FIFA president Sepp Blatter has given his backing to rebel club FC United - and slammed English football for being too commercial.
FC eased 18 points clear at the top of the Moore and Co Solicitors League second division with a 1-1 draw away to Great Harwood last night, leaving them needing a maximum of 20 points from their last ten games to clinch promotion and the title.
And they were buoyed by the comments of Blatter, one of the most powerful men in world football, who was interviewed in the club's programme at the weekend.
He said: "For any dedicated fan to join a new club and help form a new team is certainly laudable because it stands for what association football, what club football, is all about - dedication to belong to a group of like-minded people who share a goal. Therefore I see no reason not to applaud such an initiative in principle."
Around 1,100 FC United fans braved rain, sleet and snow in Accrington to watch their side drop their first points in 2006 in a game marred by appalling refereeing and some vigorous Great Harwood tackling.
FC moved ahead after 12 minutes with a Rory Patterson penalty.
But Great Harwood equalised 13 minutes from the end through Stuart Cliff.