English football club United London FC, playing in the Essex Alliance Premier League, English Football’s 12th tier claims to be the only managerless club in the world.
At United London FC, the position of a coach is unnecessary as each week, the lineup is selected by the team’s fans. Instead of a traditional coach, the team has set up elements of a reality tv voting and player analytics similar to the ones used in video games and by scouts. The fantasy football-style system awards and deducts points to/from the team’s fans (acting as managers) based on whether their selections make the starting eleven, score a goal, assist or keep a clean sheet.
Chairman Mark North explained “In non league football, there’s not much in the way of eyeballs, because the Premier League just takes over everything. That’s where we want to be different, in that we are building an online fan base, rather than a localized one” . So far, more than 2,000 people have signed up with the club which was formed this year. The team claims support from fans in Australia, Argentina, United States, Brazil, Sweden and Canada.
Each week, the fans vote on the starting lineup based on player statistics, scouting reports and videos from previous matches posted online by the club. After voting closes each Friday, the squad for Saturday’s match is announced. One recent member of the club’s fan club, John Frusciante, a 19-year old from New Jersey said “I think it’s cool because it keeps supporters involved, The fans have more input than say, at Real Madrid. Zidane isn’t going to ask you If Ronaldo should be starting or not”.