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Week Two on Site

The second week of the build programme and further preparations have been made in readiness for the plant and machinery to arrive on site next week.

The site has now been fenced and the temporary site cabins have been delivered. The coming weeks will see the site compound established which will include a site information cabin where supporters, local residents and other interested parties can speak with FC United staff and volunteers about the project and see the drawings and plans at close hand.

One of the first jobs will be a soil strip to create a working level for the ground build. The removal of the soil will be done so that the best of the top soil can be retained and sorted for reuse on the build-up of the pitches. Obtaining the best pitch we can afford is a key target for the ground build. We have seen how quickly pitches can deteriorate in a typical Manchester winter and careful construction and ground preparation is an important part of creating a pitch that can withstand some of the heavy rainfall we experience. To this end we have employed specialist pitch consultancy ISTeC to advise and manage the process, more details on the pitch design will be reported on here as the project progresses.

Around the club
This week’s opera night was a huge success, our thanks got to Vinny Thompson and Mike Burtonwood for organising the event which will raise close to £900 for club funds. The sporting dinner with Sammy McIlroy, Carlo Sartori, Wilf McGuiness and Alan Wardle takes place this coming Friday and is almost a complete sell out.

Adam Jones has gone out on loan to Nantwich to get some game time and Jerome Wright is recovering from his broken arm. Jerome’s injury has meant that he has lost his job with a local fencing company and FC United’s Moston Branch plan to hold a benefit night for Jerome.

Learning from Others
FC United has always been affiliated to fan bodies Supporters Direct click here and the Football Supporters Federation click here and it is heartening to see that these bodies finally gaining coverage with campaigns on ticket pricing, safe standing and the treatment of fans. FC United looks to gain insight and ideas from other organisations too. There are many third sector and mutual bodies that share our outlook and values and campaign on similar themes and we can learn much from their campaigns too.

We were involved in two events this last week which illustrate that point.

Club Secretary Lindsey Howard was invited to attend an event organised by Kick it Out titled ’Raise Your Game’ at Manchester City’s Stadium.

The seminar consisted of keynote speeches, mentoring sessions and a coaching master class, looked at the barriers currently facing females throughout football and how best to overcome them.

Some of those in attendance were, Shelly Alexander the editorial lead for women’s football at the BBC, Tessa Payne from The FA, Hannah Simpson the CEO of West Riding County FA, and Casey Stoney, captain of the Women’s GB football team at the 2012 Olympics.

Maria Bobenrieth, Executive Director of Women’s Win an organisation that equips adolescent girls to exercise their rights through sport, spoke about the importance of women playing sport and how this can empower them, develop life skills and become physically stronger and healthier.
On the day Lindsey was asked to mentor a number of female delegates, telling them about her job and her personal experiences of being a woman within football.

’Many of the reactions to some of my stories were of shock but not surprise and in turn I heard about other women’s experiences within the game. The main theme that came from everyone was challenging behaviours because if you don’t challenge then things will not change. It was good to hear positive stories and to see that there is a change happening for the better,’ reported Lindsey.

Our Community Share Scheme came in for some praise this week at the annual conference for Locality click here. FC United is a member of Locality and attending the conference on behalf of the club were General Manager, Andy Walsh, Community & Education Manager Robin Pye and board members responsible for community work John Nicholson and Kate Ramsey. In years gone by we have led workshops on Community Shares and fundraising at Locality. This year in a workshop on ’Raising Social Finance’ FC United were singled out along with Hastings Pier click here as examples of the extraordinary things that can be achieved when a group of determined people come together to take collective action for change. Our share scheme has allowed us to tap into additional funds from outside bodies. The information page has been updated this week and the scheme remains open for those who wish to top up their existing shareholding or for new shareholders who wish to be part of our continuing success story.

For the updated Community Share pages click here

The progress we are making at FC United has attracted a recent and welcome flurry of interest from the media both in the UK and abroad. Leading the way is our very own TV Show ’Bring Your Own Ball’ brought to the screen by the FCUMTV crew. BT Sport have produced a short documentary; we have appeared on French Radio and been asked to give our views on the ownership model for clubs in Spain.

BYOB and the BT Sport documentary can be seen on FC United’s Youtube channel click here

The Manchester Evening News covered the signing of the lease and site works click here a follow up piece is scheduled for Monday’s paper.

And this weekend we appear in Daniel Taylor’s highly acclaimed column in the Observer newspaper.

The coverage we gain is testament to the fantastic achievements of FC United supporters and our ongoing campaign to find a better way to run the game of football. One which respects supporters and club traditions rather than a model of ownership and governance which leads to a race to declare the most obscure sponsorship partner scheme; new club name or shirt colour that will bring ’power in the Asian market’.


First Posted ~ 12:49 Sat 16 Nov 2013
News ID ~ 5194
Last Updated ~ 03:08 Tue 16 Feb 2021