Football Focus Issue 65 - Page 42

FC United of Manchester FOLLOW US ONLINE TWITTER.COM/FOOTYFOCUSMAG FC United of Manchester FOOTBALL CLUB Full steam ahead for FC United Alighting the tram at the stop for Newton Heath and Moston, a couple of miles north east of Manchester city centre, one of the first sights that greets you is a sign for the nearby Newton Heath Train Maintenance Depot. It’s a fitting nod to the history of the football club that now resides just up the road at Broadhurst Park. FC United of Manchester, formed in 2005 by Manchester United supporters disillusioned with the rapacious greed of the modern game, traces a proud bloodline back to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway workers who in 1878 formed their own football club Newton 42 Issue 65 Heath FC that, of course, subsequently became Manchester United. FC United has been at the forefront of the supporter ownership movement for more than a decade and is now the largest supporter-owned football club in the country by number of members. With the club’s democratic one member, one vote structure each member gets an opportunity to have their say on how the club is run and ensure that it remains true to its founding principles. It is the club’s members who set admission prices and elect the board. Inspired by the likes of AFC Wimbledon and imbued with Mancunian rebelliousness FC United set out in the North West Counties Football League ten divisions below and a world away from the Premier League gravy train. Eleven years and four promotions later the club is beginning its second season in National League North, at the sixth tier of English football and finally after a nomadic decade playing football in a ground of its own and in its home city. Broadhurst Park, with its capacity of 4,400 and facilities that are the envy of many, is the first new football ground in the UK to be built and funded by a supporter-owned football club; with more than half of the total cost of £6.3 million