manchester united logoManager: – Louis Van Gaal

Co-Chairman:  – Joel and Avram Glazer

Captain: – Wayne Rooney

Owners: – Manchester United Plc

Rivals: – Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Leeds United

 

Nicknamed “The Red Devils”, Manchester United FC is the most successful English club when it comes to domestic competitions. They have won the English League title a record 20 times, The FA Cup a record 11 times and the League Cup another 4 times.

Manchester United FC plays their home matches at the Old Trafford stadium which houses a capacity of 75,731. United have a long standing rivalry with Liverpool and the games between these two football giants are called the Northwest Derbies.

According to Forbes United are the third richest sports club in the world just behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.

History of Manchester United FC

old trafford

Old Trafford Stadium

United was founded in the year 1878 but not as Manchester United, initially they were known as “Newton Heath LYR FC”.

United played their first official match against the Bolton Wanderers Reserve team in 1880 and lost the match 6-0. In 1888 Newton Heath became one of the founding members of a football league known as “The Combination”.

They wouldn’t play in the Combination for long as the league itself died out after the first season. Newton Heath would soon join another league called the Football Alliance next season and would play in it for three seasons before finally joining the Football league.

United played in the Football First Division in the 1892-93 season and the same year they dropped LYR from their name. Newton Heath after just two seasons in the 1st Division would get relegated to the 2nd Division of English Football.

Rise of a Titan

The Club fell into huge debts at the start of the 1900’s but a former Newton Heath player Harry Stafford would find four businessmen including former club president Henry Davies to invest money in the club.

The Club was changed and Manchester United was officially born in April, 1902. Ernest Mangall was appointed manager in 1903 and under him the club would get promotion back to the First Division in the 1906 season.

Under Mangall the club would win its first league title in 1908 following it up with a FA Cup trophy in the 1909 season. The club would win one more league under Mangall management before he left the club and joined United’s in city rivals Manchester City.

Short Struggles

The team struggled to challenge for the league title again and eventually got relegated to the 2nd Division in the 1922 season. United did manage to get themselves promoted back in 1935 but would get relegated again within a few years.

United got promoted once again in the season before the Second World War and started the first season post the war in the First Division.

Busby Babies

Sir Matt busby

Sir Matt Busby Statue

 Matt Busby was appointed manager for the first season post the war, he was someone who believed youth and legs trumped experience. United’s first trophy under Busby management came in 1948 when they won the FA Cup.

More success would follow in 1952 when they won the 1st Division title for only the third time in their history. The team under Busby would be known as the “Busby Babies” after United’s back to back title wins in 1956. In 1957 United became the first English Club to play in a European Competition.

Disaster struck the Club in the 1958 season, an aircraft carrying the team and officials who were returning home from a European Cup Quarter-Final game crashed during take-off in Munich leaving 23 dead and several more injured. The incident is now remembered as the Munich Air Disaster.

 

Munich disaster

Plaque at Old Trafford remembering the players and officials that lost their lifes

Even though the team had to be rebuilt from scratch they would go on to win glory again in 1963 with the FA Cup which was followed by two League Cup trophies in 1965 and 1967. In 1968 the club became the First English Club to win the European Cup in 1968 beating Benfica in the final.

The European Cup would be last trophy United won under Busby as he resigned the following year in 1969.

The Next Generation

United found it difficult after the departure of Busby finishing 8th in the 1969-70 season and again struggled at the start of the 70-71 season. This forced the return of Busby who would stay with the club for another year.

United would get relegated in the 1974 season but didn’t stay in the second Division for long as they came back up on their first attempt.

United started finding their feet again after getting promoted and won the FA Cup once more in 1977 beating rivals Liverpool 2-1.

More FA Cup success followed in the 1983 and 1985 season but after a disappointing 1985-86 season and a bad start to the 1986-87 campaign, where they were in a relegation battle, United management went on to sack the manager at the time, “Ron Attinkson”.

Sir Alex Ferguson history at Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

Alex Ferguson joined the club as manager just a day after the sacking of Ron Attinkson in 1987. Ferguson was able to guide the club away from the relegation battle eventually achieving a 11th place finish in the table in his first season with the club.

The club achieved a 2nd place finish in Fergie’s second season, but fell back to 11th in the table in the third season. United won their first trophy under Ferguson in 1990 when they won the FA Cup after beating Crystal Palace in the final. It is said that Ferguson was on the verge of being sacked if not for his FA Cup triumph.

From that point onwards the United juggernaut grew in strength season by season under the guidance of Alex Ferguson. United would win their first league title under Ferguson in 1993.

In the following season United would do the Double, winning the Premier League title and FA Cup in the same season.

In the 1998 season United would go on to do the Treble winning the Premier League title, FA Cup and Champions league title all in the same season.

The Champions League final of 1998 was one of the greatest finals in the competitions rich history. United’s opponent Munich, were leading 1-0 post the 90th minute, but United would go on to win the match 2-1 after two injury time goals from Ole Gunnar Sloskjaer and Teddy Sheringham.

The remarkable come-back by Manchester United against Bayern Munich | Champions League Final 1998:

Manchester United Golden Era with Ferguson | The 2000´s

The 2000’s was a period of huge success for the club and during this time the team would win the league title a total of 8 times, the League Cup 3 times and the FA Cup and Champions league one time.

Ferguson would go on to resign post the 2012-2013 season by winning the Premier League. Ferguson would remain a Club Director after his resignation as manager.

The sign of bad things to come for United?

Louis Van Gaal

Louis Van Gaal | Manchested United manager in the 2014/2015 season

Post the departure of Ferguson in 2013, David Moyes was handpicked by Ferguson to succeed him as United manager. The team would struggle under Moyes in the 2013/14 season and was sacked with only a few games remaining in the season. Ryan Giggs was appointed as interim manager for the rest of the season which saw them finishing 7th well outside the Champions League Qualification Spots. Louis Van Gaal was appointed manager at the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

The Season So Far for Manchester  2014/15 season

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney

 

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney

 

 

After the huge disappointment in the 2013/14 season which saw them finish 7th overall and miss out on European competition, United were hoping to show this season why they are the top dogs in English Football.

Unfortunately the appointed of Louis Van Gaal, nor signing players of quality like Di Maria and Falcao have helped the club put up a challenge. They currently occupy the fourth spot in the table with 40 points from 22 games (As of 21st January 2014).

They are 12 points behind the current league leaders Chelsea and have 4 or 5 teams breathing down their necks for a Champions League qualification spot. United will be aiming to return to the Champions League next season and anything less than a 4th spot will be regarded as a huge disappointment.

Club Records

Most Appearances: – Ryan Giggs (963)

Top Goalscorer: – Bobby Charlton (249)

More updates including the current squad and other facts in the February update.

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