Friday, March 30, 2012

Council rebel leaves Labour over FC United 's new stadium in Moston

 Source: MEN

 A veteran councillor is quitting the Labour party after accusing it of treating FC United’s neighbours ‘like dirt’ in a row over the new stadium.

Henry Cooper says the council’s decision to back plans for a 5,000 capacity stadium in Moston is ‘ridiculous’. He claims the Labour party has ridden roughshod over the views of his constituents in Moston.

Coun Cooper, who was first elected to the council in 1991,said: “I have never seen anything like that before.

“The residents who live around here, in the Charlestown and the Moston areas have been treated like dirt.

“If this was any other development in any other area of Manchester with this level of opposition, they wouldn’t do it.

“It wouldn’t even have been considered. But there’s something about this development that the Labour party want to get through and all other opposition is being ignored.”

The planning application for the club’s £4.6m project on the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in St Mary’s Road was passed by council bosses last October. The bitterly-fought campaign divided the community, with campaigns both for and against the plan. More than 2,200 objections were received by the council’s planning committee – with 1,369 of those from people who lived nearby.

Even the three ward councillors were split, with Paul Murphy and Rita Tavernor in support and Coun Cooper against.

Coun Cooper said: “I will be very sad to leave the Labour party. I’ve been a member for 25 years and a Labour councillor for 21 of those. But there are certain times when you have to stick by your principles.

“All the ward councillors were against Oldham’s football ground coming just down the road, so I don’t understand why this is different.”

Coun Cooper will also lose his seat as deputy chair of the fire authority as a result of the move.
FC United, formed in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United, says work on the stadium will start in the next couple of months.

Coun Pat Karney, speaking on behalf of the Labour group in Manchester, said: “I have spoken to Henry to tell him that this is the wrong decision both for himself and for the people of Moston.
“The council has gone out of its way to listen to all the views on both sides of the debate on FC United.
“I am confident that Paul Murphy and Rita Tavernor will do an excellent job in representing the people of Moston.”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This week’s sport

 Source: Worksop Guardian

 THERE are strong words from the manager, chairman and Worksop Town’s departing keeper in this week’s sport section.

Our back page focuses on Simon Clark’s feelings on Saturday’s ‘embarrassing’ 3-1 defeat at FC United of Manchester.

And in the Tigers pages stopper Jon Worsnop gives his reasons for leaving the club, while Clark calls his behaviour ‘disgusting’.

Owner Jason Clark also speaks out, to take the blame for this season’s poor league position.

Elsewhere we have pictures of the Worksop Sport Relief Mile and all the usual Sunday League, school sport and more.

Get your copy today!

Four points for Blues against top five teams

 Source: Whitby Gazette

 WHITBY Town’s encouraging run of form continued as they took points from top five opposition for the second time in four days.

However, the battle to beat the drop took on a new twist as Buxton’s 3-1 win at Mickleover Sports put the Blues back in the relegation zone - not that this fazes player/boss Darren Williams.

Speaking to the Whitby Gazette this morning, ex-Sunderland star Williams said although falling back into the drop zone was unfortunate, he was not too concerned about it and added that other teams should be more concerned about his side’s timely run of good form.

Williams said in a conversation with FC United keeper James Spencer, the gloveman revealed he knew nothing about the second half save he made to deny Whitby’s Alex White what would have been the winning goal.

The warm spring sunshine attracted a good crowd of more than 600 for Wednesday night’s EvoStik League match against supporters’ team FC United, who are pushing hard for a promotion place via the play-offs.

In a carnival atmosphere at the Turnbull, the Blues made the better start with youngster Nathan Mulligan’s free-kick skimming the top of the defensive wall and just wide of the far post with five minutes gone. Williams then decided to have a pop with his 25-yard screamer not missing by much.

The Lancastrians took 17 minutes to register an effort on goal with Carlos Roca planting a soft free-kick straight into Blues’ keeper Nick Liversedge’s clutches.

But a minute later, the away side did threaten when, with no other options available to him, Matthew Wolfenden remained ice cool and cracked a vicious angled drive narrowly over.

In a spell in which FC United illustrated why they are towards the top end of the table, skipper Kyle Jacobs put in a cracking cross from the right and Mike Norton got to the ball before Liversedge but was unable to angle it goalwards.

At the other end, defender Kev Burgess forced a save from keeper James Spencer from a close range header and when the impressive Tom Portas’ dangerous low cross caused havoc in the United back four, Dave McTiernan’s well-hit shot was diverted over by Spencer.

At the break, Whitby knew they had a chance of taking maximum points from the visitors if they could contrive something special and the moment nearly arrived on 54 minutes. A cross from full back Ibby Hassan was only half-cleared and McTiernan’s thumping drive was superbly tipped over by Spencer.

A minute later, FC United went close as Stephen Johnson worked some space on the edge of the penalty area and his shot destined for the net took a deflection wide.

The Blues brought on the inventive Jimmy Beadle in a bid to win the game but it was former Stranraer defender, and Whitby’s man of the match, Alex White, who came closest to breaking the deadlock.

McTiernan’s first attempt hit the bar from a tight angle while Spencer recovered well to quickly block White’s follow-up.

With 10 minutes left, it looked as though FC United had stolen the points when the ball fell invitingly for Greg Stones who somehow blazed over with the goal at his mercy. It spoke volumes of Whitby’s organisation that FC United failed to really test Liversedge all evening.

Beadle wasn’t too far away with an acrobatic volley from captain Mark Robinson’s long throw late on but Whitby won’t be too dissatisfied with a point, following on from Saturday’s impressive win over title-chasing Northwich Victoria.

