It’s not often that we advertise on here, but on Saturday, before their Unibond League Premier match against North Ferriby United, FC United of Manchester will be holding a rally in the cause of supporter-owned clubs. We have reached a critical point in this debate. This season hsa become the season during which the wheels have started to come off the football bandwagon. Events that would have been wholly remarkable in previous seasons are becoming more and more commonplace.
In previous years, what has happened this season, for example, at Notts County and Chester City would have been more or less unthinkable, but a mixture of atrocious governance of the game mixed with a greater number of vultures circling the game as ever means that these stories will continue to run and run. It is said that bacteria will grow in environments that will allow it, and the football environment is just about perfect for it at present. Regulators that are still in thrall to Wild West capitalism seem ill-equipped to tackle difficult issues which need to be addressed and groups now circle dying clubs, having decided that they can feed their own egos and make some money in saving them.
It is an absurd state of affairs, and is one that is perhaps best summed up by the fact that football supporters no have to be experts in insolvency law in order to understand the sports pages in the daily national newspapers. There is, however, an alternative to this lunacy. We’ll be reporting from the rally on Saturday, which may be dependent on the success of FC United’s landlords, Bury, in ensuring that the atrocious pitch at Gigg Lane is playable. The question is this: can football supporters afford to not protest for mutual ownership in the current climate?
On Saturday 27th February, before our home game against North Ferriby United, FC United will host a supporters’ rally aimed at putting supporter ownership at the very centre of the debate on the future of the game.
Alongside our own speakers, guests will include Guardian journalist David Conn, representatives from Schalke FC and Supporters Direct. Two other high profile European sides have also been invited and we await their confirmation. It is also hoped that groups from English clubs affected by the escalating debt in the game, will be in attendance.
Football is at a critical juncture, with the need for clear leadership and regulation never more evident. An alternative model of how the game is structured has never been more needed with supporter ownership absolutely fundamental to that model.
FC United is part of that debate, an example of that alternative and with our guests and friends that will join us on the day we aim to make the point that supporter ownership is the only way forward.
Join us on the 27th.