Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A little more balance please on your FC United coverage

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. (no online content)

ONCE again the M.E.N. has seen fit to give more coverage to one non-league football club than all the other non-league clubs in the region. That club is FC United of Manchester, a club in the North West Counties League Division One, the fifth tier of the non-league pyramid – effectively Division Nine in the national league structure.

Traditionally the M.E.N. aligns the volume of coverage it gives with a club’s league status, yet on August 11, about 41 column centimetres were devoted to FC United, yet Altrincham, Northwich, Droylsden, Stalybridge, Hyde and Leigh – all teams playing in higher leagues shared 26 colum centimetres between them.

FC also received more coverage than Stockport, Oldham, Bury and Macclesfield, who all play in the Football League.

No doubt the M.E.N. will claim that the FC story is of interest to more people on the basis of their having borrowed Manchester United’s history to form their club, but this is a kick in the teeth to the fans who have supported the other clubs I have mentioned for many years, many of whom who buy the paper for news of their club only to find nightly bulletins from FC instead, including transfer news and pre-season game coverage that other clubs do not receive.

These are clubs which have fought and struggled to maintain their level, if not their very survival, not just cruised through an amateur league with a semi-professional team.

Until FC United have earned their place in the football pyramid I’d like to suggest the newspaper gives them the same level of coverage given to other NWCL teams – merely their match scores on the results page.

Unemployed coalminer, Hale