Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Norton at the double for FC United

 Source: MEN

 Tony Glennon

 March 28, 2011

Goal ace Mike Norton proved his value to FC United once again as his double strike sank Evo-Stik Premier promotion rivals North Ferriby.

The former Curzon Ashton star took his season’s tally to 27 with a pair of typically smart finishes to earn Karl Marginson’s men a home 2-0 victory which stretches their unbeaten run to 13 matches and leaves them fifth in the table.

The visitors came closest to taking the lead when Wayne Brooksby fired against the crossbar before Norton rewarded FC’s sustained pressure by heading in from a Carlos Roca corner on 66 minutes.

The United captain then sealed the points, slotting in from close range after Ferriby keeper Steve Wilson had blocked a Jerome Wright shot.

Meanwhile, relegation-threatened Ashton United warmed up for their Manchester Premier Cup final with holders Droylsden at Hyde’s Ewen Fields ground tonight (7.30pm) with a 23rd-minute Liam Dawson strike giving them a welcome 1-0 home win over Retford.

But Andy Preece’s Northwich can surely kiss goodbye to thoughts of promotion after tumbling 1-0 to ailing visitors Ossett Town.

Chorley maintained their slim hopes of pipping long-time leaders Chester to the Evo-Stik North title with Steve Foster, Dale Whitham and Matt Jansen on target as they sank Cammell Laird 3-0.

Curzon Ashton remain on course for their fourth successive appearance in the play-offs despite being held 2-2 by Bamber Bridge at the Tameside Stadium.

Salford City pushed neighbours Leigh Genesis ever closer to relegation by beating them 2-0, while Radcliffe dented Warrington’s play-off hopes with a 2-1 win.

Woodley drew 2-2 at Prescot Cables, but Trafford, Mossley and Witton all lost.

:: Altrincham boss Ken McKenna saluted veteran keeper Stuart Coburn after his heroics inspired the Moss Lane relegation battlers to a hugely impressive and much needed win at FA Trophy finalists Darlington.

Robins stalwart Coburn pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the Wembley-bound Quakers at bay as Alty grimly withstood all that Darlington could throw at them.

With the game seemingly heading for stalemate, Altrincham snatched their third successive Blue Square Bet Premier victory when Damian Reeves headed in to break the deadlock three minutes from time.

Said McKenna: “Stuart did absolutely brilliantly, making good saves at crucial times for us.

“But credit to all the boys for sticking to our game plan to soak up pressure and then hit Darlington on the break.

“We would have been happy with a draw, so to come home with a win is a bonus.

“We still need a decent points return from our seven remaining games, but beating a team such as Darlington on their own patch following back-to-back home victories over Forest Green and Tamworth can only breed confidence.”

Coburn offered a taste of what was to come with a smart stop from Marc Bridge-Wilkinson in the opening minutes.

Among those he later denied was former Alty favourite Chris Senior.

Altrincham’s livewire midfielder Steve Connors twice went close as McKenna’s men sensed an upset.

And, after Reeves had also posted a warning to Darlo by sidefooting narrowly wide, he then made no mistake by nodding in a Nicky Clee cross.

There was still time for Darlington to miss another chance, sub John Campbell lobbing over, but the Robins held on for a win which means they’re sure to climb out of the drop zone for the first time since August providing they avoid defeat to visiting Southport in tomorrow night’s relegation scrap.

Meanwhile, patched-up Hyde were given a big pat on the back by manager Neil Tolson after hauling themselves out of the Blue Square Bet North relegation zone with a plucky goalless draw at second-placed Alfreton.

The injury-hit Tigers defended doggedly and would have pinched an unlikely victory had Kevin Holsgrove not shot wide with only keeper Chris MacKenzie to beat four minutes into stoppage time.

Tolson said: “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the lads. We’ve only got a squad of 17 and had four out.

“A draw at Alfreton at any time would be good, but, under the circumstances, this was a terrific point for us against the best team in the league.”

Stalybridge Celtic were unable to stop leaders AFC Telford cashing in on Alfreton’s failure to beat Hyde as they had their unbeaten eight-game run halted by the Shropshire title hopefuls – a result which takes the Bucks three points clear at the summit.

But Bridge’s 21-goal top scorer Phil Marsh forced Telford’s Ryan Young into a stunning save before Andy Brown headed what proved to be the only goal of an uninspiring contest a minute before the interval.

Stalybridge poured forward in the closing stages but were unable to carve out a clear chance to equalise as the home side stood firm for a vital triumph.

Vodkat League champions-elect New Mills marched 11 points clear at the top with Chris Hirst and Carlos Meakin scoring in their 2-0 home win over Formby.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

From Wales Online

 Edited from: Wales Online

 Owen Smith: Regionalisation of rugby sold on a false prospectus

But more radically, I suggest the WRU should consider alternative models for the ownership, management and funding of more genuinely regional professional outfits. Mutual ownership is a tried and tested concept in sport: Barcelona Football Club or the Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers, are the two most celebrated examples of the mutual model: owned and controlled by their fans, with clear democratic and financial accountability to their supporting community. Closer to home we have the example of FC United of Manchester, the football club set up by Manchester United fans, alienated by the takeover of their club by the US businessman, Malcolm Glazer. Owned and run by its 2000 members, FC United has made it to the 2nd round of the FA Cup, won promotion three seasons in a row, and boasts the highest ever crowd attendance in non-league football. More broadly, the co-operative movement in Britain provides us both the blueprint and the tradition on which to build such formats for our own institutions – and evidence that if you build it – and it’s real – we will come.

Friday, March 25, 2011

KD crowned champs of People United Day

 Source: The Muslim News

 By Elham Asaad Buaras

 Picture: (Left) Irfan Kawri, KD Grammar students who won the tournament, (centre) Efetobore Sodje handing the trophy to Junaid Farooq and (right) Mohammed Asraf Sattar, acting headteacher.

Kassim Darwish (KD) Grammar School was crowned champions of People United Day. The football tournament was organised by FC United of Manchester at Bury College.

Manchester based KD won every match against other schools from Greater Manchester on February 19.

On March 9 the Nigerian International Efetobore Sodje visited KD school to present the students with their trophy.

He spoke about his career, his experience of playing in a 200 World Cup and his foundation. Two Year 8 students Danyal Kamran and Baasil Alam interviewed Sodje which is part of their report writing project in English.

Head of PE, Irfan Kawri, who invited Sodje to the school, said, “It is a great experience for our students to meet such a positive role model like Sodje he is an inspiration for our boys.”

Sodje said, “It’s a pleasure to come to such a warm, kind and caring environment, the staff, students and especially the Headteacher Mr Sattar are a credit to the school and I wish the students all the best for the future.”

In a statement to The Muslim News FC United’s Community and Education Manager, Robin Pye, said, “The purpose of People United Day is to get people from all the communities of Greater Manchester to stand together against racism.

“We believe it is our duty as a football club to provide an opportunity for that to happen. FC United are delighted to announce that this year’s People United Day is supported by KD Grammar School.”

FC United have been sending one of their coaches Steve Moth to work with the students who are taking part in the tournament.

Moth said, “The boys’ attitude and commitment has been outstanding. I have seen a clear improvement in their ability over the last few weeks. They are a credit to the school. The staff at KD Grammar have been very kind and made me feel very welcome. I have felt a real warm, friendly and caring environment at the school.”

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Buxton 2 FC United 2

 Source: Bury Times

 9:50am Thursday 24th March 2011

 By Bury Times Sports Reporter

 CAPTAIN Mike Norton grabbed an injury-time equaliser to earn FC United a priceless point at promotion rivals Buxton.

The Rebels striker’s last-gasp leveller kept the Gigg Lane tenants within two points off the Evo-Stik Premier League play-off places. Kieran Lugsden gave Buxton a third-minute lead, and put the fourth-placed hosts further in front nine minutes into the second half after robbing goalkeeper Sam Ashton of possession.

Norton pulled one back on 65 minutes before firing home deep into injury time to extend Karl Marginson’s side’s unbeaten run to 11 games. FC, who travelled to struggling Whitby last night (Wednesday), take on third-placed North Ferriby United at Gigg Lane in another crucial fixture.

Is FC United a step forward for community work?

 Source: MEN

 One day in May 2005, a disgruntled group of 12 Manchester United fans shared a curry. As they ate naan bread and poppadoms, they talked about plans to set up a breakaway club in protest at the sale of United to the Glazer family. It would be run as a co-operative and staffed by volunteers.

The idea for FC United had been around for years but this curry house chat directly led to the club being formed. This season, nearly six years on, the team reached the second round of the FA Cup.

The beginnings of the club feature in a new book examining how people across the country are coming together to achieve things, and get a sense of community.

Author Henry Hemming believes there has been a revival of small groups in Britain, be they book clubs, bee-keeping societies or fan-owned football clubs. He says instead of experiencing community in the traditional ways, in neighbourhoods or institutions like the church, we are finding it in groups with people bound together by a common interest or concern.

“I set out to write a book about broken Britain,” says Henry, who is a London-based journalist and broadcaster. “A lot of evidence in recent years has suggested that we are less well connected to the world around us and that institutions that previously brought people together, like the church, have lost influence.

“There is this idea that people lead lonely lives in which they don’t get involved with other people. I found, in fact, the opposite is true. People are getting together but just in different ways.

