FC Isle of Man crest

Our Story

The idea of forming an Isle of Man based football club that would join the English National League System has been debated for some time.

In 2018, a small group led by Paul Jones, finally started to make it happen. Preliminary discussions with local and national regulatory bodies began to firm up plans that would hopefully pave the way for IOM based footballers to enter the professional game.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2019, the Isle of Man Football Association (IOMFA) granted approval to consult with existing local clubs, which took place via a series of “town hall” style meetings across the Island.

In October 2019 an application to join the Northwest Counties Football League (NWCFL) was submitted, with the NWCFL subsequently recommending to The FA that FC Isle of Man be included within their league system.

In February 2020, and with things now well in motion, one of the Isle of Man’s most decorated local managers, Chris Bass Senior, was announced as the club’s first-ever manager.

The realities of FC Isle of Man playing in a national league system took significant steps forward in July 2020. Firstly, affiliation with IOMFA was officially secured followed shortly by the decision by the English FA to place the club in the NWCFL Division One South for the 20/21 season.

Sadly, due to the travel and quarantine challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, FC Isle of Man were unable to take part in the 2021/21 season, with the NWCFL leagues themselves having to be suspended later that that year.

However, this didn’t stop the club from playing its inaugural game against Guernsey FC at the Bowl in the Summer of 2020, which the Ravens won 1-0 thanks to a Jack McVey penalty. A return fixture away in Guernsey later in the year ended in a 1-1 draw, which Guernsey subsequently won on penalties.

A year later in July 2021, and with COVID restrictions easing, FC Isle of Man were able to finally begin their first ever season in the English football pyramid – starting with an away trip to Maine Road. The game ended 1-1 with club captain Frank Jones opening the scoring on the day.

Over the course of the season, a free-scoring Ravens side began racking up the victories. And in April 2022, FC Isle of Man earned promotion to the NWCFL Premier Division (Step 5) through a play-off semi-final win against Wythenshawe Amateurs and a final victory against New Mills. Both occasions seeing crowds inside The Bowl of over 3,000. This elation culminated a month later, as FC Isle of Man would go on to win the First Division Challenge Cup versus Cammell Laird. A promotion and cup win in the first season was an incredible achievement for all involved.

The highs of the first season could not however be matched in the club’s second campaign. A disappointing start to life in the Premier Division failed to get much better. As results begin to suffer and with the club perilously close to the relegation zone, Paul Jones replaced Chris Bass Senior to become the club’s interim manager in November 2022.

Jones’ new approach inspired a dramatic change in form, with the club winning its last five league games, ultimately finishing 13th and earning more than enough points to secure another season in the NWCFL Premier Division. Jones would go on to be named the permanent manager in April 2023.

In May 2023, FC Isle of Man embarked on its third competitive season, and second in the NWCFL Premier Division.

The journey from an initial idea to a thriving football entity in the English National League System stands as a testament to the passion, commitment, and resilience of everyone who has contributed to making FC Isle of Man a reality.