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So, do you want to build a football ground or what?

The AGM is always a great event and one from which supporters leave with a great deal of optimism for the future. Our club grows in strength week on week, month on month, season on season and get-togethers such as general meetings give us chance to take stock, re-energise and focus on the job that lies ahead.

The most striking feature of this year’s AGM were the stadium concept drawings displayed during Adam Brown’s club development presentation. Adam presented a very different picture to those who said “it wouldn’t last ‘til Christmas” and showed that the club is really serious about moving forward with plans for its own stadium.

However, those plans will only ever become a reality with the help of every single FC United supporter. Estimates are that we will need to raise in the region of £500k towards the overall building and development cost of £6m-8m. It’s a huge task but we can do it if we make a promise to each other that we will one day play in our own ground.

In 2005 the concept of getting FC United off the ground, let alone building a community football stadium, was closer to a dream than a reality. But, as we learnt back in the dark days of the takeover, we can’t sit around dreaming about what’s next for this football club. We have to act.

The time for FC United of Manchester to think about playing somewhere we can truly call home is not in two years time or five years time. That time is now. We built a football club when all around us were saying it couldn’t be done. That football club, your football club, needs a home.

The club’s Development Fund Group has set a target of subscribing 500 supporters into its monthly standing order scheme. If 500 supporters can pledge £5 per month to the Development Fund we will be £30,000 per season closer to achieving our dream and playing in our own ground. If people can pledge more then we’ll be even closer. If people pledge less then we’ll still be closer than no one pledging at all. It’s not rocket surgery.

Why standing orders?

If we achieve our target, standing orders will account for 1/3 of the overall Development Fund target over the next 5 years and will raise over £150,000. It’s an extremely easy way for people to make a small contribution to the fund.

The rest will be raised via fundraising events, such as sponsored runs, race nights, book launches, raffles, badge sales etc but these events, due to the fact that we do not have a bottomless pit of resources and a have limited number of supporters, rely on the same people putting their hands in their pockets time after time. We are blessed as a football club that we have so many supporters willing to do just that. But we need to look at how we can raise funds outside of the normal supporter groups if we’re ever going to reach our goal.

The standing order campaign is therefore reliant on you to taking the message to friends and family and anyone sympathetic to our need for our own ground. It is a plea to those who can’t always make it to social events or games where funds are being raised, but who would love to help us realise our dream. It also, we hope, takes some of the pressure off you, the match-going United fan, who lets not forget keeps the club going by paying at the turnstiles.

If we can find 500 people, or 100 people who know 5 people out there who would like to help us by giving just £5 per month then we’ll be on our way to making those sketch drawings into bricks and mortar and securing FC United of Manchester’s future, as well as providing generation after generation of United fans with something they can treasure.

What else can you do to help?

The FC United Development Fund Group meets monthly at Rain Bar on Great Bridgewater Street in Manchester. At these meetings plans for a stadium can quite literally become concrete. But only with your help.

The next meeting takes place on November 1st (that’s this Thursday, unless you’re reading this next week in which case where were you last week, never mind, the next one will be the first Thursday in December, please don’t miss it!). Kick off is 1930 but as long as you’re there by half seven you shouldn’t miss anything.

If you cannot make meetings and have any ideas on how we can raise money and PLAY IN OUR OWN FOOTBALL GROUND ONE DAY SOON… please contact Martin on 07973 618 146 or email [email protected]

1---1-2007 at 01: 1

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2 FC United 12 17 25
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