Wednesday, November 30, 2005

MEN: FC United: Russ a true football hero

Source: Manchester Evening News

FC United: Russ a true football hero
Stuart Brennan

RUSSELL Delaney was a true football hero. And it was fitting that, on a night when the names of Roy Keane and George Best were on the lips of FC United supporters at Gigg Lane, that of the modest Red was also sung, loud and proud.

Russell had been a founder of FC United and his fellow board members decided that, rather than the usual minute's silence to mark his death earlier this month, they would hold a minute's applause.

The FC supporters, in their own inimitable fashion, turned that into a lyrical tribute to the man.

FC United general manager Andy Walsh said: "The idea that we should mark Russell's passing with a minute's silence would have filled him with horror, so we paid our tribute with a minute's applause and singing in the spirit of FC United."

Russell died of pulmonary sarcoidosis, a condition that affects the heart and lungs, just months after the fight to prevent Malcolm Glazer's takeover of his beloved Manchester United, in which he was a main mover, had failed.

But he also died knowing that from the ashes of that effort had risen the success story of FC United.

The 47-year-old would travel from his home in the south-east of England for supporters' meetings when the fight against the Glazers was at its height, the oxygen tanks sometimes needed to help him breathe tucked into the foot-well on the passenger side of his car.

Russell knew in the last few months of his life that he needed a heart and lung transplant, which may have extended his life by four or five years, but he continued to try to effect a supporter takeover of United, and then to bring about the birth of FC United, undaunted.

Leading the tributes to Russell was Walsh, a close associate of his in the fight against Glazer and the formation of FCUM.


Russell's troubles began when he caught tuberculosis as a teenager, weakening his lungs. His health was further affected when he picked up an infection when he travelled to watch United play in Barcelona in 1984.

His condition worsened down the years, but he was determined to oppose the Glazer takeover. He had urged supporters to try to take over the club themselves as long ago as 1989.

Walsh said: "Russell was actually in hospital when Glazer made his move in May. Russell had been our contact with the camp of John Magnier and JP McManus, who had assured us the day before that there was nothing in the offing. He had discussed with them the possibility of the supporters buying their stake in the club and had set up a meeting with former Football League chairman Keith Harris and the Nomura bank to that end.

"When the Glazers took over, Russell himself felt personally responsible because he didn't see it coming, but that was nonsense.

"He threw himself into establishing FC after that - I remember that in the run-up to the deadline for admission to the North West Counties League he spent the best part of 36 hours in our office in Rusholme, filling in paperwork, researching details and establishing the club's constitution.

"It all had to be done in two weeks and that would not have happened without Russ."

Russell lived long enough to realise that his hard work had resulted in a great success - FC United's three home attendances in October all broke the 3,000 barrier.

The tribute took place at the first home game since his death, against New Mills. FC United manager Karl Marginson dedicated the Rebels' 6-1 win to Russell.

He said: "It is only right to dedicate this win to Russ. Any victory that we get we appreciate because if it wasn't for Russ and the steering committee he was such a big part of, then I wouldn't be here and neither would anyone else.

"I can't describe how brave a man he was. I am just sad I didn't get to know him for longer."

Russell's family have asked that anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory should do so to FC United. Payments should be made to the Russell Delaney Memorial Fund and sent to 104 Ducie House, Ducie Street, Manchester M1 2JW.

FC UNITED'S home game with Chadderton, due to be played tonight, has been postponed.

The pitch is frozen and, even though a thaw was expected today, the groundsmen say it will not leave them sufficient time to prepare the pitch.

Stockport Express: A thrill-a-minute!

thank fuck.....

Source: Stockport Express

Cheadle Town 3
FC United 3

A GOAL just nine seconds from time prevented Cheadle Town from gaining a famous victory over FC United at Edgeley Park on Saturday.

Dave Chadwick bundled the ball over the line to break Cheadle’s hearts in a thrilling North West Counties league encounter.

However, it was probably the right result in front of a noisy 3,374 crowd, the second-highest non-league attendance in England on the day which also topped the gates at seven League Two games.

After just four minutes Adie Orr sprung the Cheadle offside trap but his shot hit the post.

Cheadle responded well and drew first blood when Vinny Braine crossed from the right for Andy Lindon who rammed the ball into the net.

‘You’ll pay for scoring first’ roared the United fans in the Robinsons Stand, and when a free-kick from Steve Torpey skidded into the net and soon after Simon Carden put the Reds in front, the delirious fans shouted ‘We warned you not to score first’.

But Cheadle were not finished and in a thrill-a-minute second half they battled back with two goals in 10 minutes. Braine coolly picked his spot to level matters, and Dean Martin put the home side in front.

United then put Cheadle under severe pressure and Troy Whittle made a superb double save.

On 80 minutes United were awarded a spot-kick which Rory Patterson smashed against the crossbar, and it looked as though Cheadle might hold out for the three points.

That was until the final few seconds when United grabbed their equaliser, but both sides were afforded a rousing reception as they left the field following a really cracking match.

Edgeley Park chief steward Gordon Taylor later praised the fans from both sides. "They were all magnificent," he said.

"They didn’t cause us an ounce of trouble."

On Saturday Cheadle are away at Darwen in the League’s Divisional Cup.

First published by the Stockport Express

Stockport Express: It was the Best of times, it was the worst of times - town pays tribute

goodbye gGeorge...

