If it works for Ebbsfleet...
Last week we learned that MyFootballClub had purchased Ebbsfleet United. Such is MyFootballClub's wisdom-of-crowds model that Ebbsfleet's new owners-members will be able to "vote on team selection, decide which players to buy and sell and guide the club up the leagues." For an investment of £35 the fans get to directly pick the team.
Last night we discovered that the best expert England could find to manage the national side, at a cost of several million pounds, wasn't able to even get the team into the Europe for 2008. Which kind of suggests to me an obvious solution for our next big international football competition.
What, after all, is the point of having a national side except to unite the country's football fans in the vicarious thrill of a shared sporting struggle? It'd be a lot more thrilling for the fans if we picked our next winning England team together. Imagine a national team actually picked by the collective wisdom of the nation - an England team picked by everyone in England who cared to vote, versus a Brazilian or German team picked the same way.
The technology is already in place and under live test. The alternative - a team picked by the "experts" - has failed. So if it works for Ebbsfleet...how about having the next England team picked directly by the fans via an online vote? As Nick Denton never said, "if the crowd has infinite wisdom, what use is the wise man?"