Peter McCormack is passionate about Bedford, Bitcoin and football – and the investor has a grand plan to combine all three.
Non-league side Bedford FC play their football in the 10th tier of English football and remain relatively unknown to those outside the local area.
But new owner McCormack has a plan to change that – and he wants to use the power of the world's first and largest cryptocurrency to help him achieve it.
McCormack, who hosts the incredibly successful 'What Bitcoin did' podcast, recently purchased his local team in the South Midlands League Division One, and is already drawing up grand plans for a surge towards the Football League and beyond.
McCormack is aiming to put any profits or investment the club receives into a Bitcoin treasury, in the hope that as Bedford FC climb the English football pyramid, they will have a healthy war chest and a strong community behind them.
The process won't happen overnight – and for now the investor is simply happy to have his hands on a part of his hometown.
"I first tried to buy the club four years ago but I just wasn't in the right financial position to do it. I had some Bitcoin but I didn't have the podcast to the level it is now," he tells Daily Star Sport.
"This is something I've wanted to do since I was 14. Just ask my dad, I've been talking about this for years. Here in Bedford, we can definitely have a team to support in the football league.
"Me and my friend Tom who I work with, we've always been talking about it. And last year I said I can have another go at this with the backing of the Bitcoin community.
"I've got the podcast which is the biggest Bitcoin podcast there is. So I've got a big audience and if I can get them behind this then I can get this to work."
Many Bedford FC supporters and on-lookers will no doubt feel uneasy about the talk of cryptocurrency in football.
Others will also be discontent with the club being renamed 'Real Bedford' or with the fact the new club logo is a skulls and crossbones.
But with 150 million people owning Bitcoin worldwide, McCormack believes he can harness that community into backing his project.
He also moved to allay fears that a drop in the cryptocurrency's price will not affect Bedford FC or their long-term plans.
"We've decided as a foundation for the financial side of the business, we're going to operate a Bitcoin standard. What that means is that any investment money or any profits, we'll retain in Bitcoin – and the reason we do that is because we take a long-term view of our investments," he continued.
"We have a long-term plan to how we want to grow the team, be successful, grow the company and improve facilities. The thing about the Bitcoin is, we don't need Bitcoin to go up for this to be a success. Bitcoin is really us just using leverage because there is 150 million people worldwide that own it – and millions of them will get behind ideas.
"They will probably visit El Salvador now (El Salvador recently made Bitcoin legal tender in the country) – and they will probably come to Bedford and watch us play and want to get behind us because they like getting behind ideas. What is more powerful than an idea? So if Bitcoiners get behind us and hopefully off the back of that we will be successful and do something nice for my hometown."
Talk of a meteoric rise to the Premier League has been discussed in the news and on social media in recent weeks. But McCormack was quick to dismiss talk of that during our chat.
The Football League, however, is a realistic target for the podcast host.
"The Premier League thing was never really serious. My goal was always to get in the Football League. But investors kept asking me 'How do you get in the Premier League?'" McCormack adds.
"I was like 'Ok, I know how to get in the Football League, we just to figure out what the formula is.' And that is to be commercially successful to pay players and get the right managers, have the right facilities in place so we have that culture of excellence – and have that culture of winning around the club.
"Look I'm new to this, I'm figuring this all out. But based on the fact our first year revenue is going to be the same as a League Two, small League One club, the money isn't going to be the thing that stops up getting promoted. We can afford the players, it's about whether we can the right mix of players and the right culture within the club.
"But anyone turning their nose up at this, I'd say what is wrong with having ambition? Look, we probably can't do it but let us at least try. There are crazy stories out there. Leicester winning the Premier League is just as crazy as this. So it can happen.
"Why would I set any smaller target? When you're at school on sports day you don't say 'I'm going to try and finish fifth' – you want to win. My target in life is always to win.
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"So look I was asked how we can do it and I think honestly you need to raise a lot of money, hold it in a Bitcoin treasury, you let Bitcoin do its thing and over 15-20 years you can build a club that can become a sustainable club in the Football League and you can have a go at the bigger divisions.
"There are clubs that have gone from non-league to the Football League. There are clubs that have gone from League Two to the Premier League, just look at Brentford. I'm just trying to be that guy that bridges the gap and does the full thing!"
McCormack has already used his influence in the Bitcoin community to good use, selling half a million pounds worth of sponsorship for the club, which usually runs on a budget of £15,000.
"I've got a lot of respect who work in non-league football. Most of these local clubs don't have a big catchment area. It's always going to be a struggle getting fans to come and buy tickets, a burger and merchandise. It's always going to be a struggle. All the people who volunteer and help, they're amazing," he added.
"But I want to compete with national clubs. Club who have got towns of 300,000 people. We should be able to compete with Stevenage, Northampton and MK Dons. We have a big enough town.
"I've sold £500,000 in sponsorships already for a club that has a £15,000 budget. It's insane. Our merchandise comes out in two weeks, our jerseys go on sale in the next two weeks. We'll be streaming games from next Saturday. So already our commercial model looks healthy already."
- Premier League
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