Sheffield FC face huge challenge to fund future stadium

Richard Tims, Sheffield FC, at Olive Grove
Richard Tims, Sheffield FC, at Olive Grove

Sheffield FC must be hoping for a sharp increase in their fund-raising programme as they seek £150,000 to sponsor the first stage of their campaign to return within the city borders.

The Dronfield-based world’s oldest club want to return to Olive Grove - and are offering tickets for sale for the 2016-7 season there.

In July, Sheffield gave themselves a 60-day window to raise £150,000 “seed capital” to finance initial planning.

Ultimately, they are chasing a £6m dream of a new stadium on the site.

Yesterday, the club announced that FC United of Manchester had become the latest club to invest.

But they declined to specify how much. And, as things stood yesterday, the club had raised £27,665, with 25 days left in the ‘window.’

But the club is optimistic: they are telling visitors to their website that for £20 “you will receive your ticket for the official opening match at Olive Grove. We aim to kick off at The Home of Football within the season of 2016/2017 in a friendly match vs. a pro or amateur team of your and our choice!”

FC United general manager Andy Walsh said: “We donated to the campaign because we support their efforts to get back to their roots. The club’s commitment to grassroots and community football is one that we sare at FC United, and it’s one of the reasons why we were delighted to visit Sheffield FC for a friendly over the summer.

“We wish the club all the best with their campaign to return to Olive Grove, and hope that they can raise the money they need to make their dream a reality.”

Richard Tims, Sheffield FC chairman, said: “We’re very grateful for the support of FC United. It was fantastic to play them in a pre-season friendly a few weeks ago, and it’s very generous of them to donate to our campaign. We wish them all the best in the new season. We’re aiming to bring football home, and with more donations from more clubs, we can do that.”