A local football team in Monton, Eccles, is launching an innovative FC United-style fans funding scheme to raise £75,000 to help improve their facilities.
AFC Monton currently sit ninth in the FBT Manchester Football Premier League, alongside the likes of Boothstown and Wythenshawe Amateurs.
This year they’re celebrating their 100 year anniversary and in June 2015 decided to push forward their social aims by changing from a limited company to a Community Benefit Society, a kind of social enterprise.
Inspired by FC United’s Chief Executive Andy Walsh, the switch means the club can now raise funds using the Government’s Social Investment Tax Relief Loan Scheme.
Fans can loan the club their own money, and in return can get up to 30% of the sum deducted from their annual tax bill.
This is subject to the individual’s own tax status and documentation has yet to be confirmed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
But under the scheme any fan who donates £1,000 will get a free lifetime membership to the club.
“It’s a great way of getting money back from the taxman and I know of no other savings scheme which delivers 30% interest, so this really is a win/win for fans and the club,” said club director Paul Donegan.
“With the best will in the world, we’ve been here for decades fundraising by ourselves and we feel now is the time to step up to another level.”
Work has now started on a new £300,000 clubhouse at their New Alder Park home in Winton thanks to funding from the FA, the Premier League Football Stadia Improvement Fund, Viridor Credits, and their own Development Fund.
It’ll mean better facilities inside and out, with new showers and changing rooms and a community room for meetings and children’s parties.
Completion is expected by April 2016.
But tens of thousands of pounds are still needed to upgrade their playing pitches, car park and floodlighting.
“We’ve got no aspirations to follow the likes of Salford City FC and get into the football league,” Paul told SalfordOnline.com.
“But we’re seeking FA Standard Charter status.
“We want to be the absolute best club in the local area and widen participation among the likes of disadvantaged young people, the visually impaired, and we could run veterans teams.”
AFC Monton, which changed its name from Monton Amateurs in 2012, currently runs 16 football teams from age 4 to adult.