Source: Stockport Express

It was the Best of times, it was the worst of times - town pays tribute

EDGELEY Park erupted into spontaneous cheers on Saturday as fans of FC United and Cheadle Town said goodbye to George Best.

A bumper gate of 3,373 gave the Old Trafford legend a rousing send off on the ground where he played three matches for Stockport County in 1975.

As silences were observed around the country, including County’s game at Mansfield, the people of Stockport paid their respects to ‘Georgie’ by laying flowers outside his former home in Bramhall and shirts and cards outside Edgeley Park.

Emotions ran high inside the ground, particularly with so many Manchester United followers present. And For Cheadle Town's chairman it was a poignant moment, having watched Best's first ever United match against West Brom in September 1963.

Chris Davies said: "It started with a silence for about 15-20 seconds and it just erupted into a clap and people started chanting his name.

"I saw most of the halcyon days of George Best, he was a tremendous player."

Julian Spencer, FC United spokesman, said that it was ‘a very emotional’ day.

He added: "We are all still Manchester United fans. Unfortunately some of us are a bit too young to have seen him play but many people have said that he’s the greatest player that these shores have produced.

"There are going to be a million and one ideas as to how best to commemorate his life."

Des Hinks, County spokesman, added: "We were all deeply saddened by the loss of George. He increased the gates five fold for his first appearance for Stockport County and was a class above, there was no question about that. In the fourth division his talent shone out like a beacon."

George Best died on Friday of multiple organ failure at London’s Cromwell Hospital. He will be buried in his home town of Belfast this Saturday, December 3. after a funeral service at Stormont.

First published by the Stockport Express

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cheadle (away)

at number one was Georgie Best...

Again no pass for this but did manage to get down onto the pitch for the last 10 minutes

Click here for the gallery

Thanks to soulandy on the unofficial site - i also have this video enjoy!

Daily Star Sunday: Fan United

Source Daily Star Sunday (article not available online)
Fan United

Click Image above to read full story

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Daily Mail on Saturday: United We Stand

Source Daily Mail Saturday (article not available online)

United We Stand
Click image above for bigger

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Miss of the season?

Image hosted by

Fair play to rory for wearing the jesters hat immediately after the game and not waiting a week to be awarded it

Click here to see it

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Stockport Express: Another big day for Town

Source: Stockport Express
Published: 23rd November 2005
Another big day for Town

LITTLE Cheadle Town are hoping to be record breakers this Saturday when they play FC United in a Moore & Co Solicitors League fixture.

The game has been switched to Stockport County’s Edgeley Park stadium to help accommodate the legions of Reds fans who will be travelling to Cheshire from all over the country.

Cheadle expect Saturday’s attendance to top 4,000, a figure which would create a new league record and almost certainly be the highest non-league attendance of the day in this country.

The atmosphere generated by the FC United fans is unique and has helped their support to grow.

Their biggest home game at Gigg Lane so far this season was the 3,808 which saw them play Daisy Hill.

However, with the game against Cheadle being a local ‘derby’, it is expected that Cheadle themselves will have a very large following.

Admission is £7 (adults) and £4 (concessions), with the ‘away’ support set to be housed in the Robinson Brewery stand and the ‘home’ fans in the Printerland stand. Kick off is at 3pm.

Cheadle recently hosted FC United in a league cup tie of course - a match which was played at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium. United won that match 5-1.

First published by the Stockport Express

New Mills (home)

We warned you not to score

An emotional game with the match preceeded with a minutes applause for board member and essential part of FC Uniteds history - Russell Delaney

Photo gallery here

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Times: Ferguson rallies fans in United's hour of need / Interest from clubs slows as problems become apparent

FC Fans

Ferguson rallies fans in United's hour of need
Source: Edited from The Times

(edited from longer article regarding Ferguson and MUFC)

United supporters have suffered more than a few knockbacks in recent times. While they could brush off recent accusations of “stupidity” by Carlos Queiroz, the assistant manager, some were so disenfranchised by the Glazer family’s takeover last summer and by the perceived lack of resistance shown by men such as Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton that they sought to establish a breakaway club, FC United of Manchester, who are ploughing their way through the Moore & Company Construction Solicitors second division and targeting a place in the Football League by 2012. The Glazer takeover was not the only reason for the formation of the breakaway club. There was a growing feeling of alienation in the stands from the team, from multimillionaires with little regard for those who were indirectly financing their glamorous lifestyles.

Interest from clubs slows as problems become apparent
Source: The Times (Edited from longer article)
(edited from longer article regarding Roy Keanes departure from MUFC)

Or, and perhaps this is less fanciful than it may first appear, Keane could cross town and join FC United. His rants against the “prawn sandwich eaters” and the rampant commercialisation of the sport indicate that his philosophy is not so different from the hardcore United supporters who walked away after the Malcolm Glazer takeover. It would be a way for him to burnish his image, not only among United fans but among football purists worldwide. And he would not even have to move house as he plays a little football and completes his coaching badges.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Guardian: Colne inflict FC United's first defeat

Source: The Guardian

Tony Howard reports on a shock loss for FC United against Colne

Friday November 18, 2005

FC United fans who remember the 80s milk advert where one Scouse kid says to the other: "Accrington Stanley, who they?" received some enlightenment last weekend when they visited their ground. Accrington's neighbours Colne provided the opposition in the North West Counties League Cup.

All present saw a good old traditional cup tie with goals, great saves, near misses and a brawl. Colne are in the league above United, so the visitors found themselves in the unusual position of being the underdogs.

