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Real Bedford FC - Bitcoin ran football club

As someone who lives in Bedford I thought I'd start a thread on this. A bitcoin millionaire recently bought local team Bedford FC in the tenth tier of English football with the generic ambition of becoming a premier league club. 

The club has already secured over £1 million in sponsorship deals which I imagine will be more than most league one clubs so have the potential to buy their way up the non league. 

It has also rippled through the 'bitcoin community' with support and investment from around the world. Games are streamed worldwide and there are already over 70 fan clubs dotted across the globe. The club also holds the record of becoming the first, in England, to pay a players wages totally in bitcoin.

I must say I was very sceptical at first. However, I listened to the owner do an interview on the price of football podcast and the owner seems passionate about helping out the town and grassroots football in the area. They recognise that the international attraction to the club can price out local sponsorship so plan to offer advertising opportunities to local business for free. Additionally the demand for merchandise is high enough to warrant £60 for the club shirt but it will be half price in the club shop so local fans can pick it up cheaper.

 I still find the name change to Real Bedford tacky and the delusions of grandeur of the Premier league cringey but even if Bedford could get a 6th tier English club I think it would be good for the town.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-60084253
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Comments

  • How do Bedford Town feel about this, or is it the same club, I pass their ground very occasionally. 
  • Interesting but i don't quite get why people around the world would all of a sudden become Bedford fans? 
  • edited January 31
    How do Bedford Town feel about this, or is it the same club, I pass their ground very occasionally. 
    Bedford Town is the bigger club and play right next door . Locals are very sceptical about what’s happening at Bedford FC and most , like me haven’t got a clue what the whole Bitcoin thing is all about . Bedford is and always will be a Rugby town .
  • How do Bedford Town feel about this, or is it the same club, I pass their ground very occasionally. 
    The buyer originally tried to by Bedford Town FC (currently top of their league in tier 8). He did stress if that was successful there would have been no change of name or kit due to the clubs long history.

    They draw a lot larger crowds at the moment but that could change if Real Bedford FC do progress especially given the now big contrast in finances between the two. I'd assume it will affect them negatively as there's a decent chance they'd become the towns 'second' club


  • Interesting but i don't quite get why people around the world would all of a sudden become Bedford fans? 
    I think it's the draw of bitcoin and the project ahead. It gives it more legitimacy if a bitcoin funded team can become established
  • Interesting but i don't quite get why people around the world would all of a sudden become Bedford fans? 
    Bit like this

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54279530
  • shine166 said:
    Interesting but i don't quite get why people around the world would all of a sudden become Bedford fans? 
    Bit like this

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54279530
    I hate modern football.
  • How do Bedford Town feel about this, or is it the same club, I pass their ground very occasionally. 
    Bedford Town is the bigger club and play right next door . Locals are very sceptical about what’s happening at Bedford FC and most , like me haven’t got a clue what the whole Bitcoin thing is all about . Bedford is and always will be a Rugby town .
    Have a listen to the price of football podcast. It explains quite a lot of details and potential benefit to the town.
  • follett said:
    How do Bedford Town feel about this, or is it the same club, I pass their ground very occasionally. 
    The buyer originally tried to by Bedford Town FC (currently top of their league in tier 8). He did stress if that was successful there would have been no change of name or kit due to the clubs long history.

    They draw a lot larger crowds at the moment but that could change if Real Bedford FC do progress especially given the now big contrast in finances between the two. I'd assume it will affect them negatively as there's a decent chance they'd become the towns 'second' club



    That won't change significantly whether or not Real Bedford have any success. There will always be a small number of people who latch on to something new with no thought of the tradition on their doorstep, but for those people MK Dons is only 15 miles away.

    Doomed vanity project.
  • As some one who lurks on crypto Twitter, the owner is a bit of a dick, and the new “fans” are just moon boys (people chasing price pumps and get rich quick) who don’t know anything about football, just think more money = success. 

    Crypto millionaires and billionaires are the new tech billionaires like Zuckerberg and musk. Gonna be making quite a splash in the next few years. 
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  • edited January 31
    Stig said:
    That won't change significantly whether or not Real Bedford have any success. There will always be a small number of people who latch on to something new with no thought of the tradition on their doorstep, but for those people MK Dons is only 15 miles away.

    Doomed vanity project.
    The club is only 20 years old and averages under 50 fans at games, a lot of which is made up of family members so it's not quite on the Milton Keynes level of uprooting an historic club 80 miles. I'm still very sceptical and a project like this is always going to annoy football purists but it's giving a town like Bedford plentiful opportunities (if a success)

    I disagree with the changing of the kit and club name but I think the town can sustain a moderate fanbase if the club rises up the divisions. I don't think the 170,000 people in the town would ignore a national league club on their doorstep if they ever did progress that far.

