Thursday, May 08, 2008

Club defends FC United deal

Source: Sale and Altrincham Messenger

By Connor Murphy

ALTRINCHAM vice chairman Grahame Rowley claims the controversial deal that could see FC United play cup games at Moss Lane next season will only be good for the club.

The Robins have struck a deal with the breakaway Manchester United fans' club in which the Reds will play all home FA Cup and FA Trophy games at the ground during the 2008/09 campaign.

Both teams will also meet in a preseason friendly at Moss Lane on Tuesday July 22 and the two announcements have caused unrest among the club's support.

Much of the anger stems from an incident which occured at a preseason friendly between the two clubs at Moss Lane in 2006, when young Altrincham fans were attacked by a handful of FC United supporters.

There is also a worry the deal could lead to a permamnent groundshare agreement between the two clubs, but Rowley has moved quickly to allay fans' fears.

He said: "The decision was made on a purely financial basis.

"The club are looking at all areas to be able to increase our budget and this was one of them. We want to be able to compete at the highest level possible and that means generating more revenue.

"It's financially sound for the club but I can assure people that it's not leading towards a permanent groundshare.

"We have hired our ground out plenty of times since the end of the season and it's not been a problem so why should it be now.

"It may not even happen because they might be drawn away in the cup so we'll have to wait and see."

2:55pm Thursday 8th May 2008