‘Only a matter of time’: FC United chief sees big future for fan-owned protest clubs

A director of the fan-owned FC United believes it is only a matter of time before there is an increase in other supporters going down the same route of starting up new clubs.

The breakaway club – owned and democratically run by its supporters – was formed in 2005 after the Glazer family took over Manchester United and fans became disillusioned with the commercialisation of The Red Devils.

Three consecutive promotions since the inaugural season set the foundation for the club and board member Des Lynch feels that other teams around the country can learn from the non-league outfit in fighting against unwanted takeovers in the game.

He said: “We are doing our best to lead the way but we are only a small cog in a bigger wheel compared to some of the teams who have been taken over and gone down this route.

“I think more and more will come about as fans turn away from the way football is being run at present and I believe it will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

“If you look at it, there is more about than there was 5 years ago. It started off with Wimbledon and now there is one of the biggest in Portsmouth who got a lot of help from us and came to us to see how we did it.”

Since forming FC United have been playing home fixtures at Gigg Lane – a ground rented from Bury FC – but work is taking place on a new 5,000 capacity stadium, set to open in August.

After the impeccable start the club made, FC United have been on the fringes of gaining promotion to the Conference North and Lynch believes the new stadium can bring the desired success despite the hurdles faced.

“Sometimes with the time it took to get hold of the judicial review with the ground we began to think it was all taking too long,” added the 46-year-old.

“But then you realise the club is only nine years old and in terms of football clubs that have been around for 100’s of years, it’s nothing at all and sometimes u have to keep that reality check there.

“We have come an awful long way in this length of time so we should be proud of it. Everything is going well with the ground.

“The contractors are on sight, we have done a lot of the groundwork and some of the piling now, so the concrete can start to be poured on.”

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