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Malcolms 5 Rupert 0

Submitted by on February 14, 2011 – 10:25 am3 Comments

Saturday's band The Lottery Winners

There was some conjecture at FC United’s home game against Whitby on Saturday about Course You Can Malcolm not showing the Manchester derby.

Some volunteers and paying fans alike, lodged complaints with club staff. It came as a big surprise to the majority of CYCM volunteers, as showing Sky sports games in Malcolms has never been up for debate and we had one of the best bands we’ve seen so far.

Many of the complaints were about consultation. But at the outset of CYCM it was described in the original submission to the club’s board as: “I’d like to propose that Stuurkey’s have an unsigned, mainly Manchester, band session before each Saturday home game.

“They get 22 minutes at two o’clock. A minute for each player on the pitch. You can fit seven, three minute songs into 22 minutes with a minute to spare.

“Or just do a few longer tracks. Fans know that if they turn up at Sturkey’s they can eat something nice, have a beer, listen for an attention-span friendly 22 minutes, to what might be the next thing in Manchester.

“We’ve got a dead space that we can enliven. We can have a nice’ish but bland can bar or we have one that is at least attempting not to be. As we know, inventiveness and daring breeds loyalty and mixing a tidge of live, unsigned Manchester music, with the prospect of them making it, adds to the whole package of football and its fit place within the everyday everydayness of the everyday.

“We get an independent Manchester beer, an independent Manchester bakers, get to see an independent Manchester band with potential and then go and see FC United of Manchester. And it’s still only 4.45 on a Saturday when you’re leaving.”

No mention of showing televised coverage of Premiership football. The confusion for some complainants may have come from the occasions when football has been shown in Starkies bar. On these occasions it was made quite clear that Course You Can Malcolms was not taking place. Therefore football has never been shown at Malcolms and never will, as that’s not part of what it is about.

The Lottery Winners, who were superb, had been booked many months ago due to them being in demand since winning the O2 unsigned competition. Sky changed the Manchester derby kick off in the meantime, which was no one’s fault, so Malcolms had to take place as planned. And why shouldn’t it?

Malcolms offers an alternative for people who want music, food, good beer and live entertainment before watching their team play live on the pitch outside. FC United of Manchester offers an alternative to the greed league we’ve come from. Therefore CYCM is more in fitting with the original ethos of FCUM than almost anything else that the club is involved in.

Fans on Saturday, who quite understandably wanted to watch the derby, had the chance to do so in the Main Stand bars with all profits still going to FC United of Manchester. Volunteers who wanted to watch the game, could be covered quite easily by those who didn’t. The choice was therefore there and quite explicit – if you want to watch the Sky game, then you can in the Main Stand, if you want to watch the usual pre-match gig then you can in Malcolms. No judgement offered – just choices. Which is surely what FC United is?

Not everyone wants to watch Sky TV. Some complainants seem to forget that. For whatever reason, some have political reasons, some don’t take to televised football and some can’t watch big games on TV cos they can’t actually face it (this stands both pre- and post-Glazer for some).

We don’t need to get into the Sky debate too deeply at this stage, but just to remind some of our supporters about one of the most popular songs at FC United: “We don’t pay Glazer, or work for Sky”. Those of us that fully endorse those sentiments should be allowed the choice of ignoring Murdoch’s assault on our game, just as those who want to watch United on TV have the choice to do that within the confines of the ground. That was the case on Saturday.

It’s all about choices and alternatives. It’s about FC United of Manchester. And Malcolms is an integral part of that. We face battles in the future to keep FC United as the unique creation it currently is. We could end up just like any other football club if we’re not careful to protect and nurture what we all created.

Malcolms represents a true form of what the club was started for and we should be very proud of that. People from other clubs are astounded by our audaciousness in even considering such an event at a football match. We just see it as something natural.

Take pride in it, care for it, put things into their rightful, warm glow of mancunian perspective and we’ll do alright.

To quote some dick a while back:
“Anyone who knows anything about football knows that football is not about football. Anyone who does not know that knows nothing about football.”

By the way, FC won 4-0…football…


  • midjmo says:

    Just to clarify – the above article is an opinion piece and not an official statement from the co-operative of people that organise and volunteer in Course You Can Malcolms…

  • dan says:

    I think the main point here is that there’s something to suit everyone at FC depending on your pre-match entertainment tastes. The confusion’s arose from the fact that Sky has been put on in Starkey’s before, but as the piece points out, this was not CYCM. No band, no tater hash, no this team is sheet. Just Sky and some butties. The initial proposal to the board in 2007 was all about bands beer etsetch and no mention of Sky Sports, with the exception of a reference to the social club and how CYCM would be an alternative.

    However, the proposal also said that Ratfink would never play eeeeeeeeeeee

  • JAY says:

    Considering that we’re ALL supposed to be boycotting sky until football is played at a time & place to suit football fans & not foreign tv scheduling; until MUFC are fan-owned & because we sing we want to destroy sky (& Glazer) I don’t see how, as neither have yet been achieved (& Qataris or whoever ‘owns’ our club), that anyone could possibly object to sky not being on.

    Besides Fergie said ‘we weren’t real Man United fans’ so why would we want to watch them on tv?

    Keep up the good work & keep FCUM sky-free. Principles innit. You’ve either got them……

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