United’s global fan base is one of the things which makes our club so great, the fact that no matter where you are in the world you’re guaranteed to meet someone who shares your love of Manchester’s finest.
It’s that global fan base that is being exploited somewhat as BringRonaldoHome.Org attempt to use ‘crowd sourcing as a means to fund a deal for Ronaldo. Sounds like a good idea but scratch the surface and it’s obvious this is nothing more than a means to making some money for the people behind it rather than re-signing the prodigal son.
The idea is you pledge ten pounds on the site towards Bringing Ronaldo Home and should he sign then the money is used as a downpayment for a United shirt, you then send another £45 and you’ll get the shirt. The deposit money is held until he signs for United or a deal with someone else so the fans donations will not be used towards a transfer fee. The Bring Ronaldo Home site has benefited from a lot of positive media coverage with papers such as the Mail noting:
A small band of Australian-based United supporters have created a website where fans can help raise funds to bring back their old favourite, who has a £100million buyout clause, from Real Madrid.
The ‘BringRonaldoHome’ movement has already received thousands of pledges to buy a United shirt with Ronaldo on it – however it needs 10 million to donate a tenner for this target to be reached.
Only yesterday the Metro claimed:
Ronaldo is believed to be a top target for former club United this summer, with his future becoming increasingly unclear at Real Madrid.
That was until a group of hardcore fans stepped in and offered a helping hand, after launching their ‘Bring Back Ronaldo’ campaign this week.
The supporters consortium are urging fans to throw £10 into a hat in order to raise funds to pay for Ronaldo, with £100million their ambitious target.
Both the Mail and the Metro are wrong in that it isn’t a group of hardcore fans or even a small band it’s simply one United fan living in Australia who’s come up with the idea and found some business men to support it.
The main problem with the idea is that putting a deposit down for a shirt has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether the club can afford Ronaldo as the money will not go towards transfer fees. One of the men behind the site even admitted he doesn’t think he can help bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford with this idea. United have even got involved urging fans to steer clear. The club released a statement noting:
“Manchester United would like to remind fans that decisions over additions to the squad will be made by the manager and the manager alone. We would not want any of our supporters to be under a false impression that anything other than this would ever be the case.”
The main problem many Reds have with the Bring Ronaldo Home site isn’t the idea or the fact it’s doomed to failure, it’s that its clear the creators will make a tidy sum out of it by charging each donator an ‘admin fee’ that will be up to £3 of the £10 they take.
The sites terms and conditions state:
We want to give the movement the best possible chance of succeeding, so to ensure that we can keep running this website and the movement behind the scenes a small fee is taken from each pledge (“Administration Fee”).
This small fee will be as low as 50p and up to, but not more than £3 pounds of your deposit, which covers PayPal fees, auditing fees (so you can be sure your Pledge funds are safe), legal fees and other expenses that we incur along the way and will depend on the number of pledges received. The variance in the fee exists to cover the potential increase in costs as the movement grows.
As Bring Ronaldo Home have already had over 5000 pledges that means the men behind it have made up to £15,000 in just over a month, not bad going really.
The Bring Ronaldo Home site states:
We have been inspired by the loyalty and dedication of Manchester United fans. To be a ‘true’ fan requires the ‘living’ experience of football. It is not about being a mere spectator — it is about being a participant. We wanted to give fans an opportunity to be involved in making history to secure their club’s future.
Far be it from me to tell anyone what being a ‘true fan’ requires but pledging ten pounds towards a scheme that even one of the creators has claimed he doesn’t expect to being Ronnie back to United certainly isn’t a way of measuring your loyalty. I emailed the site on May 16, yesterday I received this reply:
Our website goes through all of the questions you have asked.
Check out the Bring Ronaldo Home interview: