Two football teams in the south-west English town of Chard have chosen bitcoin as their preferred funding method as they raise money for new facilities.
Chard United and Chard Rangers are currently fundraising so they can build changing rooms at Jocelyn Park – the ground the two teams share. Currently, the teams have to change at a cricket ground that is a 20-minute walk away.
“They’ve been fighting for the local town council for 15 years to try and convince them to build changing facilities at Jocelyn Park, but the council are not really football fans, so have said no pretty much every time,” said a local businessman and bitcoin advocate who donated 150 bitcoins to the fund.
The council recently agreed to give planning permission for the teams to build temporary changing facilities, but said it would not pay for the construction work.
When Chard United was fundraising in a local pub, one punter asked whether they had considered fundraising in bitcoin.
“Every single player on the team is now a bitcoin nut – they’re all using it and they’ve had a site designed where they’ve got a whole page devoted to bitcoin, explaining what it is and why people should use it. They’ve also got Bitcoin branding on all of their merchandise and shirts,” the local businessman said.
One shirt displayed on the Chard United FC website has the name Satoshi on the back, with another reading Bernanke and a third reading Shrem after Charlie Shrem of BitInstant.
Our source said the team members are doing a lot to spread the word about bitcoin wherever they go and he hopes the rest of the bitcoin community will pitch in and help them reach their goal of £25,000.
Steve Scriven, secretary at Chard United, said: “This is a huge step for the club. This is something we have been looking to do for 15 years now and with great help and support from all at Chard United, The Happy Return, Chard Rangers, members of the council and now … the Bitcoin community, it finally looks as if this can happen.”
He hopes the fundraising goal will be reached by mid-August, so the teams would have their new facilities shortly after the start of the football season.
The businessman we spoke to said he’s hoping stories such as this will start to change the negative view a lot of people have about bitcoin and other digital currencies.
“I’m hoping this will change the opinion of those people who think all bitcoin is used for is to go online and buy drugs. It’s very frustrating for people in the industry to keep hearing about Silk Road when it’s just one website and doesn’t really do justice to what bitcoin is.”