Thursday, April 01, 2010

Shops fear loss in trade as FC United plan move

Source: Bury Times

10:10am Thursday 1st April 2010

A POPULAR football club is set to “up goalposts” and leave Bury.

Nearby traders say they will be hit hard following an announcement that semi-professional side, FC United of Manchester, plan to build a stadium of their own in Newton Heath in the next two or three years.

Since the club formed in July 2005, it has played most home games at Gigg Lane, regularly attracting more than 2,000 supporters.

Neighbouring businesses have since experienced a hike in trade and some are already concerned about what will happen when FC United go.

“Things are already bad enough in this economic climate as it is and this something else for us to contend with,” said Jenny Osbourne, barmaid at the Swan and Cemetery pub in Manchester Road.

She added: “When FC first started up, we were packed out every home game and we still get quite a few in.

“At least we have a few more years to enjoy.”

Albert Pugh, licensee of the Staff of Life pub in Manchester Road, said: “They are an absolutely wonderful set of fans and we enjoy having them here every week.

“I have never had one ounce of trouble from their fans and I have made some very good friends. It will have a massive effect on our trade when they go. It will hit our takings hard.”

Bosses of neighbouring takeaways said they also expected their trade to drop off.

A spokesman for Ziady's burger bar in Parkhills Road said they were particular busy for evening games when supporters grab a pizza or a burger after work and before the match.

Margaret Freeman, licensee at the Waterloo pub in Manchester Road, added: “At the moment it is good because you have Bury playing one Saturday and FC United playing another. Any fall in custom is bad.”