It’ll Be Off

Dominic Offman
October 30, 2008, 6:15 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

Leigh’s ‘visionary chairman’ Dominic Speakman broke the hearts of his clubs dozens of fans this week when he announced he had pulled out of the club. It was a bizarre echo of the week’s other big news story, when Russell Brand broke the heart of Andrew Sachs’s by announcing he had pulled out of Sachs’s Granddaughter. And while 28,000 morons complained to the Beeb over one story, a similar number of morons spent yesterday saying “I fucking told you so!” to anyone who’d listen, and plenty who didn’t.

I am one such moron. And while I have some sympathy for the fans of the club, I have to ask them, why are so surprised? It took Speakman precisely four months to tire of his little project, or at least it was all getting a bit too expensive for him. The local authorities have to shoulder some of the blame, but maybe, just maybe, if Speakman hadn’t spunked loads of money on a pointless rebrand, and paying professional wages, he’d have had more money to spend on the day to day costs of running a football club.

As it is, the Leigh players have said they’ll play one match for free – the Trophy tie against Cammell Laird, and after that it looks like being reserve and youth team players for the rest of the season. After that? No one knows what will happen.

And just to rub in the ‘I told you so’ aspect of it all, here’s a comment from my blog when I first wrote about the Leigh Genesis story in June:

We’ll last longer than you tossers, we didn’t run away & take our ball home when we got a new owner & I notice they managed to win the league & European cup after you lot fucked off!!!

Well. Not to worry.


the loneliness of the long distance runner
October 17, 2008, 6:08 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , , , ,

This Sunday sees FC United’s minithon, an event where red faced men in their middle age lollop around a park in the name of charity, mate. I was approached to take part, and being as lazy as I am unfit, I pointed out with great joy that as I sadly live in London, I would be unable to take part. But, I added with a hearty chuckle, if anyone should see fit to organise an event dahn sarf, I would be more than happy to join in. I knew full well that this would never happen, but the offer would lend credibility and gravitas to me.

Well it all back fired when the Southern Branch organised a tromp around Battersea Park on the same day as the Northern minithon. How gutted was I? But I am a man of my word, and despite my chronic lack of fitness, and serious motivation issues, I’m as ready for this run as I’ll ever be.

Which is not at all. So far all I’ve done is narrowed it down to three pairs of unsuitable trainers to wear from an original number twenty two. As for training? Well, I tried. I walked up the steps at Russell Square tube instead of taking the lift, and I had a brief jog down to the chippy the other day at lunch. Of course, the flip side to that is that I had to have a ten minute lie down half way through eating my spring roll, but baby steps and all that.

Should you want to sponsor me, you can do here. Eagle-eyed (or just ‘eyed’ viewers really, so glaring is the total) readers will notice my current total raised is, errr, £0.00. But not to worry! I have pledges in, they just haven’t filled in the forms as yet. All money raised gets split evenly between medequip4kids and the club.

Eezer good, eezer good, the Senegalese are good
October 14, 2008, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Transfer tittle-tattle | Tags: , ,

From the MEN:

Rebels sign midfielder

Stuart Mathieson
FC UNITED are set to sign Senegalese midfielder Papis Djeeyte after he impressed in training and friendly games.

But the Rebels will not get international clearance in time for Wednesday’s home clash with Kendal Town at Gigg Lane (7.45).

Manager Karl Marginson is set to stick with the side that blitzed Witton Albion 5-3 in the last game, saying: “That performance was fantastic and now we need to build on that. I don’t want to talk about turning corners because it is too early for that, and Kendal are a very good side, a few places above us in the table.

“But I feel our football this season has been the best we have played in our history, and now the young lads here are starting to realise they can play at the higher level.

“We have dropped silly points but defensively have looked better since we brought in Danny Warrender and Simon Garner as full backs.

“If we can carry on playing the kind of football we have played in our last two games, few teams will live with us.”

Marginson’s links with Manchester College of Arts and Technology, where he coaches, are also paying dividends, with FC getting an early look at talented young African players like Djeeyte and Gambian under-20 international Kebba Bah.

Bah is having visa problems, but Djeeyte should be free to turn out once the club gets clearance from the Senegal FA.

Marginson said: “There are signs that Papis is the real deal, but he is still some way short of full fitness.

