Initially, I wondered why ‘punk’? Instant perceptions hardly pertinent to trustworthy, reliable finances and professionalism – I refer to music groups, the likes of Sex Pistols, The Stranglers, Cockney Rejects, Angelic Upstarts etc.
But “Punk Finance” is a new branding allocated to the concept of community groups and societies raising funds without the need to approach traditional ‘High Street’ lenders such as banks and building societies.
Inherent in the formation of this terminology is FC United of Manchester somewhat resulting from its own successes in generating funds towards its objective of owning its own stadium. It has raised over £1.2 Million from shares so far. Andy Walsh, General Manager at FCUM says “The community shares model we have developed with Co-ops UK and the legal framework that we have put together with Cobbetts [solicitors] offers a route to financial stability.”
It is thought that FC United’s model can be adopted by many other smaller organisations and in partnership with Cobbetts it has produced a booklet which promotes the ‘punk finance’ model.
I have already started to look at its application in football, athletics and multi-sports capital projects that I am working on or might be commissioned towards shortly.
Today launched the start of a ‘healthy eating campaign’ in Tameside using the football clubs of FC United of Manchester (FCUM) and Stalybridge Celtic FC.
I was able to secure the funding towards this initiative from The Community Club Development Fund. This is a partnership between the Football Conference, the Premier League and the Professional Footballers’ Association. Both the Premier League and the PFA have committed to contribute £400,000 each to the Fund in this its first year. The Scheme is designed to encourage member clubs develop their work in their local communities.
It was a real joy to witness, Robin Pye – Community and Education Manager and Karl Marginson – First Team Manager (note the First Team Manager!) educating the Year 4 pupils with such enthusiasm and skill. As was the purpose, the children learned valuable lessons on healthy eating (it was notable early on just how well they could recite the Domino’s menu on mentioning the pizza food type!).
Anyone interested to know more can see: www.stalybridgecelticu21.co.uk but from my perspective it was pleasing to see something I got funded being delivered and witness FCUM doing it well as they so often do.
No surprise when latest intelligence suggests that it’s getting more expensive to watch and attend football matches. I read with interest the latest “Virgin Money’s Football Fans’ Price Index” which has said that in the last 24 months prices have risen by more than 36 percent.
Just how much appreciation is there ‘club-wide’ on the state of the economy. Football is just one option as people have to make tough decisions on their discretionary, leisure spend – or not spend at all – as belts tighten and families feel the pain in their pockets. Contrary to fans’ wishes, the mortgage, food and fuel might be necessary priorities when selecting where that hard-earned cash goes.
More than one in four fans will cut back on the number of games they go to this season as the UK’s economic slowdown spreads to football. Promotional offers, loyalty schemes, discounts and tiered pricing will be evaluated and implemented for the ‘original’ fans. Yet the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ may buck the trend and prop up other revenue streams.
QPR has put up prices by 40 percent next season as they return to the top flight of English football. Manchester United’s top price season ticket has hit £950 for just 19 games and fans must pay extra for domestic cup and European competitions. Surely, there’s potential, especially lower down the leagues, for an innovative approach to ticket pricing and other match day purchasing? I’m available if anyone wants to talk.
FC United continues with its “name your price” strategy on season tickets: radical but with some success.
Stockport County FC is an English football club based in Cheshire. The Club was formed in 1883. So where am I going with this?
There’s more than an occassional reference to Turkey in my blogging, though don’t think for one minute that this is divorced in anyway from a connection with football. Well there’s another story.
What are the first images that are conjured up by a reference to ‘communal fan celebrations’ on a matchday. The ‘poznan’ now symbolises Manchester City after mimicking the trade mark of some Poles. Bouncing ‘boing boing baggies’ watching West Bromwich Albion. Derby County doing the ‘conga’ when 4-0 down at Cardiff City. These are just a few. Why not post your own comment about those that come to mind?
One of the clubs that I’m helping is FC United. They promote a 90:90 protocol. That is 90% of the supporters, sing for 90% of the match.
Trabazonspor (ex-club of striker, Kevin Campbell) in Turkey, celebrates every match on 61 minutes. There is a frenzy, irrespective of the scoreline where the fans just go mad in a tribal fashion. Something to behold – flares, chanting, streamers, animation, movement, nobody stands still etc etc. The 61 in this case relates to that region’s allocated code number. I just wonder if an English club might adopt this stance, not as a regional denomination but say a commemoration to the birth of the club that its supporters follow. Maybe “County” would dance to the 83rd minute in testimony to the history of this famous club (and perhaps a recognition as it tries to return to the Football League). I’ll leave you to ponder on this with a video clip of Trabazon’s fans in………….guess which minute!