Those paying the £6 admission got their first sight of new FC signing Josh Howard. The ex-Manchester United youngster captained a youth team featuring John O'Shea and Luke Chadwick, and he could become FC's first international, thanks to his Guyanan grand-parentage.

His dream of an international debut was ruled out last season through injury while playing at Mossley, but in this form he is sure to get another call up. The game remained goalless thanks to two great saves from United keeper Barrie George, but with just three minutes to go, it exploded.

First, Colne's Chris Clarke scored a great curling shot to make it 1-0. Then FC's infamous thong-wearer, Steve Torpey, won a free kick and picked himself up to bury the ball in the bottom corner, sending the travelling hordes into raptures. But no sooner had our dreams of securing a glamour-trip to Timperley began than Colne went straight down the other end, caught FC United's defence napping and scored the winner.

A melee then ensued on the touchline involving players and management from both sides, but it was all forgotten with handshakes at the final whistle. Those in attendance may still be wondering just 'exactly' who Stanley are, but they won't be forgetting their trip to Accrington in a hurry.

FC United's next home game is against New Mills on Wednesday, November 23 at Gigg Lane, Bury. Kick off is 7.45pm and admission is £7 adults and £2 under 18s.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

NW Evening News: Capacity limits for Holker

Source: NW Evening News

Published on 17/11/2005

THE crowd capacity for Holker Old Boys’ game with FC United at Craven Park on December 17 has been set at under 3,000.

But Barrow RL director Tony Colyer wants Cumbria County Council to have a re-think.

The rugby club board meeting was last night told that the council safety officer had imposed a limit of 2,779.

Said Colyer: “There is a 4,500 capacity for the rugby, but a football match is regarded differently.

“They take into account things like football crowds surging forward against the perimeter walls."

Accrington Observer: Fans flock for FCUM

Source: Accrington Observer

"WEREN’T Stanley away this weekend?" came the confused cry of a war veteran making his way up Whalley Road after the Remembrance Day parade on Sunday.

The gent was right, but his curiosity remained high as he called into the Crown Inn – packed with football fans donned in 1970s-style red and white bar scarves.

FC United of Manchester were in town, bringing with them their unique brand of ‘punk football’ on a crusade to bring the beautiful game back to its working class roots.

Formed by disillusioned Manchester United supporters after Malcolm Glazer’s takeover, FC United regularly attract more than 2,500 supporters to their games – nine divisions down from the Premiership.

They campaign for lower ticket prices, lower player wages and a return to regular 3pm Saturday kick-offs, free from the influence of Sky Sports.

And it is all going well so far with FC United topping the North West Counties Division Two but last Sunday, they faced their biggest test so far - against Division One side Colne in the NWCL Challenge Cup with the game switched to Stanley’s Interlink Express Stadium to cope with demand.

In fact, 2,762 people witnessed an entertaining 2-1 win for Colne to set a new highest attendance at the ground this season.

Before the game, a two-minute silence in memory of fallen war heroes was impeccably observed and a high-spirited atmosphere continued throughout the match.

And despite being knocked out of the cup, visiting supporters kept the party going long afterwards.

And the verdict from behind the bar, Crown Inn landlady Barbara Thistlethwaite said: "We are used to getting different away fans when Stanley play at home, but this was a bit different.

"The atmosphere was a lot more jovial. The fans were singing all afternoon, but there was no swearing and everyone was so well behaved."

She added: "They treated the place with respect and all wore poppies too. I would definitely welcome them back anytime."

The Oaklea club’s general manager Brian Harkness said: "The bar was absolutely packed all day – before and after the game.

"It was a really jolly atmosphere and there wasn’t a hint of aggravation all day.

"About a hundred of the fans came in after the game had finished and joined in with our Sunday afternoon entertainment. It was brilliant."

FC United of Manchester return to Accrington on 28 January when they play Great Harwood Town.

Dale Haslam

First published by the Accrington Observer

Monday, November 14, 2005

ManU's Children of the Revolution

Ropey Altavista translation here

Source: Der Standard (Austria)

Das echte Manchester United heißt FC United und kickt im tiefsten Keller - Dort sind gar nicht wenige Ex-Fans von ManU zu Hause

Manchester - Die Kinder der Revolution feiern bei bitterem Bier und Essigchips. "Wer gibt den Entrechteten eine Mission?", brüllen 200 angeheiterte Engländer im "Swan & Cemetery"-Pub und recken ihre Arme synchron in Richtung eines Mannes, der an einer Flasche Beck's-Bier Halt sucht. "Nur Andy Walsh schafft das!" Der genießt mit einem schüchternen Lächeln.

Andy Walsh (43), ehemals Journalist, ist inzwischen hauptberuflich Seelenretter des Fußballs in Manchester. Er ist angetreten, einen übermächtigen Dämon zu bekämpfen. Walsh ist Chef des FC United of Manchester, einem Auswuchs der Protestbewegung gegen die Verwandlung des großen Vereins aus der Nachbarschaft in ein Spekulationsobjekt von Finanzinvestoren. Jetzt will er es den Managern von Manchester United heimzahlen. "Ohne Fans gibt es keinen Fußball. Das werden die da oben noch begreifen", sagt Walsh in den Katakomben des alten Wellblechstadions von Bury an der Gigg Lane, der provisorischen Heimstatt seines neuen Vereins, 16 Kilometer nördlich von Manchester.

