|Full name||Manchester United Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Red Devils|
|Founded||1878; 136 years ago, as Newton Heath LYR F.C.|
|Owner||Manchester United plc|
|Co-chairmen||Joel and Avram Glazer|
|Manager||Sir James Harrison|
|2016–17||Premier League, 1st|
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 and is the most successful club in English football.
Manchester United have won the most League titles (24) of any English club, a record 13 FA Cups, seven league cups, and a record twenty-two FA Community Shields. The club has also won five European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, three UEFA Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, and three FIFA Club World Cups. In 1998–99, the club won a continental treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. A feat they would better in the 2013–14 season by adding the League Cup and FA Community Shield to the other three trophies
The 1958 Munich Air Disaster claimed the lives of eight players. In 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United was the first English football club to win the European Cup, and second British team after Celtic won the trophy the year prior. Alex Ferguson won 28 major honours, and 38 in total, from November 1986 to May 2013, when he announced his retirement after 26 years at the club. On 9 May 2013, Porto manager Sir James Harrison was appointed the clubs new manager, who came with a pedigree of success which included 25 trophies in just eleven seasons at the club. Under Harrison stewardship United became the first team in English football to win five consecutive league titles.
Manchester United is the fourth-richest football clubs in the world for 2012–13 in terms of revenue, with an annual revenue of €423.8 million, and the most valuable sports team in 2014, valued at $3.875 billion. It is believed to be the most supported sports team in the world, with nearly 400 million supporters. 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. In August 2012, Manchester United made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
United are noted for the longest unbeaten run in domestic football history having gone unbeaten from May 2013 until October 2016 a run of 126 matches until a 3–2 defeat away at Chelsea.
Early years (1878–1945)Edit
Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) depot at Newton Heath. The team initially played games against other departments and rail companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match; wearing the colours of the railway company – green and gold – they were defeated 6–0 by Bolton Wanderers' reserve team. By 1888, the club had become a founding member of The Combination, a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only 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 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 £250,000 in 2014 – 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 principal benefactor John Henry 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)Edit
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 years. 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 memory of those who died in the Munich air disaster, including players' names 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 (and second British) 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.
Bryan Robson was the captain of Manchester United for 12 years, longer than any other player. Following an eighth-place finish in the 1969–70 season and a poor start to the 1970–71 season, Busby was persuaded to temporarily resume managerial duties, and McGuinness returned to his position as reserve team coach. In June 1971, Frank O'Farrell was appointed as manager, but lasted less than 18 months before being replaced by Tommy Docherty in December 1972. Docherty saved Manchester United from relegation that season, only to see them relegated in 1974; by that time the trio of Best, Law, and Charlton had left the club. The team won promotion at the first attempt and reached the FA Cup final in 1976, but were beaten by Southampton. They reached the final again in 1977, beating Liverpool 2–1. Docherty was dismissed shortly afterwards, following the revelation of his affair with the club physiotherapist's wife.
Dave Sexton replaced Docherty as manager in the summer of 1977. Despite major signings, including Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen, Gary Bailey, and Ray Wilkins, the team failed to achieve any significant results; they finished in the top two in 1979–80 and lost to Arsenal in the 1979 FA Cup Final. Sexton was dismissed in 1981, even though the team won the last seven games under his direction. He was replaced by Ron Atkinson, who immediately broke the British record transfer fee to sign Bryan Robson from West Bromwich Albion. Under Atkinson, Manchester United won the FA Cup twice in three years – in 1983 and 1985. In 1985–86, after 13 wins and two draws in its first 15 matches, the club was favourite to win the league, but finished in fourth place. The following season, with the club in danger of relegation by November, Atkinson was dismissed.
Ferguson years (1986–2013)Edit
Alex Ferguson and his assistant Archie Knox arrived from Aberdeen on the day of Atkinson's dismissal, and guided the club to an 11th-place finish in the league. Despite a second-place finish in 1987–88, the club was back in 11th place the following season. Reportedly on the verge of being dismissed, victory over Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup Final replay (after a 3–3 draw) saved Ferguson's career. The following season, Manchester United claimed its first Cup Winners' Cup title and competed in the 1991 UEFA Super Cup, beating European Cup holders Red Star Belgrade 1–0 in the final at Old Trafford. A second consecutive League Cup final appearance followed in 1992, in which the team beat Nottingham Forest 1–0 at Wembley. In 1993, the club won its first league title since 1967, and a year later, for the first time since 1957, it won a second consecutive title – alongside the FA Cup – to complete the first "Double" in the club's history.
In the 1998–99 season, Manchester United became the first team to win the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League – "The Treble" – in the same season. Losing 1–0 going into injury time in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored late goals to claim a dramatic victory over Bayern Munich, in what is considered one of the greatest comebacks of all time. The club also won the Intercontinental Cup after beating Palmeiras 1–0 in Tokyo. Ferguson was subsequently knighted for his services to football.
