Manchester United Football Club was founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club. After struggling with financial problems, the club changed its name to its current form in 1902. The shirt color was also changed from gold and green to plain red. Since 1910, Manchester United play their home games at Old Trafford, also known as “The Theatre of Dreams”. The stadium was partly destroyed during World War II, which meant that United had to play their home games at cross-town rivals Manchester City’s stadium Maine Road throughout the 1940s.
Manchester United suffered their darkest day on February 6, 1958. After winning a European Cup game, the team was about to fly back to Manchester when the airplane crashed at Munich airport. Among the deaths were eight players and three members of the coaching staff. Manager Sir Matt Busby was severely injured but determined to continue his work at the club. Ten years later, he was in charge when Manchester United won their first European Cup title. Among the goalscorers in the final against Benfica was captain Sir Bobby Charlton, also a survivor from that fatal airplane crash.
Today Manchester United is arguably the biggest football club in the world. In terms of value and revenue, Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid are showing top figures, but no club enjoys a bigger global fanbase than Manchester United. For example, the club is by far the most popular in important markets such as Asia and United States. “The Red Devils” are also leading in shirt sales, both locally and globally.
In 2005, Manchester United was purchased by American businessman Malcolm Glazer. The change in ownership was not met with much enthusiasm among local supporters. While the Glazer family keep a low profile at Old Trafford, loyal fans are seen wearing gold and green scarfs, remembering the days of Newton Heath.