Mechs talk to Pool about big match switch

LITTLE Blackpool Mechanics have asked the town's professional club to play good neighbours and lay on Bloomfield Road for the biggest game in their 58 years' history.

Talks are taking place over using the ground for Mechs' North-West Counties League home game with non-League boom team FC United of Manchester.

Pool are away to MK Dons on February 18 when the club formed by disgruntled Manchester United fans heads into the resort with its phenomenal following.

Up to 2,000 have been travelling away to cheer the newcomers to the top of the second division and Mechs' council-owned set-up at Common Edge simply couldn't cope. Crowds there rarely reach three figures.

Only one ground in the division is suitable so FC United's hosts have been turning to bigger clubs for the money-spinning matches.

Mechs chairman Tommy Baldwin said that although his club has had several offers to stage the game elsewhere, they want to keep it in town.

"We're investigating every avenue and have had discussions with various interested parties, including Blackpool FC.

"While things are only at the preliminary stage, the vibes from Blackpool are very good. I'm sure they will take every opportunity to put together a package which would suit both them and ourselves."

Baldwin said if a deal can't be agreed Mechs might consider staying at Common Edge with a ceiling of 1,500.

"Four clubs, all with Conference gradings, have been in touch to say their grounds would be available. However, the people at FC United are keen to come to the resort and we'll do everything in our power to bring them here. But we need help, especially from Blackpool, to make it come together."

He added: "We're waiting to hear from Blackpool what their requirements are. They've been extremely cooperative so far. Our football chairman Geoff Mackay is in negotiations."

The Mechs supremo had voiced scepticism that FC United could be a one-season wonder when the club was created by opponents of American Malcolm Glazer's Old Trafford takeover.

"The impetus is still very high but will the keenness be there if they lose several games or bad weather strikes? Therefore we must make sure we get it right.

"If we book Bloomfield Road and only half the numbers turn up, we're left with a bill and that could prove a catastrophe."

A capacity 2,220 watched FC United's NWCL Cup tie against Cheadle Town at Curzon Ashton's new ground this week.