“They don’t meet in the street or in the church, they meet because of common interests. It’s possible to know very few of your neighbours but to experience a sense of community through the groups you are involved in.”

The emergence of FC United demonstrates his point perfectly, he claims. “It’s a remarkable example of what people can do when they work together and form their own group.

“If you wanted to set up a football club today most people would assume you would need lots of cash. Instead FC United was set up and run by volunteers. It grew out of people investing their time and energy into it.”

Henry himself plays five-a-side football (“badly”), attends a reading group and a creative writing class. “This idea that people sit at home and watch TV on their own just doesn’t add up.

“If you speak to the national federations of sports or the governing bodies of organisations you can see that more and more people are taking part in
activities and joining groups.

“There are at least 900,000 civil societies according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. Yet we rarely hear about the people that are part of these groups.”

In his book, Together, Henry looks at a variety of groups including ramblers, rotary clubs, allotments associations and literary societies. He attributes greater mobility as one reason why people are getting together more, but states that the rise of the internet has been the key driver of the growth in small groups.

“It makes it easier to find people who share your interests. It has played a big part because groups can form
online, meet up and then promote themselves and attract more members on the internet.”

So, who are these people who have the time on their hands to dedicate hours to small groups? “People in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are more likely to join up. People are living longer and enjoying longer and more active
retirements. That has played a big part in this trend.”

Henry spent three years researching Together. His findings appear to make pleasing reading for the government, who are hoping to inspire us all to take more of a role in our communities through the Big Society. But the controversial idea to get groups to provide services is not something Henry believes can work.

“I think there is a subtle difference between what is happening in terms of small voluntary groups in Britain today and the government’s idea of a Big Society.

“I don’t think small amateur groups could take over a service. It’s not practical to imagine, for example, a reading group running a library because of the hours involved and the level of professionalism needed.” But, surely, in the case of FC United, a group of fans owning their own club and running it according to their principles, is exactly what the Big Society is all about?

“The club began as an independent project. It was created in reaction to something, as a protest, and that was the attraction and what drew people together.

“That is very different to running something for the government.”

So if this growth in small groups won’t help the Big Society, is it a good thing? Henry certainly thinks so.

“We become healthier and happier when we come together as a group,” he says. “We can achieve more together than we can on our own, it gives us a sense of belonging, and offers us a break from our busy lives.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FC United expected to draw big crowd to Whitby

 Source: Gazette and Herald

 2:32pm Wednesday 23rd March 2011

 Whitby Town can expect a bumper crowd when Evo-Stik Premier play-off chasers FC United visit Upgang Lane tonight (Wednesday).

The visitors, formed in protest to the Glazer family’s involvement at Manchester United, travel in numbers with Saturday’s away match at Buxton attracting an attendance of 1,726. Town should go into the match in confident mood, though, having taken four points from their last two fixtures.

The Seasiders held promotion hopefuls Chasetown to take a point from a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Ben Jevons gave the hosts a ninth-minute lead, following good work by Gary Birch, but Whitby earned a share of the spoils thanks to a Kevin Burgess goal midway through the second half.

That result came on the back of a 2-1 win at relegation rivals Hucknall Town in which Tony Leeson and Jimmy Beadle were the marksmen.

Whitby will travel to another play-off contender on Saturday when they take on Matlock Town in a 1pm kick off to avoid clashing with England’s European Championship qualifier in Wales.

Andy Mitten: Pressing need to find FC United a new home

 Source: MEN

 Andy Mitten

 March 22, 2011

 FC United volunteers move around Bury’s Gigg Lane like bees – programme sellers, stewards, receptionists and turnstile operators.

They’re industrious, enthusiastic and share a common aim of working towards a place the breakaway club can call home.

Gigg Lane has served a purpose for FC, but it’s too big for a club playing in the seventh level of English football. Average league gates are holding up at just under the 2,000 mark, but no matter how many of its 11,000 blue seats are dressed up with red, white and black tricolours, Gigg Lane remains an uneasy fit for a team who play in red and whose fans prefer the option of terracing.

Bury is also too far from Manchester and the rent which FC pay is a heavy drain on the finances of a non-league club, whose total wage bill for their playing staff is £1,600 a week.

There would be pressure to increase that figure on the club’s already tight finances if FC continue their current surge and get promoted to the Conference North. They were in the relegation places in January but have since risen to seventh.

Promotion might be the priority for the team who reached this season’s FA Cup second round, but the bigger aim at the club is building a ground.

Fans have been raising funds for a new home for a couple of years, with nearly £1.5m pledged towards a new 5,000-capacity ground on Ten Acres Lane in Newton Heath and over £350,000 raised by a cash donations.

Ten Acres may have been a stone’s throw from the City of Manchester stadium and the grand plans which the Blues have to develop the area, but it’s also where Manchester United started life in 1878. FC fans were stunned two weeks ago when they learned that their plans for the proposed ground at Ten Acres Lane would not go ahead.

