My favourite soccer team, Liverpool FC, is currently going through the trauma of being in the private hands of American owners. As a direct result of the club's attempt to compete at the highest level with the best players, Liverpool FC began looking for a fresh injection of money in 2006.

When negotiations with the cash-rich Dubai International Capital fell through in early 2007, the club then accepted an offer from Americans' George Gillett and Tom Hicks and have lost their way ever since.

In spite of the backroom dramas, the team have produced outstanding performances in Europe; directed by their gifted coach Rafael Benitez.

Such is depth of dissatisfaction with the owners by the Liverpool’s fans, a large group of them have begun a campaign to buy out the present owners in an attempt to put the club back into concerned hands, with the team as the focus, not the money.

Those fans are not setting a precedent. Spanish clubs Barcelona (founded in 1899) and Real Madrid (founded in 1902) have enjoyed a lot of success while remaining under their members’ caring tenure.

Larger image of Art Jones, AP wire photoIn the multi-dollar sports industry that is the NFL, the Green Bay Packers stand out as the only non-profit, community-owned, major league professional sports team in the United States.

Semi-professional football teams in Green Bay date back to 1896, but it wasn’t until 1921, after the football team found sponsorship with the Indian Packing Company, that the Packers joined the forerunner to today’s NFL, the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1921.

After that first season, the team admitted the illegal use of players, who had college eligibility, and were thrown out of the league. In an attempt to rectify this serious infraction, coach Curly Lambeau brought the franchise and promised to keep to the rules.

The team was eventually incorporated as a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organisation becoming the unique small-town franchise we now know as the Green Bay Packers.

Nearly ninety years later, in the estimation of the Forbes financial corporation, the Packers are now worth just under $1 billion; in the value of NFL teams, that is just one place below the Steelers.

The Liverpool fans' intentions can be found here>>>