In March supporters decided on the ground’s name. Earlier it was also them to decide upon building it and raise the needed funds. No wonder they swarmed the meadow one day ahead of official groundbreaking to celebrate!
Sunday, November 17, was windy, rainy and dull. If what they say about Manchester is true – day like every day. But it wasn’t Sunday as usual for hundreds of people who gathered in the middle of a meadow in Moston, northern Manchester. As they formed a circle, local girl Zoe dug the first piece of land.
There was champagne, chanting and speeches. And no surprise here, because FC United of Manchester made history that day. They became the very first modern-era club created by supporters to break ground at their own stadium.
Image: FC United of Manchester
Not entirely their own, because FCUM will be sharing it with Moston Juniors and needed financial support from several institutions. But then again, do you really know that many clubs with fanbase ready to pump £2 million into a stadium when their team plays seventh league? In total the project is expected to cost £5.5 million and take under a year to complete.
First declarations of new stadium plans by FC United came already in 2007, just two years after the club had been established. However, it wasn't until 2010 that the concept was presented. In 2011 the municipality gave planning permission, though in Moston, not in Newton Heath as initially planned. Both locations lie in north-eastern Manchester, though. New design for the second plot was delivered by Taylor Young a few months later and is the one being implemented.
Photo: Richard Searle
Opposition from local residents had put the project on hold, but in March 2013 appeals were rejected, paving way for the development. After the unofficial groundbreaking on Nov 17, another one took place the day after. Late 2013 and early 2014 passed on ground works, decontamination, piling and foundations.
Then in mid-February first steel prefabs began arriving on site in Moston. As you can see in the newest photos, all four future stands have their skeleton already standing, at least partly. With only 5,000 capacity and a whole lot of it terraced the stadium is going to be small – at least for now – but is expected to grow as the club grows, too. The idea, however, is not to follow suite of most top clubs, but retain a community-friendly and lax atmosphere of traditional football.
Thanks to great help of FC United and Richard Searle in particular we can bring you somewhat behind the scene of this project, as opposed to ‘behind the fence’ we’re left with in some of the remaining constructions you may find at StadiumDB.com.