    I do feel though that after 3-4 years all the international bitcoin fans will get fed up of the novelty when the club is still languishing in the 8th tier (and that's optimistic) of English football and the investment will dry up
  • As some one who lurks on crypto Twitter, the owner is a bit of a dick, and the new “fans” are just moon boys (people chasing price pumps and get rich quick) who don’t know anything about football, just think more money = success. 

    Crypto millionaires and billionaires are the new tech billionaires like Zuckerberg and musk. Gonna be making quite a splash in the next few years. 
    Yeah I can't claim to know much about that side of it and I think the owner naming the club "Real" emphasises your point on him being a dick.

    I do find the project interesting though and will be following out of curiosity
  • I'm not convinced it's 'annoying any purists', I just don't go along with overblown claims about them being a Premier League club. I seem to remember the same claim being made about a club rather closer to home and only two divisions away quite recently. It's rather harder to achieve than it is to say.

    All that glisters is not gold, that's as true for pseudo currencies as it is for football club owners with high hopes.   
  • BTW, I wasn't likening what they are doing to what MK Dons did. I'm saying that there's already a franchise club in the area and despite having a wonderful stadium and a half decent league position they still aren't packing it. Most people already have a football allegiance, it takes a lot to shift that and the pool of floating voters in that area is likely to be rather thinner, because someone else has already tried it.
  • Stig said:
    BTW, I wasn't likening what they are doing to what MK Dons did. I'm saying that there's already a franchise club in the area and despite having a wonderful stadium and a half decent league position they still aren't packing it. Most people already have a football allegiance, it takes a lot to shift that and the pool of floating voters in that area is likely to be rather thinner, because someone else has already tried it.
    Valid point. My non league club has always been Bromley but no longer living near has scuppered me watching them as much. It's probably fickle but if the town were to have a club that managed to get higher up the non league divisions and sign high quality players at that level I think I would probably go and watch (when Charlton aren't playing). 

    Personally I would never go and follow MK Dons mainly because of morals but also because sadly they are now and have been regularly in the last decade our league rivals.
  • Oh god, not again...
  • Interesting but i don't quite get why people around the world would all of a sudden become Bedford fans? 
    Crypto cult 
  • SDAddick said:
    Just heard their "owner" on Football Weekly. I mean, it's just the same as a football club, but bought using Bitcoin money instead of say, Halliburton money. The dude literally said "I'm a businessman, I believe businesses should be run by an authoritarian."

    It is the perfect mask off moment of crypto. This isn't about a "new, decentralized economy." It's not about changing power structures. It's just wealthy people finding a newer, dumber way to get rich. It's a pyramid scheme, those on top will do well, and those not on top will be left holding the worthless bag. 
    Yes. The Price of Football interview is well worth a listen. It explains that the club itself won't be awash with bitcoin, it will be using what the bros like to always call "fiat money", but it will be the bros who put their money into it. And to be fair his overall plans for what kind of club he would like it to be, are more than decent. In that interview he rowed back from any talk of Premier League too. 

    I'm pretty sceptical, but it's definitely something to watch.
  • Can remember us playing Bedford Town in a pre-season friendly at Bedford. Parky was in charge and there was a cake stand a few yards from one of the goals. 
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  • I've never been to Bedford FC, and can't say I noticed it on the couple of occasions I've been to Bedford Town with my non-league lot. I think they're going to hit problems a couple of years down the line, when interest among the people funding it starts to wane just when they need to start spending money on the ground. Tier 10 to Tier 9 isn't too tough if you've got the players, but if you want to get to tier 7 you need a ground with 2000 capacity, and tier 6 is 3000. That's serious money on building stands, which isn't as much fun as buying players from 2 tiers above your current level in order to win the league. Plus you need a supportive planning department (like we have now, but didn't in 1990), especially if the site isn't big enough and you need to move in order to build something new.

    The challenge for the club is being able to survive if the outside funding dries up when you're much higher up the pyramid than you can sustain with your natural fanbase.
  • edited February 1
    SDAddick said:
    Just heard their "owner" on Football Weekly. I mean, it's just the same as a football club, but bought using Bitcoin money instead of say, Halliburton money. The dude literally said "I'm a businessman, I believe businesses should be run by an authoritarian."

    It is the perfect mask off moment of crypto. This isn't about a "new, decentralized economy." It's not about changing power structures. It's just wealthy people finding a newer, dumber way to get rich. It's a pyramid scheme, those on top will do well, and those not on top will be left holding the worthless bag. 
    Strongly disagree. It’s a way of making your money work harder for you, without using wasteful and dreadfully inefficient banks. 

    There are people in third world countries that got airdropped their annual salary worth in the big uniswap airdrop a couple of years ago - that’s amazing. 

