Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Manchester United Football Club

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. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery
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. The current manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has won 24 major honours since he took over in November 1986.[3][4] Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
Manchester United has won many trophies in English football, including a record 19 league titles, a record 11FA Cups,[5] four League Cups and a record 19 FA Community Shields. The club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
In 1998–99, the club won a Treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League, an unprecedented feat for an English club.
Manchester United is one of the wealthiest and most widely supported football teams in the world. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
As of July 2012, the club is number one in Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the world's 50 most valuable sports teams, valued at $2.23 billion.[10] 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.[11] Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
In August 2012, Manchester United made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
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. Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery
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.[14] Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery
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. Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery
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.[13] 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 2012[nb 1] – the club was served with a winding-up order.[15] Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery
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;[16] on 24 April 1902, Manchester United was officially born. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery
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[18] and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery
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.[19]
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. Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery
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 the club's principal benefactor, J. H. Davies, in October 1927, the club's finances deteriorated to the extent that Manchester United Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery
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.[20] In the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division.
In October 1945, the impending resumption of football led to the managerial appointment of Matt Busby, Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery
who demanded an unprecedented level of control over team selection, player transfers and training sessions.[21] 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.[22] Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery
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.[23] 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.[24] Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery
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.
The following season, on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final victory againstRed Star Belgrade, Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
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.[26][27] Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
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. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
Despite approval from the FA, the Football League determined that the club should not enter the competition, since it had not qualified.[28][29] 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. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
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[30] with a team that contained three European Footballers of the Year: Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best.[31] Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
Matt Busby resigned as manager in 1969 and was replaced by the reserve team coach, former Manchester United player Wilf McGuinness.
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, Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
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.[34] Docherty saved Manchester United from relegation that season, only to see them relegated in 1974; Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery
by that time the trio of Best, Law, and Charlton had left the club.[30] 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.[32][35] Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery
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 toArsenal in the 1979 FA Cup Final. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery
Sexton was dismissed in 1981, even though the team won the last seven games under his direction.[36] 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. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery
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.
Alex Ferguson and his assistant Archie Knox arrived from Aberdeen on the day of Atkinson's dismissal,[38] and guided the club to an 11th-place finish in the league.[39] Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery
Despite a second-place finish in 1987–88, the club was back in 11th place the following season.[40] 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.[41][42] The following season, Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery
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.[37] Sony VAIO PCG-7186M 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.
In the 1998–99 season, Manchester United became the first team to win the Premier League, Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery
FA Cup and UEFA Champions League – "The Treble" – in the same season.[44] 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.[45] Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery
The club also won the Intercontinental Cup after beating Palmeiras 1–0 in Tokyo.[46] Ferguson was subsequently knighted for his services to football.[47]
Manchester United won the league again in the 1999–2000 and 2000–01 seasons. The team finished as runners-up in 2001–02, before regaining the title in 2002–03. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery
They won the 2003–04 FA Cup, beating Millwall 3–0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium inCardiff.[48] 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. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery
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.[49] Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery
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.[50][51] That summer, Cristiano Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for a world record £80 million.[52] 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.[53] Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery
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.
