FC United of Manchester has teamed up with law firm Cobbetts to help other community enterprises raise cash without going into debt.
The model, dubbed “punk finance,” creates a legal framework for community benefit societies to generate working capital through share issues, rather than lending.
It allows people to pledge money to enterprises the believe in, in exchange for a say in their operations.
The structure is the same used by FC United to raise capital for its ground-breaking stadium development.
Devised with advice from Manchester-based Co-operatives UK, it allowed the club to raise £1.5m from people who have a voice in shaping the organisation’s future through the one-member-one-vote democratic system.
Now, FC United has teamed-up with lawyers in Cobbett's Manchester office and Mutuo, an body representing mutual organisations across the UK, to draw-up the framework, so it can be followed by others.
They have produced a pamphlet called Punk Finance, written by Cobbetts partner Kevin Jaquiss and FC United general manager Andy Walsh.
Jaquiss said: “As the coalition government’s policies work themselves through, some significant public sector services will come to be delivered by employee and community led enterprises. If people are going to do things for themselves they will need capital.
“The success of FC United is a great example of how the punk finance model allows people to support sustainable projects that have positive social impacts in local communities.”
Walsh said: “FC United was established to create a better way of running football clubs. Finance and governance problems dog the sport, and new financial and business models are needed which give clubs greater stability.
“The governance of the game would be vastly improved if clubs were run as clubs with supporters given a more central role.
“The community shares model we have developed with Co-ops UK and the legal framework that we have put together with Cobbetts offers a route to financial stability.
“Punk Finance is about clubs raising finance for themselves instead of looking to outside ‘investors’ who put their own interest before that of the club.
“Our own success in raising finance has shown what can be achieved even at a time of economic uncertainty and provides a model for others who care about football as a sport and community enterprise.”