Es ist gerade eine halbe Stunde her, da hat sich Walshs Truppe in der untersten englischen Liga für die Genesung der gebrochenen ManU-Herzen die Seele aus dem Leib gerannt. Fast 4000 Fans haben 90 Minuten ohne Unterlass Sprechchöre angestimmt. Sie haben Sir Alex Ferguson, den Trainer von ManU, verspottet und den FC besungen, als ginge es um den Europacup. Zu Auswärtsspielen bringt der FC United mehr Zuschauer mit als mancher Premier-League-Klub. Tagesgegner Daisy Hill wird nebenbei mit 6:0 vom Platz geschossen. Trotzdem war es der große Auftritt für die Daisys. Normalerweise verlieren sich bei Spielen der zweiten Division der so genannten North West Counties Football League, die der FC United nach zwölf Spielen anführt, um die 70 Zuschauer.

Es ist gerade eine halbe Stunde her, da hat sich Walshs Truppe in der untersten englischen Liga für die Genesung der gebrochenen ManU-Herzen die Seele aus dem Leib gerannt. Fast 4000 Fans haben 90 Minuten ohne Unterlass Sprechchöre angestimmt. Sie haben Sir Alex Ferguson, den Trainer von ManU, verspottet und den FC besungen, als ginge es um den Europacup. Zu Auswärtsspielen bringt der FC United mehr Zuschauer mit als mancher Premier-League-Klub. Tagesgegner Daisy Hill wird nebenbei mit 6:0 vom Platz geschossen. Trotzdem war es der große Auftritt für die Daisys. Normalerweise verlieren sich bei Spielen der zweiten Division der so genannten North West Counties Football League, die der FC United nach zwölf Spielen anführt, um die 70 Zuschauer.

Phönix aus der Asche

Die Geschichte des FC United of Manchester könnte von Charles Dickens sein. Der Ausbeuter der Working Class heißt hier Malcolm Glazer. Am 12. Mai dieses Jahres übernimmt der US-Investor ManU für 1,2 Milliarden Euro und setzt seine Söhne Bryan, Avi und Joel in den Vorstand. Der Deal läuft großteils über Kredite. Seine Schulden, 800 Millionen Euro, überschreibt Glazer dem Klub. Am Abend versammeln sich hunderte Fans vor Old Trafford, der ehrwürdigen Fußball-Arena im Westen der Stadt. Die Ruhe ist gespenstisch. "Es war, als hätten wir jemanden zu Grabe getragen", sagt Walsh.

Die Wiederauferstehung erfolgt noch am selben Abend. Im "Rush Home", einem Pub in Südmanchester, trifft sich ein Dutzend frustrierter Fans und beschließt, den eigenen Klub zu gründen. Die erste Satzung wird auf Schmierzetteln notiert. Ein basisdemokratischer Verein muss her, die Finanzen transparent, jedes Mitglied mit eigener Stimme, das Team ein Produkt von Volkes Willen. Zehn Tage später versammeln sich 700 Unterstützer zum ersten Meeting, zwei Wochen darauf sind es bereits 2000, die den FC United of Manchester begründen. Anfang Juli hat der Klub schon 100.000 Pfund von 4000 Spendern. Im neuen Fanzine Under The Boardwalk begründen Autoren wie "Lenin" die Wichtigkeit eines anständigen Aufstands und rechtfertigen mit Zeilen des großen Lord Byron den im Fußball notwendigen Hass. Unterdessen bekunden Fußballfans aus der ganzen Welt ihre Solidarität.

Für die Rekrutierung des Teams setzt Walsh eine Anzeige in den lokalen Zeitungen. 900 Spieler aus aller Welt bewerben sich. Nach einem Casting unter der Leitung von Trainer Karl Marginson bleiben von 228 eingeladenen Spielern 18 übrig. Drei sind Halbprofis mit einem Gehalt von 70 Pfund pro Match.

Eine, die den Jungs an der Gigg Lane von der ersten Stunde an zujubelt, ist Maureen Pelham. Als Kleinaktionärin von Manchester United hatte die 57-Jährige einen unbeantworteten Protestbrief gegen Glazers Plan an die britische Wettbewerbsbehörde geschickt. Jetzt verkauft die Lady im beigen Wildledermantel im Stadion von Bury ehrenamtlich Programmhefte zu zwei Pfund. "Das hier ist eine unglaublich positive Veranstaltung", sagt Pelham. "Der FC hat all das wiedergebracht, was wir in den alten Tagen bei United erlebt haben." Sie muss es wissen. 1957, als Neunjährige, war Maureen mit dem Vater zum ersten Mal bei ManU. Seitdem hat sie kein wichtiges Match verpasst. Auch nicht den Meistercup-Triumph 1968 und das legendäre 2:1 gegen Bayern München im Finale der Champions League 1999 in Barcelona. Noch immer hält sie eine Dauerkarte in Old Trafford. Bezahlen muss sie dafür inzwischen 608 Pfund. Trotzdem geht sie immer noch hin, denn "ich liebe das Team und hasse den Klub. Es ist eine Schande. Ein Amerikaner, der unsere Tradition weder kennt noch schätzt, kommt und beutet unseren Verein aus."

Für die Chefetage der Manchester United Aktiengesellschaft ist der Protestklub ein Zwergenaufstand, den Medien künstlich aufgeblasen haben. Die Spiele seien wie gewohnt ausverkauft, die Stimmung im Stadion könne besser nicht sein. "Ein Klub, der an die Börse geht, muss damit leben, dass sein Besitzer wechseln kann. Da gibt es immer wen, der enttäuscht ist", sagt eine Pressesprecherin - und wünscht dem FC United viel Glück für die Zukunft.

Andy Walsh ist vom Siegeszug seines FC United überzeugt. Während seine Spieler im "Swan & Cemetery" zusammen mit den Fans "Children of the Revolution" grölen, fabuliert er vom Aufstieg und einem eigenen Stadion. Nach Bury sollen die Fans nicht mehr fahren müssen. "Wir werden da spielen, wo das Herz von ManU schlägt - ganz in der Nähe von Old Trafford." (DER STANDARD, Printausgabe, Montag, 14. November 2005, Tim Farin, Christian Parth*)

*Tim Farin und Christian Parth bilden das Kernteam des Büros für Stilsicherheit, einer Kölner Journalistenagentur mit Netzwerk in ganz Deutschland.

MEN: FC star's international hopes

Source: Manchester Online
Stuart Brennan

LIFE-LONG United fan Josh Howard left the Reds for non-League spells with Stalybridge, Hyde and Mossley before arriving at FC United.

Now he has another ambition - to become the new club's first international player.

When the Manchester lad was at Mossley, the football association in Guyana discovered his grandfather was from their country - and promptly invited him to play for them in a friendly against Barbados.

Howard was recovering from an operation on a dislocated shoulder and had to decline - but he is due to meet officials from Guyana over the next few months to discuss an international debut.

MEN: Colne 2 FC United 1

Source: Manchester Online

Colne 2 FC United 1
Stuart Brennan

JOSH Howard has had a blast from Fergie's hairdryer - now he knows what it's like to go through Margy's mangle!

The former Manchester United youth team captain made his debut for FC United as they lost 2-1 in the League Challenge Cup to an injury-time goal against first division Colne.

And he found out that FC boss Karl Marginson can be as angry as the man from Govan when he sees his team lose.

"He wasn't happy," said Howard. "Perhaps he was a bit more constructive than Fergie, but he was not impressed with the way we defended."

The 25-year-old midfielder captained the Old Trafford youth team that included John O'Shea, Luke Chadwick and Michael Stewart, but fell foul of Fergie's wrath after he signed up with the United boss's least favourite agent Mel Stein.

Howard was singled out by Marginson as one of the few plus points on a disappointing afternoon for FC United and their amazing support - over 2,700 smashed the stadium record at Conference side Accrington Stanley's Interlink Express Stadium. But he will be missing for two weeks now, banned for a red card he picked up while with Mossley.


Marginson threatened his defenders with a shake-up after a game which ended in grand style with three goals in the last three minutes, followed by a touchline melee in which FC United's Rory Patterson was sent off, despite already having been substituted, for throwing a punch.

Said Marginson: "My assistant Phil Power tried to retrieve the ball when it went out of play, and one of their players tried to kick the ball away. He booted the ball at Phil who pushed him and then three or four of them jumped in.

"It's not something I want to see at football, especially when we have a big crowd like this."

It was nip and tuck, with FC keeper Barrie George pulling off two incredible saves in the first-half.

The goals did not start to come until three minutes from the end when Chris Clarke was allowed time and space to pick his spot and curl a beauty into the far corner of the FC United net.

Torpey replied with 10 seconds of normal time left - he tried to jink his way through the heart of a determined Colne defence and when he was pulled back, picked himself up to smash the free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner.

The delirious FC fans were silenced again 90 seconds into added time as their defence was caught napping by a long ball over the top and on-loan Altrincham player Gary Williams raced clear to crash the winner past George.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tony in a United Stand

Source: This is Scunthorpe

12:30 - 12 November 2005
Scunthorpe United's FA Cup first round tie at Bury last Saturday attracted 2,900 fans - a third of which were Iron followers.

Yet the week before, over 3,000 'home' fans flocked to Gigg Lane to see a match down in division two of the North West Counties League. Among them was a 36-year-old computer technician from Epworth who has been 'smitten' by a new football bug.

Tony Wilkinson used to be a die-hard Manchester United fan, following the mighty reds all over Europe.

But now he's happy to have swapped the Theatre of Dreams for the reality world of minor non-league action.

Instead of heading to top Premiership games at the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, he finds himself getting out the map to search out the home grounds of clubs with delightful, exotic names such as Blackpool Mechanics, Daisy Hill and Castleton Gabriels.

Tony is one of the disillusioned band of Manchester United fans who turned their backs on Old Trafford when the American Glazer family took control.

They have formed their own club FC United who gained entry to the bottom division of the North West Counties League.

"We are nine divisions below the Football League - but we are happy and we are growing in numbers all the time." he insisted.

"It is a club run by the fans. Everyone has a voice - not like it is at Old Trafford now.

"Manchester United has changed. They are not interested in the normal fans now, they just want to cater for people with money.

"A lot of people were unhappy when the Glazers took over - and that's why FC United was formed.

"I had my doubts about it at first, but 4,000 people pledged money to the club when it was formed at a meeting back in July.

"For me, this is something that has been coming for a long time. The Glazers, and the way they came in, was just the final straw.

"I vowed never to go again to watch Manchester United - a club I had been a season-ticket holder at in my student days.

"I left to work abroad in 1994 and when I came back the atmosphere at Old Trafford had changed with the all-seater stadium.

"Football was also being dictated to more and more by Sky Television. No longer were games just on a Saturday afternoon.