Whitby Town: Liversedge, Hassan, Robinson (c), Burgess, White, McTiernan, Portas, Williams (Lyth 88), Mulligan, Appleby (Beadle 71), Smith. Co-op man of the match: White. Attendance: 614.

Whitby Town 0 FC United of Manchester 0

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blues ready to welcome large FC Utd crowd

FC United of Manchester
fans soak up the sunshine
in glorious weather ahead
of tonight’s money-spinning
game at Whitby Town

 Source: Whitby Gazette

 The supporters’ club routinely bring hundreds of fans to away games and Whitby will be hoping the sunshine will have attracted a large travelling contingent from over the Pennines for tonight’s EvoStik League game.

The Blues are on a rich vein of form with seven wins out of 11, having seen off second-placed Northwich on Saturday.

Tonight’s game kicks off at 7.45pm.

Match report and pictures in Friday’s Whitby Gazette

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tigers beaten by FC United’s nine men

 Source: Worksop Guardian

 OUTPLAYED by 11 men, outworked and beaten by nine – Tigers’ season hit an ‘embarrassing’ new low on Saturday.

Despite playing the final 26 minutes at Gigg Lane with a two man advantage, Worksop lost 3-1 to hosts FC United of Manchester.

The prospects of their first ever away win over the Red Rebels seemed good at half-time, just 2-1 down and set for 45 minutes against 10 men.

But the next goal was a vital one for the home side, and even another red card failed to spur Tigers on to claw their way back.

The last time Worksop Town visited Gigg Lane they were struggling for fit strikers, in the midst of an injury crisis.

This time round they had two fit strikers sat on the bench, Jamie Jackson and Massiah McDonald failing to get starts after poor form. But even when they did get on, they were ineffective.

Visiting a play-off hunting FC United was always going to be a tough task, so giving the ball away in their own half and conceding a free-kick in a dangerous position 25 yards out was hardly an ideal start, but Carlos Roca bent the ball over the wall.

It was very nearly 1-0 in the 10th minute when Roca’s deep swinging cross from the left fell behind Owain Warlow and Mike Norton headed goalwards, Sean Cuff getting a touch and Luke Shiels heading off the line.

The FC United forward wasn’t to be denied just six minutes later as a crisp passing move unlocked Tigers on the left, Stephen Johnson played in the perfect centre and Norton, in space, thumped a header home giving Cuff no chance.

Worksop looked for a response, Shiels striding out of defence and finding Burbeary who flicked over Spencer however Greg Stones cleared off the line with ease.

A brutal but fair challenge by Ryan Clarke set up a tetchy passage of play that ended in Young taking a swipe at James Cottrell.

Although the Worksop skipper missed entirely the intent was clear and he saw yellow.

Worksop’s best spell of pressure on the half hour mark saw a couple of crosses drilled into the box, and the final one was nodded at goal by Clarke, Spencer making a sharp stop.

Johnson’s pace was troubling Chris Wood and on the third occasion that he sped past the full-back he drove at goal from an acute angle, Cuff untroubled.

There was little the keeper could do with 10 minutes left in the half, Warlow unsuccessfully appealing for a free-kick as Roca sped away and crossed the ball for an unmarked Matty Wolfenden to glance a header into the corner of the net.

But Welshman Warlow made amends in the 40th minute with an unlikely yet brilliant goal.

Tigers broke through Luke Sharry on the right and although he looked to have delayed his cross too long, when he did swing it to the back post left-back Warlow was there to head superbly back across goal and beat Spencer.

Tensions erupted in the final minute of the half, Tigers boss Simon Clark receiving a shove in the back on the touchline from Norton who was looking to retrieve the ball.

Once the dust had settled and the two sides had been separated Clark’s assistant Simon Frecklington was sent to the stands, and Norton was red carded.

There could have been another sending off in stoppage time when Roca kicked out at Warlow, but referee Chris Akers showed just a yellow.

Jackson made an appearance for the second half, taking Wood’s place as Young moved to full-back and Worksop went to 4-4-2.

The two sides engaged in a 10 minute ‘feeling out’ period after the break as FC United adjusted to going a man down and Worksop switched their mindset from countering to pressing.

It wasn’t long before Mr Akers had his cards out again, flashing yellow at Johnson for a studs up tackle on Beeson.

Much to the frustration of the sizable and vocal travelling support, the 10 men of FC United went further ahead on 58 minutes, a corner from the left causing all sorts of problems and as the ball bobbled into his path Lee Neville lashed it onto the post and into the net.

But Tigers got yet another lifeline when, after a tussle with Shiels, Dean Stott threw a punch at the defender.

Somehow the officials got the wrong man, and sent Wolfenden off, enraging the home side further.

As FC United looked to lose their cool, Adam Jones was yellow carded for dissent, and then Jackson was knocked to the ground outside the box giving Worksop a free-kick.

Beeson cracked an effort goalwards and it flew inches wide of the target.

Clark pushed his men high up the field with an abundance of space appearing, McDonald skinning his marker and almost finding Jackson in the box with Spencer beaten but United cleared again.

Seconds later the ball dropped to Steve Melton and his volley cannoned off the bar.

The midfielder was on target with a header from Beeson’s corner but Spencer saved on his line.

Although an onslaught was to be expected in the final stages, Worksop couldn’t find a way through the nine men and Clark was left a frustrated and angry figure on the touchline.

Two minutes of the five that the referee added on had elapsed when Jackson’s shot from six yards was headed away from goal, and Spencer then punched the resulting corner clear.

The only incident of note in the remainder of the game was a yellow for Melton for his foul on Neville, and the whistle went to end a remarkable and bitterly disappointing game for Tigers.

