The Scottish football club being run by fans worldwide has attracted nearly 1,000 members in its first month.
Former Motherwell striker Chris Ewing owns Lowland League outfit Edusport Academy but is changing the structure to establish a new club which he hopes can blaze a trail through the Scottish leagues and into the Premiership by 2025.
auront was launched at Hampden Park, with fans paying an annual membership of £25 to get a hands-on role in the running of the club including naming the team, designing the crest and electing a board of directors.
Supporters from 30 countries around the globe including Australia, Singapore, Israel and Finland have now signed up. The very first one was Frenchman Alessandro Gaillard, who has been living in Edinburgh since graduating two years ago, while Dundee United fan Dave Hales, who set up the Toronto Arabs Supporters Club, was the first person from Canada to make the pledge.
Dave, originally from Blairgowrie, lives in London, Ontario and said: “I liked the idea of being in at the grassroots as I was with Toronto. I was season ticket No. 85 when I joined them and look at the support they have now.
“I liked the idea of this, and then when I saw a guy from Finland chatting to someone else from Glasgow on one of the forums, I thought to myself: ‘Yeah, I want to be part of this’.
Alessandro added: “It’s such a great concept. It’s a brilliant idea and really interesting to have the chance to be heavily involved in how a club is run. One of the big things about it is that no matter where someone may live, they can be closely involved.
“The owner is building a very strong base to move forward. He has big ambitions but why not? It’s ambitious but doable. Teams have gone through the leagues quickly before.”
Welcoming the new members to the club, managing director Chris said: “I have been very pleased at the interest shown throughout the world in the project. It is excellent to see people on the forums discussing the club, tuning in to find out results, and asking questions to the coaches.
“We are already discussing different names, potential strips and logos. We are looking forward to creating an impact in Scottish football. It’s vindicated my decision when I see the people who are involved and the passion they have already.”
Serving members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and the emergency services can enjoy a 20% discount to join the club.
“I thought it was important to recognise in some way the fantastic work these people do in helping keep our country safe,” said Chris. “With so many away from their families for lengthy periods, it cannot be easy.
“While recognising the incredible work being done by those who serve our country, I wanted to give them a chance to have a connection back home; give these men and women an opportunity to be part of football even though they may be thousands of miles away. Geography is no barrier to a membership so wherever members of the Armed Forces are based, they can still enjoy a hands-on role in the running of the club.”