The news came after FC’s partners at Manchester City Council announced a review of the project. Hamstrung by spending cuts which have affected many areas, the city council want to explore other sites for FC’s new home.

“We had a lot of questions and concerns,” said FC’s general manager Andy Walsh. “We asked the council a direct question – is this because of City and will City be handed Ten Acres Lane?

“The straight answer was ‘no’. There has been a renewed energy and urgency about our discussions. The council have given us a commitment that the review will be completed by the end of March.”

Walsh also understands the reasons for the cuts which led the to council’s decision.

“We have to be mindful that nurseries are having their provisions cut in Manchester and people are losing their jobs,” he said.

“We’re a football club and, important as people think we are, people’s livelihood’s are at stake elsewhere.”

The city council have other sites in mind for the new ground, but losing Ten Acres still shocked the FC community and 330 concerned fans turned up for a meeting at short notice.

“There were a lot of difficult questions,” added Walsh, “but at the end of the meeting the mood was one of resolution that we will overcome this.”

Decisions still need to be made with regards to financing, grants and community shares, but one site in North Manchester is the favourite location, with FC fans trusting Walsh that the club will get it right.

“We believe that if everything comes to pass, we’ll have a better site,” said Walsh. “Personally, I feel very excited about it. We’ve got to focus on getting into our own ground by August 2012.”

Five hundred expected at Whitby for FC United clash

 Source: Whitby Gazette

 WHITBY Town welcome FC United of Manchester and an estimated 400-500 travelling supporters to the Turnbull Ground on Wednesday (23 Mar) night.

The Seasiders will be hoping to follow up Saturday’s draw at Chasetown with points against another play-off chasing side.

Tommy Cassidy’s men will also have revenge in mind after a 4-0 defeat to the Red Rebels at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane last month.

The Blues’ manager told the Whitby Gazette: “I don’t think I’m being overly optimistic when I say we can win that game.”

Skipper Tony Hackworth, who returned for the 2-1 win against Hucknall last week, was stretchered off in the first game at United and Cassidy paid tribute to his captain’s display on Saturday.

“The two lads up front did brilliantly. Hacky made a difference and Jimmy [Beadle] worked his socks off.”

However, it was defender Kev Burgess who found the net with an acrobatic bicycle kick.

Cassidy joked: “I think he tried to clear it.

“But no, Kevin had a good game all round, he probably got man of the match.”

The Blues will again be without striker Andy Campbell, but the ex-Middlesbrough marksman may be back for this weekend’s trip to Matlock Town, after picking up a groin strain, two weeks ago.

Seventh-placed United are 11 games unbeaten and famously defeated League One Rochdale 3-2 in the FA Cup first round, before losing out to the division’s leaders Brighton, after a replay.

Sixteen-goal top scorer Mike Norton, their hero at Spotland, netted two more at fellow high-fliers Buxton on Saturday in a 2-2 draw, including a last-minute leveller.

Victory on Wednesday could see them leapfrog the Bucks into fourth spot while a Whitby win also sets up a three place jump to 14th.

The Seasiders have never beaten the Lancashire club, who were set up in 2005 by Manchester United supporters angered by the Glazer takeover and the increasing influence of Sky Television.

Kick-off at the Turnbull Ground is 7.45pm with admission £7.50 adults, £4.50 concessions and £2 under 18s.

Supporters are advised to arrive early on Wednesday as United often travel in number - they had a higher average than landlords Bury in their first season at Gigg Lane and brought 800 fans to Whitby in 2008.

The Blues’ game at Matlock Town on Saturday is a 1pm kick-off as England play Wales at 3pm.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mike Norton keeps FC United on track

 Source: MEN

 Tony Glennon

 March 21, 2011

 FC United maintained their Evo-Stik Premier promotion challenge but needed a stoppage-time equaliser by Mike Norton to earn a 2-2 draw at fellow play-off hopefuls Buxton to stretch their unbeaten sequence to 11.

Karl Marginson’s men were heading for their first defeat in nearly seven weeks when former Altrincham striker Kieran Lugsden put the Bucks two-up inside an hour.

But goal ace Norton pulled one back before rescuing FC a point which keeps them firmly in touch with the top-five when he struck again in the fourth of six added minutes.

Ashton United remain in trouble near the foot of the table after crashing 1-0 to visiting North Ferriby, while Northwich’s home defeat to Stocksbridge was a huge blow to their play-off hopes.

Evo-Stik North title challengers Chorley seized on Chester’s surprise defeat at Lancaster to move within six points of them at the summit with Steve Foster and Tom Ince scoring to sink relegation-bound Leigh Genesis 2-1.

