Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rebel Reds announce £40,000 loss

By Liam Chronnell

NON-LEAGUE giants FC United lost £40,000 in the last financial year.

The UniBond League Division One North outfit announced the deficit at Sunday's annual meeting.

Falling attendances, the cost of ground-sharing with Bury, and the introduction of reserve and youth teams, as well as a club development officer, all contributed to a fall in income, though Reds officials remain upbeat.

FC general manager Andy Walsh said: "In our first year we had a surplus and decided we would employ a club development officer as we needed to show community funders that we were serious. We also wanted to set up reserve and youth teams and all those things cost us £75,000 which, with grant funding, came down to about £60,000.

"A significant part of our outgoings are matchday operating costs which are far in excess of those faced by other clubs at our level because we play at such a large ground and need to employ 40 staff. But we still expect to hit something like break even for the current year."

The financial loss has reinforced the desire of the breakaway club to surge ahead with plans for their own ground.

The Gigg Lane tenants, who are looking to move to a 5,000-capacity stadium in five years, were given a major boost this week after a meeting with Manchester City Council.

The Rebels were praised for their "vision" by leader of the council, Sir Richard Leese, who said the council would aid the club in their search for a suitable site for a new ground.

Back on the pitch, Karl Marginson's team as they continued their impressive form when they secured a fourth successive victory against Ossett Albion.

The Reds received an early fright when Shane Kelsey put the visitors in front after just 35 seconds. But goals either side of half-time from Rory Patterson, including the prolific hitman's 15th goal of the season, put United in control - and Peter Thomson completed the 3-1 win.

United, who took on Bamber Bridge in last night's President's Cup, travel to Bridlington on Saturday.

1 November 2007
5:34am today