FC United Of Manchester: A Club With Fans Not Customers?

The BBC’s annual Price of Football report recently showed that football fans in England pay more than the majority of fans in Europe to watch their clubs.

Not for fans of FC United of Manchester though, set up in 2005 by Manchester United fans who had had enough of modern football and its lack of appreciation for fans.

The Manchester club ask fans to pay what they can for season tickets, suggesting a £100 minimum.

The treatment of fans is a massive talking point at present, especially given escalating ticket prices, Arsenal’s cheapest season ticket is £1014, for example.

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FC United’s roots are clearly based in Manchester United

Station coordinator of FCUM Radio (FC United’s in-house radio station) Ben Hughes touched on this.

He said: “Some clubs value their fans, others think of them more as customers than anything.

“No fan owned teams are the same, but one thing you can say is that it’s not just fan owned teams, but all non-league.

“That’s where the affordable football is. I think a lot of people are realising that now.”

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FCUM Radio Coordinator Ben Hughes outside of FC United’s Broadhurst Park 

Club volunteer Neil Bootham also praised the impact and importance of fans on the Moston based club.

He said: “Fans are important to all clubs, but without fans there would be no club here, we wouldn’t be standing here.”

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Club volounteer Neil Bootham has been with FC United since day one

The fan-centric culture of the club is not limited to the terraces either. Club captain and record appearance maker Jerome Wright, 31, and top goal-scorer Tom Greaves, 31, value the significance of the supporters.

Wright said: “The fans are the most important thing, we’re the biggest team in non-league and it was all brought about by the supporters, they made it.”

Greaves echoed this sentiment: “For us as players to play in front of the crowds we do is ridiculous, to play here and experience what we do is unbelievable.”

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Jerome Wright (left) and Tom Greaves (right) both praised the impact of the fans

FC United are not without criticism though, with some Manchester United fans labelling them traitors.

Ben Hughes addressed this, he said: “We’ve not left United behind, we’re still United fans, but on principal we can’t buy the tickets.

But instead of going B&Q on a Saturday why not join like minded individuals at a football club?”

Do you think football fans in England are paying too much? Tweet us at @FromMarsOnline and let us know.

Visit FC United’s website for more information on how to get involved.

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