|Full name||Manchester United Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Red Devils|
|Founded||1878, as Newton Heath LYR F.C.|
|Co-chairmen||Joel & Avram Glazer|
|2009–10||Premier League, 2nd|
|Website||Club home page|
Manchester United Football Club profile,
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.
In 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United was the first English football club to win the European Cup, ten years after the Munich air disaster that claimed the lives of eight players. Alex Ferguson is the most successful manager in the club's history, having won 26 major honours since he took over in November 1986.
The club is unique in having won a Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League Treble, in the 1998–99 season. Having won a joint-record 18 league titles, four League Cups and a record 11 FA Cups, Manchester United is the joint most successful club in the history of English football.
Manchester United is one of the wealthiest and most widely supported football teams in the world. The club is said to be worth £1.19 billion, making it the most valuable football club in the world. After being floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club was purchased by Malcolm Glazer in May 2005 in a deal valuing the club at almost £800 million.
Early years (1878–1945)
Manchester United F.C. (1878–1945)
A chart showing the progress of Manchester United F.C. through the English football league system from joining as Newton Heath in 1892–93 to 2007–08
Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. The team initially played games against other departments and rail companies, but by 1888 the club had become a founding member of The Combination, a regional football league. However, following the league's dissolution after just one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League. This resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the rail company and dropped the "LYR" from its name. After just two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division.
The Manchester United team at the start of the 1905–06 season, in which they were runners-up in the Second Division
In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £210,000 as of 2010 – the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies (who became club president), each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name; on 24 April 1902, Manchester United was officially born. Under Ernest Mangnall, who assumed managerial duties in 1903, the team finished as Second Division runners-up in 1906 and secured promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1908 – the club's first league title. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City.
In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, where it remained until regaining promotion in 1925. Relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Following the death of the club's principal benefactor, J. H. Davies, in October 1927, the club's finances deteriorated to the extent that Manchester United would likely have gone bankrupt had it not been for James W. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000 and assumed control of the club. In the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division.
Busby years (1945–1969)
Manchester United F.C. (1945–1969)
The Busby Babes in Denmark in 1955
In October 1945, the impending resumption of football led to the managerial appointment of Matt Busby, who demanded an unprecedented level of control over team selection, player transfers and training sessions. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947, 1948 and 1949, and to FA Cup victory in 1948. In 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 year. With an average age of 22, the media labelled the back-to-back title winning side of 1956 "the Busby Babes", a testament to Busby's faith in his youth players. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season. En route to the semi-final, which they lost to Real Madrid, the team recorded a 10–0 victory over Belgian champions Anderlecht, which remains the club's biggest victory on record.
A plaque at Old Trafford in honour of the players who died in the Munich air disaster
The following season, on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final victory against Red Star Belgrade, the aircraft carrying the Manchester United players, officials and journalists crashed while attempting to take off after refuelling in Munich, Germany. The Munich air disaster of 6 February 1958 claimed 23 lives, including those of eight players – Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Billy Whelan – and injured several more.
Reserve team manager Jimmy Murphy took over as manager while Busby recovered from his injuries and the club's makeshift side reached the FA Cup final, which they lost to Bolton Wanderers. In recognition of the team's tragedy, UEFA invited the club to compete in the 1958–59 European Cup alongside eventual League champions Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite approval from the FA, the Football League determined that the club should not enter the competition, since it had not qualified. Busby rebuilt the team through the 1960s by signing players such as Denis Law and Pat Crerand, who combined with the next generation of youth players – including George Best – to win the FA Cup in 1963. The following season, they finished second in the league, then won the title in 1965 and 1967. In 1968, Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup, beating Benfica 4–1 in the final with a team that contained three European Footballers of the Year: Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. Matt Busby resigned as manager in 1969 and was replaced by the reserve team coach, former Manchester United player Wilf McGuinness.