Salford, Trafford and Woodley all won, but Mossley and Radcliffe lost.

New Mills placed one hand firmly on the Vodkat League championship trophy with a Chris Hirst goal giving them a 1-0 win at Bacup.

Altrincham manager Ken McKenna admitted his resurgent Robins needed a helping hand from visitors Tamworth to boost their Blue Square Bet Premier relegation fight.

McKenna’s men played second fiddle to Des Lyttle’s Lambs until striker Damian Reeves seized on a dreadful blunder by Tamworth defender Richard Tait to give Alty an undeserved 36th-minute lead.

They were spurred on by the goal and sub Dale Johnson marked his return from Hyde by heading home a Robbie Lawton cross on the hour to seal a 2-0 triumph which lifts the Robins to within two points of safety with only eight games left.

Tamworth did have their moments with veteran keeper Stuart Coburn rescuing Alty with some fine saves, notably when he tipped a Kyle Perry header onto the bar.

McKenna said: “We started the game looking tired both mentally and physically, but we were all right once we’d gone in front and never appeared in any real danger after that.

“We did enough to take the three points and, while there’s still an awful lot of hard work to be done, this was a hugely important win for us in our battle to stay up.”

Meanwhile, an amazing goal by ex-Rochdale front man Lee McEvilly helped Droylsden rekindle their Blue Square Bet North promotion flame with an eyecatching 2-1 home win over title favourites Alfreton.

McEvilly struck with a half-volley delivered from inside his own half to secure the Bloods a victory which renews hopes of a push for the play-offs.

The former Spotland star had earlier set up Ciaran Kilheeney for Droylsden’s opener, but slack defending by James Vaughan then handed the high-flying Derbyshire visitors an equaliser.

Stalybridge extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a goalless draw against Guiseley. Relegation-haunted Hyde were without a game, Stafford plunging them back into the drop-zone by winning at Gloucester.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Supporters win battle to save FC United coach from deportation

 Source: MEN

 An FC United coach has been allowed to stay in the country – after thousands of football fans campaigned to stop him being deported.

Asylum seeker Mehdi Mirzae, a volunteer community coach at the club, was granted a reprieve by the Home Office after supporters said he would be murdered if he was sent back to his native Afghanistan.

Now, after almost four months in a detention centre near Gatwick, he is back home in Harpurhey. Mehdi, 26, fled Afghanistan in 2003 after his family was killed owing to his father’s involvement in an anti-government group. He was captured but his uncle helped him escape to Britain and he settled in Manchester.

Tragedy struck for a second time when the keen footballer was stabbed in Manchester in 2006. He suffered serious injuries and had to give up the sport but retrained as a coach with FC United.

His deportation was halted after his lawyers put forward medical evidence, showing he needs neurosurgery because of the stabbing and they claimed he would not be able to receive the treatment in his home country.

Now, the government is allowing him to stay for a year to enable him to undergo an operation. Campaigners say it will also give them more time to work on a case to allow him to stay permanently.

The news was welcomed by thousands of people who signed a petition to keep him in Manchester. Supporters even staged a football match outside the Houses of Parliament to raise awareness of his plight and FC United asked fans to donate cash to help pay his legal fees. Mehdi spoke of his relief and thanked the people of Manchester.

“I would like to say thank you to every single person who has been campaigning for me,” he said. “It has been a terrible time for me staying in detention for so long, but realising that I have the support has given me extra courage.”

Mehdi is the driving force behind Manchester-based refugee team Omid FC and reserved special thanks for his football friends.

He added: “A special thanks to FC United of Manchester for giving me all this support.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

FC United keep up charge

 Source: MEN

 Tony Glennon

 FC United boss Karl Marginson is urging his rampant Rebels to keep their eyes fixed on the promotion prize after a nervy 2-1 victory over fellow play-off candidates Worksop.

Marginson’s men needed a James Cotterill own-goal to tame the Tigers and secure their seventh win of a nine-game unbeaten run.

Mike Norton opened the scoring for FC before Worksop’s former Stockport striker Luke Beckett made it all-square.

But Cotterill then turned a Matthew Tierney cross past his own keeper to gift FC a triumph which means they will return to the Evo-Stik Premier play-off places if they can win at North Ferriby on Tuesday night.

Marginson said: “At this stage of the season, it’s results that matter. We’re right in the mix, which is amazing considering where we were just a couple of months ago but we have to keep going.”

Altrincham suffered another blow to their Blue Square Bet Premier survival hopes as they crashed 2-1 at Newport, Damian Reeves on target.

The defeat came just hours after chairman Grahame Rowley revealed that the Robins will consider selling the naming rights to their Moss Lane ground following the loss of their shirt sponsor.