"More and more money was pouring into the game and yet it was getting more and more expensive to watch.

"Players are getting huge wages and becoming more remote from the fans.

"I am sure that if most premiership players saw their wages cut in half, they would hardly notice it.

"Football has lost its soul and I was not enjoying it at Old Trafford.

"I wondered how difficult it would be to switch to supporting another team - but it's been easy.

"I feel I have fallen back in love with football.

"FC United is our club, run by the fans. We have adopted rules that we will never have shirt sponsors and we will never talk to agents.

"Our players are all part-timers and mix with the fans.

"Before one game recently a couple of the players joined us in the pub and had a coke with us. You would never see that at Premiership level. You could never imagine Rio Ferdinand or Wayne Rooney doing that could you?

"Gigg Lane is our home now. We have been getting up to 4,000 for some games and they have had to open a third side of the ground for us.

"It causes quite a stir when we play away at teams that are not used to handling a big crowd.

"It worried the police at first but I think now they know that all we want to do is enjoy the football and support our team.

"We have lost only once so far this season. How far can we go - who knows?

"At the moment I am just happy to be enjoying my football again with 'my' team," insisted Tony.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Pendle Today: Reds Have No Fear Ahead Of United Clash

Source: Pendle Today

NIGEL Coates is adamant his side have nothing to fear on Sunday.
The game Colne fans have been waiting for takes place at Accrington Stanley's Interlink Express Stadium (kick-off 2 p.m.).
But the Reds boss is confident his side can derail the FC United bandwagon.
Coates. whose side were without a game last weekend, said: "I'm really looking forward to it.
"It's a little bit different to the norm because I think everyone is anticipating a big crowd.
"It's not often you play in front of 2,000 people plus, but the lads are definitely up for it.
"I've had them watched and watched them myself, both against Nelson and Cheadle, and they will be tough opposition.
"They are full of UniBond players, so it will be difficult, but we certainly have nothing to fear.
"It is a game we know we can win, but then they will no doubt be thinking the same.
"But when all is said and done, it's only the League Cup, it's not like it's a big league game or a Vase match.
"Basically it is just a normal game – although there is obviously a massive amount of spice to it because of the opposition.
"Obviously we've tried to build it up a bit by switching the ground and playing it on a Sunday, but it is just another game for me."
A huge crowd is expected to descend on the Interlink, but it is something the Reds are used to.
Two seasons ago, Colne played in front of 3,215 in their memorable FA Vase fourth round win at AFC Wimbledon.
But Coates thinks it will be different this time around: "The crowd will be completely different to when we were down at AFC Wimbledon.
"When we went down there, I thought they were incredibly hostile and a few nasty comments came our way.
"But that isn't the way with FC United, it's all fun and games to them and they come to games to enjoy themselves.
"It's all very good humoured with them, but whether they change their tune when they are losing is another thing!
"It remains to be seen whether they change or not, but one thing is for sure that Sunday will be a very good atmosphere."
On the squad front, the Reds have drafted in Clitheroe pair Russell Clarke and Owen Roberts, but Adam Kozlowski has left for Rossendale.
Coates added: "Adam has left to rejoin his former manager Derek Egan at Rossendale, who has just taken over from Mark Molyneux.
"But we have brought in Russ Clarke from Clitheroe, and now we've followed that up with Owen Roberts.
"Owen played at Port Vale up until the end of last season when he was released from his professional contract.
"He went to Clitheroe in the summer but hasn't really broken through there.
"He can play at left back or on the left of midfield, which gives us a bit of cover for Paul Forsyth when he is at college during the week.
"He's got a good work ethic and a decent left foot, and not only that, but he is another local lad which makes things easier for us.
"Russ will probably start on Sunday as well, but I'm not too sure about Owen just yet."
On Tuesday night, Colne travel to Leigh RMI in the Lancashire Co-Operatives Trophy (kick-off 7-45 p.m.), and he added: "It's always different against teams from the Conference North and UniBond Premier because games are played at such a fast pace.
"It's all about fitness at that level, and games are so fast and furious it's unreal.
"I think we can hold our own on Tuesday in terms of the football that is played, but their fitness might just be the telling factor.
We are a big, strong side and that might be an advantage for us, but if we switch off at any point we are going to get beat.
"We went to Southport two seasons ago and won, and went to Burscough last season and should have got something from it.
"So if we take that attitude into Tuesday night then we have a fighting chance."
11 November 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Guardian: Sad passing puts the game into perspective

Source: The Guardian

FC United's Tony Howard joins the mourning for one of the men whose tireless work helped establish the club

Wednesday November 9, 2005

It was a sad week for FC United of Manchester as one of the driving forces behind the formation and running of the club passed away. Board member Russell Delaney died following a long illness on Tuesday, the day before the club's North West Counties Division Two fixture with Chadderton was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Russ was a popular figure who was instrumental in Manchester United fans' seeing off Rupert Murdoch in 1999 and the battle against Malcolm Glazer, before working tirelessly behind the scenes to set up the new club.

His belief that fans should be the most important part of any football club is the very essence of what FC United stands for, and without his expertise as a financial advisor and his contacts within the game, the club may never have got off the ground.

Despite his ill health he travelled from his home in the south east to Manchester for months on end. He was invaluable in earning the support of the Football Association and getting the club accepted in the North West Counties League, as well as calling on past experience to negotiate the player's contracts.

