Here’s an off-beat guide to the club that’s been the biggest thing to hit Manchester since the Bridgewater Canal.
1) The club was founded by Frederick Attock – a Liverpudlian of all people. It is believed that his family have been in hiding ever since.
2) It was formed in 1878 as the snappily-named Newton Heath LYR F.C. The LYR stood for Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and the company ran trains from Manchester to both Liverpool and Leeds, a fact that explains the warmest of welcomes still extended to visiting United fans to this very day.
3) Newton Heath didn’t play their first competitive fixture until 1886 – an FA Cup tie in which Ryan Giggs came on as a substitute.
4) From 1878 to 1914, the team was picked by committee with a faceless backroom suit acting as de facto manager – a structure which Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini are currently employing at Spurs.
5) Manchester United have had 22 managers in 135 years. To put this in some kind of context, Chelsea have had 135 managers in the past 22 months.
6) United moved to Old Trafford in 1910. These days, Old Trafford is among the 10% most deprived areas in England and has marked levels of low educational achievement. This figure drops dramatically whenever Wayne Rooney returns to his Cheshire mansion.
7) The construction of the stadium cost £60,000 all in. In today’s money, that equates to about a day or two of Robin Van Persie’s valuable time.
9) Many United fans intensely dislike current owner Malcolm Glazer and a business model which involves saddling the club with hundreds of millions of pounds of debt. Previous bidders for the club have included Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch. Just sayin’.
10) The only major honour that United have never won is the UEFA Europa League – the sporting equivalent of having slept with every major female celebrity bar Susan Boyle.