Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rebels plan home fit for their heroes

Source: Manchester Evening News

Sam Williams

January 16, 2010
FC United have submitted proposals for their own 4,000-capacity stadium to Manchester council.

Although a final location for the project is yet to be confirmed, the club say they are hoping to complete the planning process before the end of the season.

"We've been working on the business plan for a few months and had meetings with the council before Christmas to talk about our draft proposals," said general manager Andy Walsh.

"The final draft has now been sent in, and we hope to make an announcement about when work will begin in the next few months." Walsh estimates that the stadium will cost around £3-4m to build, and says that funding for the project will come from several sources.

"We'll be using our own resources as well as some grant funding to help us.

"Obviously, it's not the best time financially to be asking for funding, but we're in discussions at the moment."

FC are also keen to ensure that the stadium will be available for other uses as well being as their home ground.

"This is not just for FC United and it's important that the ground is used as a community facility," said Walsh.

"We will consult with local residents, as well as all of our club members, about things such as the name of the ground because we want their input." The Rebels currently play their home fixtures at Bury's Gigg Lane, and have also used Stainton Park in Radcliffe and Altrincham's Moss Lane ground since their formation in 2005.

However, it now appears that they will have their own place to call home in the near future - news that will be warmly received by fans as the club aim to continue climbing the non-league ladder towards the Football League.

The club's determination to own their own ground has received the backing of Sir Richard Leese, leader of the city council, and Walsh believes his support could be crucial.

"He says he wants FC United to stay within the city boundaries, which is good, so now it's down to us," said an optimistic Walsh.

"There's still work to be done before the final plan goes before the councillors, but we're as confident as we can be about it at this stage."