The club crest is derived from the Manchester City Council coat of arms, although all that remains of it on the current crest is the ship in full sail.[55] Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery
The devil stems from the club's nickname "The Red Devils"; it was included on club programmes and scarves in the 1960s, and incorporated into the club crest in 1970, although the crest was not included on the chest of the shirt until 1971 (unless the team was playing in a Cup Final).[55] Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery
A photograph of the Newton Heath team, taken in 1892, is believed to show the players wearing red-and-white quartered jerseys and blue shorts.[56] Between 1894–96, the players wore distinctive green and gold jerseys[56] which were replaced in 1896 by white shirts, which were worn with blue shorts.[56] Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery
After its name change in 1902, the club colours were changed to red shirts, white shorts, and black socks, which has become the standard Manchester United home kit.[56] Very few changes were made to the kit until 1922 when the club adopted white shirts bearing a deep red "V" around the neck, similar to the shirt worn in the 1909 FA Cup Final. Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery
They remained part of their home kits until 1927.[56] In 1934, players sported cherry and white hooped shirts, but the following season the red shirt was recalled after the club's lowest ever league placing of 20th in the Second Division.[56] The black socks were changed to white from 1959 to 1965, Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery
where they were replaced with red socks up until 1971, when the club reverted to black. The current home kit is a red gingham-pattern shirt with dark red checks and a black v-neck collar, worn with white shorts and black socks.[57]
The Manchester United away strip has often been a white shirt, black shorts and white socks, but there have been several exceptions. Sony VAIO PCG-71112M Battery
These include an all-black strip with blue and gold trimmings between 1993 and 1995, the navy blue shirt with silver horizontal pinstripes worn during the 1999–2000 season,[58] and the 2011–12 away kit, which had a royal blue body and sleeves with hoops made of small midnight navy blue and black stripes, with black shorts and blue socks.[59] Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
An all-grey away kit worn during the 1995–96 season was dropped after just five games because players claimed to have trouble finding their team-mates against the crowd.[60] In 2001, to celebrate 100 years as "Manchester United", a reversible white/gold away kit was released, although the actual match day shirts were not reversible.[61] Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
The club's third kit is often all-blue. This was most recently the case during the 2008–09 season, to celebrate 40 years since it was worn for the club's first European Cup win in 1968.[62] Exceptions include a green-and-gold halved shirt worn between 1992 and 1994, Sony VAIO PCG-81212M Battery
a blue-and-white striped shirt worn during the 1994–95 and 1995–96 seasons and once in 1996–97, an all-black kit worn during the Treble-winning 1998–99 season, and white shirts with black-and-red horizontal pinstripes worn between 2003 and 2005.[63] In recent seasons, the third kit has usually been the previous season's away kit. Sony VAIO PCG-81212V Battery
Newton Heath initially played on a field on North Road, close to the railway yard; the original capacity was about 12,000, but club officials deemed the facilities inadequate for a club hoping to join The Football League.[64] Some expansion took place in 1887, and in 1891 Newton Heath used its minimal financial reserves to purchase two grandstands, Sony VAIO PCG-51111M Battery
each able to hold 1,000 spectators.[65] Although attendances were not recorded for many of the earliest matches at North Road, the highest documented attendance was approximately 15,000 for a First Division match against Sunderland on 4 March 1893.[66] A similar attendance was also recorded for a friendly match against Gorton Villa on 5 September 1889.[67] Sony VAIO VPCS13X9E/B battery
In June 1893, after the club was evicted from North Road by its owners, Manchester Deans and Canons, who felt it was inappropriate for the club to charge an entry fee to the ground, secretary A. H. Albut procured the use of the Bank Street ground in Clayton.[68] It initially had no stands, by the start of the 1893–94 season, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
two had been built; one spanning the full length of the pitch on one side and the other behind the goal at the "Bradford end". At the opposite end, the "Clayton end", the ground had been "built up, thousands thus being provided for".[68] Newton Heath's first league match at Bank Street was played against Burnley on 1 September 1893, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
