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MANCHESTER UNITED'S EARLY YEARS AND NOW

 


Founded in 1878 by Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway's (LYR) Carriage and Wagon department, then named as Newton Health LYR Football Club, the Manchester United is a Old Trafford based professional football club in England's Greater Manchester.

The Newton Health LYR FC was rechristened in 1902 as Manchester United. Eight years later it moved to the current location.

Manchester United currently are ahead of all other clubs in the English football with respect to highest number of League titles won (20). In 2016-17 it became the highest-earning club in the world. It is also ahead of other clubs with respect to online betting.

Today, the club has a record of Twenty League titles, 17 Charity Shields, 5 League Cups, 12 FA Cups, 3 European Cups, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 European Cup Winners Cup and 1 UEFA Europa League.

The club is also crowned with becoming the first in English football to win the continental European treble.

The first league title was in 1908 and Manchester United won the FA Cup next year after getting its new name, from Newton Health LYR FC to Manchester United FC. About half-a-year ahead of the FA Cup title the club was moved to Old Trafford. A land was purchased for around 60,000 pounds and a budget of 30,000 pounds was allotted for construction.

The seating capacity was originally planned for 100,000 fans, but later it ended up 70,000 seats due to budget constraints. Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester constructed the stadium. The record attendance at Old Trafford was witnessed on 25 March 1939 during an FA Cup semi-final match between Grimsby Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers. A total of 76,962 were in attendance.

During the Second World War a large portion of the stadium was destroyed by German bombers. It was rebuilt with grant of 22,276 pounds received from War Damage Commission. Meanwhile, the club played home games at Maine Road home ground of neighbours Manchester City. City charging 5,000 pounds rent along with a small percentage of tickets sold.

OWNERSHIP

Initially the owner of Manchester United, in its founding name, was the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. In 1892 it became a limited company and local supporters were given share holding position. By 1902 the club was nearing to bankruptcy and hence four local businessmen emerged as saviors by taking over majority of the ownership. Future club president John Henry Davies was one of them. However, his death in 1927 led to bankruptcy once again. James W. Gibson invested 2,000 pounds in 1931 to save the club.

In 1991 the club floated in stock market and British Sky Broadcasting Corporation of Rupert Murdoch tookover a bid in 1998. The situation paved the way to Shareholders United Against Murdoch (later renamed as Manchester United Supporters' Trust) formation to encourage fans and supporters of the club to buy the shares.

SPONSORSHIP

In 1982-83 season the club signed a deal with Sharp Electronics worth 500,000 pounds. This was the first time Manchester United received shirt sponsor. It was a deal that ended in 1999-2000 season. The second was Vodafone for four years thereafter worth 30 million pounds. However, the contract suffered an end after two years.

AIG American insurance corporation signed a four-year deal in 2006-07 season worth 56.5 million pounds. Similarly, Aon American reinsurance company came into contract in the 2010-11 season for four years.

The first training kit sponsor came in 2011 with DHL and the four-year contract was worth 40 million pounds.

The first kit manufacturer sponsor deal was signed with Umbro and next was with Admiral Sportswear (1975). In 1980 and 1992 the deal was with Adidas and Umbro (once again) respectively.

RIVAL CLUBS

The main rival clubs are Manchester City, Liverpool, Leeds United and Arsenal.

Against Liverpool the Manchester United has won 39 league titles, 4 UEFA Cups, 19 FA Cups, 9 European Cups, 5 UEFA Super Cups, 2 FIFA Club World Cups, 13 League Cups, 36 FA Community Shields and 1 intercontinental Cup.

The two clubs are one of the biggest rivalries in football across the world. They are rival since the Industrial Revolution when Liverpool city was a major port and Manchester was a textile industry.

Against Arsenal the club has won 20 League titles.

TRAGEDY

Manchester United lost its eight players in 1958 in the Munich air disaster. The club was then under the management of Matt Busby and he had to rebuild the team.

A total of 21 passengers were killed when the British European Airways chartered plane caught fire while bringing them back from a European Cup match played in Yugoslavia against Red Star Belgrade. The plane halted at the Riem Airport in Munich for refueling. The third attempt of takeoff overshot the runway and burst into flames after the ort wing hit a building. It was carrying 38 passengers.

The average age of the players was 24 and they were Roger Byrne (captain), Mark Jones, Eddie Colman, Tommy Taylor, Liam Whelan, David Pegg and Geoff Bent.

Others among the dead were 8 British sports journalists. The Queen was deeply shocked.

VERDICT

Globally, Manchester United has the fame of being one of the most popular and favorite football clubs. In Europe it is credited with having averagely one of the highest home attendances. If believed to the club, it has a huge fan base and includes at least 200 recognized branches of Manchester United Supporters Club, which is commonly known as MUSC. Estimation reveals the club has worldwide fan base of 75 million.

More to all these, with respect to social media it has third highest following amid other sports teams. The first two are Barcelona and Real Madrid. By July 2020 Man Uni had more than 72 million followers on Facebook. A study in 2014 reports the club had loudest fans in the Premier League.

In 2016-17 the club grabbed highest-earning among other clubs with annual revenue of 676.3 million euros. In 2019 it became third most valuable club in the world and was valued at $3.81 billion.

The club was valued 800 million pounds in 2005 when Malcolm Glazer acquired it even though Manchester United went to public, London Stock Exchange, in 1991. However, in 2012 again it was listed on the exchange.

 
West Cumbria Reds Branch Flag.......as seen behind the Stretford End @ all Home games
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