AFC Crewe – what’s the hype about?

AFC Crewe has taken the internet by storm over recent months, accumulating millions of views on social media as a result of the rather unique way the club is run. Since a takeover at the start of the season, the Railboys have seen a rapid rise up the league table, and currently sit top of the Crewe & District Football League.

Just before the start of the 2022/23 season, the NUFAN project was beginning to gain traction online. The premise was simple, but unbelievably attractive to football fans across the world. For a small monthly fee, they could join the board of a football club – and influence every decision. Despite being met with initial scepticism, the NUFAN team launched an incredibly successful marketing campaign – and before long, discussions were underway with multiple non-league clubs to find the ideal candidate for a takeover bid.

AFC Crewe play in bright yellow, and are seen here in a game against
AFC Crewe play in bright yellow [@AFC_Crewe on Twitter]

The project hasn’t been without hiccups though. A shortlist was produced, and fans voted to takeover Pershore after promising discussions with club officials. The takeover had been published on social media – but the existing committee were unsure of the attention that NUFAN would bring to the club, and the deal fell through.

Back to the drawing board, and AFC Crewe was voted for by the board members as the perfect club. Despite finishing bottom of the Crewe & District Football League last season, fans saw untapped potential and were keen to get on board. Games would be livestreamed for free to allow board members from across the world to get a glimpse of their very own club, and articles were being written by some of the sporting industry’s biggest news providers.

Then came the big news. AFC Crewe, playing in the 14th tier of English football, signed an international goalkeeper. Chris Mafoumbi, who played 36 games for his native Congo, agreed to officially register with the club, meaning he’d be eligible to play for the Railboys. Mafoumbi had previously made 18 appearances for League One side Blackpool, which is testament to his quality and a signing of this magnitude propelled AFC Crewe into the headlines once again – though due to an exceptional number of fixture cancellations throughout December, he was unable to make an appearance for the Railboys.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

If you thought that was unbelievable – get ready for the next one. AFC Crewe made an ‘official’ offer to Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese striker having been released by Manchester United and becoming a free agent ahead of the World Cup. £35 a week would have seen the five-time Ballon d’Or winner line up alongside the likes of Caine Mellor and Stelvio Da Silva – but the club received no response from the forward. Instead, they received unfathomable press attention once again – but it wasn’t just British media that was interested. ProSieben, one of Germany’s most influential broadcasters, wanted to produce a documentary on the club. Even with the Ronaldo hype calming down, it was a perfect opportunity to show the world that alongside having a laugh on social media, AFC Crewe are a serious team on the pitch – backed by a phenomenal team of dedicated board members.

Shortly before Christmas, AFC Crewe board members voted to launch a brand new women’s team, which they hope will be up and running in time for the 2023/24 season. The club prides itself on inclusivity, and welcomes board members from across the world. It’s not too late to get involved with the project – you can find out more about the NUFAN project and what it means for AFC Crewe at nufan.co.uk.


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