History Of The Manchester United Soccer Team
Manchester United came into existence in 1878, under the name Newton Health. In 1909 the team began playing in the newly built arena, Old Trafford, where the team continues to play today. The team had moments of glory and dismal failure during its first decades. League play was suspended during World War II, and Old Trafford suffered damage from bombings, but the team quickly rebuilt it when play resumed in 1946. During the next twelve years Manchester United built a successful program, but a plane crash in 1958 that claimed the lives of eight players severely affected the team.
The Reds, as the team is known, careened through the 1960s and 1970s, matching great winning streaks with equally impressive slumps. In 1986 the team hired Sir Alex Ferguson, a seasoned and successful manager, to rebuild the Reds into a top-ranked organization. Between 1992 and 2001, the team claimed seven FA Premiere League titles.
Manchester United is a popular team in England, with the biggest payroll and the most media exposure. The team grossed nearly $140 million in 2000, more than any other team in the world. Comparable to the one-time stature of the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Yankees, fans tended to either love them or hate them. For his part, Beckham is the highest paid player on the United team, earning some $13 million a year from salary and endorsements, and he, like his team, tends to inspire a strong reaction among fans who defend or distain him.