FCUM: Spencer, Jacobs (Battersby 89), Neville, Cottrell, Jones, Stones, Roca (Mulholland 68), Wolfenden, Norton, Stott, Johnson (Platt 78). Not used: Grimshaw, Cheetham.

Worksop: Cuff 5, Wood 4 (Jackson 45 5), Warlow 5, Melton 4, Shiels 4, Clarke 4, Beeson 4, Sharry 4, Burbeary 5, YOUNG 5, King 5 (McDonald 59). Not used: Nightingale, Colton, Ziccardi.

Referee: Chris Akers.

Assistants: James Bell, John Oldfield.

Goalscorers: Norton 16, Wolfenden 35, Neville 58; Warlow 40.

Yellows: Roca 45, Johnson 56, Jones 65, Cottrell 75; Young 25, Melton 90.

Red: Norton 44, Wolfenden 64.

Attendance: 2,873.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

FC United host day of free kids’ football fun

 Source: Bury Times

 STUDENTS and under-18s are being encouraged to watch a crunch football match in Bury on Saturday — and it will not cost a penny.

Supporter-owned club FC United of Manchester are holding their annual Youth United Day at Gigg Lane when they entertain Worksop Town in their bid for promotion.

Hundreds of youngsters from all over Greater Manchester can enjoy a series of fun activities in the run-up to the 3pm kick-off, including dance and drama workshops, street football sessions, banner and flag-making workshops.

People can also have their faces painted, try making badges, tackle a climbing wall, and get players’ autographs.

Among the special guests will be Mad Theatre Company, North Manchester West African Drumming Circle and Drama 2 Dance.

FC United spokesman Andy Walker said: “We hope that schools and youth groups across Greater Manchester will get involved in Youth United Day to celebrate their achievements and promote what they are doing.

“We would also like for people with links to youth organisations or groups, junior football/sports clubs who would like to help or get involved in Youth United Day to contact youthunitedday@ or promotions@”

FC United started life in July 2005 based at Gigg Lane, although construction of their own stadium in Moston is due to start later this year.

The team has been promoted three times and currently play in the Evo-Stick League Premier Division, and narrowly missed out on promotion last season after a play-off final defeat at Colwyn Bay.

Activities begin at 12.30pm at Gigg Lane and at Holy Cross College on nearby Manchester Road.

Entry to the game costs £8 for adults and £5 for over 60s.

Vics and FC United huge home games for Blues

 Source: Whitby Gazette

 WHITBY Town face a huge eight days in their battle to remain in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier, including back-to-back home games this week, writes Andrew Snaith.

Darren Williams’ men tackle FC United of Manchester on Wednesday, before travelling to leaders Chester three days later - but it’s second-placed Northwich Victoria at the Turnbull Ground this Saturday (24 Mar).

The Cheshire side, who are living a nomadic existence after being kicked out of their Football League-standard stadium, have just one league defeat in six, though that was a 4-1 drubbing at mid-table Kendal earlier this month.

Managed by ex-Port Vale schemer Martin Foyle, the Vics squeezed past basement club Burscough 2-1 on Tuesday.

The title-chasers, who trail Chester by five points, had to come from behind to edge their midweek outing.

However, the former Conference club have the best away record in the league, with just two losses and 39 points netted from 17 outings.

The Blues have never beaten them, with a 4-2 defeat in last season’s corresponding game at a fog-swept Upgang Lane and a 2-2 draw in the FA Trophy, followed by injury-time heartbreak in the replay.

Last November, in Williams’ fifth game in charge, Northwich won 2-0 at their former Victoria Stadium home, despite a spirited Town display.

The victory at Marine last weekend, against the division’s seventh-placed team, just four points from the play-offs, was both spirited and accomplished.

Whitby defender Alex White (23) agreed it was the Blues’ best showing of the season, describing it as: “An all round great performance that showed we can match higher teams in our league.”

He added: “We played as if it’s a home game, with confidence and that definitely puts teams off.”

Victory tomorrow would again give the Seasiders a chance to climb out of the four relegation positions.

Nearest club Frickley, just one point above the Blues, host strong-travellers Marine, while Mickleover, on the same tally, visit Burscough.

Chasetown, who Town can also overtake providing they lose and Whitby win, have a six-pointer at home to second-bottom Buxton.

West Midlands outfit Chase have beefed up their survival hopes by signing ex-Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie (34) this week, after his release from Blue Square Premier neighbours Kidderminster Harriers.

Meanwhile, White, a former Hartlepool United and Stranraer centre-half, also told the Whitby Gazette: “The results lately have proved how strong we are as a team and showed the strength in depth we’ve got.

“We’ve won five out of six away games and not many teams have done that, not even Northwich Victoria, so it shows how well we’re doing.

“We should be going in confident and we’re at home as well, that makes things better, with our fans behind us.”

The Blues then play host to one of the division’s best-supported sides in FC United of Manchester.

The Red Rebels currently sit sixth, but could be as high as third by the time they arrive at the Turnbull Ground, on Wednesday night.

It was estimated that the postponement of the original fixture against the Lancastrians, first set for the opening Saturday in February but ruined by a hard frost, could cost the Blues more than £6,000 in lost revenue.

However, a good turn-out, with player-boss Williams insisting that Town supporters can be the club’s “twelfth man” in the battle to stay up, should make a big dent in that figure.

United have played in front of four-figure crowds in their last six games, losing just once and defeating fourth-placed Hednesford Town on their travels, last week.

They’re another side that Whitby have yet to beat in seven attempts, though three of the last four clashes have ended all square.