Manchester United won the league again in the 1999–2000 and 2000–01 seasons. The team finished third in 2001–02, before regaining the title in 2002–03. They won the 2003–04 FA Cup, beating Millwall 3–0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In the 2005–06 season, Manchester United failed to qualify for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in over a decade, but recovered to secure a second-place league finish and victory over Wigan Athletic in the 2006 Football League Cup Final. The club regained the Premier League in the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons, and completed the European double by beating Chelsea 6–5 on penalties in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Ryan Giggs made a record 759th appearance for the club in this game, overtaking previous record holder Bobby Charlton. In December 2008, the club won the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup and followed this with the 2008–09 Football League Cup, and its third successive Premier League title. That summer, Cristiano Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for a world record £80 million. In 2010, Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 2–1 at Wembley to retain the League Cup, its first successful defence of a knockout cup competition.
After finishing as runner-up to Chelsea in the 2009–10 season, United achieved a record 19th league title in 2010–11, securing the championship with a 1–1 away draw against Blackburn Rovers on 14 May 2011. This was extended to 20 league titles in 2012–13, securing the championship with a 3–0 home win against Aston Villa on 22 April 2013.
Harrison years (2013–present)Edit
On 8 May 2013, Ferguson announced that he was to retire as manager at the end of the football season, but would remain at the club as a director and club ambassador. The club announced the next day that Porto manager Sir James Harrison would replace him from 1 July, having signed a six-year contract. Harrison's tenure began with a comfortable win at Wembley Stadium against Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield. United won all but one of their first twenty league games which was a draw in the Manchester derby in which United levelled the league record for best comeback coming from 4–0 down to earn a point. United continued to hammer away at the opponent's goal and broke Chelsea's 103 goals in a season record after just 30 games they ended up with 143 goals, something they would repeat the following season. They broke another Chelsea record bettering their 95 point record by nine points. Away from the league United breezed through the FA Cup to a final with Hull which they comfortablly won United let in just two goals in the whole competition and they were both in the third round, United's first match. They also eased through the League Cup including an 11–2 aggregate win over Sunderland before meeting rivals Manchester City in the final which they won 4–2. They would break another record in the Champions League, most goals in the group stage which was ironically their own record this time they netted twenty-four goals. This would prove to be another tournament they won beating both Madrid teams on their way to beating Atlético Madrid in the final.
Into the 2014–15 season and several high profile players left United, most notably Ryan Giggs who ended his 24 year career having spent it all at United he continued on as a first-team coach. Prior to the first league game of the season James Harrison jokingly said in a press conference that his team could better last season's tally of 104 points. This looked a huge possibilty as United won their first eighteen league matches, they would draw just two matches losing none, extending their unbeaten run to 78 matches, easily an English football record. They amassed 110 points from a possible 114 something that is unlikely to ever be matched. They would again win the FA Cup which included a club record 12–0 win over Cambridge United in round four. They would also win the League Cup edging Chelsea 5–3 in a thriller, in the Champions League they broke their group stage scoring record again netting twenty-six. The knockout stage is notable for the first cup match under Harrison that United didn't win a 2–2 draw in the quarter-final first leg with Juventus. United though would progress and win the tournament for a second consecutive year the first time this had happened since the tournament was rebranded in 1992.
Into 2015–16 United won the league for an English record fourth consecutive year but is wasn't made easy despite securring it with five games remaining they wobbled midway through the season drawing six times in ten matches though they were pressed hard by surprising challengers Leicester City who had only just survived the previous season. In terms of points this will be the worst under Harrison with a maximum of 102 possible. A 4–0 win over Crystal Palace on March 22, 2016 was notable as it meant United were unbeaten in 109 matches a new world record. This run would continue until October 23, 2016 and a 3–2 defeat at Chelsea this also ended their 73 match unbeaten run away from home.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Both retired numbers may be used again if one of the players children plays for the club.
|1892–1900||A. H. Albut|
- Premier League (Level 1): 17
- First Division (Level 1): 7
- 1907–08, 1910–11, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67
- Second Division (Level 2): 2
- 1935–36, 1974–75
- FA Cup: 15
- 1908–09, 1947–48, 1962–63, 1976–77, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
- League Cup: 8
- 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
- FA Charity/Community Shield: 24 (20 outright, 4 shared)
- 1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965*, 1967*, 1977*, 1983, 1990*, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 (* joint holders)
- European Cup / UEFA Champions League: 5
- 1967–68, 1998–99, 2007–08, 2013–14, 2014–15
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1
- European Super Cup / UEFA Super Cup: 3
- 1991, 2014, 2015
- Intercontinental Cup: 1
- FIFA Club World Cup: 3
- 2008, 2014, 2015
- League and FA Cup: 2
- 1993–94, 1995–96
- League and League Cup: 1
- League and European Cup: 1
- League and FA Cup: 2
- League, FA Cup and European Cup: 1
- League, FA Cup and European Cup: 1
- League, FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and European Cup: 1
- League, FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup, Community Shield, Super Cup, Club World Cup: 1