when 10,000 people saw Alf Farman score ahat-trick, Newton Heath's only goals in a 3–2 win. The remaining stands were completed for the following league game against Nottingham Forest three weeks later.[68] In October 1895, before the visit of Manchester City, the club purchased a 2,000-capacity stand from the Broughton Rangers rugby league club, Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery
and put up another stand on the "reserved side" (as distinct from the "popular side"). However, weather restricted the attendance for the Manchester City match to just 12,000.[69]
When the Bank Street ground was temporarily closed by bailiffs in 1902, club captain Harry Stafford raised enough money to pay for the club's next away game at Bristol City Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery
and found a temporary ground at Harpurhey for the next reserves game against Padiham.[70] Following financial investment, new club president J.H. Davies paid £500 for the erection of a new 1,000-seat stand at Bank Street.[71] Within four years, the stadium had cover on all four sides, Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery
as well as the ability to hold approximately 50,000 spectators, some of whom could watch from the viewing gallery atop the Main Stand.[71]
However, following Manchester United's first league title in 1908 and the FA Cup a year later, it was decided that Bank Street was too restrictive for Davies' ambition;[71] in February 1909, Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery
six weeks before the club's first FA Cup title, Old Trafford was named as the home of Manchester United, following the purchase of land for around £60,000. ArchitectArchibald Leitch was given a budget of £30,000 for construction; original plans called for seating capacity of 100,000, though budget constraints forced a revision to 77,000. Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery
The building was constructed by Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester. The stadium's record attendance was registered on 25 March 1939, when an FA Cup semi-final betweenWolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town drew 76,962 spectators.[72]
Bombing in the Second World War destroyed much of the stadium; Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery
the central tunnel in the South Stand was all that remained of that quarter. After the war, the club received compensation from the War Damage Commission in the amount of £22,278. While reconstruction took place, the team played its "home" games at Manchester City's Maine Road ground; Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E/B battery
Manchester United was charged £5,000 per year, plus a nominal percentage of gate receipts.[73] Later improvements included the addition of roofs, first to the Stretford End and then to the North and East Stands. The roofs were supported by pillars that obstructed many fans' views, and they were eventually replaced with a cantilevered structure. Sony VAIO VPCYB2M1E battery
The Stretford End was the last stand to receive a cantilevered roof, completed in time for the1993–94 season.[32] First used on 25 March 1957 and costing £40,000, four 180-foot (55 m) pylons were erected, each housing 54 individual floodlights. These were dismantled in 1987 and replaced by a lighting system embedded in the roof of each stand, which remains in use today.[74] Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E battery
The Taylor Report's requirement for an all-seater stadium lowered capacity at Old Trafford to around 44,000 by 1993. In 1995, the North Stand was redeveloped into three tiers, restoring capacity to approximately 55,000. At the end of the 1998–99 season, second tiers were added to the East and West Stands, Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E battery
raising capacity to around 67,000, and between July 2005 and May 2006, 8,000 more seats were added via second tiers in the north-west and north-east quadrants. Part of the new seating was used for the first time on 26 March 2006, when an attendance of 69,070 became a new Premier League record.[75] Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B battery
The record was pushed steadily upwards before reaching its peak on 31 March 2007, when 76,098 spectators saw Manchester United beat Blackburn Rovers 4–1, with just 114 seats (0.15 percent of the total capacity of 76,212) unoccupied.[76] In 2009, reorganisation of the seating resulted in a reduction of capacity by 255 to 75,957. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery
Manchester United has the third highest average attendance of European football clubs only behind Borussia Dortmund and FC Barcelona.
