United London FC: The club that lets you play Football Manager for real

The world’s first managers football club are up and running.

Blind footballer scored a wondergoal in the Paralympics
How do you watch the Premier League? All above board? Image Picture Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Who needs a manager anyway? In football’s results-driven age, all gaffers are essentially caretaker managers.

The freshly-formed United London FC have decided to dispense with a boss completely and put fans in charge of the team.

Playing in the Essex Alliance Premier League, ULFC use a weekly online vote to decide which of their squad make the starting XI and what formation to play.

“We’re in love with the game and wanted to do more than just sit back and watch.”

Just sign up, log in, then watch training and match day footage and survey stats reports from the assistant manager to make your choices.

United London FC was founded by Mark North as a way to take football away from the money men and put it back in the hands of fans.

“United London FC has been created by genuine football fans and not millionaire business owners,” reads a statement on the club’s website.

“We’re in love with the game and wanted to do more than just sit back and watch, so we decided to create something honest, accessible and engaging that gives football fans the chance to have direct impact in the running a real life football club. We’re putting you in the dugout.”

So far it hasn’t worked out too badly. United London won their first match 5-0 against Old Esthameians FC.

Among their staff are former Port Vale striker Leon Constantine as coach and ex-Crystal Palace academy player Brandon McCarthy, who netted twice in their first game.

With the likes of Jamie Vardy and Michail Antonio moving from non-league to the England squad, there’s a good chance you might be playing Football Manager for real with a future international.

United London even joined the Vardy party themselves by hiring lookalike Lee Chapman to help launch the club back in July on Hackney Marshes.

Their journey is just beginning – who knows where it might end up?

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn