Copa90 opened the Fan Film Fund, in association with Hyundai, last month and your suggestions have been incredible. Directed by Liam Saint-Pierre, our first story looks at F.C. United of Manchester; A Club with a Capital C.
Following the Glazer family’s takeover of Manchester United which put the club severely in debt, many felt as though it no longer belonged to them. Now, this off-shoot team has its very own 5,000 person ground, and operates in a way that puts community first. We sat with the producer, Ollie Nathan, to learn more about the process of making this film, and what it meant to him.
Why did you decide to do the first film about FC United of Manchester?
“It was recommended to us by the fans. There is a lot going on there that people want to hear about and they have had a huge amount of success. It is your ideal people-against-the-machine kind of story, and although we knew it would have been easy to do a piece on the negatives of what they are turning their back against, the real challenge was actually going on the ground and telling a story about something positive that can inspire people in the UK and other countries.”
What were your initial impressions going into it?
“I had heard about them, via forums and while researching the project, but it was nowhere near as grand as what I saw when I first turned up at Broadhurst Park. They set their goals high and achieved exactly what they hoped. They are just such a passionate bunch of people who have preserved the humble culture around the club itself.”
“The connection with the fans really. For it to be successful, it has to listen to what people want. There was one banner at the ground that read, “we make friends not millionaires”, which is emblematic of their noble and selfless approach. Speaking with Graham, Steven, John… These guys give their lives for this club, and that is just so inspiring. I also think that having a purpose and desire to make something successful gives meaning back to them. Their wealth is in their sense of compassion and love, rather than big money. That’s something you don’t see every day.”
Do you think that we will see more of this kind of thing in English football?
“I would like to think so. I hope that the revolution has already started, and that people will realise that the game is for everyone. That’s how the game began, and I think we will go back to it. This is a blip we are going through and once we overcome it, we will be that much closer to our teams. The players in the Premier League make simply too much money, while the players out there do it for love. That’s the best kind of football you can watch.”
“The lines given to us by these regular people with no media training were genuine. And when I realised that they were not just cheap throw-away comments, I wanted to make that translate on film. The fact is these people want the best for their community and their team, and no amount of money can change that.”
How was working with the team?
“We could not have done it without the team we had. Liam Saint-Pierre, Luke Goodrich, Nick Booth, Jordan Maders, and I all became a team on our own through the process. It was almost osmosis from hanging around that club. We were able to pull this together in a way that really did justice to them. I also want to thank Andy Walker for giving us the access to the unsung heroes of FC United of Manchester, and a connection to its loyal fans.”
Check out the behind-the-scenes exclusive making of ‘Club with a Capital C’…