“There is a queue of African players hoping to make their fame and fortune in Europe, and quite a few are attracted to us because of our profile.”

Senegalese midfielders? Gambian forwards? International clearance? My, haven’t we grown.

I can’t find anything at all about Papis Djeeyte on the interweb, so instead, here are some facts about people who have a similar sounding name:

Max Papis – An Italian racing driver who has completed in Formula 1, Nascar, and A1 Grand Prix. Papis is the son in law of Emerson Fittipaldi.

David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz – Big Papi is a designated hitter in Baseball for the Boston Red Sox. He’s a five time All-Star, and with 54, holds the Red Sox’s record for most rounders in a year. Or something.

Papis’s Tacos – A taco restaurant in Chicago that serves breakfast all day. The chicken tacos are apparently good, while the quesadillas are to die for. Sounds like a case for Health and Safety to me. Oh yeah, stay away from the chiles rellenos. It’s not meant to be up to much.

Republik Of Mancunia: A response
October 12, 2008, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Opinion | Tags:

The Republik of Mancunia is written by me, a true Manc, who loves his team, and isn’t too ashamed about the red tinted glasses he wears when writing about them. I try to bring as much realism and statistical evidence in to my writing as I possibly can, whilst leaving some room for the warm and fuzzy feeling supporting the club leaves me with.

The above is taken from the ‘about’ page of, a site that had thankfully remained off my radar until today. That paragraph alone is enough to have me clicking desperately for the little x in the top right hand corner of my screen. The rest of the site is no better.

Well, that’s not fair, I suppose. I’ve not read the rest of the site in its entirety. And nor do I ever intend to. So put off have I been by the vicious ignorance shown in just one post, I’ve decided I’d rather read the back of a Timotei bottle than any more of his tripe.

This article here is full of the usual fallacies, untruths and misinformation that we’ve become accustomed to, but what’s really upsetting is that unlike previously, it has been written by a fellow United fan. And a ‘true Manc’ an all, whatever the fuck that means. Well apparently it means he’s from North Wales, if what I’ve been led to believe is correct. Not that that matters, of course, as has been stated numerous times before, it’s not where you’re from and all that. But why lie?

I find it impossible to believe that ‘Scott The Red’ is completely ignorant of the issues that brought about the need for FC United. He’s just as affected by them as we are. Yet he has studiously ignored them, and decided instead that it’s all about money. It’s not, and he knows it’s not. But Scott appears to be a very money orientated fella. If it’s not his lousy, piss-poor merchandising operation, selling second rate t-shirts, and making personal profit from the Munich air crash, it’s his offer of advertising space: “You can place a graphic ad for $100 / month or $250 / 3 months in our sidebar.”

What a lovely offer, Scott. But no ta. And rather than buy one of your substandard shirts, I’ll carry on using T-Shirts United, who make a donation to our club for every one of their FC United range they sold. Tell us Scott, how much money from the proceeds of your site have you donated to Manchester United, and the victims and survivors of the Munich air crash? Not one true Manc penny, I’d imagine.

It’s no wonder he doesn’t like, or get what our club is about with such shame-faced profiteering as that. As he sits in his Old Trafford seat, like a true Manc of course, pondering why we can’t afford £26 to be able to attend a match once in a while, we continue to make a stand against the increasing costs of football, the continued isolation of the normal fan and the removal of our great club from the community it’s meant to represent. But fuck that, Scott. You just see it as an opportunity for cheap point scoring, to serve your agenda, and give you a chance to amuse your forum full of limp-minded imbeciles. Even the most cursory glance at it shows it’s a breeding ground for the sort of anti-FC bile that’s so damaging to our clubs. And what happens if anyone questions this banal rhetoric? They get banned by a site admin who admits to never having been to Manchester, let alone Old Trafford. Another true Manc, no doubt.

I said I wouldn’t bother with the main points of the article, and I won’t. It’s a waste of my time and yours. We’ve all been over it a hundred times before. I just wish to address the ‘realism and statistical evidence’ Scott is so evidently proud of. It’s bollocks, Scott. Utter shit. You can’t compare the price of tickets the way you did. It’s a false representation and you know it. You’re not comparing like for like at all. Tickets in London are always more expensive, as the average wage there is higher. And where does your impressively flawed logic stop? Would you shrug off £60 tickets because QPR recently charged £50 to see their team play Derby County? Would you bollocks. The Manchester United tickets, in isolation, for Manchester United fans, are too expensive. And they’re going up all the time. And instead of making a stand against this, you choose to judge those who do. Added to that, you turn a potentially interesting investigation in to ticket prices, into another boring and wholly unnecessary sideswipe against FC United.