Hyde’s chances of avoiding relegation from Blue Square Bet North were similarly hit in a 3-2 defeat at Solihull while Droylsden’s slump continued with a 2-0 loss at Workington, although both Luke Holden and Jody Banim missed penalties.

Sub Lee Elam struck to earn Stalybridge a 1-1 draw with Hinckley while goals from Jonathan Bathurst and Aaron Burns gave Ashton United a 2-0 victory in their Evo-Stik Premier relegation battle at Nantwich.

Northwich survived defender Mike Byron’s dismissal to reignite their promotion bid with Andy Fowler and Ritchie Allen on target in their 2-1 win at North Ferriby.

Curzon Ashton’s Evo-Stik North promotion drive stalled in a goalless draw at Radcliffe – Boro’s first stalemate in 87 games. Garry Flitcroft’s Chorley edged nearer runaway leaders Chester, who were held by Witton, with debutant striker Steve Foster, signed from Salford, among their scorers in a 3-1 win at Mossley.

How the Glazers could come face-to-face with FC United at Wembley

 Source: Daily Mirror

 ABUs dreading another Manchester United appearance in the FA Cup final should content themselves with one interesting prospect.

Every year the FA invites the winners of the Ronnie Radford Award, given to the team which has pulled off the season’s biggest Cup upset, to Wembley for a VIP day out and a chance to shake hands with dignitaries from the finalists.

In terms of league places between the clubs, FC United’s first round win against Rochdale was statistically the biggest giant-killing of the season, setting up the delicious prospect of the rebels coming face-to-face with David Gill and those lovable Glazer boys.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Defeat at Gigg Lane for Worksop

 Source: Worksop Guardian

 Published on Saturday 12 March 2011 21:06

WORKSOP Town were beaten 2-1 by play-off rivals FC United of Manchester today, in another blow to their promotion hopes.

Tigers were second best for most of the game at Gigg Lane, with their hosts playing the better football and creating many more openings.

FC United took the lead a minute before half-time through a Mike Norton header, after a lovely move from the home side.

But Luke Beckett marked his debut with a trademark close range finish on the hour mark, lashing home after Ryan Mallon had crossed and Mikel Suarez nodded the ball down.

Sixty seconds later Worksop were behind again, a low cross into the box sliced into his own net by an unfortunate James Cotterill.

Martin McIntosh’s men had three late chances to equalise, Beckett thumping a header against the bar, and Suarez receiving a poor clearance from keeper Sam Ashton, but failing to capitalise. In the dying seconds Beckett headed the ball down to substitute Marc Thompson on the penalty spot, and he blazed the chance over the bar.

Worryingly for Tigers Luke Shiels had to be replaced after he appeared to suffer an injury late in the game, and Suarez struggled with the hamstring problem he suffered a week ago.

Tigers travel to Colwyn Bay on Tuesday night in what is now a vital fixture in their play-off push.

For full match reports on both games, and reaction, see next week’s Worksop Guardian.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rebels suffer ground heartbreak

 Source: Bury Times

 By Dale Haslam

 SUPPORTER-owned FC United of Manchester could extend their stay in Bury after plans to move fell through.

The Evo-Stik Premier Division side had planned to kick off the 2012-13 season at a new £3.5million stadium in Newton Heath.

But club officials announced last Friday that Manchester City Council could no longer afford to contribute cash towards the project due to Government cuts.

The club’s board said: “We are sure this news will come as a considerable shock to our supporters. We ask supporters to remain patient and resilient in the coming days and weeks.

“We stress the board remains fully committed to delivering a new home for FC United for the start of the 2012-13 season and no amount of setbacks will detract us from that pursuit.”

The club has played the lion’s share of its home games at Gigg Lane since its formation in 2005 and staff and volunteers have spent three years working on the move.

Despite the board’s efforts, the amount of work involved in finding an alternative site could mean the club stays at Gigg Lane until at least 2013. That would mean Bury would get an extra season’s rent, worth at least £100,000 to the League Two club.

The Rebels’ mood was hardly helped at the weekend when their promotion push stalled within hours of being hit by the bad news following a lacklustre 0-0 draw against lowly Mickleover.

FC, unbeaten in eight games and three points short off the play-off places, will aim to return to winning ways against Worksop Town on Saturday and at third-placed North Ferriby United on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

FC United rebels smell a rat over Manchester City stadium deal

 Source: Daily Mail

 There is concern at Glazer-protest club FC United of Manchester about the city council blocking their plans for a new ground yet agreeing a joint venture with the world's richest team in the same area.

The fans-owned FC United, formed after the Glazer family bought Manchester United, secured permission for a £3.5million, 5,000-seater community stadium on the Ten Acres Lane site before the council withdrew their crucial £650,000 funding and lease approval.