He will be sadly missed by everyone who follows both Uniteds. As FC's general manager Andy Walsh said: "The United family and football itself are poorer for his passing."

Wednesday's clash with Chadderton was therefore set to be an emotional occasion - until the Manchester weather intervened. Gigg Lane was soaked and at around 11am the match was postponed; the word spread, but inevitably some supporters still turned up expecting a football match. However, all was not lost, and a complimentary curry was laid on and the management and players were on hand to hold an impromptu meet and greet session.

Then on Saturday, a bumper 2,000-plus crowd saw a drab 0-0 draw against Eccleshall and FC miss a chance to go five points clear at the top. But any disappointment was put into perspective as players wore black armbands in memory of one of the men who helped put them on that pitch in the first place.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Eccleshall 0 FCUM 0

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No pass for this game, so only a couple of snaps... click here

FC United, la start-up du foot

Ropey Altavista Translation Here

Source: L'Humanite

Manchester (Angleterre),

envoyé spécial.

Le football est né en Angleterre. C’est encore outre-Manche qu’il se réinvente. Pour découvrir la dernière évolution de ce sport, il faut se rendre à Manchester. À deux pas de la gare principale de Picadilly, le FC United of Manchester (FCUOM) a pris ses quartiers en plein centre-ville. Ce n’est pas une création anodine dans ce haut lieu du ballon rond britannique. À Manchester trônent déjà les institutions Manchester United, City et Bolton, soit trois des sept actuels leaders de la Premier League. Malgré ses dix divisions d’écart, le FCUOM est pourtant quasi aussi connu que ses trois aînés. Car il est le fruit du rejet de tout ce qu’est devenu le football moderne.

créer un club

fait pour durer

L’acte fondateur du club est sans détour : « Le FC United of Manchester est un nouveau club de foot fondé par d’anciens supporters de Manchester United en rupture. Notre but est de créer un club fait pour durer, appartenant et étant dirigé - démocratiquement par tous ses membres, accessible aux - habitants de Manchester et dans lequel tout le monde peut participer. » Cet acte de naissance, signé le 5 juillet dernier, fleure la révolte. Celle d’un bon paquet de supporters de Manchester United qui ne se retrouvaient plus dans leur équipe favorite depuis son rachat par le milliardaire américain Malcolm Glazer en fin de saison dernière. Le propriétaire des Tampa Bay Buccanners (foot américain) n’a pas caché ses intentions de rendre encore plus profitable le club le plus riche du monde. Quitte à changer ses supporters en vaches à lait.

D’où l’idée de créer une nouvelle structure venue chez des fans des Red Devils en rupture de ban avec la première division professionnelle où certains supporters ne trouvent plus leur place. Mark est de ceux-là : « Derrière la création du FC United, ce n’est pas seulement Glazer qui est visé, mais la façon dont le foot est dirigé. Nous croyons à un foot fait par les fans pour les fans. » Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait. Ces autres Diables rouges ont vu le jour en début de saison. Pas question dcette couleur à l’ennemi Manchester United. Pour monter une équipe, il a fallu puiser dans la principale richesse du club : ses supporters. Après un casting et l’arrivée d’autres recrues, le FCUOM s’est lancé à la conquête de la ligue locale, soit l’équivalent de la dixième division amateurs.

comme un symbole de la renaissance

Comme une vraie start-up, le siège de la formation est implanté dans une partie d’un ancien entrepôt remis au goût du jour high-tech. Depuis, le FCUOM voisine avec d’autres entreprises naissantes. Le 37 Ducie Street est planté au milieu des terrains vagues et des chantiers de construction, comme un symbole de la renaissance de la vieille ville ouvrière terrassée par la crise industrielle des années soixante-dix. Les United s’y sont installés...

Depuis le début de la saison, tout roule. L’équipe est solidement accrochée à la première place de la ligue. Elle défraie régulièrement la chronique en jouant devant trois ou quatre mille fans. Comme dans une start-up, la communication entre l’équipe et ses supporters-propriétaires-bienfaiteurs s’effectue sur Internet et par courriels. Comme dans une start-up, le business n’est pas oublié. Puisque le club est appelé à se développer, il faut générer des ressources. On peut donc déjà acheter en ligne le maillot de l’équipe, son bonnet ou son badge. Mais attention, « 100 % des profits générés vont directement et uniquement au club », rappellent ses dirigeants. Manière de préciser que, contrairement à Malcolm Glazer à Manchester United, les dirigeants du FC United ne se paient pas sur la bête...

Nul ne sait jusqu’où ira cette aventure. Il existe certes un précédent : l’AFC Wimbledon, en banlieue de Londres, qui vit toujours. Mais jusqu’à présent le contrat du FC United est rempli. Les supporters ont retrouvé une famille.

Stéphane Guérard

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Whether we're 'splitters' or 'scabs' we are all United

Thursday November 3, 2005
Source: The Guardian

Tony Howard, one of the founders of FC United, explains why the current malaise at Old Trafford brings him no joy whatsoever.

The lack of an FC United match this weekend left time for contemplation and the chance to watch Sir Alex Ferguson and his squad slumping to defeat at the Riverside and in Paris against Lille. The results highlighted several issues for followers of the 'other' United: were FC fans pleased to see Malcolm Glazer's new toy struggling, or did it still hurt to see MUFC humiliated?

In recent months I've been regularly asked: "How do you feel about Manchester United now? Do you want them to lose? Do you still watch their games? Will you go back to Old Trafford if Glazer leaves?"

