Wednesday, October 3, 2012

At the beginning of the 2010–11 season

At the beginning of the 2010–11 season, American reinsurance company Aon became the club's principal sponsor in a four-year deal reputed to be worth approximately £80 million, making it the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal in football history.[98] Manchester United announced their first training kit sponsor in August 2011, Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/W Battery agreeing a four-year deal with DHL reported to be worth £40 million; it is believed to be the first instance of training kit sponsorship in English football.[99][100] The club's first kit manufacturer was Umbro, until a five-year deal was agreed with Admiral Sportswear in 1975.Adidas received the contract in 1980,[102] before Umbro started a second spell in 1992. Sony VAIO VGN-NW70JB Battery Umbro's sponsorship lasted for ten years, followed by Nike's record-breaking £302.9 million deal that will last until 2015; 3.8 million replica shirts were sold in the first 22 months with the company.[104][105] In addition to Nike and Aon, the club also has several lower-level "platinum" sponsors, including Chevrolet and Budweiser.[106] Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/N Battery On 30 July 2012, United signed a seven-year deal with the American automotive corporation General Motors, which will replace Aon as the shirt sponsor from the 2014–15 season. The new shirt will feature the logo of General Motors brand Chevrolet. Originally funded by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/W Battery the club became a limited company in 1892 and sold shares to local supporters for £1 via an application form.[16] In 1902, majority ownership passed to the four local businessmen who invested £500 to save the club from bankruptcy, including future club president J.H Davies.[16] Sony VAIO VGN-NW91FS Battery After his death in 1927, the club faced bankruptcy yet again, but was saved in December 1931 by James W. Gibson, who assumed control of the club after investing £2,000.[20] Gibson promoted his son, Alan, to the board in 1948,[108] but died three years later; the Gibson family retained ownership of the club,[109] but the position of chairman passed to former player Harold Hardman.[110] Sony VAIO VGN-NW91GS Battery Promoted to the board a few days after the Munich air disaster, Louis Edwards, a friend of Matt Busby, began acquiring shares in the club; for an investment of approximately £40,000, he accumulated a 54 percent shareholding and took control in January 1964.[111] When Lillian Gibson died in January 1971, Sony VAIO VGN-NW91VS Battery her shares passed to Alan Gibson who sold a percentage of his shares to Louis Edwards' son, Martin in 1978; Martin Edwards went on to become chairman upon his father's death in 1980.[112] Media tycoon Robert Maxwell attempted to buy the club in 1984, but did not meet Edwards' asking price.[112] Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P BatterySony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery In 1989, chairman Martin Edwards attempted to sell the club to Michael Knighton for £20 million, but the sale fell through and Knighton joined the Board of Directors instead.[112] Manchester United was floated on the stock market in June 1991 (raising £6.7 million),[113] and received yet another takeover bid in 1998, Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery this time from Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Corporation. This resulted in the formation of Shareholders United Against Murdoch – now the Manchester United Supporters' Trust – who encouraged supporters to buy shares in the club in an attempt to block any hostile takeover. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery The Manchester United board accepted a £623 million offer,[114] but the takeover was blocked by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission at the final hurdle in April 1999.[115] A few years later, a power struggle emerged between the club's manager, Alex Ferguson, and his horse-racing partners, John Magnier and J. P. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery McManus, who had gradually become the majority shareholders. In a dispute that stemmed from contested ownership of the horse Rock of Gibraltar, Magnier and McManus attempted to have Ferguson removed from his position as manager, and the board responded by approaching investors to attempt to reduce the Irishmen's majority.[116] Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF Battery In May 2005, Malcolm Glazer purchased the 28.7 percent stake held by McManus and Magnier, thus acquiring a controlling interest through his investment vehicle Red Football Ltd in a highly leveraged takeover valuing the club at approximately £800 million (then approx. $1.5 billion). Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery In July 2006, the club announced a £660 million debt refinancing package, resulting in a 30 percent reduction in annual interest payments to £62 million a year.