Wednesday, June 07, 2006

6,000 crowd as Sheff get 'real'

Source: Sheffield today

SHEFFIELD FC are to play the controversial club that describes itself as the real Manchester United - and the clash could attract a bumper 6,000 crowd.

The oldest football club in the world has arranged to play FC United, the Red Devils' breakaway team, at Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, on July 29.

FC United were formed by disillusioned United fans last summer after the acrimonious takeover of the club by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer.

Many of the club's fans believe that the takeover signalled the end of fan power and tradition in the English game. They decided to effectively go on strike out and start a new club at grassroots level.

They played in the North West Counties League and next year will play in Division One after achieving promotion in their first season.

They'll be bringing a familiar face with them as well in the shape of former Blades defender Robert Nugent.

Sheffield say they hope a crowd of up to 6,000, with a large following from Manchester expected.

That attendance would be larger than the average home attendances of both Rotherham and Chesterfield.

To kick off the pre-season games, Sheffield will take part in a unique "home nations" tournament on July 22 and 23 at their Bright Finance stadium.

The club will play Newi Cefn Druids and Cliftonville, the oldest clubs from Wales and Northern Ireland, plus a select side from the Isle of Man.

Sheffield will also face Hartlepool United on August 2, while Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday have agreed to send sides to the Bright Finance Stadium on July 31 and August 1 respectively.

07 June 2006