It’s a piss poor article, from a piss poor person, on what I now assume to be a piss-poor site (I’m more than happy to be proved wrong about this, by the way). I can only assume that Scott has seen the split in fans as an opportunity to become a Top Red, much in the way Tufty did. He’s a self-promoting, self-publicising wind bag. He may write with the warm and fuzzy feeling that supporting his club gives him, but that fuzzy feeling appears to be in his brain.

Scott, do better.

Like a Modern Day Dickens
October 5, 2008, 5:20 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

From Soccerlens:

Writers on soap opera Coronation Street have been forced to make changes to their script after dozens of complaints about anti-Rangers line by one its characters. In a recent episode Scottish character Tony Gordon said: “I could no more be interested in Rosie Webster than I could support Glasgow Rangers.”

The complaints forced bosses at the ITV programme to remove another Rangers jibe which had been due to appear in a forthcoming episode. Gordon had originally been scripted to say he was allergic to “warm beer, the English national anthem and Glasgow Rangers”. The line has now been removed to avoid offending Rangers fans for a second time.

Maybe they should have a few of the Mancunian characters complaining that their council tax paid for the clean-up operation after Rangers’ UEFA Cup final defeat!

While I strongly applaud the stand made by the roguish Tony Gordon over Rangers, I refuse to even acknowledge his point about Rosie ‘eat your beans, Rosie’ Webster. The sight of her dumplings spilling over her vest in a recent episode was enough to, well, ‘have several Mancunian characters complain that their council tax had paid for the clean-up operation’.

Football and the credit crunch
October 5, 2008, 12:41 pm
Filed under: Opinion | Tags: , ,

I was recently asked by some telephone finance expert how I was planning on surviving the credit crunch. Simple, I informed him, I’m surviving it by being largely ignorant of it, by having no form of credit or indeed money, and by double locking the front door and by not leaving my bed unless absolutely necessary. So far, so good. As banks topple like Michael J Fox’s jenga set, I remain safe and sound and smug.

Questions have been raised regarding the credit crunch and its effects on FC United. How will it effect the Dev Fund, will it lead to a decrease in income, and if any local clubs go bust, can we squat in their ground? Well the answer to those questions appear to be, in order, badly, yes, and probably not. And while the government are telling us not to worry, it’s just a confidence issue, we should just spend as normal and everything will be all right, people are understandably being put off by the endless cascade of bankers leaping to their deaths from their now worthless high-rise buildings.

David Conn wrote an article not so long ago suggesting that the credit crunch may have an effect on football as a whole. Or, he argued, it may not. He wasn’t sure. It was an unusually anaemic piece from Conn, who remains The One Great Truth in football. An example of how things could be if other journalists weren’t so fucking lazy. But what is incontrovertible is that attendances are falling. Whether this is due to fans tightening their belts, or just because people are sick to fucking death of football as a whole, remains to be seen. But the sight of clubs starting the season on negative points for financial difficulties is becoming an all too common site. Indeed, when Rotherham played Luton Town recently, many wondered if it was the first ever example of a match being a minus six pointer.

But anyway, all of this got me wondering about how football at our level would be affected. Research has been undertaken for another article I’ll never get round to writing, leading to a furious exchange of emails between me and my editor. But fuck him. Does he not realise we’re in the midst of a credit crunch? I don’t have time to worry about a piffling article I essentially ripped off from David Conn, pitched, and refused to write. It’s all about survival, people.

Where the fuck was I?

Ah, yes. Cornish Homes (UK) Ltd. Due to the current financial crises, and the property market in Cornwall, Cornish Homes (UK) Ltd face liquidation. One of the company’s directors is Kevin Heaney, owner of Truro City FC. He’s been bankrolling the club as they’ve steamrollered their way through the leagues. He also changed the club colours to those of the Cornish flag, and speaks in Sam Hammamian soundbites about creating a club that better represents his people. Although Heaney has been moved to ‘categorically deny his money is drying up’ and that he will ‘continue to fund the club’s success’ it has left many questioning the future of clubs like Truro who are run by a single, rich property investor. And, due to not wanting to be further labelled bitter, obsessed, or ‘a prick’, I shall leave things there.