None have black and white, right or wrong answers, but I took no joy from United's humiliation. People can't get their head around it and accuse us of committing the ultimate sin by 'changing' teams. If anyone asks my colours I still answer 'Manchester United' because FC to me is another branch of the red tree.

Reds have reacted in various ways. At one end of the scale, Old Trafford 'loyalists' find FC a treasonable act - they brand the rebels 'splitters'. On the other hand, some gave up season tickets out of principal and label the 'wait and see brigade' as 'scabs' for financially supporting Glazer's regime.

The majority sit somewhere between. Many do both; they enjoy FC games that don't clash with 'big United' while still continuing their patronage of Old Trafford. Some may not have set foot inside the ground since Glazer's takeover and now follow FC, but will still watch Fergie's men on television too.

Whereas the fantastic AFC Wimbledon supporters had little choice but form their own club when it was physically taken from them, Manchester United fans have actually made the choice to 'physically' walk away and start again.

One thing is certain - whether we're 'splitters' or 'scabs' we are all United and most fans have remained friends whatever their personal stance. FC is as much part of the Manchester United family as Fergie's team, because the supporters make a football club, not bricks and mortar.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Outside the Green Door #3

Twomowers…It’s so plausible I can’t believe it!
Outside the Green Door

This is our town that wants to be a city

Did yers all see them ‘contemporary’ and ‘innovative’ “this is our city” ads pasted up all over the place? The marketing genius behind it is a London based blue season-ticket holder from Timperley called Julian who reckons it’s a poster that’ll make you smile whether red or blue. Now I know that Julian will say that any mention of the ads means they’re a success because they’re provoking debate so here I’m giving the blue ponce what he wants. But I’ve got to admit I smiled at the smart rotating one on the A6 in Stockport centre and smiled again when the one near Grey Mare Lane market got sorted but me biggest smile was for the one next to the Star and Garter on Fairfield st. near where prossers hang out. On close inspection it had a used joey bag stuck to its bottom right hand corner.

A bridge too near
These local away matches are right up my street, no not literally but metaphorically, but some of them are literally round the corner. However, Trevor, watch out if you’re going to these small towns giving it the big I am. You could, as our Kid (aka Jellmo out of unsigned layabout band Hedz Jellmo) found, be shitting on your own doorstep. When FC United forced Cheadle to play at Ashton (sic.), he was rubbing his hands together at the thought of a cheapo awayday out on the razzle-dazzle. He hit the chemic at 11 in the morn and by 5 in the afto is out of the game. Me mam who had just been to Cassons on the indoor market to return a pair of badly fitting slippers spots him on a bench with his head in his chips ‘n’ gravy and had to sort him a lift home – he’d have got the slipper but she’d opted for a refund rather than an exchange. Stalybridge native and UWS king of music Conrad Murray had a similar probleemo when FC had a pre-season friendly in his home town. Swaggering about Vegas like he owned the place with a can of Scandia Super in one hand and a king size Peter Stuyvesant in the other he was booting over bins with his cherry red docs in Staly bus station when his mam got off a 236 and promptly marched him home to bed. Luckily she let my bessy mate Connie out the following Wednesday to do his GMR show with bessy mate Tex Christian.

The Great FC’UM Bank-Roll Swindle
Anyways I’ve had enough of these FC United fookers. What a corrupt bunch of bazturds they turned out to be. Punk football? Well I wouldn’t be shocked if someone told me Malcolm McLaren was behind it all – a personal cash cow for a few mavericks behind an anti-establishment façade if ever I saw one. Grass roots? Fookin flash suits more like. The cracks started appearing when United’s marketing director Peter Draper exposed that the only difference between FCUM and MUFC was ‘scale’. It worried me a bit; the bloke obviously knows his marketing onions and then I start to read about the arrogant bully boy tactics, the team running out to Patti Smith’s Free Money and the truth behind FC – that it is based on a hybrid Stalinist/Abramovich model. And I start to worry more. Then a mate tells me he’s in this pub where the board are having an informal meeting and they keep going to the bogs together and reappearing with traces of sherbet dib-dab down their shirts. Spotted in Tesco Droylsden – a board member buying salmon with members’ bugs. To top that Eccleshall’s secretary finds a horse’s head in his bed forcing his titchy club to move their fixture with FCUM to Stafford. I wasn’t happy with this but needed to investigate further. After the game at Stafford the UWS editor smuggled me into the players lounge and it was like Booze Britain and Caligula all rolled into one. Players were buying drinks with cash from a shoebox clearly marked “MEMBER’S PLEDGES”. Champagne corks were popping after a 0-0 draw and Margy was strutting around in what looked to me like a ¾ length minx fur coat, like the one Tony Wilson used to wear in the Stretford End. There was more jewellery on display than a Beswick Hen party. And that’s not the end of it. For team bus read 14-seater stretch limo, 4 of, to cart around the squad and its massive entourage that makes J- Lo’s look like Syd Little’s. Don’t be surprised if you see these Derek Nimmos parked outside your local prosser parlour. To top the lot, the next day, I swear I spotted FCUM supremo – moneybags Andy Walsh speeding down Ashton Old Rd. in a brand spanking Fiat Punto looking like the cat that got the cream and almost running over a single mother and her pram on the pelican crossing outside kwik save. Yes FCUM, take a good look into the MUFC mirror and you’ll see yourselves, albeit smaller, like a wobbly dwarf, a bit like them mirrors on Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
twomowers {a}