FC United is to become the first football club to issue community shares in a new initiative designed to raise some much needed funds.
Launched today, the £1.5 million initiative gives supporters and members of the wider community the chance to invest in FC United’s future by buying shares in the club. The revenue will be used to fund a new £3.5 million, 5000 seater stadium in the Newton Heath area of Manchester.
The ground will be the first permanent home for the club and should help secure its future by providing sustainable income. The club also hopes that the community sports and social facilities will encourage regeneration of the local area and allow FC United to further develop its award-winning community work.
Speaking of the initiative Andy Walsh, FC United general manager, said: "FC United has achieved a great deal in the five years since its foundation, despite not having a permanent home. With our own ground and community facilities we can achieve much more, making the club sustainable and fulfilling our ambition to become a beacon showing a better way for football.
"Through the community share issue we can make that happen. At a time when many clubs are in debt or in the hands of major investors, we aim to demonstrate that there is a real alternative. We want to change the way football is run and financed by putting supporters at the heart of the game.
"We are offering supporters and others the chance to be part of this exciting development and help make football history. This is a landmark opportunity to invest in a club bringing football back to the heart of its communities and leave a lasting legacy for future generations."
Supporters, investors and companies can support the club’s development by buying £1 shares from the minimum purchase of £200 up to £20,000.
The offer is open to individuals aged 16 and over, and businesses. All shareholders must be members of FC United but non-members can join at the time of application. The offer closes on 30 November 2010.