FC United of Manchester has today launched a creative community share scheme designed at raising money for a brand new stadium in Newton Heath, Manchester. The Red Rebels, which formed in the midst of the Glazer takeover of Manchester United in 2005, are currently playing at Giggs Lane, Bury – paying a hefty rental fee to the League One club.
The club is giving supporters and the wider community the chance to invest in its future by buying shares to raise funds for the development. The new £3.5 million stadium, based at Ten Acres Lane, will benefit from £1.5 million raised through the scheme the club hopes.
The 5,000-capacity stadium will be the first permanent home for the club, which has also played at Bower Fold, Stalybridge this season.
The new stadium will help secure FC’s future by providing a sustainable income stream, says chief executive and former fanzine editor Andy Walsh.
“FC United has achieved a great deal in the five years since its foundation, despite not having a permanent home. With our own ground and community facilities we can achieve much more, making the club sustainable and fulfilling our ambition to become a beacon showing a better way for football,” said the
“At a time when many clubs are in debt or in the hands of major investors, we aim to demonstrate that there is a real alternative. We want to change the way football is run and financed by putting supporters at the heart of the game.
“This is a landmark opportunity to invest in a club bringing football back to the heart of its communities and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”
FC United’s attendances have settled around the 2,000 mark, although during the club’s first season in 2005-06 it could boast the second-highest average attendance in English non-League football. The club’s record attendance is 6,023 for a match against Great Harwood Town on 22 April 2006.
FC United is launching the share issue just days after a planning application for the Newton Heath stadium was submitted to Manchester City Council, with a decision due on Thursday, 25 November.