    Sure, the more money you bet, the more you can win. It’s risk and reward. But there are also those that came into crypto with next to nothing that are now millionaires and own some of the most exciting businesses in the world. The crypto world attracts libertarians - which is a loopy and hypocritical political viewpoint. This man is one of those. He’s not a businessman, he’s an idiots idea of a businessman.

    crypto is about being your own bank. That in itself comes with risk, and it comes with rewards. If you approach crypto like a casino, don’t be surprised if the market takes your money like a casino.
  • I thought Hashtag United would be as bad as it gets....
  • They’re getting huge numbers on their live streams thanks to a big international following. And they’re talking to a burgeoning YouTube channel about financing a behind the scenes documentary (eyeballs emoji). 
  • JiMMy 85 said:
    They’re getting huge numbers on their live streams thanks to a big international following. And they’re talking to a burgeoning YouTube channel about financing a behind the scenes documentary (eyeballs emoji). 
    That's interesting. My question would be, for how long? Those live streams will continue to show shite football for at least 5 years (I'm being generous and assuming that by then they will make it to League One. Do young Americans really have the staying power for that when all their mates are watching Real Madrid?
  • JiMMy 85 said:
    They’re getting huge numbers on their live streams thanks to a big international following. And they’re talking to a burgeoning YouTube channel about financing a behind the scenes documentary (eyeballs emoji). 
    That’s not your replacement for Charlwood/Holland is it ? 
  • I've never been to Bedford FC, and can't say I noticed it on the couple of occasions I've been to Bedford Town with my non-league lot. I think they're going to hit problems a couple of years down the line, when interest among the people funding it starts to wane just when they need to start spending money on the ground. Tier 10 to Tier 9 isn't too tough if you've got the players, but if you want to get to tier 7 you need a ground with 2000 capacity, and tier 6 is 3000. That's serious money on building stands, which isn't as much fun as buying players from 2 tiers above your current level in order to win the league. Plus you need a supportive planning department (like we have now, but didn't in 1990), especially if the site isn't big enough and you need to move in order to build something new.

    The challenge for the club is being able to survive if the outside funding dries up when you're much higher up the pyramid than you can sustain with your natural fanbase.
    I'd assume if they were successful they'd probably look to ground share with the Rugby club or Bedford Town FC until it becomes viable to build a new stadium
  • JiMMy 85 said:
    They’re getting huge numbers on their live streams thanks to a big international following. And they’re talking to a burgeoning YouTube channel about financing a behind the scenes documentary (eyeballs emoji). 
    That's interesting. My question would be, for how long? Those live streams will continue to show shite football for at least 5 years (I'm being generous and assuming that by then they will make it to League One. Do young Americans really have the staying power for that when all their mates are watching Real Madrid?
    It's looking unlikely the team will make the playoffs this season and I think a lot of people will struggle to follow a full season of tier 10 English football without waning interest but we will see. It will all come with success, if they stagnate for 5 years in tier 8 for example people will probably give up
  • JiMMy 85 said:
    They’re getting huge numbers on their live streams thanks to a big international following. And they’re talking to a burgeoning YouTube channel about financing a behind the scenes documentary (eyeballs emoji). 
    That's interesting. My question would be, for how long? Those live streams will continue to show shite football for at least 5 years (I'm being generous and assuming that by then they will make it to League One. Do young Americans really have the staying power for that when all their mates are watching Real Madrid?
    If you look at channels like mine (BoA), Palmers FC, SE Dons, The Wall, The Manor etc. the potential to get big viewing figures online is there, even if the football isn't professional football. Now, those channels do highlights and behind-the-scenes stuff too, but certainly in Palmers FC's case, they're getting viewers who want to see the action first and foremost. These are people who are engaged and invested in the club, not the quality of football. And I love that. It's refreshing that people care about the clubs rather than the quality. 

    JiMMy 85 said:
    They’re getting huge numbers on their live streams thanks to a big international following. And they’re talking to a burgeoning YouTube channel about financing a behind the scenes documentary (eyeballs emoji). 
    That’s not your replacement for Charlwood/Holland is it ? 
    Potentially. In an ideal world I would be following Dorking and Barks (wherever he ends up) but I might not get my wish. Dorking in the National League could be tricky for me in terms of rights. And Barks might take a long break or go to a club that doesn't want the cameras. If a club wants to pay me a significant amount to cover them it's going to be hard to say no. A lot will also depend on the ability of the management to deal with the cameras being on them.

    Ultimately I would much rather stick with the guys I have forged relationships with. Going to DW now is like a second home. Such a lovely place to work. It's going to be hard to find a manager more interesting and entertaining than Marc. Not to mention supportive. 
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