FC eased past the Blues last September, in their first meeting this season. Watched by 1,408 people at Gigg Lane, Bury, they won 3-0 against the lacklustre visitors, then led by former chief Tommy Cassidy.

Whitby’s physio Kenny Bolton fully expects Williams to shrug off hamstring and ankle knocks ahead of a busy playing schedule, with defender Ibby Hassan also set to overcome a calf strain that forced him off last weekend.

Hassan and his team-mates will need to be wary of the Reds’ strike pairing of Matt Wolfenden and Mike Norton, with the duo grabbing 29 goals between them, so far in the current campaign.

Admission for both games is still just £8 for adults, £5 concessions and £2 for under 16s. Northwich is a 3pm kick-off on Saturday afternoon, while United’s visit is a 7.45pm start, with supporters advised to arrive early.

The Blues visit runaway leaders Chester, for the first ever time, a week on Saturday (31 Mar).

Congratulations, once again, are due to FC United of Manchester

 Source: Daily Mirror

 The club, born in 2005 when a committed band of Manchester United fans grew disillusioned with the Glazer regime and the commercial rapacity of the modern game, has raised £1.6million from a community share issue.

It is believed that the figure represents the largest sum ever raised by football supporters independently and it will go towards the construction of a permanent home for the club in Moston, north east Manchester.

FC United are now only three promotions away from a place in the Football League but their biggest achievement is remaining true to the principles that brought them into existence

Oliver Holt, 21st March 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Head boys Adam Jones and Lee Neville hand Rebels three points

 Source: MEN

 Adam Jones and Lee Neville were unlikely match-winners for FC United as the Rebels triumphed in their Evo-Stik Premier promotion battle at Hednesford, writes Tony Glennon.

The two defenders each struck with headers from set-pieces inside the opening quarter of an hour to secure a potentially priceless 2-1 victory.

Jones took just two minutes to open the scoring, nodding in from a corner, and Neville quickly doubled FC’s lead.

Matthew Wolfenden then missed a glorious chance to add a third, failing to hit the target after rounding keeper Dan Crane, after which the Rebels spent much of the rest of the game with their backs to the wall.

Jermaine Johnson reduced their arrears just before the hour mark, but United held on for a win which takes them to within a point of a play-off place with just eight games left.


Ashton United lost 2-1 to Stocksbridge, but Northwich Victoria and Chorley each joined FC United in stepping up their respective promotion challenges.

Vics came from behind to beat visiting neighbours Nantwich 2-1, while Magpies’ new boy Ciaran Kilheeney, signed from Droylsden, scored twice on his debut in a 5-1 romp at Worksop.

Title-chasing Curzon Ashton held on to top spot in Evo-Stik North with Connor Hampton, Kristian Dennis and Samuel Walker on target in a comfortable 3-1 win at Durham.

Trafford’s 2-1 defeat to AFC Fylde means the second-placed seasiders remain in hot pursuit of the Nash but Curzon will increase their lead to six points if they can overcome old foes Woodley Sports at the Tameside Stadium tonight (7.45pm).

Woodley, meanwhile, got their play-off bid back on track by thrashing Salford 4 0, while Mossley won their derby date with Radcliffe 2-0.

Lee Gaskell’s third-minute penalty put North West Counties League leaders Ramsbottom on their way to a 3-0 victory at Flixton.

Tony Glennon March 19, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mission Accomplished: FC United Of Manchester’s Great Leap Forward

 Source: Twohundred Percent

 In amongst all of the filth and fury of this week, one simple truism has remained unchallenged: it has to be like this. Although modern fashion likes to talk of football supporters as if we are “valued customers” or even – God forbid – “stake-holders”, the truth of the matter is that, by and large, we’re not. Customers wouldn’t put up with being treated in the way that football supporters are as a matter of routine. They’d take their business elsewhere. Stake-holders wouldn’t tolerate perpetual hyper-inflation and the implication that, somehow, we owe those that deliver the game to us a debt of gratitude rather than the other way around.

As such, the relationship between a football club and a supporter of a football club might be be more akin to the relationship between a drug dealer and a junkie. They feed our addiction. They charge what they can get away with – and we don’t even know what the upper limit of that pricing policy might be yet – and we grumble, but we still turn out in our millions. If we complain too loudly, there is a reasonable chance that we will simply be cast asunder, in the full knowledge that there are plenty of others that will take our place. We are divided and conquered, beaten into submission. We are treated with such suspicion by the authorities that it is not difficult to start to feel like criminals, even if all we are doing is partaking of a pastime.

Our clubs are administered, broadly speaking, by dolts and fools who chase pots of fools gold at the end of non-existent rainbows, and when the inevitable conclusion of attempting to run something as a business whilst blithely disregarding many of the fundamental principles of running a successful business – rule number one: keep costs under control! – plays out to a the brink of a financial cataclysm, they throw their hands in the air, find someone else to blame and, if they are unable to rescue the train wreck that they have caused, sneak out through the back door. Indeed, such is the brass neck if the sort of person that involves themselves in this sort of behaviour that they will often turn up at another club a few months down the line, full of the same platitudes and empty promises. The administrators, meanwhile, do nothing or next to nothing. Sometimes they are one and the same. Sometimes they are merely in their thrall. The end result remains depressingly familiar and we are told – ad nauseum – that “this is the way that things are”, as if there is some sort of cosmic alignment that places the job lot of the football supporter into a similar territory to the laws of gravity or thermodynamics.

