Source: Insider Media
FC United of Manchester, the club founded five years ago by Manchester United fans, are today launching a £1.5m community share issue to raise funds for a new £3.5m stadium in Newton Heath.
The 5,000-capacity stadium will be the first permanent home for the club, which currently play home games at Gigg Lane, home to Bury FC. The share issue comes days after a planning application for the Newton Heath stadium was submitted to Manchester City Council. A decision is due in November.
The club hope the share issue will raise £1.5m of the total cost of the stadium, with an equal amount coming from grant funding. They will also raise £500,000 through donations, with £300,000 of that already raised.
The stadium will fall under the club’s "asset lock", a legal agreement that prevents the club’s assets being separated from the club and sold off, and ensures continued community use.
FC United are believed to be the first football club to issue community shares, a means by which community enterprises can raise capital funds. The club operate under a one member one vote system, which will remain unaffected by the share issue.
Andy Walsh, FC United general manager, said: “At a time when many clubs are in debt or in the hands of major investors, we aim to demonstrate that there is a real alternative. We want to change the way football is run and financed by putting supporters at the heart of the game.”