DAOs: #OleOut or #OleIn
Every time Manchester United FC plays a match, #OleOut starts to trend. United fans are of the opinion that the best thing that could happen to the club’s team management since Ferguson is to sack Ole Gunnar Solsajaek, the team’s current manager.
This suggestive attitude does not only happen with United Fans, it’s common in the football (soccer) world where fans have opinions on what works and what doesn’t work. However, football management like any other form of management in a traditional organization is centralized and managed by a group of persons who might not always give a damn about the fans. If they did give a damn, maybe Ole would be out by now (Yes, I am a United fan) or there would be some form of explanation as to why he isn’t out.
Anyway, as cliche as this might sound, crypto fixes this. More specifically, DAOs should fix it. It’s a concept in the crypto space and it might just be what gives football fans the right to execute their opinions on the sport they love so much (men cry because of these games).
An Intro To DAOs:
DAO stands for Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. It’s the kind of organization that is built on the blockchain and has no central leadership but is regulated by clusters of people who make decisions through proposals and by voting for or against these proposals.
One impressive thing about DAOs is that nobody moderates the activity as this is done by the code that runs the blockchain, it is that same code that determines the structure of activities and utility of resources.
DAOs have different membership models, you can join by purchasing a token or by sending out a proposal to the DAO. You can also join by completing a task and presenting proof of work.
Applying DAOs To Football Club Management:
The structure of a football club is mostly hierarchical with one person at the top. The problem with institutional hierarchy is that there is always the risk of one person taking advantage of the organization and there are usually no checks for people at the top.
Football clubs can structure their organizations as permissionless DAOs where anyone interested in the club can vote on every aspect of the club’s activities and the fans of the club will purchase tokens which earns them the right to create a poll and vote on the poll. This form of DAO would be modeled after MakerDAO where the highest number of tokens are pooled or staked to determine the result of the poll.
So if 100 persons vote with 1BTC that Ole should be out and 300 persons vote with 0.5 BTC that Ole should remain In, the team with 1BTC would have their way and win the poll, which means Ole is out.
The diagram above describes how this will work hypothetically. Now this does not have to apply to only Ole, it can also apply to the management of the team. This means polls can be created to sack anyone, hire anyone, renovate stadiums or buy players.
Will It Actually Work?
DAOs are quite ideal and in a perfect world, they would get the job done but they do come with some risks. The biggest of them is the fact that anyone or any group with the highest amount of tokens will always win the votes. This actually betrays the whole essence but with the popularity of football, this will very likely not happen.
Football Clubs as DAOs can definitely work and what reinforces this assertion is the advent of football fan tokens. Fan tokens right now are engagement tokens that are being used as an incentive to engage football fans, they are utility tokens used to get items like merch, VIP tickets, and more. Recently, we have had more governance fan tokens from clubs like Lazio which allows fans to vote on club activities like jersey selections.
Governance tokens do not make a club a DAO, there is still a central governing body that determines what activities can be voted on by fans. DAOs will make every single part of the club decentralized.
We may not see clubs fully adopt a fully permissionless DAO structure, we can expect to see hybrid structures. The benefits of this system ultimately deepen fan loyalty, it gets the fans more invested in the clubs. With more people being a part of the decision-making process, we can expect to see quicker resolutions, less bureaucracy and more transparency.