FC United of Manchester
With over 3,000 members, FC United of Manchester is the UK’s largest supporter-owned football club. In 2010, the club launched a pioneering community share issue to raise funds for its own ground. The club reached its community share target in early 2012, having raised over £1.6 million. The funds raised will help build a new stadium in Moston, near Manchester.
FC United is a fantastic demonstration of what a co-operative of fans can achieve. The club was established in 2005, when a core group of individuals who wanted a say in how their local team was run established a steering committee. Supporters of FC United can become members and control the management of their club on a one-member one-vote basis.
The club aims to provide affordable football, as well as being inclusive to as many communities as possible. It invests time and money into many projects in the surrounding community and further, as well as applying for grants to subsidise these projects. This includes working with charities and hosting sports coaching courses. FC United has also provided coaching sessions for refugees and socially excluded groups, as well as arranging mini-tournaments before matches. These projects have seen great support and involvement from the fans.
FC United has so many volunteers who provide match day and community support that it has developed a Volunteer Information Pack with help from the Hub. The pack includes volunteer job specifications and information on club policies.
Lindsay Robertson, club and company secretary, said; “We were provided with excellent help. We know that there is still ongoing support and help available if we need it. It was a great opportunity to receive help from an outside body, and provided us with an objective point of view.”
HOW WE HELPED
- We assessed the risks to FC United of working with volunteers (CRB checks, insurance, complaints policies etc).
- We helped them devise a comprehensive volunteer information pack.
- We helped to create an internal directory of team leaders and contact details.
Jo Bird, the Hub adviser, said: “FC United of Manchester demonstrates that it is possible to change the ownership and politics of football, through running a successful co-operative business.”
Credit for case study text to Co-operative Enterprise Hub http://www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub/case-studies/