Manchester United is reputed to be the most popular football club in the world, with one of the highest average home attendance in Europe.[79] Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E/R Battery
The club states that its worldwide fan base includes more than 200 officially recognised branches of the Manchester United Supporters Club (MUSC), in at least 24 countries.[80]The club takes advantage of this support through its worldwide summer tours. Sony VAIO VPCF23P1E Battery
Accountancy firm and sports industry consultants Deloitte estimate that Manchester United has 75 million fans worldwide,[7] while other estimates put this figure closer to 333 million.[8]
Supporters are represented by two independent bodies; the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA), Sony VAIO VPCF23N1E Battery
which maintains close links to the club through the MUFC Fans Forum,[81] and the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST). After the Glazer family's takeover in 2005, a group of fans formed a splinter club, F.C. United of Manchester. The West Stand of Old Trafford – the "Stretford End" – is the home end and the traditional source of the club's most vocal support. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
Manchester United has rivalries with Arsenal, Leeds United, Liverpool, and Manchester City, against whom they contest the Manchester derby.[83][84]
The rivalry with Liverpool is rooted in competition between the cities during the Industrial Revolution when Manchester was famous for its textile industry while Liverpool was a major port.[85] Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/G battery
The "Roses Rivalry" with Leeds stems from the Wars of the Roses, fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, with Manchester United representing Lancashire and Leeds representing Yorkshire.[86] Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery
The rivalry with Arsenal amasses from the countless number of times the two teams as well as the two current managers (Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger) have battled for the Premier League title. With 32 titles between them (19 for Manchester United, 13 for Arsenal) this fixture has become known as one of the finest Premier League match-ups in history. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery
Manchester United has been described as a global brand; a 2011 report by Brand Finance, valued the club's trademarks and associated intellectual property at £412 million – an increase of £39 million on the previous year, valuing it at £11 million more than the second best brand, Real Madrid – and gave the brand a strength rating of AAA (Extremely Strong).[87] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery
In July 2012, Manchester United was ranked first by Forbes magazine in its list of the ten most valuable sports team brands, valuing the Manchester United brand at $2.23 billion.[10] The club is currently ranked third in the Deloitte Football Money League (behind Real Madrid and Barcelona).[88] Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery
The core strength of Manchester United's global brand is often attributed to Matt Busby's rebuilding of the team and subsequent success following the Munich air disaster, which drew worldwide acclaim.[82] The "iconic" team included Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles (members of England's World Cup winning team), Denis Law and George Best. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery
The attacking style of play adopted by this team (in contrast to the defensive-minded "catenaccio" approach favoured by the leading Italian teams of the era) "captured the imagination of the English footballing public".[89] Busby's team also became associated with the liberalisation of Western society during the 1960s; Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery
George Best, known as the "fifth Beatle" for his iconic haircut, was the first footballer to significantly develop an off-the-field media profile.[89]
As the second English football club to float on the London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club raised significant capital, with which it further developed its commercial strategy. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery
The club's focus on commercial and sporting success brought significant profits in an industry often characterised by chronic losses.[90]The strength of the Manchester United brand was bolstered by intense off-the-field media attention to individual players, most notably David Beckham (who quickly developed his own global brand). Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery
This attention often generates greater interest in on-the-field activities, and hence generates sponsorship opportunities – the value of which is driven by television exposure.[91] During his time with the club, Beckham's popularity across Asia was integral to the club's commercial success in that part of the world.[92] Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery
Because higher league placement results in a greater share of television rights, success on the field generates greater income for the club. Since the inception of the Premier League, Manchester United has received the largest share of the revenue generated from the BSkyB broadcasting deal.[93] Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/TC Battery
Manchester United has also consistently enjoyed the highest commercial income of any English club; in 2005–06, the club's commercial arm generated £51 million, compared to £42.5 million at Chelsea, £39.3 million at Liverpool, £34 million at Arsenal and £27.9 million at Newcastle United. Sony VAIO VGN-NW35E Battery
A key sponsorship relationship is with sportswear companyNike, who manage the club's merchandising operation as part of a £303 million 13-year partnership established in 2002.[94] Through Manchester United Finance and the club's membership scheme, One UnitedSony VAIO VGN-NW380F/S Battery
those with an affinity for the club can purchase a range of branded goods and services. Additionally, Manchester United-branded media services – such as the club's dedicated television channel, MUTV – have allowed the club to expand its fan base to those beyond the reach of its Old Trafford stadium. Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/T Battery
In an initial five-year deal worth £500,000, Sharp Electronics became the club's first shirt sponsor at the beginning of the 1982–83 season, a relationship that lasted until the end of the 1999–2000 season, whenVodafone agreed a four-year, £30 million deal.[95] Vodafone agreed to pay £36 million to extend the deal by four years, Sony VAIO VGN-NW50JB Battery
but after two seasons triggered a break clause in order to concentrate on its sponsorship of the Champions League.[95]
To commence at the start of the 2006–07 season, American insurance corporation AIG agreed a four-year £56.5 million deal which in September 2006 became the most valuable in the world. Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/N Battery
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

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