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FC United fans’ ground fund passes quarter million mark

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

In March 2010, FC United of Manchester announced that they would be building their own ground and community facilities in Newton Heath, Manchester, and the club are now looking to raise the funds to do just that.

The total cost of the ground at Newton Heath is £3.5 million and the club need to raise £500,000 in donations to help fund the first phase of the project. FC United members have now realised over half that – £260,000 and rising. Well done to all involved.

The planned ground will have a 5,000 capacity, large terraced end, community sports facilities and a community club house facility. FC United say the development will stand “as a beacon of good practice that will show how football can be run in the interests of its fans and its communities.”

This is a philosophy we share – football clubs belong to the community whose name they use and whose support they depend upon. They should never become a vehicle whose sole purpose is to squeeze as much money as possible from their fans for the benefit of private companies or individuals.

“FC United are an inspiration to those who believe football is a game which belongs to and should be accessible to everybody,” says Guardian columnist David Conn. “The club is owned by its supporters, in the mutual, democratic way now widely felt to be the truest reflection of what a football club really is. Please support this appeal.”

The club also argue that the success of supporter-owned, community-focused clubs will slowly but surely chip away at the commercialism and mismanagement that mars English football. As a supporter-owned club creating a facility for community benefit, it will demonstrate a sustainable model for fan owned clubs without being in hock to banks.

“There’s a movement across the country that wants to reunite clubs, their fans and their communities. The practical expression of what this vision looks like is through supporters’ ownership and influence in clubs, and FC United are at the forefront of that. They can do so much more, but to do that they need help to really take their innovative community approach to a new level. Success for FC United will be success for us all,” says Dave Boyle, Chief Executive of Supporters’ Direct.

If you would like to help with the campaign you can make a donation, however large or small, from FC United’s donation page or send a cheque to: Development Fund, FC United, Hope Mills, 113 Pollard St, Manchester M4 7JA.

For more information visit www.fc-utd.co.uk/devfund.

Join the FSF for free today from this link.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe