Canton is an interesting choice to try and make the Packers model work. The Bulldogs were sold and moved to Cleveland in 1924, but the popularity wasn't there and the team folded a couple years later, and while Canton got another team, it failed to escape the league culling teams in 1927. I think if they stay in Canton, they would probably survive until at least the Great Depression and possibly could devolve into a collective ownership if the funds weren't there despite the large amount of fan involvementThere’s likely no way a team gets that kind of ownership the same way, sure. And the fact that the Packers managed to stay afloat like this and no one else did indicates that the Packers were, and are, a special team. My point was this - a lot of teams in other countries have a very different ownership model, one that allows players or fans to own part of the team.
I also don’t see most of the teams from the 1920s who didn’t survive doing so anyway; that’s life. But if even one more team adopted a similar ownership structure - or some other unique structure - and managed to stay afloat, maybe there would be a precedent for doing so and other teams would consider it (still as something of an oddity but more present than one team in 123 in the four major pro sports.)
The team I had in mind that would work both for history’s sake and for practicality was the Canton Bulldogs. The fact that they would be a natural rival for the Steelers and Browns adds some intrigue, and the historical value of Canton, Ohio is unique as well. Plus it could work - Canton itself has a lower population than Green Bay but the metro area has four times as many. Not sure what would make the Bulldogs more stable, but in theory, this one works as well as the Packers - a number of possible nearby rivals, a lot of history, and nearby industry for support.
The biggest question is - what if “sell it to the fans and/or players” becomes a viable and widely used option for saving struggling teams?
Again, I'm not sure if selling to the fans is a viable strategy, at least for American sports. When a team does bad, it's because fans aren't interested enough in their team to support them and pay money to see them. A team fails because of a lack of fan interest. That isn't something that a stock drive can fix. You need a base of devoted fans to actually pay for a part of the team, and if you don't have that then it won't work. The long background on reason behind the Packers ownership demonstrates how you need the fans to be involved for it to work, and for every single team that fails that's not there, because in order for a team to fail, the fans aren't there to support them. The Bulldogs might be the best chance in getting this to work elsewhere because it was a lot of external factors that caused it's demise, rather than because of lack of interest. For other teams it's not going to work because the fan support won't be there when they fail to support the team. There's no way to sell collective ownership to the fans because they already aren't buying tickets or merchandise from the team. That's why the teams are failing
If we're looking for teams to start with collective ownership rather than being forced to turn to it, that also would be a stretch. There's a much different dynamic between things like European soccer teams and American football teams, a lot of soccer teams formed very organically through local clubs that already relied heavily on community support to exist. The teams themselves became extensions of the clubs, hence why the teams are colloquially called "clubs". Football teams in America were usually formed by singular people wanting to make a team and finding other football players to join them. It's a lot less local and teams were free to move around, something which is near impossible for European teams. You'd have to fundamentally change how football developed in the United States to have more collective ownership.
If we're looking at American sports in general, I think it could work for baseball. A lot of early baseball formed through local clubs, very similarly to early European soccer. The teams were built locally and very tied with the city they formed in, but as time went on a lot of these clubs were pushed out by more successful, more professionally run programs that sought to attract talent from around the country (for example, the Braves started in Boston after someone convinced a guy from Cincinnati to come to the city). If you can somehow have baseball grow more organically and keep players from moving from club to club, then maybe you could see more collective ownership.