[119][120] In January 2010, with debts of £716.5 million ($1.17 billion),[121] Manchester United further refinanced through a bond issue worth £504 million, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/S Battery enabling them to pay off most of the £509 million owed to international banks.[122] The annual interest payable on the bonds – which mature on 1 February 2017 – is approximately £45 million per annum.[123] Despite restructuring, the club's debt prompted protests from fans on 23 January 2010, at Old Trafford and the club's Trafford Training Centre. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery Supporter groups encouraged match-going fans to wear green and gold, the colours of Newton Heath. On 30 January, reports emerged that the Manchester United Supporters' Trust had held meetings with a group of wealthy fans, dubbed the "Red Knights", with plans to buying out the Glazers' controlling interest.[126] Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery In August 2011, the Glazers were believed to have approached Credit Suisse in preparation for a $1 billion (approx. £600 million) initial public offering (IPO) on the Singapore stock exchange that would value the club at more than £2 billion.[127] However, in July 2012, the club announced plans to list its IPO on theNew York Stock Exchange instead.[128] Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG Battery Shares were originally set to go on sale for between $16 and $20 each, but the price was cut to $14 by the launch of the IPO on 10 August, following negative comments from Wall Street analysts and Facebook's disappointing stock market debut in May. Even after the cut, Manchester United was valued at $2.3 billion, making it the most valuable football club in the world. Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG/H Battery The History of Manchester United F.C. (1986–present) covers the period following the appointment of Alex Ferguson in November 1986, to the present day. Ferguson joined the club from Aberdeen on the same day that Ron Atkinson was dismissed,[1]and guided the club to a 12th-place finish in the league.[2] Sony VAIO VPCF-11JOE battery Despite a second-place finish in 1987–88, the club was back in 11th place the following season.[3] 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.[4][5] The following season, Sony VGP-BPL8 Battery Manchester United claimed its firstCup 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.[6] Sony VGP-BPL9 Battery 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.[6] Manchester United's 1998–99 season was the most successful in English club football history as they became the first team to win the Premier League, Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery FA Cup and UEFA Champions League – "The Treble" – in the same season.[7] Losing 1–0 going intoinjury 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.[8] Sony VGP-BPS8A Battery The club also won the Intercontinental Cup after beating Palmeiras 1–0 in Tokyo.[9] Ferguson was subsequently knighted for his services to football.[10] In 2000, Manchester United competed in the inaugural FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil,[11] and won the league again in the 1999–2000 and 2000–01 seasons. Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery The team finished as runners-up 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 theMillennium Stadium in Cardiff.[12] 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, Sony VGP-BPS9/B Battery 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. Sony VGP-BPS9/S Battery Ryan Giggs made a record 759th appearance for the club in this game, overtaking previous record holder Bobby Charlton.[13] 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. Sony VGP-BPS10 Battery That summer, Cristiano Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for a world record £80 million.[16] 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. Alex Ferguson joined Manchester United from Aberdeen F.C. Sony VGP-BPL10 Battery on 6 November 1986, the same day that previous manager Ron Atkinson was dismissed, and immediately set about rebuilding the club's youth system.[1][18] In Ferguson's first game in charge, the team lost 2–0 to Oxford United; his first victory came on 22 November 1986, a 1–0 defeat of Queen's Park Rangers at Old Trafford. On Boxing Day 1987, Sony VGP-BPL11 Battery the team beat Liverpool 1–0 at Anfield - the club's only away league win in a season that saw it finish 11th in the First Division. That summer, Ferguson made his first signings: Viv Anderson from Arsenal, and Brian McClair from Celtic.[1]The following season, Manchester United finished runners-up in the league, nine points behind champions Liverpool, giving supporters cause to be optimistic for next season.[1] Sony VGP-BPS11 Battery After suffering a number of injuries to first team players in the 1988–89 season, Ferguson introduced some of his youth team players such as Lee Sharpe into the team. A six-match winning run beginning in January saw the club in third place in February, but it finished the season in 11th. Sony VGP-BPL12 Battery During the 1989–90 season, the club received a takeover bid by Michael Knighton; Chairman Martin Edwards agreed to sell the club to Knighton for £20 million, but the deal fell through when his financial backers pulled out.