It isn’t, of course, and there is proof all around us. Late last night, FC United of Manchester, the high water mark of the alternative vision of what football clubs in this country could be like, announced what their supporters have been waiting to hear for a considerable amount of time – this club, playing in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League, six divisions below the gaudy opulence of the Premier League, has reached its target of £1.6m towards building a home of its own in the Moston area of the city of Manchester. The money has been raised through a Community Share scheme, through the club working closely with Co-ops UK. Such schemes are designed to enable co-operative organisations to raise finance from their communities to support development without having to refer back traditional methods of funding such as borrowing from banks. The £1.6m figure was critical for the club, because it was this amount that they had to raise in order to obtain funding through grants for the other £3m required to complete the facility. It is now hoped that work will be able to start on the new ground soon.

As regular readers of this site and those that keep a close eye on non-league football will already be aware, FC United of Manchester have a history of lateral thinking that other football clubs would do well to follow. This is a club that was borne – in part – from disillusionment with football’s status quo and a burning belief that there had to be a better way. To understand the club requires something of a shift of perception. The traditional football supporters’ perspective of winning at all costs has, to a point, been sacrificed to make a club of which its supporters can be proud. It is a football club that is built upon principles that would be considered almost perverse elsewhere. Ticket prices are kept down in order to make their matches as affordable as possible. The supporters trust model of ownership is rigorously managed, and ideas such as slashing season ticket prices but requesting donations from supporters are indicative of a club that will do things differently. Moreover, the atmosphere at Gigg Lane – the clubs home away from home since its formation in 2004 – is unlike anything that would usually be seen or heard at anything the level of football at which they play. It is a truly extraordinary, run by remarkable, committed, passionate people.

In spite of all the bad news, then, we can still find nuggets to celebrate in football. We should be delighted for FC United of Manchester, and we should be awe-struck at their achievement in raising this amount of money. An enormous amount of hard work has gone into getting this money raised, and we can say with a degree of certainty that it has been raised by the right people, for the right reasons and for a project that couldn’t be in safer hands. One journey has ended, but another one will begin when the shovel hits the ground at the site of the new ground for the first time and work starts on building this club’s future. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of people – living, breathing proof that no, it doesn’t have to be like that.

Friday, March 16, 2012

FC United raises £1.6m through community share issue

 Source: Third Sector

 Club formed by disenchanted Manchester United fans charged £200 per share to build new ground in Moston, north Manchester

Community-owned football club FC United of Manchester has raised £1.6m to buy a new ground through a community share issue.

This community share issue is the largest outside the energy sector, which has much more predictable returns for investors. A community share issue involves ordinary people buying shares in an industrial and provident society, which will then pay interest on those shares.

About 1,400 people invested at least £200 each to buy a share in the club. Each shareholder will have one vote in the administration of the club, regardless of how many shares they own.

The club will look to pay interest on shares, and shareholders will be able to withdraw their shares but not sell them on.

The share issue has been given advance approval by HM Revenue & Customs for the Enterprise Investment Scheme, which allows share purchasers to claim up to 30 per cent tax relief.

FC United was formed by Manchester United fans disappointed with the takeover of their club by the Glazer family. Its new ground will be in Moston, north Manchester.

The club expects to raise £4.6m in total for the ground. Other funding includes a grant of £550,000 from Manchester City Council and a possible £1.4m from Sport England and the Football Foundation, which is expected to be confirmed next month.

The rest has been raised through smaller grants and donations. If necessary, the club may take a further £500,000 loan from the council.

Andy Walsh, general manager at FC United, said: "Reaching our £1.6m target from the share issue is a fantastic achievement, especially in the current economic climate.

"Community shares give a tangible way for fans to raise significant sums of money while preserving the football club as a community asset. We believe a community share scheme is preferable to borrowing from banks and more sustainable than relying on wealthy individuals who might not always have the best interest of the club at heart.

"By buying community shares, FC United members are supporting a better way for football to deliver genuine community benefit."

By David Ainsworth, Third Sector Online, 16 March 2012

FC United raise enough money to move from Bury

 Source: Prestwich and Whitefield Guide

 Fan-owned football club FC United of Manchester has raised £1.6m to help fund the building of a new ground that will see them move from Bury to Moston.

A community share issue was launched to pay for a new football ground and community sports facility in Moston, north Manchester.

The club currently plays at Bury FC's Gigg Lane stadium.

Reaching the £1.6m target enables the club to unlock the grant funding they need to meet the costs of the £4.6m project and enable building to start on the Moston site in the spring.

FC United general manager Andy Walsh, said: "Reaching our £1.6m target from the share issue is a fantastic achievement, especially in the current economic climate.

"We believe this is the largest amount ever raised by football supporters independently.

Raising capital through community shares is a unique development in English football and has been recognised as offering a real alternative to the way football is run and financed."

FC United of Manchester has worked closely with Co-ops UK.

The share schemes are designed to enable cooperative organisations like FC United to raise finance from local communities to support expansion and development much more effectively than through traditional methods such as bank borrowing.

La pasión de los 'red rebels'

 Source: (Spain). Google translation.

 La adquisición del Manchester United por parte de un magnate americano en 2005 propició que varios socios desencantados fundaran un nuevo club

César Ortuzar - Domingo, 4 de Marzo de 2012 - Actualizado a las 05:40h

Piensa cómo es el United que ni sus socios lo quieren", desliza caótica Rachel, aficionada del City, cuando habla sobre el Manchester United. La reflexión, cebada con pólvora y espoleta de una historia bella por extraordinaria, enmarca la escisión que se produjo en el Manchester United en 2005, cuando un buen puñado de socios del club, contrarios a la adquisición de la entidad por parte de la millonaria familia norteamericana Glazier, fundaron el United of Manchester en señal de protesta por la compra del magnate, que pasaba a ser el propietario del United, contrariando el espíritu del acta fundacional donde los socios eran los garantes del club, no solo una persona. Los red devils vieron cómo de esa decisión florecían los red rebels. Estos eran una facción de los socios que todavía soñaban con poder mantener el club con la idea original de que les perteneciese a los socios y las decisiones fueran asamblearias, democráticas, bajo el epígrafe de "un socio, un voto".

