Manchester United F.C.

From Academic Kids

Template:Football club infobox Manchester United is an English football club based at Old Trafford in Greater Manchester. The club is also referred to among supporters as Man United or simply United. The more frequently heard Man U., while sometimes used by supporters and the press, is also heard from fans of rival clubs, and is sometimes met with annoyance by extremes of the club's fan base.

The club was formed as Newton Heath LYR F.C. in 1878, as the works team of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath, becoming Manchester United on 26 April 1902. Another suggested name was Manchester Celtic, but this was not chosen. The earliest known film of Manchester United is the 2–0 victory at Burnley on 6 December 1902, filmed by Mitchell and Kenyon.

Traditionally one of the largest and most-supported clubs in England, United under manager Sir Alex Ferguson achieved a degree of dominance in domestic competitions in the 1990s unseen since the great Liverpool F.C. sides of the mid 1970s and early 1980s. This culminated in 1999, with the club winning an unprecedented treble of the English Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

In qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League in 2005, United achieved the tenth successive year of qualification, extending their record. In spite of this achievement, United have been largely unable to transfer their domestic dominance to European glory. In fact, the club's two European Cup wins (in 1968 and 1999) are the only two times they have reached the final at all.

The treble season of 1999, capped by a dramatic last-minute 2-1 win over Bayern Munich of Germany in the UEFA Champions League final, marked a peak in United's fortunes, which the club has since struggled to equal. Although their dominance in English football is considered by some to be over, they are still one of the best teams in the country, and finished third in the 2004-05 season.

In addition, the club were the most financially successful in England, prior to the transfer of huge debts by their american owner.

On May 12, 2005, the American businessman Malcolm Glazer acquired a controlling interest in the club in a takeover valuing it at approximately 800 million ($1.47 billion). On May 16, Glazer increased his share to the 75% necessary to delist the club from the Stock Exchange, taking it private again, and announced his intention to do so within 20 days. On 7 June he appointed his sons Joel, Avram, and Bryan as non-executive directors, at the same time that Sir Roy Gardner resigned the chairmanship, and two other non-executive directors resigned.



United have had four successful eras, under J. Ernest Mangnall in the 1900s, in the 1950s and 1960s under Sir Matt Busby, and in the 90s to present under Sir Alex Ferguson. Apart from these successes, the most significant event in the club's history is the Munich air disaster in which eight of the club's players died.

The club's most successful season was 1998-99, when they became the first and only team to win the Treble - winning the FA Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League in the same season.

Early years (1878-1945)

Main article: Manchester United pre-1945

The club were formed as Newton Heath (Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway) (Newton Heath (L&YR) for short) by a group of Manchester railway workers in 1878. The name was soon shortened to Newton Heath. They were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889 and joined the Football League in 1892 when it merged with the Football Alliance.

The club faced bankruptcy in 1902 and was rescued by J.H.Davies who paid off the club's debts and changed the name to Manchester United, and changed the team's colours from gold and green to red and white. They won the league in 1908 and, with financial assistance from Davies, moved to a new stadium at Old Trafford in 1909.

The team struggled between the first and second world wars, and by time the second world war began they were 70,000 in debt.

The Busby years (1945-1969)

Main article: Manchester United 1945-1969

Matt Busby was appointed manager in 1945 and took a then-unheard of approach to his job, joining the players for training as well as performing administrative tasks. He was immediately successful, with the club finishing second in the league in 1947 and winning the F.A. Cup in 1948.

He adopted a policy of bringing in players from the youth team whenever possible, and the team won the league in 1956 with an average age of only 22. The following season, they won the league again and reached the F.A. Cup final, losing to Aston Villa. They also became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, and reached the semi-final.

Tragedy struck the following season, when the plane carrying the team home from a European Cup match crashed on take off at a refuelling stop in Munich. The Munich air disaster of 6 February, 1958 claimed the lives of eight players and another fifteen passengers. There was talk of the club folding but, with Jimmy Murphy taking over as manager while Matt Busby recovered from his injuries, the club continued playing with a makeshift side. They somehow reached the F.A. Cup final again, where they lost to Bolton.

Busby rebuilt the team throughout the early 1960s, signing players such as Denis Law and Pat Crerand. The team won the F.A. Cup in 1963, then won the league in 1965 and 1967 and the European Cup in 1968. This team was notable for containing three European Footballers of the Year: Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. Busby resigned as manager in 1969 and was replaced by the reserve-team coach and former United player Wilf McGuinness.


Main article: Manchester United 1969-1986

United struggled to replace Busby, and the team struggled under Wilf McGuinness and Frank O'Farrell before Tommy Docherty became manager at the end of 1972. Docherty, or 'the Doc', saved United from relegation that season but United were relegated in 1974. The team won promotion at the first attempt and reached the F.A. Cup final in 1976, but were beaten by Southampton. They reached the final again in 1977, beating Liverpool and preventing their opponents from completing the first domestic treble, which they would go on to win in 1999. In spite of this success, and his popularity with the supporters, Docherty was sacked soon after the final when he was found to have had an affair with a colleague's wife.

