Supporter-owned football club FC United in Manchester has launched a loan stock scheme to help fund its new ground.
The club, set up in 2005 in response to the Malcolm Glazer take-over of Manchester United FC, aims to borrow up to £300,000 at between 3% and 4% interest from various businesses and organisations. Each organisation can invest between £10,000 and £100,000. While FC United’s loan stock is only available to organisations, not individuals, the latter can buy community shares in the club.
Based in New Moston, north Manchester, the ground has been named Broadhurst Park by fans, and is due to be completed by the start of the new season in September.
Fans can also pledge to help ‘kit out’ the new ground’s function room, as part of a crowdfunding campaign that ends on 19 May. The campaign is aiming to raise £26,000 to create a community space and function room, which will be used for a range of community activities, including promoting a healthy lifestyle through to sport.
FC United now has over 3,000 members. Each year, the club spends around £200,000 on activities that are not solely focused on developing sporting skills, but also on the needs of the community. The semi-professional club currently play in the Northern Premier League.
General manager, Andy Walsh, said: “We are inviting organisations to lend money to the club and to benefit from an attractive deal, as well as contributing to a fantastic new community facility. FC United have already successfully raised almost the entire £5.7m finance package needed to build the new ground and our members have contributed more than £1.8m to the club’s pioneering Community Share Scheme.”
FC United’s loan stock can be bought at 3% over 3 years, or 4% over 5 years. The loan stock is based on a business plan that has been the basis of the club’s Community Share Scheme, over £2.5m of grant funding and Manchester City Council’s support of the project.
“The loan stock offer to businesses and organisations is one of the last pieces in the jigsaw and offers organisations a unique opportunity to invest in a project that will make a real difference to the local community,” added Mr Walsh.
• Potential lenders can find the club’s updated business plan online.