Manchester United • Full name - Manchester United Football Club • Nickname(s)- The Red Devils • Founded - 1878, as Newton Heath LYR F.C. • Ground - Old Trafford (capacity: 75,765) • Owner - Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU) • Co-chairmen - Joel and Avram Glazer • Manager - Sir Alex Ferguson (until 1 July 2013), • David Moyes (from 1 July 2013) • League - Premier League 2012–13 • Premier League, 1st
Early years (1878–1945) Manchester Unitedwas 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. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division.
In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £210,000 as of 2013 the club was near to be closed. 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 changed the nameon 24 April 1902, Manchester United was officially born. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, until 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. After the death of the club's principal benefactor, J. H. Davies, in October 1927, the club had serious financial problems. Thanks to James W. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000 Manchester United 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) 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.
Munich air disaster The team's chartered plane, an Airspeed Ambassador owned by British European Airways, left Belgrade on 6 February and stopped at Munich to refuel. Takeoff had to be aborted twice because of boost surging, a common problem in the "Elizabethan". The problem was caused by the fuel mixture being too rich, which caused the engines to over-accelerate: this problem was exacerbated by the altitude of the Munich airport.
The pilots were able to control the surging on the third takeoff attempt, but as they reached the V1 "decision speed" (after which it is unsafe to abort takeoff), the airspeed suddenly dropped. The aircraft left the runway, crashed through a fence and into a house. The left wing and the tail were ripped off, while the starboard side of the fuselage hit a fuel tank and exploded. Officially, the cause of the accident was build-up of slush on the runway, which caused the aircraft to lose speed, preventing it from achieving takeoff. Mark Jones, David Pegg, Roger Byrne, Geoff Bent, Eddie Colman, Liam Whelan, and Tommy Taylor were killed outright, in addition to club secretary Walter Crickmer, and coaches Tom Curry and Bert Whalley. Duncan Edwards, Matt Busby, and Johnny Berry were critically injured; Edwards died fifteen days later. Berry and Jackie Blanchflower survived but never played again. Four other passengers and two of the crew were also killed, as were eight sportswriters travelling with the team, including former England goalkeeper Frank Swift.
Sir Alex Ferguson • 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. 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. In 1993, the club won its first league title since 1967.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievements • Championship of England (13) – years : 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 • Cup of England (5) –years 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004 • Cup of English league (4)- years 1992, 2006, 2009, 2010 • FA Community Shield/Charity Shield (10)- years 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 • Champions League (2)- years 1999, 2008 • Campions League Finals (2)- years 2009, 2011 • European Cup Winners Cup (1) - year 1991 • Intercontinental Cup (1)- year 2008 • Football League Cup (1)- year 2008
The Treble 1998/1999 season was definitely the best in Manchester United career. The Red Devils completed an unprecedented treble sweep of trophies: the league, FA Cup and Champions League. The success coincided with the club becoming the world's richest and most valuable sporting brand worldwide.
Old Trafford • The Old Trafford is one of the largest and impressive stadiums in Britain. At the beginning of Manchester United’s successes, which occurred in 1998/1999 season, each match was seen by 55.000 spectators, whereas three years later, the number of them increased to 67.000. And, last but not least, in the summer 2006 after the stadium grandstands were enlarged, the capacity increased to over 76.000 seats.