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DF Donations at the Mickelover game on Saturday

There were many emotions felt by FC United supporters following the announcement late on Friday afternoon that the dream of building our own ground at Ten Acres Lane was all but over. Watching people’s faces as they filed into the Member’s meeting in Prestwich on Saturday morning it was clear the over-riding one was disappointment. Huge, gut-wrenching disappointment, the likes of which most of us have not felt since Spring 2005.

Having known about the news a few days earlier, uppermost in the minds of the Board and General Manager were concerns about how supporters might react. The news would obviously affect morale hard, people were bound to question what was now going to happen and what the future for FC United might look like and so there was genuine concern on behalf of the Club’s Board that this news might knock confidence.

Fortunately, 350 or so Members were able to hear first-hand the events of the past week or so and they were told in no uncertain terms that the location might’ve changed but the dream wasn’t over. In fact, it is still very much alive. No spin, just a sober, clear account of where we are and where we’re going. Presenting facts to members and trusting them to draw their own conclusions, just as we’ve always done. Assessing the mood of people leaving the Member’s meeting the looks of concern had been replaced with optimism, Cautious optimism but optimism nevertheless.

However encouraging that might’ve been, 350 represents only ten percent of our current membership and there are possibly another couple of hundred match-going FC fans who aren’t members but were still very concerned about the previous day’s announcement and what it might mean for the Club. We still had a game to go to and there were a large number of supporters whose reaction we had not been able to measure. The short car journey from Prestwich to Gigg Lane was a therefore nervous one.

On arrival in Bury, those who had been at the meeting were going about their match-day duties or simply taking the time to talk to others who had been there or update those who hadn’t. Talking to supporters, their response was that given the emotional investment made in Ten Acres it was hugely disappointing that it was not to be our home but equally optimistic that the proposed new site will be as good if not better and that we will fight on.

You reacted by giving over £2,000 to the Development Fund at Saturday’s game at Gigg Lane . That was the combined total from the DF barrels (£9,173 so far this season) and Pound for the Ground (half time draw). Despite the low blow, you reacted by putting your hand in your pocket to make a statement that you still believe in what FC United is doing. You told us that you’re right behind the Club and will do whatever it takes to get us into our own ground.

Of course there are still a whole host of unanswered questions about what happens next and £2,000 doesn’t get us there but the response is exactly what everyone needed to see. We needed to know that spirits aren’t broken. We needed to be told that everyone is prepared to work hard to get us there, even if it’s not Ten Acres Lane . We will get there as long as you stand behind us and do everything in your power to ‘make it so’.

There are a some very busy times ahead for FC United. There is an extraordinary commitment required from everyone involved in the Club. Of course money is important but we know that a huge number of people are facing problems of their own as the economic situation affects more and more families. Your time is as important as money. We will need to push on with our fundraising so give what you can, when you can but please get involved. The Development Fund website gives details on up and coming events and initiatives – http://fc-utd.co.uk/devfund/ - or you can contact us via email on developmentfund@fc-utd.co.uk

Perhaps not as well known as “Top of the World” but certainly no less profound, Karen Carpenter sang “we’ll find a place where there’s room to grow... and we’ve only just begun”. She’s right on both counts – we will and we have. Thanks for your ongoing and unparalleled support.

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First Posted ~ 11:33 Mon 7 Mar 2011
News ID ~ 3462
Last Updated ~ 11:33 Mon 7 Mar 2011