FC United GM Says Co-Ops Can Solve Football's Crisis
Northern Premier League semi-pro club FC United GM Andy Walsh "believes that co-operatives can help provide the solution to the crisis now crippling" England's national game, according to Simon Birch of the London GUARDIAN. Walsh said: "All football clubs should be run co-operatively and no one should be afraid of allowing democracy into the boardroom." FC United was launched in '05 by disenchanted ManU fans who were "angered by the takeover" of ManU by the American Glazer family, and who "alienated thousands of fans by what they saw as the rampant commercialisation of the club." Walsh: "Along with a couple of thousand other people, I wanted to establish something which will be a reminder to those who run the game that there is an alternative, one that puts fans first." Since its launch, the club "has played an active role in its local community," rolling out an active program of community involvement including running coaching courses for refugees, setting up mental health well-being projects and working with local schools. Following a "highly successful community-share issue," which raised almost £2M ($3.2M), FC United is now "looking at building a new 5,000 seat stadium in north Manchester" (GUARDIAN, 11/5).