[19] It was rumoured that Ferguson was on the verge of being sacked, Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery but victory over Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup Final replay (after a 3–3 draw) saved his career.[4][5] However, the club finished 13th, their lowest league placing since returning to the top-flight in 1975; just five points separated them from the relegation zone. The FA Cup success qualified the team to compete in the 1990–91 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup; Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery Manchester United reached the final, in which the club beat Barcelona 2–1 in Rotterdam, becoming the first English club to win a European trophy since the Heysel disaster had forced English clubs into a five-year ban from European competition. Despite this success, the team finished 6th in the First Division and their defence of the FA Cup ended in the fifth round, Sony VGP-BPS13/B Battery with a 2–1 loss against Norwich City. The club reached the 1990–91 Football League Cup final, but lost to Sheffield Wednesday. In June 1991, Manchester United floated on theLondon Stock Exchange, with a valuation of £18 million, raising £6.7 million.[20] In the 1991–92 season, Manchester United managed to sustain their challenge for the First Division title; Sony VGP-BPS13/S Battery in April, just one point behind league leaders Leeds United, the club played West Ham United at Upton Park but lost 1–0. Four days later, the team lost 2–0 to Liverpool at Anfield and Leeds secured the league title. However, the team won the League Cup, defeating Nottingham Forest 1–0 in the final. Sony VGP-BPS13A/S Battery At the end of the season, 18-year-old Welsh winger Ryan Giggs was voted Young Player of the Year. In 1992–93, the Premier Leagues inaugural season, helped by the £1.2 million acquisition of Eric Cantona from Leeds United, Sony VGP-BPS13B/S Battery the club won their first league title for 26 years and Ryan Giggs was voted PFA Young Player of the Year for the second year running. However, in February, the club was eliminated from the FA Cup by Sheffield United in the fifth round, losing 2–1 at Bramall Lane. Manchester United were crowned champions on 2 May. Sony VGP-BPS13S Battery In the subsequent summer transfer window, the club paid an English record fee of £3.75 million for Nottingham Forest's 22-year-old Irish midfielder Roy Keane. United started the following season with Wembley glory, beating Arsenal on penalties in the FA Charity Shield after a 1–1 draw. Sony VGP-BPS13AS Battery Manchester United led the 1993–94 Premier League at the end of August, a lead they maintained all season; they were crowned champions at the beginning of May with a seven-point gap over runners-up Blackburn Rovers. Eric Cantona finished the season with 25 goals in all competitions and was subsequently voted PFA Player of the Year. Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery The club completed its first double by beating Chelsea4–0 in the FA Cup final. Manchester United also reached the 1994 Football League Cup Final, but lost to Aston Villa 3–1. In the FA Cup final on 14 May, it was goalless at half time but two penalties by Eric Cantona and subsequent goals from Mark Hughesand Brian McClair gave UnitedSony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery a comprehensive 4–0 win over Chelsea and saw them match Tottenham's record of eight FA Cup triumphs. Ferguson felt that his current squad were good enough to challenge on all fronts in the season which followed the double, and made only one close season signing, paying Blackburn Rovers £1.2 million for 24-year-old defender David May. Sony VGP-BPS14 Battery 1993–94 was Bryan Robson'sfinal season at United; he departed at the end of the campaign to take over as player-manager at Middlesbrough. The 1994–95 season saw Eric Cantona was banned for three months initially by the club themselves, only for the FA to impose a further five-month suspension, Sony VGP-BPl15 Battery and ordered to serve 120 hours' community service for kicking Matthew Simmons, a Crystal Palacehooligan who had taunted him with racial epithets after being sent off in a January fixture at Selhurst Park. United were also without players like Paul Parker, Ryan Giggs and Andrei Kanchelskis for long periods of time due to injury. Sony VGP-BPs15 Battery 1994–95 also saw the debuts of promising young players Paul Scholes and Phil Neville. Scholes was particularly impressive, scoring five goals in 17 games. Having made a handful of appearances in the previous two seasons, Gary Neville, David Beckham and Nicky Butt all made more regular appearances for United during 1994–95. Sony VGP-BPs18 Battery Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery United broke the English transfer record again by paying £7 million (£6 million in cash plus £1 million-rated winger Keith Gillespie) for Newcastle United's free-scoring striker Andy Cole. He had been signed just two weeks before the Cantona incident as an eventual replacement for Mark Hughes, Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery but with Cantona suspended it was Hughes who ended up being Cole's partner for the rest of the season. Cole did not take long to get amongst the goals, bagging five goals in a Premier League record 9–0 trouncing of Ipswich Town at Old Trafford in 1995. United almost made it three league titles in a row, but for a 1–1 away draw on the final day of the season. Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery The FA Cup also slipped out of United's grasp when they lost 1–0 to unfancied Everton in the final at Wembley. This left United without a major trophy for the first time since 1989. Before the 1995–96 season began, Manchester United announced the sale of three players – Paul Ince, who joinedInternazionale, Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery Mark Hughes, who joined Chelsea and Andrei Kanchelskis, who joined Everton. Instead of signing players to replace them, Ferguson put his faith in young members of the squad like David Beckham, Gary Neville, Philip Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt. Many pundits wrote off the club's title chances and predicted big-spending clubs like Newcastle,Liverpool and Arsenal would triumph. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21 Battery Alan Hansen famously proclaimed: "you'll never win anything with kids" on Match Of The Day on 19 August 1995.[22] The club defied its critics: despite trailing Newcastle by ten points at Christmas, the club reached the top of the Premier League in mid-March and won the title with a 3–0 away win at Bryan Robson's Middlesbrough on the final day of the season. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M Battery A week later, Manchester United beat Liverpool 1–0 in the FA Cup final to become the first ever English club to win the league/FA Cup double twice. Eric Cantona, who scored 19 goals in 1995–96 (including the FA Cup final winner), was voted FWA Footballer of the Year by football journalists and was made team captain following the departure ofSteve Bruce to Birmingham City. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21E Battery Manchester United won their fourth league title in five seasons in 1996–97, helped by 19 goals from newly signed Norwegianstriker Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Hopes of winning the club's first ever Champions League title were dashed, however, as the team were defeated in the semi-finals by the eventual winners of the competition, Borussia Dortmund. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21S Battery At the end of the season Eric Cantona announced his shock retirement from football just a few days before his 31st birthday. He was replaced by England international Teddy Sheringham, a £3.5 million signing from Tottenham. The 1997–98 season saw Manchester United overhauled by Arsenal in the Premier League to finish empty-handed for only the second time in the 1990s. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21J Battery Shortly after this disappointment Alex Ferguson broke the club's transfer record twice by signing Dutch defender Jaap Stam from PSV, Trinidadianstriker Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa. Swedish winger Jesper Blomqvist from Parma also joined the club during the off-season. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21Z Battery The summer of 1998 saw the departure of the club's two longest-serving players: Brian McClair ended his 11-year association with United by returning to his first club Motherwell, while Gary Pallister returned to Middlesbrough after nine years at Old Trafford. The 1998–99 season was the most successful in the history of Manchester United. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ25 Battery United won the Premier League, the FA Cupand the UEFA Champions League, becoming the first English club to achieve the feat of winning the domestic league and cup as well as the European Cup in the same season.[23] En route to winning the three trophies, United went undefeated from theirBoxing Day fixture in December 1998 to the end of the campaign in May 1999, a run of 33 matches in all competitions.[24] Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31E Battery United gained a reputation for not conceding defeat even in what seemed the most hopeless of circumstances, winning and drawing several matches with late goals after falling behind early on. Some of their more notable come-backs were the FA CupFourth Round tie at home to Liverpool, which Liverpool led from the third to the 85th minute, Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31M Battery both legs of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Juventus and the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, won in the final minutes of extra time by aRyan Giggs goal. However, the most dramatic comeback came in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored a goal each in stoppage time to give United a 2–1 win. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S Battery

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