Completada la venta a Malcolm Glazer, los red rebels cerraron la opulenta puerta del Manchester United y abrieron una escueta y pequeña ventana por la que airearse del aire viciado del fútbol hiperprofesionalizado. Fieles a su ideario, el 14 de julio de 2005 dieron alas el FC United of Manchester, testigo del formato primigenio del club de sus amores tras recibir la aportación de más de 4.000 socios que ingresaron 100.000 libras para saltar al vacío, a un viaje inicial. Cuando Alex Ferguson conoció la fundación del FC United, criticó la formación del club afirmando que el club y su gestión parecían estar más interesados en sí mismos que en el Manchester United.

Casting de jugadores La singladura del Manchester "auténtico", como fue bautizada la aventura de estos románticos y apasionados del fútbol, recibió el reconocimiento popular desde el inicio por lo que suponía de la rehabilitación a una manera de entender conceptualmente el fútbol. Reseteado su pasado, organizó un casting para la selección de jugadores. Se presentaron 900 futbolistas y en una primera criba quedaron 200. En el siguiente proceso de selección sobrevivieron 17. Esos representarían al FC United of Manchester, que bajó a las catacumbas de las categorías del fútbol inglés desde donde comenzó a un viaje espacial del United. Desde el sótano, en sus tres primeras temporadas encadenó sendos ascensos de categoría. El club, que decidió jugar sus partidos como local en el estadio del Bury, Gigg Lane, logró la mayor gesta de su corta, pero estimulante andadura, el 5 de noviembre de 2010 cuando en la 1ª ronda de la FA Cup superó a un club de la League One, el Rochdale United por 2-3.

Con todo, siendo el aspecto deportivo un aliciente para cualquier competidor, el verdadero objetivo del FC United, encuadrado en la Northerm Premier League Premier Division es, según destaca en su web, considerarse depositario del auténtico espíritu del fútbol como deporte noble, aglutinador de voluntades y exponente del juego limpio. El socio es el garante de la filosofía del club, cuya motivación es revertir en la entidad cualquier ganancia que se pudiera producir, lejos del mercantilismo que atosiga al fútbol. Sus hinchas son fieles seguidores de esta doctrina que pretende desterrar el bazar del fútbol. Eric Cantona, uno de los jugadores más impactantes y que más huella dejó vistiendo la camiseta del Manchester United, aseguró sobre el United de Manchester, una escisión de la nave nodriza, que "tan solo espero que este club tan especial siga creciendo y ojalá dentro de 50 años podamos estar hablando de un club campeón de Europa".

FC United raise enough money to move from Bury

 Source: Bury Times

 Fan-owned football club FC United of Manchester has raised £1.6m to help fund the building of a new ground that will see them move from Bury to Moston.

A community share issue was launched to pay for a new football ground and community sports facility in Moston, north Manchester.

The club currently plays at Bury FC's Gigg Lane stadium.

Reaching the £1.6m target enables the club to unlock the grant funding they need to meet the costs of the £4.6m project and enable building to start on the Moston site in the spring.

FC United general manager Andy Walsh, said: "Reaching our £1.6m target from the share issue is a fantastic achievement, especially in the current economic climate.

"We believe this is the largest amount ever raised by football supporters independently. Raising capital through community shares is a unique development in English football and has been recognised as offering a real alternative to the way football is run and financed."

FC United of Manchester has worked closely with Co-ops UK.

The share schemes are designed to enable cooperative organisations like FC United to raise finance from local communities to support expansion and development much more effectively than through traditional methods such as bank borrowing.

FC United reach £1.6m fundraising goal to kick-start work on new Moston stadium

 Source: MEN

 FC United have hit their £1.6m share scheme target – kick-starting building work on their controversial new stadium.
The club, formed in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United, says work on the controversial £4.6m project will start in the next couple of months. We understand the club is in talks with a contractor and expect to sign a deal before the end of the month.

Legal documents are also expected to be signed, paving the way for work to start.

The club hailed the achievement, which saw fans snap up shares at £200 each, as ‘fantastic’ and claim it is the biggest ever amount raised by fans of an English football team.

The £1.6m joins a separate £250,000 raised in a development fund, a £550,000 grant from Manchester council, £300,000 from separate grants and £1.4m which the club are hoping to secure from Sport England and the Football Foundation.

A decision on that £1.4m is expected by the end of this month.

It is thought FC United bosses are ‘quietly confident’ that their bid will be successful.

That takes the total to £4.1m with the town hall stepping in with the final £500,000 in the shape of a loan if the club cannot raise it themselves.

FC United general manager Andy Walsh says the development, which features a 5,000 capacity stadium, community football pitches and a clubhouse on the Ronald Johnson Playing Fields in Moston, will ‘create a positive and lasting legacy’.

He added: "Reaching our £1.6m target from the share issue is a fantastic achievement, especially in the current economic climate. We believe this to be the largest amount ever raised by football supporters independently.

"Raising capital through community shares is a unique development in English football and has been recognised as offering a real alternative to the way football is run and financed."

The news was praised by Co-Operatives UK, the trade association for co-operative organisations. Secretary general Ed Mayo said: "Hollywood could not have written a better script of hope and triumph.

"Through hard work and open collaboration, FC United has become a beacon for sport and community action."

