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Scaling new heights

The biggest news of the week has been reaching our Community Shares target of £1.6m, the phones have not stopped with texts and calls of congratulations from all over.

The final total will be known next week but without doubt raising £1.6m is the club’s biggest achievement to date. FC United was not just established as ’another football club’ our stated aim from the very beginning was to find an alternative way of running clubs to the madness of rotating ownership and casino economics.

By setting a minimum purchase of £200 with the option of an instalment plan we set out to make our CSS affordable and accessible to as wide a layer of supporters as possible and the makeup of the individual registrations bears some analysis. Around 1400 people have joined the scheme which averages at just over £1100 per head with just over half having put in less than £500. Some have put in significantly more than £500 and prior approval from HMRC for the Enterprise Investment Scheme made such considerations more attractive.

If we can raise such a sum from our relatively small fan base there is clearly the potential for similar schemes to raise even larger sums at clubs with a bigger fan base. We can proudly say that we have not only raised a significant sum towards our ground in Moston but we have helped develop a scheme which could transform football. We know of other clubs who are looking at similar schemes including fan groups in the Premier League, other sports have also shown an interest. This is just the beginning and each and every supporter of FC United should be very proud of what they have achieved.

Elsewhere we have had a bit of an international convention this week with visits from a Dutch junior club and fan-owned phoenix club YSK Beveren from Belgium, plus FC member and Sporting Lisbon fan representative Bruno Martins dropped by the office the morning after Sporting’s victory over MCFC. All of them wanted to know about how the club is organised and hear about the developments in Moston.

Not all our visitors had too far to travel, we had a large party at last week’s match from Carlos Roca’s old school in Didsbury. They had a tour of ground and met up with Karl and the players and our club nutritionist Helen Walker gave them some information on healthy eating and playing sport; all very post-Carden post-Joz. They all enjoyed their day out and are looking to repeat the trip for Youth United Day on March 24th.

As well as Youth United Day we have a couple of other events on the horizon which we are busy pulling together. This year’s Manchester Parade is on June 10th with the theme "the sky’s the limit" so rocket to Moston perhaps? If you have any ideas or if you want to help out then contact Vinny Thompson via the club office.

The role of women in football is an oft debated topic from NWAF to Sian Massey everyone seems to have an opinion. In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th some of FC United’s women put together a video expressing their opinion that ’A woman’s place is at the match’ click here

More to come on April 7th at home to Buxton.

At last week’s game against Stocksbridge we had to tighten up on the serving of drink in the bars. We operate our bars under Bury’s licence and they trust us to ensure that the licence conditions are adhered to. Unfortunately because of the actions of one or two individuals who insist on taking bottles out of the bar and on to the terraces we have had to restrict the hours of serving. ’Our club our rules’, but it is unfortunate that there are some who do not respect our cherished ethos of self-policing. It is for similar reasons we have had to up the number of stewards we employ at games played at Stalybridge. All this increases our costs and the licencing authorities require additional searches of supporters entering the ground.

Things are getting interesting on the field and the play offs loom large again for the first team. Danny Warrender has gone to Ramsbottom to get some game time but Margy has retained his Evostik registration with the option of recalling him should the need arise. Dave Brown’s youth team are making progress in three cup competitions and sitting second in the league and Margy’s Manchester College team are in pole position in their college league too. Across the club we are in a better position than we have been in any previous season.

First team coach Chuks Akuneto was recently linked with the Nigerian U20s team more here

Having seen the work Chuks had done with the College team and our own U18s Margy asked him to step up to the first team part way through this season and he gives Chuks huge credit for the team’s progress on the field.

We hope to announce who the contractor for Moston is in the next week or two. In the meantime we continue to scope out the programme of works for the ground development progressing negotiations on the various elements. We aim to be starting on site this May; the build will take about eleven months with us getting ’the keys’ in April 2013. Before we kick off season 2013-14 in August we will need to organise a number of ’ramp up’ events, more details on this will be given in the coming months. For next season we have signed a new groundshare agreement with Bury FC and we are grateful for their continuing support.

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First Posted ~ 22:59 Wed 21 Mar 2012
News ID ~ 4111
Last Updated ~ 22:59 Wed 21 Mar 2012