Treble-winning futsal club hails 'game-changing' support from Oldham-based business

Date published: 27 June 2024

Manchester Futsal Club has hailed its ‘game-changing’ support from the Oldham-headquartere WeDo Business Services group after the senior men’s team swept the board in national competitions and qualified for Europe for the first time.

The senior men won the FA National Futsal Series treble this season – the league, the League Cup and the Grand Final – and will represent England in the UEFA Futsal Champions League, which begins in August.

Following these honours, Manchester has been crowned the league’s club of the year, and individual members of the squad have also been among the national accolades.

Captain Jordan Edge, the league’s leading goal-scorer, was voted player of the season and Sam Richardson was named head coach of the year.

Other highlights of a momentous campaign saw the women’s team finish as runners-up in the FA National Women’s Super Series Tier 2 North.

Manchester Met Futsal, which is supported by Manchester Futsal Club, won the British Universities and Colleges Sport Men’s Northern League Tier Two, earning promotion to the Northern League Tier One.

At the start of the season, WeDo agreed a three-year partnership to be Manchester Futsal Club’s headline sponsor, with a pledge to provide £10,000 of financial backing each year.

The company’s logo features on all of the club’s shirts. In addition, WeDo has provided a minibus to transport players to matches across the UK.

Club founder and chief executive Simon Wright said: “The partnership with WeDo has contributed by supporting all aspects of the club's development and has powered us on to achieving our most successful season to date.

“The sponsorship has been primarily used for travel and accommodation, and for the expenses that come with being in a national competition.

"The minibus is a game-changer for us.

“Futsal is still an amateur sport and we’re a community grassroots organisation, so WeDo’s sponsorship has been crucial to give players the best-possible support and set them up to succeed.

"It’s meant players could travel the night before an early away game and stay over, rather than setting off at 5am to be at the venue on time.

“That’s been key to our success, by ensuring the players have been able to focus on the game, with that financial assurance.

"It’s certainly been a significant contributing factor to the men’s team going through the entire season unbeaten and going on to perform at top level in Europe for the first time.

“It’s also given the club greater visibility across the Manchester city region and all over the UK.

"WeDo really understand the ethos of the club, which is about creating a positive learning environment and being proud to represent Manchester.”

Simon added: “We see futsal as a global sport that is gaining popularity and profile, and the support from WeDo has enabled us to reach more people, engage new fans and spotlight the great work that the club is delivering locally to give young players a pathway in the sport to follow.

“Like WeDo, we are ambitious and want to expand both locally and internationally in the coming years, and our aim is to compete in the UEFA Futsal Champions League every season.”

Futsal is a fast-growing sport which is officially recognised by UEFA and FIFA. Many top footballers played Futsal in their youth and have credited it with helping them to develop their skills, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

It is a five-a-side version of football played on an indoor pitch with hockey-sized goals. Matches last for 20 minutes each half and are played to a stopping clock similar to that in basketball, with time-outs permitted and unlimited substitutions.

The sport’s name is a combination of the Spanish words futbol and sala, which mean football and hall respectively.

Founded in 2006, Manchester Futsal Club plays its home fixtures at the 3,500-seater National Cycling Centre at SportCity.

It has a growing youth programme offering opportunities for boys and girls aged from six to 16 across Greater Manchester to play and learn the sport.

Mark Lindsay, joint chief executive and co-founder of the WeDo group, said: “Investing in our local community is a key part of our ethos, and we are thrilled to be supporting Manchester Futsal Club’s fantastic work.

“Encouraging young people to play sport and lead more active and fulfilling lives is extremely important, and futsal is a great opportunity for them.

“The sport has a bright future in Manchester, and we are proud to be part of helping it to develop further.

"We are thrilled to have played a role in the club’s success this season and wish them every success when competing in Europe.”

The WeDo group provides invoice and trade finance, asset finance, loans and start-up funding, as well as accountancy, HR, back-office and IT services.

Mark and Chris Robinson founded WeDo in 2019 with just four staff and the business has grown rapidly through organic expansion and acquisition.

It currently has over 70 staff across its Oldham headquarters and its network of offices.

Its overall lending now exceeds £50m, and it aims to reach £100m within the next three years.

The group’s nationwide client base spans sectors including recruitment, engineering, manufacturing, logistics and wholesale distribution.

The group has supported numerous charitable and community causes over the years, including being a headline sponsor of Manchester Remembers, a Celebrities v Legends football match which raises money for charities set up following the Manchester Arena terror attack.

This year the match takes place on Sunday, July 28 at Boundary Park, the home of Latics.

WeDo has also helped organisations including Mustard Tree, Emmeline’s Pantry, the Cindy Appleyard Foundation, the Wipe Your Tears children’s charity, Wood Street Mission, Shelter, Cash for Kids and We Love MCR Charity’s Rising Stars Fund in various ways, through volunteering as well as by donating goods and cash, and fundraising.

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