The club – who currently play home matches at Bury FC’s Gigg Lane – hope to be in their new ground for the start of the 2013/14 season.

Mike Keegan March 16, 2012

FC United preparing for promotion fight

 Source: Middleton Guardian

 FC United manager Karl Marginson insists the Rebels are ready for their big Evo-Stik Premier promotion showdown at Hednesford this weekend after reigniting their play-off challenge with a 3-0 romp over visiting Stocksbridge.

Marginson’s men bounced back from their shock defeat at Rushall Olympic with ex-Oldham Athletic striker Matthew Wolfenden’s second hat-trick in a United shirt securing them an ultimately comfortable three points.

FC’s triumph in front of a Gigg Lane crowd just one short of 2,000 lifted them back up to sixth and, thanks also to other results at the top of the table going in their favour, was just the boost the Rebels were looking for ahead of Saturday’s crunch trip to Keys Park.

With runaway leaders Chester now seemingly on their way to achieving automatic promotion as champions and seventh-placed Marine in grave danger of falling away, United and Hednesford are among five clubs battling to fill the four play-off spots.

Marginson said: “It was important we go to Hednesford with a win under our belts so, all in all, it was a job well done against Stocksbridge.

“Matty was delighted with his hat-trick and rightly so, but I know he’d be the first to recognise the part others played in creating all three of his goals.

“Mike Norton unselfishly laid on his first after being sent clear by a great pass by Lee Neville, and Jake Cottrell and Lee then combined to set up his second.

“His third resulted from terrific play by Kyle Jacobs and Stephen Johnson, so they were really three excellent team goals even though Matty made most of the headlines for having scored them. I have to admit, we were slow to get going, but, when we did finally get into our stride, we never honestly looked back and perhaps should have won by a bigger margin.

“But I’ll happily settle for the three points, particularly with Hednesford, Bradford Park Avenue and Marine all losing.

“We needed to respond to losing at Rushall – and we did precisely that.”

Marginson is, however, preparing for a tough test in Staffordshire.

He added: “We beat Hednesford 2-0 at Gigg Lane less than two months ago, just a week after they’d won at Chester, and they’ve since been unable to sustain their challenge for the title.

“But they’re still a very strong side and we know we’re going to have to be at our best, just as we were last time we played them, if we’re to repeat our earlier victory.”

FC United of Manchester reach £1.6m share target

 Source: BBC

 A Manchester football club has raised £1.6m from a community share issue to help fund the building of a new ground.

FC United of Manchester offered shares to raise money to build a stadium and community sports facility in Moston.

General manager Andy Walsh said it was a "fantastic achievement, especially in the current economic climate".

Co-operatives UK, a trade association for co-operatives, has praised the Evo-Stik League Premier Division club for its use of community shares.

FC United worked with the organisation to produce a share scheme that would support the community as well as the club and avoid traditional funding methods such as bank borrowing.

Fans' protest

A club spokesman said the money, coupled with a further £500,000 raised in a separate development fund, would unlock other grant funding to allow the £4.6m project to go ahead.

The club, which formed in 2005 by Manchester United fans as a protest against American businessman Malcolm Glazer's takeover, is run by its supporters.

Mr Walsh said shareholders would have "just one vote regardless of the number of shares they hold, [thereby] preserving the common ownership of the club".

He added that the community shares were "a unique development in English football and has been recognised as offering a real alternative to the way football is run and financed".

"We believe community shares is preferable way of raising finance to borrowing from banks and more sustainable than relying on wealthy individuals who may not always have the best interest of the club at heart," he said.

"By buying community shares, FC United members are supporting a better way for football to deliver genuine community benefit - one that is owned and run by supporters and committed to wider community and social development and financial sustainability."

'Pioneering model'

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK said that "through hard work and open collaboration, FC United has become a beacon for sport and community action".

"Hollywood could not write a better script of hope and triumph," he said.

"I want to pay tribute to the members of the club for pioneering a model of community shares which is now being used as a form of lifeline finance for co-operative enterprise across the UK."

The spokesman said the club were hopeful that work on the stadium and sports complex would begin soon.

FC United currently play their home games at either Bury's Gigg Lane or Stalybridge Celtic's Bower Fold.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

FC United of Manchester

 Source: Gazet Van Antwerpen Metropool Stad (no online content)

 Google translation (original can be found below the translation):

Manchester, epicenter of English football. I was there last weekend. But not for celebrities Manchester United or City. Well for a game of misfit FC United of Manchester. This fledgling club was founded in 2005 by (ex-) fans ... Manchester United. So they were tired of marketing at Old Trafford, so displeased about the acquisition by the wealthy American Malcolm Glazer that they started their own club. Today she plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division (the seventh class in England, compared with third provincial with us) and works off its home games in the stadium of neighboring Bury FC for an average of 2,000 noisy supporters. Strange, I hear you thinking? Why start a new team, if you're a supporter of one of the most successful clubs in the world? Taxi driver Chris did not find it strange. "In the '80s and '90s, I went weekly to watch Manu. Until ten years ago I could not pay my subscription. Today, the stands more populated by tourists and foreigners than by football fans from the city itself. My favorite team has become a marketing product. I feel there can not come home and the folks at Manchester United or perfectly understand. "Saturday at home of Manchester United FC won 3-0 against Stocksbridge Park Steels, yanked on it to sixth place. Fifteen miles away the day after Manchester United won 2-0 to West Bromwich. Chris and I cheered on Saturdays.