Dave Sexton replaced Docherty as manager in the summer of 1977, and made the team play in a more defensive formation. This style was unpopular with supporters, who were used to the attacking football preferred by Docherty and Busby, and after failing to win a trophy Sexton was sacked in 1981.

He was replaced by the flamboyant Ron Atkinson who immediately broke the British record transfer fee to sign Bryan Robson from West Brom. Atkinson built an exciting team with new signings such as Jesper Olsen and Gordon Strachan playing alongside the former youth-team players Norman Whiteside and Mark Hughes. United won the F.A. Cup in 1983 and 1985 and were overwhelming favourites to win the league in the 1985-86 season after winning their first ten league games, opening a ten point gap over their rivals as early as October. The team's form collapsed, howver, and United finished the season in fourth place. The poor form continued into the following season, and with United on the edge of the First Division's relegation zone, Atkinson was sacked.

The Alex Ferguson Era (1986-present)

Main article: Manchester United 1986-present

Alex Ferguson replaced Atkinson and guided the club to an 11th place finish. The following season (1987-88), United finished second, with Brian McClair becoming the first United player since George Best to score twenty league goals in a season.

However, things started to go horribly wrong. Many of Ferguson's signings did not reach the expectations of the fans and United struggled badly throughout 1989. There was speculation that Ferguson would be sacked at the beginning of 1990 but a win in the third round of the F.A. Cup kept the season alive and United went on to win the competition.

United won the the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1990-91, beating that season's Spanish champions Barcelona in the final. The following season was a disaster for United, though, as a late season slump saw them miss out on the league to rivals Leeds United.

The signing of Eric Cantona in November 1992 inspired United, and they finished the 1992-93 season as Champions for the first time since 1967. They won the double [the league and the F.A. Cup] for the first time the following season, but legendary manager and club president Matt Busby died that year, on 20 January, 1994.

In 1994-95, Cantona received an eight month suspension for kicking a supporter, and losing their last two matches left United as runners-up in both the league and F.A. Cup. Ferguson then outraged the supporters by selling key players and replacing them with players from the club's youth team, the so-called 'Fergie's Fledglings', but the new players did surprisingly well. United won the double again in 1995-96.

They won the league again in 1997, but Cantona once again shocked the fans by retiring from football at the age of 30, several years earlier than most players. They started the following season (1997-98) well but their results were affected by a series of injuries and they finished the season in second place, well behind the champions Arsenal.

1998-99 was the most successful season in the club's history as United became the first English team to win the Treble - the league, the F.A. Cup and the Champions League in the same season. The final was especially exciting as United were trailing 1-0 with one minute to go, but two goals in stoppage time, including a flick from Ole Gunnar Solskjr, gave them a win over Bayern Munich. Ferguson was knighted for his contributions to British football as a result

United won the league by enormous margins in 2000 and 2001 but the press saw these seasons as failures as they failed to regain the European Cup. Ferguson adopted a more defensive style to make United harder to beat in Europe but it was not a success and United finished the season in third place in 2002. They regained the league the following season (2002-03) and started the following season well, but their form nosedived as Rio Ferdinand received an eight month suspension for missing a drugs test.

In spite of spending millions on the forwards Alan Smith, Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha, the 2004-05 season was characterised by a failure to score goals. A series of 0-0 draws left United behind Arsenal and Chelsea early on and they finished the season in third place. The disappointment was increased as United became the first team to lose an F.A. Cup final on penalties, with Arsenal winning after the match had finished 0-0. The success of United's bitter rivals Liverpool in unexpectedly winning the European Cup for the fifth time simply increased the frustration. Off the pitch, the main story was the possiblility of the club being taken over and at the end of the season, the American Malcolm Glazer acquired a controlling interest in the club.

Edwin van der Sar became the first purchase in the off-season as the club looked for a new goalkeeper after releasing Roy Carroll and Ricardo. No goalkeepers had been convincing ever since Peter Schmeichel left the club. Midfielder Park Ji-Sung became the first Korean player to play for United when he signed from PSV Eindhoven for an undisclosed fee.

The Malcolm Glazer Takeover

This article or section contains information about a current or ongoing event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses and may temporarily contain inaccuracies, bias, or vandalism due to a high frequency of edits.

Main article: The Malcolm Glazer takeover of Manchester United

On 14 June, 2005, Malcolm Glazer successfully increased his share in the club to 97.3%, sufficient enough for full control, as well as de-listing it from public stock market. His sons, Joel and Avi, are expected to be involved in the running of club operations.

On June 22, 2005, He formally delisted the club from public stock market exchange.

As a result of Glazer's unpopular takeover, supporters have created a new club called FC United of Manchester, who will play in the North West Counties League Second Division in the 2005/06 season.


Before the second World War, few English football supporters travelled to away games because of the time and cost. As United and City played home matches on alternate Saturdays, many Mancunians would watch United one week and City the next. After the war, a stronger rivalry developed and it became more common for a supporter to choose one team to follow exclusively.

When United won the league in 1956, they had the highest average home attendance in the league, a record that had been held by Newcastle for the previous few years, and United held this record until the Munich air disaster in 1958. Following the disaster, many people from outside Manchester began to support United and, as travel became quicker and cheaper, many started to go to matches. This swelled United’s already impressive support and is one reason why United have had the highest league attendances in English football for almost every season since then, even as a second division side in 1974-75.

Although it is often claimed that few Mancunians support United (similar claims are made about Juventus and Bayern Munich), the Manchester Evening News has conducted several surveys asking Mancunians which team they support and United have topped each poll, on one occasion getting 66% of the vote. The club estimates they have 75 million fans around the world, with 40 million fans in Asia alone.

In the mid-1990s, United became unpopular among many followers of other English clubs, whose supporters often perceived United's as bandwagon-jumpers who had chosen their team because of its success, although a quick look at average attendance figures from the 1980s would strongly refute this. Around this time, there was considerable gentrification in English football and an influx of supporters who had previously shown little interest in the game, especially at the more successful teams such as United. It was around this time that Roy Keane made his now famous remark that "There are too many people more interested in eating prawn sandwiches than getting behind us". While many people who were supporters before this era still go, many have found the frequent price rises too much to bear.

In the late 1990s and early part of the 2000s, an increasing source of concern for many United supporters was the possiblity of the club being taken over. The supporters’ group IMUSA (Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association) were extremely active in opposing a proposed takeover by Rupert Murdoch in 1999. Another militant pressure group, Shareholders United Against Murdoch (now Shareholders United) was formed at around this time to encourage supporters to buy shares in the club, partly to enable supporters to have a greater say in the issues that concern them, such as ticket prices and allocation, and partly to reduce the risk of an unwanted party buying enough shares to take over the club. However, this scheme failed to prevent Malcolm Glazer from becoming the majority shareholder in the club.

Current squad

(as of June 22, 2005)


Noted players






See Also: List of Manchester United players and Category:Manchester United F.C. players

Managerial History



  • Most Appearances : Bobby Charlton 754
  • Most Goals scored : 247 Bobby Charlton
  • Most League Goals: 199 Bobby Charlton, 1956-73
  • Most League Goals in a Season: 32 Dennis Viollet, Division 1, 1959-60
  • Most Goals scored in a Match: 6 George Best v Northhampton Town, 1970
  • Most Capped Player: Bobby Charlton, 106 England
  • Most League Appearances: 606 Bobby Charlton, 1956-73
  • Record League Attendance: Old Trafford 70,504 v Aston Villa, Division 1, 27 December 1920
  • Record 'home' League Attendance: Maine Road 83,250 v Arsenal, Division 1, 7 January 1948
  • Record Attendance Old Trafford: 76,962, Wolves v Grimsby Town, FA Cup, semi-final, 25 March 1939
  • Longest unbeaten Run : (All competions) 45, 24-12-1998 to 10-3-99
  • Most League Goals in a season; 103 1956/57, 1958/59
  • Most points in a season: 92 1993/94

Performance in the top division

Manchester United have spent 79 seasons in the national top flight (only Everton, Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Arsenal have more seasons at top level), finishing in these positions:


United are one of three clubs (the remaining two being Liverpool and Arsenal) that have finished first more often than in any other one table spot in the top division. Another noteworthy fact is that United have found themselves in top nine places of the table more than twice as often as in the remaining thirteen table positions.

Fans Organizations


External links

Template:FA Premier League teamlist
FA Premier League seasons

1992-93 | 1993-94 | 1994-95 | 1995-96 | 1996-97 | 1997-98 | 1998-99
1999-00 | 2000-01 | 2001-02 | 2002-03 | 2003-04 | 2004-05 | 2005-06 edit (

Football in England

League competitions

The FA

Cup competitions

FA Premier League FA Cup
The Football League (Champ, 1, 2) England
League Cup
Football Conference (Nat, N, S) FA Community Shield
Northern Premier League (Prem, 1) (women) Football League Trophy
Southern League (Prem, 1W, 1E) List of
FA Trophy
Isthmian League (Prem, 1, 2) FA Vase
English football league system Records FA NLS Cup

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bg:Манчестър Юнайтед

ca:Manchester United da:Manchester United de:Manchester United F.C. et:Manchester United es:Manchester United FC eo:Manchester United fr:Manchester United Football Club id:Manchester United F.C. it:Manchester United F.C. he:מנצ'סטר יונייטד nl:Manchester United ja:マンチェスター・ユナイテッド no:Manchester United FC pl:Manchester United pt:Manchester United F.C. simple:Manchester United F.C. fi:Manchester United FC sv:Manchester United FC zh:曼彻斯特联队


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