We are delighted to announce a friendly match against Austrian supporter-owned football club SV Austria Salzburg to take place at Broadhurst Park on Saturday 4th February 2017 kick-off 5pm.
Download the poster from here
As you may recall, the National League North fixture against AFC Telford United, originally planned for the 4th February was brought forward to 15th October 2016, which has meant that the 4th February is now fixture free. As this date was also reserved for a potential FA Trophy match, we were not in a position to arrange this friendly until after we knew the outcome of the recent Nuneaton FA Trophy match.
This friendly not only provides FC United with the opportunity to play a match against European opposition, and against a club who have a very similar history to that of FC United, but an opportunity to raise much needed funds for both clubs.
Both FC United and SV Austria Salzburg are experiencing financial challenges at the moment, so in a change to previous friendly arrangements, the gate receipts will be shared as Salzburg have agreed to pay their own travel costs.
The kick-off time of 5pm has been agreed by both clubs to allow for Salzburg supporters to arrive on the day of the match. The first direct flight from Salzburg to Manchester does not arrive until 1.35pm on Saturday 4th February.
We hope that this fixture is well supported and provides an opportunity to celebrate supporter-ownership in football as well as helping raise money for FC United and SV Austria Salzburg. Both clubs will also use this fixture to say a big thank you to their dedicated supporters who have been directly involved in the running of their respective clubs.
Like FC United, SV Austria Salzburg was formed in 2005 by some supporters of the original SV (Austria) Salzburg after their club was renamed FC Red B*** Salzburg by its new owners, who also changed the club’s colours from its traditional violet and white to red and white.
The club commenced participation in the seventh tier of Austria’s national league system in 2006, then rose through four successive championships to the third tier, Regionalliga West, in 2010. In 2015, the club gained promotion to the Erste Liga, one tier below the Austrian Bundesliga, only to be relegated a year later.
The original club was formed in 1933. It was subject to a takeover by the Red Bull company in 2005. They renamed the club FC Red B*** Salzburg, changed the team colours and claimed that it was a new team. This caused a group of supporters, known as the "Violet-Whites", to want to preserve the 72-year-old traditions of their club, which had been completely disregarded by Red B***.
On 7 October 2005, the Violet-Whites successfully registered the old club’s original name "SV Austria Salzburg" and the old club emblem. For the second half of the 2005–06 season SV Austria fielded a unified team with the football section of the PSV Schwarz-Weiß Salzburg, which played in the 1. Salzburg Landesliga, the fourth tier of Austrian football, but at the end of the season the PSV members voted against continuing the link. Thus, the Violet-Whites formed a completely new team, which entered 2. Klasse Nord, the seventh tier of Austrian football, for the 2006–07 season.
In the 2014–15 season, the club was promoted to the First League, the second tier of Austrian football, by winning the Regionalliga West, after a change in the rules that see an automatic promotion place for one of the Regionalligas being rotated each season.
Having done the work to meet the original requirements for the 2.Bundesliga license, the requirements were changed over the summer and at the start of the season, Austria Salzburg had to play games away from Salzburg, some behind closed doors, also being fined and deducted points. All this and meeting the further requirements put the club in substantial debt. The club’s General Manager at the time had indicated that he was willing to sell up to 51% of the ownership of the club to an investor, as long as its name, colours and crest would not be altered. However the members did not approve of this – Austria Salzburg is not for sale! A new General Manager is now in place. However, Austria Salzburg were unable to prevent relegation and are back in the Regionalliga West this season.
Speaking of the friendly, SV Austria Salzburg supporter David Rettenbacher said;
"We feel honoured and are really looking forward to this game with FC United of Manchester, and a weekend characterised by real sportsmanship, authentic football and love for the game. A game between our two clubs is just a logical step and has been in our mind for a long time. We are really happy that this happening."
More details of the fixture and the planned events surrounding it will be posted soon.
European Friendly Match
Saturday 4th February 2017 kick-off 5pm
FC United of Manchester v SV Austria Salzburg
Moston, Manchester M40 0FJ
£9 Adults, £5 Concessions and £2 u/18s