Yet documents published in the same week outline a 10-year strategy in which Manchester City and the council, who receive £3m-a-year rent from the football club, will work together to regenerate the land around Eastlands - including Ten Acres Lane.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1363981/CHARLES-SALE-FC-United-rebels-smell-rat-Manchester-City-stadium-deal.html#ixzz1FyXUbkJQ
FC United rebels smell a rat over Manchester City stadium deal

By Charles Sale

There is concern at Glazer-protest club FC United of Manchester about the city council blocking their plans for a new ground yet agreeing a joint venture with the world's richest team in the same area.

The fans-owned FC United, formed after the Glazer family bought Manchester United, secured permission for a £3.5million, 5,000-seater community stadium on the Ten Acres Lane site before the council withdrew their crucial £650,000 funding and lease approval.

Yet documents published in the same week outline a 10-year strategy in which Manchester City and the council, who receive £3m-a-year rent from the football club, will work together to regenerate the land around Eastlands - including Ten Acres Lane.
On the move? FC United have plans to move to their own ground in Manchester

On the move? FC United have plans to move to their own ground in Manchester

A City spokesman said: 'We have some say in how the council spends our rental income, but that has nothing to do with the decision on FC United's proposed ground.

That was down to the council, who have had to make huge budget cuts across the board.' FC United general manager Andy Walsh said: 'Our fans have suspicions about the council project with City coming so soon after our rejection. But we have been assured that the council will help us and are examining other sites.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1363981/CHARLES-SALE-FC-United-rebels-smell-rat-Manchester-City-stadium-deal.html#ixzz1FyXh5jmF

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Dabbers Fall Over Twice

 Source: Crewe Guardian

 Nantwich Town fall to Burscough and FC United of Manchester.

NANTWICH Town are suffering another rough patch in their Evo-Stik Premier Divison season as they stretched their losing run to four games over the weekend.

After last week's resounding 6-0 loss at the hands of runaway leaders Halifax Town, Dabbers travelled to mid-table Burscough hoping to turn their fortunes around.

Unfortunately for Kevin Street and Darren Tinson's men, they slumped to a 3-1 loss after home goals from Parry, Leadbetter and Farley.

Jordan Connerton managed to grab an equaliser early in the second half, but the hosts were shaken into action and dispatched Dabbers with two second-half strikes to claim victory.

Connerton was on the scoresheet again on Tuesday, but his fourth minute goal was simply a tease as visitors FC United of Manchester scored four goals of their own to maitain their push for the play-offs.

Nantwich need to resume the tough defending that saw them notch only their third clean sheet of the season against Retford in Febuary, but the continuing injury crisis means the joint managers have rarely been able to field the same team twice in a row.

They travel to 10th place Kendal Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm, before heading to bottom side Retford on Tuesday, kick off 7.45pm, when Nantwich will fancy their chances of getting their season back on the right track.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Football: Nantwich 1 FC United 4

 Source: Crewe Chronicle

 By Peter Morse

 NANTWICH Town surrendered an early lead as they went down at home to FC United on Tuesday.

Crewe Alex loan man Jordan Connerton fired the Dabbers ahead after just four minutes of play at the Weaver Stadium.

But Matthew Wolfenden levelled a minute before the break and then fired United ahead on the hour.

Carlos Roca provided a two-goal cushion and Wolfenden completed his hat-trick, in front of a 616 crowd.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Our Revolution: A club owned by the fans.

 Source: Co-operative Magazine. Spring edition. Print only.

 Business advice and support from The Co-operative has helped FC United fans to build a football club based on co-operative principles. Owned by its members on a one member, one vote basis FC United is giving football back to the community. The Co-operative helps hundreds of thousands of people with ideas that could change their world. To find out how your could get involved, search online for join the revolution.

FC United, una historia de amor

 Source: Clarín.com (Spain)

 Un grupo de hinchas del Manchester United, disconformes con la venta de la institución al magnate Glazer, fundó un club disidente en 2005. Desde entonces no para de ascender y de sumar adeptos en todo el mundo.

Por Waldemar Iglesias

"I don´t have to sell my soul". No había dudas. Traducida al español esa frase escrita en uno de los carteles fundacionales del Football Club United of Manchester era un mundo nuevo, un principio, una búsqueda: "No tengo que vender mi alma".

El FC United es un club inglés nacido como respuesta a un rasgo muy propio de estos tiempos: las instituciones están en manos de cualquier empresario dispuesto a poner una pila de dinero. Se trata de una escisión del Manchester United famoso y poderoso, generada a partir de la venta del club original al multimillonario estadounidense Malcolm Glazer, en 2005. Cuenta el blog Fútbol Rebelde: "Aquella operación soliviantó a los seguidores de toda la vida del United y un grupo de ellos se animó a constituir un nuevo club con la voluntad de convertirse en depositario del auténtico espíritu del Manchester United". Desde su nacimiento, estos Red Rebels ("Rebeldes Rojos", su apodo) no paran de crecer (consiguieron tres ascensos en tres años y pasaron del décima al séptimo nivel del fútbol inglés) y de sumar adhesiones incluso desde otras geografías lejanas. Hay cierta lógica en el fenómeno de acumulación de simpatías: este club disidente representa al fútbol como espacio de pertenencia y no como negocio.

