Celebration of fan ownership

Enfield Town set to make trip to fellow fan-owned club FC United in pre-season friendly, writes Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town and FC United previously played for the Brian Lomax Trophy at the QE2 Stadium in 2019 (credit Phil Davison)
Enfield Town and FC United previously played for the Brian Lomax Trophy at the QE2 Stadium in 2019 (credit Phil Davison)

As preparations get under way for what every fan hopes will be the club’s first uninterrupted campaign since 2018/19, Enfield Town FC have announced a landmark pre-season friendly.

On Saturday 24th July the Towners will square off against FC United of Manchester to compete for the Brian Lomax Trophy, specifically designed to celebrate fan ownership. The cup is named after Brian Lomax, the former managing director of Supporters Direct who passed away in 2015 – he is considered the ‘founding father’ of the supporters’ trust movement.

Like Enfield, FC United are a fan-owned club and also play in step three of the non-league pyramid, in their case the Northern Premier League. They famously set themselves up to protest against the takeover of Manchester United by the Glazer family, an issue that has come to the fore again in recent months.

Ever since the collapse of the European Super League in April, the fan ownership model – giving supporters a greater say in the running of their club – has received widespread support and interest. Enfield Town and FC United are prime examples of how such inclusivity can work and, with the biggest club in the borough celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer, the fixture has a special resonance.

Looking ahead to the game in Manchester, Towners chairman Paul Reed said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to organise another fixture with FC United, this being our 20th year.

“It’s great that we can mark the occasion with another incredible fan-owned club. The game at our own stadium two years ago was a brilliant night, with good football coupled with fantastic camaraderie among supporters, and I’m sure this fixture will be equally as good.

“Just as importantly is that chance to play for the Brian Lomax Trophy. Brian was an incredible inspiration in the formation of our club and encouraged, guided and supported us and many other clubs through our early months and years. It’s a great honour to be able to play for a cup in his name.”

In welcoming Enfield Town FC, FC United board chair Adrian Seddon also expressed his enthusiasm towards the upcoming celebration of fan-owned football. He said: “After two Covid-hit seasons, our trip down to Enfield seems like a lifetime ago, but our supporters won’t have forgotten the warm reception we received and we are delighted to finally get the opportunity to welcome them to Broadhurst Park.

“After all football’s issues over the last few weeks we are proud to be announcing what will be a real celebration of fan ownership and friendship with a club that blazed the trail for ourselves and others to follow.”

Enfield Town have also announced a comprehensive list of pre-season friendlies, all of which promise to be competitive affairs. Following the FC United showpiece game, on Tuesday 27th July Town take on Boreham Wood, who play in the National League two divisions higher, followed by another home game against Hayes and Yeading on Saturday 31st July.

Town then visit manager Andy Leese’s old club Chesham United on Tuesday 3rd August, rounding off with a home game against Grays Athletic for the FSA Supporters Shield on Saturday 7th August – a week before the scheduled start of the new league season.