Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson guided Man Utd to 13 Premier League titles

The trophy hunt

Manchester United are the most successful club in English history, although the 2011/12 season was the first campaign since 2004/05 that they were left empty handed when it came to handing out major trophies.

 

The Red Devils’ victory in the Charity Shield will not have been considered by players or staff to constitute a major success and that season’s drought was undeniably a wake-up call for Sir Alex Ferguson and his players.

 

Over £50m was reportedly spent on new signings during the summer in 2012, with £24m going on striker Robin van Persie and around £14m on attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa.

 

The North West club responded in the perfect way to the previous season's disappointment by recording one of their best ever points totals and winning the title with several games to spare in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season as manager. Going into the next season, they are once again favourites in the Premier League odds market and their continued success is amongst the best football odds available at Titan Bet.

 

Glazer ownership

In 2005, Malcolm Glazer conducted a takeover of United worth an estimated £800m and the Glazer family’s guardianship of the club has not slowed down the successes enjoyed at Old Trafford in recent seasons, despite there being a strained relationship between the fans and the American owners.

 

In the 2010/11 campaign, Ferguson’s side won the domestic title for an unprecedented 19th time and in doing so overtook Liverpool as the club with the most top-flight triumphs. This year, United broke another barrier by recording an unrivalled 20th league success.

 

Three League Cup trophies have been collected since the Glazers took charge, in 2005/06, 2008/09 and 2009/10. Whilst United have not lifted the FA Cup since 2003/04, they did manage to win the Champions League in the 2007/08 season, with Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo the star of that winning side.

 

Ferguson reigns

Since the English top tier became the Premier League in 1992, Manchester United have enjoyed the lion’s share of titles, winning the league 13 times in 21 years.

 

Arsenal and Chelsea have been the sides most regularly disrupting Man Utd’s success, while Manchester City have emerged as a top-of-the-table rival in recent times. Blackburn also pipped United to top spot in the 1994/95 campaign.

 

Ferguson was appointed manager at Manchester United in November 1986, replacing Ron Atkinson, and has since become the most decorated coach of the modern era.

 

Having initially struggled in Manchester – it is rumoured that he was close to being sacked during the 1989/1990 season – the Scot was in charge for 26 seasons, winning the most honours and becoming the longest-serving manager in the club’s history.

 

Under his watch, United won those 13 Premier League titles and the former manager counts two Champions Leagues, five FA Cups and four League Cups among the major trophies he brought to the Red Devils.

 

In addition to this, Fergie clocked up 10 Charity Shields, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

 

Undeniably the best single three minutes of Ferguson’s reign was seen during the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich at Camp Nou in Barcelona. Trailing the German side 1-0 after 90 minutes had passed, stoppage time offered just three minutes for United to avoid defeat. Two tap-ins, from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunner Solskjaer, reversed the scoreline and will go down in history as one of the great footballing victories.

 

Many feel Ferguson is the greatest British manager the game has ever seen and under his stewardship United have become the most successful English team of the professional era and continual favourites for the title in the Premier League odds. His continued success formed some of the best football odds available at Titan Bet.

 

Barren spell

It was not always success for United though, as during the 1970s and 1980s the club did not win a single top-flight title. They did pick up three FA Cups during those two decades, but this was the only major silverware won by the Old Trafford side aside from two Charity Shields.

 

Numerous mid-table finishes were witnessed by Red Devils fans during this period and the 1974/75 season was even spent in the second tier after a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City – the goal scored by former player Denis Law – saw United relegated at the end of the 1973/74 campaign.

 

However, the club won immediate promotion by winning Division Two and 1974/75 remains the only season in the post-war era that United have spent outside the top flight.

 

The Busby years

After the Second World War had ended, domestic football restarted again in Britain and with it Sir Matt Busby was given the job of managing Manchester United.

 

Whilst he does not boast the accolades of Ferguson, Busby was influential in creating United's fame as the club collected five league titles, two FA Cups and their maiden European Cup conquest under his leadership.

 

The Busby name will be forever linked to the Munich Air Disaster of 1958 however, which saw the club’s trip back home from Belgrade end in tragedy. After stopping off in Munich, the plane chartering the ‘Busby Babes’ – the endearing term used to describe the young United squad under Busby’s tutelage – crashed on its third attempt to take off having stopped to refuel in snowy conditions.

 

The most notable fatality amongst the 23 was club legend Duncan Edwards, whilst seven other players lost their lives along with members of staff, journalists and other passengers.

 

Early 20th century success

Going back to the early days of Manchester United, and the turn of the 20th century produced two league titles, in the 1907/08 and 1910/11 seasons. An FA Cup victory in 1908/09 added to this spell of success under then-manager Ernest Mangall.

 

The thirty years or so after that were relatively barren for the club, while the decades proceeding Mangall’s reign were also without silverware as United made its rise from Newton Heath LYR FC in the Alliance and Combination leagues in the late 1800s to a side capable of winning trophies.

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