Tag: FC United of Manchester

Match Of The Week: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 FC United of Manchester

The Mongol hordes didn’t materialise, as things turned out. Indeed, anyone looking for trouble around Brighton railway station yesterday lunchtime will only have found a handful of bored and cold looking policemen and the pubs humming with travelling support from Manchester enjoying a pre-match drink and trying to postpone having to venture out into the bitter, lacerating cold. The short hop train journey to Preston Park is followed by a brief walk in the woods before arriving at Withdean Stadium. Contrary to the apocalyptic predictions of a few, there isn’t a great deal more security here today than there would be on a normal Saturday afternoon, though and the atmosphere is blessedly cordial. Withdean is one short step for FC United on a journey that has already seen them beat Radcliffe Borough, Gainsborough Trinity, Norton & Stockton Ancients, Barrow and Rochdale. Many of those that haven’t been able to secure tickets for the match are watching anyway, from a vantage point overlooking Withdean that makes much of the pitch visible and on television screens in London and at the Flixton Cricket Club, just outside Manchester. The club brings with it an undeniable and unsupressible sense of event to the match, and even prior to kick-off all of the noise inside the ground comes from the away end, to our left. The myth that it is impossible to create an...

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A Final Word On Brighton vs FC United

The Second Round of the FA Cup should be a time for the supporters of an Evostik League Premier Division club to be celebrating, but, as we have discussed on this site before, FC United of Manchester are not like other clubs and this week has, if nothing else, been a harsh education in the ways of modern football at higher levels. We spoke on this site of the rank injustice of their ticket allocation for their trip to the south coast to play Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup tomorrow. It felt at the time as if there was more to this matter than met the eye, and the details about it that have been made public have revealed a little – but not enough – detail on the reasons behind this allocation. Brighton & Hove Albion issued a press release at the start of this week confirming that they were made to act upon information from the police and the Stadium Advisory Group and make this match a Category C match. No details have yet been made public on exactly what intelligence was given and FC United supporters are justifiably unhappy at this slur upon their character. What the Brighton statement does make clear, however, is the extent to which the club had no choice over the decision to limit tickets and tighten security for...

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Rotherham United & FC United of Manchester: Grounds For Celebration United

If we are to be concerned about the future of football in the twenty-first century, one issue that perhaps doesn’t get the attention that it should do is the loss of grounds themselves. The major citadels of the modern game – Old Trafford, The Emirates, Wembley – are safe, but smaller clubs find themselves in a perilous position as small, often loss-making businesses that, in a lot of cases, are the owners of prime town centre real estate. This has been a particular problem in London, where grounds in Edgware, Leytonstone, Wimbledon, Enfield and Hendon (amongst others) have been lost forever with no replacements having been built elsewhere. It’s not all bad news, though. Many local councils now actively encourage the preservation of the football facilities that they own in the full knowledge that they carry a benefit that cannot necessarily be measured in pounds and pence. In Chester, for example, the active involvement of the local council played a huge role in ensuring the future of football in the city after the extinction of the local club earlier this year. And today has been a good day for those of us that fret about such issues, with planning permission having been granted for two clubs, one of which was evicted from its home and the other of which has been fighting for a home of its own since...

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Brighton vs FC United: Not Wanting To Be 846th In Line

Perhaps this fixture has come a year too soon. Were FC United of Manchester to be playing Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup next year at The American Express Community Stadium, segregation would be easy and FC United would have over 3,000 tickets available to sell to their supporters. As it is, they have been allocated just 845 seats for the match at Withdean a week on Saturday and this has upset a good number of their supporters. Indeed, the issue started to cast something of a pall over the biggest match in the history of the young club and the ill-will being generated by it may yet lead to problems for both clubs next weekend. FC United supporters had been expecting a ticket allocation of a minimum of 15% of the total capacity of Withdean for the match, which is due to be played next weekend. This would amount to a total number of 1,300 tickets being available to supporters of the club. This is part of the tournament rules on ticket allocation for matches prior to the semi-final of the competition, as laid out below: In all matches preceding the Semi-Finals, the Visiting Club shall have the right to claim up to 15% of all accommodation for which tickets are issued providing these tickets are in a fully segregated area So the rules are, perhaps,...

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FA Cup Match Of The Week Part One: Rochdale 2-3 FC United of Manchester

The result, no matter how it ends up, is only ever going to be part of the story of tonight. The broader issue – that of the coming of age, the arrival, the moment and the principle – will remain unbattered and unbowed no matter what happens at Spotland tonight. These are the days that money can’t buy, an evening that will live with the supporters of FC United of Manchester for the rest of their lives. It is their club and their rules, and tonight is their moment in the sun. The sunny disposition of the habitual underdog going into a big match just determined to “enjoy the occasion”, however, hardly seems likely to be hard-wired into the DNA of the supporters of this club, though. Making friends not millionaires, yes, but this doesn’t have to preclude a burning, searing desire to win. Over the last few weeks, the media has descended on the club like a pack of wolves and, unsurprisingly, the club has lapped the attention up, never missing a trick to make their point and push their agenda. To this extent, their very appearance in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup is a victory in itself and amount of goodwill from all quarters today has been no less than staggering. We can see in this goodwill the extent of the sea-change of opinion within...

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