Jamie Carpenter, 27 September 2010
A semi-professional football club formed five years ago by Manchester United fans in protest at the club's takeover by a US tycoon has announced plans to raise £1.5 million of funds towards a new stadium through selling shares to supporters, investors and companies.
FC United of Manchester, which currently plays at Bury FC's football ground and is in the seventh tier of English football, has submitted a full planning application to build a 5,000-seat stadium on Ten Acres Lane at Newton Heath. The club said that the planned new stadium would be a "community sports hub", offering a range of sports and physical activities to local people.
FC United hopes that the share issue will raise £1.5 million of the total £3.5 million cost of the stadium, with the rest coming from grants and donations.
FC United said that it is the first football club to issue community shares, a means by which community enterprises can raise capital funding. Supporters, investors and companies can buy shares worth between £200 and £20,000, according to the club.
The scheme is one of ten projects in England that is receiving support through the government-backed Community Share Scheme, which aims to stimulate investment through community share issues.