FC United is a community-owned football club in Manchester, set up by fans in 2005. The organisation’s manifesto states that the club will seek to be of benefit to its local communities, with an aspiration that a fan-owned football club would have more of a positive community impact than a privately-owned club.
FC United’s community work represents a high proportion of the club’s turnover, with around £200,000 a year going on community activities. Unlike most football clubs, FC United’s community work doesn’t just focus on developing sports skills, but instead has arisen as a response to the needs of the community.
“We try to work in partnership” says Robin Pye of FC United. “If there’s a need that we think we know how to fill, then we will try to fill it.”
Being responsive to the needs of the community has led to projects on befriending older people, helping people move into jobs in the care sector and assisting children in literacy and numeracy homework. Robin says: “We’re not defined by football and football is not just what we do.”