Not content with dominating the top flight of English football
for the last couple of centuries, turning our league into an interminable
procession - thanks, mainly, to their status as a genuine global superpower
- Manchester United have now decided to ruin football for the rest
of us. Or, at least, some of their very angry fans have.
you’ll already no doubt be aware, FC United were formed
in 2005 after Malcolm Glazer’s dodgy-as-hell
leveraged takeover of the Old Trafford side, offering thousands
of disgruntled fans the opportunity to keep it real by standing
on a wind-swept terrace on a bitter Tuesday night watching their
team get stuffed 9-0 by Prescot Cables. Except, of course, their
team never gets stuffed 9-0, since FCUM are the ones doing the stuffing,
steamrollering their way through the lower reaches of the pyramid
much like US marines rolled over the Iraqi border in 2003, meeting
only token resistance in the process.
cheap calculator after we tried working out Manchester United's
the face of it, FCUM fans have swapped sitting in a plush ground
watching their team thrash the opposition with a tiresome ease for,
well, sitting in a plush ground watching their team thrash the opposition
with a tiresome ease. But at least they can take their kids to a
match without forking out £858 per game, which, we suppose,
is kind of the point. There are signs, however, that the FCUM bulldozer
has slowed a little. Crowds are markedly down and last season they
could only manage a runner-up spot behind the bankrolled nutters
from Bradford, slumming their way to promotion via the play-offs.
club is highly likely to be the best supported in the division next
season. Rightly or wrongly, FCUM fans seem to have already earned
a reputation for being a 'bunch of pious, sanctimonious tossers'
(not our words) who think that their club is the biggest and best
non-league club in the entire universe. How true this is remains
to be seen; we suspect the intense dislike from many quarters is
merely overflow from the widespread loathing of Manchester United
and will be interested to see how the fans are when they make the
trip to York Street.
any case, FCUM have a lot more going for them than the deluded whackos
Park Avenue. They are, rightly, aspiring to
be the ultimate fan-owned club. Promoting inclusion, affordabilty
and transparency, FCUM serve as an inspirational benchmark for Trust-owned
clubs around the country, and their popularity has helped promote
the cause of the Trust movement and Supporters Direct immensely.
Along with AFC Wimbledon and AFC United of Telfordshire, FCUM are
shining beacons of the fan-ownership model - a model you needn’t
be a rabid, lentil-crunching socialist to understand brings enormous
and sustainable benefits to football.
And at least the FCUM fans actually did something about their growing
disaffection for top flight football. Can you really imagine Newcastle
fans, the sort of so-called ‘supporters’ who couldn’t
even contrive to assassinate Freddy Shepard with a simple car bomb,
forming a breakaway team? No, us neither.
are rightly proud of the fact that Mr Alex Ferguson hates ‘em.
The mere mention of ‘FC’ and ‘United’ at
an Old Trafford press scrum is enough to have the offending newshound
dragged outside by burly security guards and beaten about the head
with a blunt object, such as Wayne Rooney, until the purple Steve
Evans sound-alike and Sir Brian Clough wannabe believes the message
has been understood loud and clear. Socialists are so, y’know,
angry these days.
seeking to build a ground of their own, FCUM currently play at Gigg
Lane, Bury. Let's not beat around the bush here: Gigg Lane is to
the Northern Premier League what Wembley is to the FA Vase –
a palatial dreamscape where the showers emit actual water rather
than raw sewage, where the toilets have been cleaned at least once
since the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and where fans may watch
a game without fretting nervously about the structural integrity
of the ‘roof’ above their heads.
Gigg Lane: it's, like, a proper stadium!
more, it is a ground where the lights are powered by electricity,
not steam furnaces; where the pies are cooked, and not merely warmed
under the bingo-wings of the tea-lady; a ground where the pitch
is watered, rather than ploughed, before kick-off. It is, in short,