But all of that alarmingly boring preamble was just to give me an excuse to reproduce the following. Found on the website for Corinsh Homes, this is, I think, the most excruciating example of marketing speak I’ve ever read. It is total drivel, and not only made me not want to buy a house from Cornish Homes, but pretty much put me off owning property forever. Check it out:

Welcome to Cornish Homes. Very chic, very now, very you. Homes for the lifestyle you dream of. The lifestyle you deserve.

Exclusive homes for people like you. People who’ve made it, who enjoy their success. Who don’t need to keep up with the Joneses because, to many, they are the Joneses.

Discerning people who wouldn’t dream of living just anywhere. Bon viveurs who appreciate the finer things in life – good food, good wine, and good theatre.

Homes designed by architects who spent six years of their lives qualifying but still don’t understand the words “second best”. And interior designers who don’t see ideas on makeover programmes and copy them but are used to seeing their own ideas being copied on makeover programmes.

Homes to enjoy your family in; homes to enjoy starting a family in; homes for weekends away or a Summer retreat; homes for empty-nesters; or homes to see out your days in, living in style as you spend your children’s inheritance!

We’d love to show you just how special your next home can be. Over a coffee, preferably.

So give us a call on 01872 261349 and we’ll invite you round to our place. Some might call it a show house, because they’re not used to interiors with that level of style and finish. But we don’t expect you to be impressed. It may be special, but it’s what you’ve a right to expect. And after all, it’s no less than you deserve.

Would you like cream with that coffee?

Good fucking Christ. It’s no wonder they went under.

FC United of Manchester 5-3 Witton Albion
October 5, 2008, 7:14 am
Filed under: Match Report | Tags:

It feels like a long time since we last played. Last week’s break for the FA Cup, which we bravely got ourselves knocked out of in order to make a dignified and righteous stand against something or another, left us all twiddling our thumbs for an all too long period of time. It left this blog woefully underused, weeds growing from the cracks in the pavements, dust covering every post. Like a cyber-Beamish it became a time-capsule, perfectly recording what life was like for us a couple of weeks ago.

Not that there hasn’t been anything worth commenting or reporting on. In possibly the biggest bit of news since the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop act, Eric Cantona came out and publicly stated his love for FC United. Sort of. What he actually said was that when Ferguson retires, he’ll support us, and hopes for us to win the European Cup in fifty years time. I’d probably make do with the FA Trophy in five years time, but then Eric was always one for the sweeping gesture.

Elsewhere, Sir Alex Ferguson himself came out and spoke of the need for principles. “The first thing is to make sure you keep your principles, no matter what. No job is worth it if your pride and your principles are stretched to the limit.” he said without a hint of irony, as most of the watching world guffawed loudly in to their hats.

But all this tittle-tattle and second hand gossip doesn’t make up for the lack of actual football, and so the return to action of the shirts was a welcome one. Witton’s manager had been giving it the big’un in the local paper in teh run up to the game, commenting on how the fans, the atmosphere, and the big occasion would bring the best out of his team. A team, incidentally, that contained chunky former Manchester United winger Ben Thornley, and his brother, Rod. Rod was at one stage official masseur to Manchester United and the England national team, though I’m not sure if he still is, and I can’t be arsed to check.

And to be fair to Witton Albion, maybe if they hadn’t been three goals down by the time most of the Main Stand had puled their blankets to their chin, they may have given us a better game. We’ll never know. For as it was, the boys produced the sort of display full of attacking flair and verve that characterised our days in the NWCL. Kyle Wilson scored twice and charitably missed a penalty, Chris Baguley’s break in Ibiza obviously did him some good as he also scored a brace, and Jerome Wright added the fifth with an outrageous chip in the second half. Witton scored three themselves to add a slight gloss to the score, but no one was fooled. FC United dominated the match from start to finish, and probably should have won by more.

So all is well again, until the next match. As things stand, we sit tenth, eight points off the top. The play-offs look a real possibility this season, with every team, bar possibly Guiseley and Ilkeston, dropping points. We’re the league’s top scorers, which seems strange considering how we were whinging about lack of firepower a few weeks back, but it seems the addition of Garner and Warrender have given the whole team a lift.