well.

So, this is where Save the Victory comes in. They aren’t trying to necessarily find “local” ownership for the club, like some dot-com millionaire angel that will operate the team at a loss just to keep them in town. Rather, they’re looking for up to 20,000 owners who will invest $100 to buy the team. You can buy up to 1,000 shares.

I think this is an exciting idea. I’m a bit disappointed that this effort has been going on for a few weeks and there has been no coverage of it yet of this effort. It would be interesting to see if something like this could ever happen over here.