Manchester, epicentrum van het Engels voetbal. Ik was er vorig weekend. Maar niet voor grootheden Manchester United of City. Wel voor een wedstrijd van buitenbeentje FC United of Manchester. Deze piepjonge club werd in 2005 opgericht door (ex-) fans van… Manchester United. Zo beu waren ze de commercialisering op Old Trafford, zo misnoegd over de overname door de steenrijke Amerikaan Malcolm Glazer dat ze hun eigen club startten. Vandaag speelt ze in de Northern Premier League Premier Division (de zevende klasse in Engeland, vergelijkbaar met derde provinciale bij ons) en werkt ze haar thuiswedstrijden af in het stadion van buur FC Bury voor gemiddeld 2.000 luidruchtige aanhangers. Vreemd, hoor ik u denken? Waarom een nieuwe ploeg opstarten, als je supporter bent van een van de meest succesvolle clubs ter wereld? Taxichauffeur Chris vond het helemaal niet vreemd. “In de jaren ’80 en ’90 ging ik wekelijks naar Manu kijken. Tot ik tien jaar geleden mijn abonnement niet meer kon betalen. Tegenwoordig worden de tribunes meer bevolkt door toeristen en buitenlanders dan door voetbalfans uit de stad zelf. Mijn favoriete ploeg is een marketingproduct geworden. Ik voel me daar niet meer thuis en kan die lui van United of Manchester dus perfect begrijpen.” Zaterdag won FC United of Manchester thuis met 3-0 van Stockbridge Park Steels, het rukte op naar de zesde plaats. Vijftien kilometer verderop won Manchester United een dag later met 2-0 van West Bromwich. Chris en ik juichten vooral op zaterdag.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Rivals pounce on Rebels FC United’s Rushall Olympic flop

 Source: MEN

 FC United suffered a major set-back to their Evo-Stik Premier promotion hopes in crashing to an unexpected 1-0 defeat at Rushall Olympic.

Tony Glennon March 05, 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012

FC United step up their promotion push

 Source: MEN

 FC United stepped up their Evo-Stik Premier promotion push with a 2-1 victory over Matlock at Stalybridge Celtic's Bower Fold ground.

But the Rebels made hard work of a win which takes them up to sixth place above Marine.

FC's early dominance was rewarded as they stormed into a 13th minute lead when visiting defender Laurence Gaughan turned the ball into his own net in attempting to stop Carlos Roca's low cross from reaching the lurking Mike Norton.

And Karl Marginson's men appeared to be cruising when they doubled their advantage shortly after the half-hour mark through Matthew Wolfenden.

But United were never as convincing in the second-half as they had been in the first and were punished when Ian Holmes reduced the arrears on 62 minutes.

Matlock pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages but the nervy Rebels held on to stretch their unbeaten league run to six games.

Meanwhile, Ashton United climbed six places to eighth as they clocked up their fifth successive league win in crushing visiting Chasetown 4-0 with George Melling (19 mins), Mark Peers (27), Ian Bennett (45) and Aaron Burns (51, pen) scoring.

Ramsbottom wasted a golden opportunity to return to the top of the North West Counties League as they tumbled 2-1 at lowly AFC Liverpool.

Tony Glennon March 01, 2012

Marine’s play-off hopes dealt a blow as FC United of Manchester win 2-1 at packed-out Arriva Stadium

 Source: Crosby Herald

 MARINE’S quest to book a play-off berth in the Evo-Stik League’s Northern Premier Division was dealt a blow last Saturday as great rivals FC United of Manchester came from a goal down to grab all three points with a late winner.

It had all started so well for the Mariners at a packed-out Arriva Stadium – some 1,111 fans on hand for the clash.

The hosts gradually took charge of the first-half with a confident display.

The breakthrough came after 27 minutes when Marine’s Robbie Lawton flighted a free-kick from near the halfway line finding Jonathan Goulding with time and space to deftly control the ball before lashing home beyond the defenceless keeper James Spencer.

After 40 minutes, United skipper Kyle Jacobs overlapped again down the right before crossing to Adam Jones whose header went narrowly wide.

This combination would ultimately cause Marine’s downfall.

Marine’s central defenders, John Shaw and Sam Barnes, were so dominant in the first-half that despite FC United’s attractive passing game, their attacks carried as much bite as a spinach-less Popeye without his dentures.

The heavy reliance on the talented Carlos Roca to take all corners and free-kicks was proving ineffective whereas Marine seemed more fluent and created better chances.

However, this was all to change in the second-half.

United improved their service to striker Mike Norton and in the 53rd minute, immediately after a penalty appeal was denied, Norton picked himself up to deliver a deliciously-weighted, defence-splitting pass to Matthew Wolfenden who stroked the ball home with aplomb.

The goal galvanised United and forced Marine into a more defensive approach. Norton fired over from the edge of the area before Goulding responded for Marine with a volley from Ian Latham’s cross.

On 68 minutes United came close as Jake Cottrell and ex-Mariner Stephen Johnson combined well down the left forcing a corner which was subsequently cleared off the line by substitute Liam Dawson.

Marine keeper Callum Williams had a momentary lapse of concentration when he came out to punch a floated free-kick but found his penalty area more crowded than the London Underground during peak – the danger ultimately being cleared.

Barely a minute from time when it seemed both teams would happily settle for a point apiece, a Jacobs free-kick from the right found the unmarked Adam Jones who headed home from close range to seal a hard-earned win for the visitors.

Marine: Callum Williams, Joe Fowler, Louis Barnes, John Shaw, Sam Barnes, Robbie Lawton, Paul Brown (Paul Lundon 65), Jonathan Goulding, Aaron Rey (Thomas Moore 82), Neil Harvey, Ian Latham (Liam Dawson 65). Subs (unused) Darren Byers, Liam Duff

Mar 1 2012 by Our Correspondent, Crosby Herald