One of our favorite projects, FC United of Manchester took on League One side Chesterfield in the FA Cup first round last night. They were looking to reach the second round for the second time in their 10-year history.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t their day. Now they are focussing all their attention on the League.
In the decade that has passed since they were formed following a meeting at a Manchester curry house, FC United have experienced four promotions and are now two away from the Football League.
The club was formed in 2005 by Manchester United fans as a protest against American businessman Malcolm Glazer’s takeover. FC United, is owned and run by its members &is the most fan friendly, interactive club in the world.
FC United’s £5.5m stadium was part funded by FC United members and supporters via a community share issue, and individual donations. It raised £2m from a community share issue to help fund the building of a new ground. So rather than affluent business professionals making decisions for the club, now the community share has given 100’s of people one vote each in the running of the club. Community Shares have made all this possible
Community shares are a unique development in English football and have been recognised as offering a real alternative to the way football is managed and financed.
At the time, FC United General Manager, Andy Walsh said, “Thanks to Crowdfunder, our supporters have shown what can be achieved when fans own their own club. Donations have come from all over the world. Fans across the game have backed the call for supporters to have a voice at every club. There is still a lot to be done but the funds raised by ordinary fans demonstrate the power we all have to change football.”
FC United of Manchester also doubled its target to raise £51,000 to kit out its new facilities at their Broadhurst Park ground in Moston with a rewards crowdfunding project on Crowdfunder.co.uk
Phil Geraghty, Managing Director of Crowdfunder UK said “This project is one of our most brilliant examples of how communities can come together to change the future for something they believe in. Crowdfunder and its supporters, Plymouth Uni and NESTA have enabled this fantastic group of people to achieve something incredible.
“It’s not just about the startling amount they fundraised – it’s about the legacy for the community and the proof for grassroots communities across the UK that together – they can change the world. This is a loud bold statement that Crowdfunder is giving opportunities for people everywhere to come together and bring about sustainable change via the crowd.”
Crowdfunder Head Coach, Simon Walker, who was directly involved in coaching their crowdfunding project makes the following comment “FC United are one of our most brilliant examples of how a community has come together to create a performing, sustainable and growing football club. Using Crowdfunder to raise funding for the stadium build proved a fantastic way to engage with their supporter base and we are very proud of being part of hat continues to be an exceptionally innovative and community led project and football club.
We look forward to working with many more projects and clubs that follow in such pioneering footsteps.”
They’re an inspiring story for anyone interested in community enterprise.