Negotiations are finalised. Peter McCormack, host of “What Bitcoin Did” podcast, has agreed to purchase Bedford Football Club. At the end of the season the the club will rebrand to Real Bedford FC and the journey to take Bedford to the premier league will begin. With lucrative sponsorship deals already in place this could just be the start of a new story for Bitcoin, Bedford and football fans around the globe.
The Bitcoin Football Club
In December 2021 Bitcoin investor and podcast host Peter McCormack completed negotiations to take over Bedford Football Club. Bedford is a quaint market town in England about 15 miles from where I grew up.
The football team is currently mid-table in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One. They are currently fighting for a play-off spot to potentially be promoted to the South Midlands League Premiership. It will take another 8 promotions to reach the lofty heights of the Premier League which is the target to compete with the big names of Manchester United and Liverpool.
|National League South
|Southern League Central Premiership
|Southern League Central Division One
|South Midlands League Premiership
|South Midlands League Division One
The Bedford Eagles as they are affectionately known have a long history dating back to 1957 when the club was founded by the merger of Bedford United and Sunday league club US Valerio.
At the end of this season the club will transition once again to become Real Bedford FC as part of a much larger vision to take the club all the way to the top echelons of the Premier League.
Peter is most widely known through his podcast “What Bitcoin Did” which is hugely popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts with over a million monthly downloads. Owning a local football club was a childhood dream that was realised thanks to an investment in Bitcoin that has grown into a trillion dollar asset class.
Bitcoin has not only provided the seed funding for the club but Peter intends to run the organisation in line with the “Bitcoin Standard”. This refers to the transparency and disruptive nature of Bitcoin technology.
Peter is a Bedford local, he grew up here and still lives in the area. I have a suspicion that I probably bumped into him at Esquires rock club at some point over the years. His enthusiasm for bringing league football to his local town is infectious and it is growing support locally and globally.
There have been over 50 international supporters clubs setup across the globe to follow the team as they progress*. International viewers can stream the game online with the first game going live on YouTube in early 2022.
Peter will continue his role as podcast host as he shifts focus to the position of Chairman at the end of the season. In Real Bedford FC he has found himself a formidable challenge.
To take Real Bedford FC to the Premier League would take a decade or more of continuous success across all levels of the game. Critics have suggested it’s an impossible mission due to regulatory, geographical and financial reasons.
The club won’t be financed by Peter alone and they have already secured £500,000 GBP of a target £1.5m for next season. This will make them the most well funded club in the division by some margin and provide a budget to bring in new players.
The regulatory concerns are something that will take time to overcome. The higher national leagues have mandatory requirements on stadium sizes, safety requirements and a whole host of other standards. Even getting to the second division would require new stands being built or a move to a new stadium.
These things take time and money and this isn’t going to be a story that plays out in the short-term. Rather it may be a slow marathon of developing the squad and grounds, then moving up the leagues over many years to come.
In the near term however the first challenge will be to fight towards a play off position this season and hopefully gain an initial promotion which will knock a year off the schedule before the Real work starts on transforming the team.
Another milestone will be surpassing local rival Bedford Town FC who are in the Southern League Central Division One in a couple of years time if all goes to plan. Peter originally placed a cash offer for the rival which was declined before he agreed terms to take over Bedford FC. The local derbies between these two clubs will likely gain a lot of attention and could be a stepping stone to more lucrative sponsorship deals.
Another possible scenario is that the clubs eventually merge to create a new stadium on the plot that both clubs now use.
Beyond that the focus will be on reaching the national league which is the equivalent of the old “Vauxhall Conference”. This is the lowest league that gets covered by mainstream press outlets like the BBC. At this point the team would do well to focus on cup tournaments such as the FA Cup where they can compete with the best teams in the country.
If Real Bedford are still punching above their weight in terms of financing and talent at this stage then a big cup run could bring this to the attention of a national or even international audience. This is also the time when they will find themselves restricted by the current stadium and surroundings.
Bedford FC’s ground is situated just on the outskirts of Bedford. This would need modernisation, planning consent and considerable development to conform to the requirements set out by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority*.
If the local community gets on board and the ground starts filling up there will be an opportunity cost in the time it takes to find a new site, get planning approval, secure funding and build a new stadium. Realistically these things take a lot of time and we might be 5-10 years away from Real Bedford FC opening up a new football stadium but it’s another challenge and narrative that will draw national press attention.
If Peter can secure the initial funding and bring in some fresh talent to start moving Real Bedford FC up then it will be an incredible story for both Bedford and Bitcoin. A story that many brands within the blockchain sector would want to be associated with.
“It is all about winning games, to win games you need the best players and managers. To afford the best players and managers you need to be commercially successful. I will establish our club as the Bitcoin club, a team that operates on a Bitcoin standard.”
Bedford has a population of 174,000 people nearly double that of Burnley who have achieved premier league football this season. It’s not an impossible vision, improbable perhaps but audacious in ambition.
Cryptocurrency has a very male dominated audience, my YouTube channel is 95% male with an average age of around 30. The demographics of football is also male dominated which makes it a good fit for advertisers. We’ve seen big moves by Binance, Crypto.com and FTX this year in sports marketing.
I hope that one day I can take my kids to watch Real Bedford vs Liverpool at the FTX Stadium in Bedfordshire or maybe it’ll be them taking me.
Thank you to Peter for taking on the challenge and I wish him the best of luck and all the support possible in this endeavour.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and will support Real Bedford FC on their journey.