Malcolm Glazer jamás leyó aquello que solía contar Albert Camus, arquero vocacional, escritor de Premio Nobel: "Después de muchos años en que el mundo me ha permitido variadas experiencias, lo que más sé acerca de moral y de las obligaciones de los hombres se lo debo al fútbol". Ese dueño de su propio imperio económico jamás tiró un centro ni lo cabeceó; no atajó penales ni los pateó; no sufrió jamás una derrota con amigos; tampoco entendió nunca a esos hinchas capaces de gritar un gol bajo la lluvia sin temor a disfonías ni resfríos.

Hijo de inmigrantes lituanos, Malcolm Glazer es el dueño de First Allied Corporation, un holding que le permite controlar sus inversiones inmobiliarias, participaciones en compañías energéticas y de alimentación, también sus inversiones en gas natural y petróleo, en salud y en medios de comunicación. Para manejar al Manchester United -uno de los tres clubes más ricos del mundo- hizo lo que suele hacer: derivar tareas. Nombró a sus hijos (Joel y Avram) como directivos. Cuentan los medios que no le pertenecen que invirtió 810 millones de libras, que se financiaron gracias a préstamos bancarios, con bienes del club como garantía.

Tras las reuniones fundacionales del FC United, realizadas en el Manchester Methodist Hall y en el Apollo Theatre, más de 4.000 hinchas se comprometieron a dar ayuda financiera al lanzamiento del nuevo club. Se tomaron en la semana siguiente las primeras medidas: se designó a Karl Marginson como entrenador y abrieron las puertas a todos aquellos futbolistas y entusiastas que quisieran probarse para jugar en el FC United. Novecientos presentaron su solicitud (a modo de curriculum), 200 fueron admitidos inicialmente para las prácticas y de ellos quedaron los 17 que empezaron a representar a la institución. Al mismo tiempo, se estableció como fecha oficial de inicio de actividad el 14 de julio.

Con algunos de esos futbolistas de la prueba inicial y con otros que se fueron sumando, los resultados llevaron a ritmo de vértigo. Y con ese andar también llegaron algunas críticas. Alex Ferguson -histórico y exitoso entrenador del Manchester United- cuestionó la creación del club y acusó a los disidentes de "egoístas". También defendió la llegada del clan Glazer al club de Old Trafford. El mejor de los gerentes elogiaba a los patrones nuevos. Los rebeldes volvieron a mirarlo con desprecio.

El año pasado el FC United produjo uno de los grandes asombros de la historia de la FA Cup (la competición de clubes más antigua del mundo). Contra todo y contra todos, este equipo de la séptima división superó seis eliminatorias y generó un entusiasmo enorme entre los habitantes de las periferias de Manchester (el Greater Manchester). "Hubo seguidores que dijeron que en caso de emparejarse con el ManU no irían a Old Trafford para no proporcionar dinero a los Glazer", contó entonces Ashley Gray, periodista del Daily Mail. Otra declaración de principios; otro mensaje de una misma militancia.

Aquel eventual cruce habría sido el perfecto retrato del duelo del gigantón contra el pequeñín intrépido. Lo expresa Josep Coves, del diario Sport: "Todas las comparaciones con el Manchester United resultan hilarantes. Cada socio –unos dos mil– son accionistas del club. Pagan una cuota de entrada de 12 libras –tres los niños– y tienen derecho a un solo voto, independientemente de la cantidad donada. La junta directiva se elige de forma democrática. A nivel deportivo, los dos clubs están a años luz. Mientras el ManU tiene un volumen de negocio de 287 millones de libras, el FC United apenas rebasa las 440.000 libras por no hablar de las fichas de los jugadores".

Lo contó alguna vez el escritor mexicano Juan Villoro: "Desde luego que es posible escribir novelas sobre fútbol. El tema es qué tan buena puede ser esa novela. Tengo la impresión de que el fútbol está tan codificado que deja poco margen a la invención. Tiene misterios marginales, y por eso se presta más para el cuento. Por lo demás, sus excesos son ideales para la crónica. Pero tal vez me equivoco y sí es posible un Joyce o un Faulkner de las canchas". Sea cuento, novela o crónica, cuando alguien decida retratarla en el ámbito de la literatura, la del FC United será esencialmente una historia de amor a la esencia del deporte.