Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, 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. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, 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. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, 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. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. 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
The Millennium Stadium, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Principality Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby team and has also staged games of the Wales national football team. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped, the stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc, a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union. The stadium was designed by a led by architects Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. WS Atkins were the engineers, and the building contractor was Laing. The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million, with a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is also the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, due to take place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the renamed as the Principality Stadium from early 2016. Until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was officially opened, however, in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, and by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. France was also about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000,11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. It was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east which was shared by both vehicles and spectators alike. The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, the committee eventually chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would also involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south and this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site and it was also decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football
Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the eleventh-largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is the chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media. The unitary authority areas mid-2011 population was estimated to be 346,100, the Cardiff metropolitan area makes up over a third of the total population of Wales, with a mid-2011 population estimate of about 1,100,000 people. Cardiff is a significant tourist centre and the most popular destination in Wales with 18.3 million visitors in 2010. In 2011, Cardiff was ranked sixth in the world in National Geographics alternative tourist destinations, the city of Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan. Cardiff is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities, the Cardiff Urban Area covers a slightly larger area outside the county boundary, and includes the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region contributed to its rise as a major city. Cardiff was made a city in 1905, and proclaimed the capital of Wales in 1955, since the 1980s, Cardiff has seen significant development. A new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay contains the Senedd building, home to the Welsh Assembly, sporting venues in the city include the Millennium Stadium, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff International Sports Stadium and Cardiff Arms Park. The city was awarded the title of European City of Sport twice, due to its role in hosting major sporting events, first in 2009. The Millennium Stadium hosted 11 football matches as part of the 2012 Summer Olympics, including the opening event. Caerdydd derives from the earlier Welsh form Caerdyf, the change from -dyf to -dydd shows the colloquial alteration of Welsh f and dd, and was perhaps also driven by folk etymology. This sound change had probably first occurred in the Middle Ages, Caerdyf has its origins in post-Roman Brythonic words meaning the fort of the Taff. The fort probably refers to that established by the Romans, the anglicised form Cardiff is derived from Caerdyf, with the Welsh f borrowed as ff /f/, as also happens in Taff and Llandaff. As English does not have the vowel the final vowel has been borrowed as /ɪ/, although some sources repeat this theory, it has been rejected on linguistic grounds by modern scholars such as Professor Gwynedd Pierce. A group of five Bronze Age tumuli is at the summit of The Garth, four Iron Age hill fort and enclosure sites have been identified within Cardiffs present-day county boundaries, including Caerau Hillfort, an enclosed area of 5.1 hectares. The fort was one of a series of military outposts associated with Isca Augusta that acted as border defences, the fort may have been abandoned in the early 2nd century as the area had been subdued. However, by this time a settlement, or vicus, was established
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Rutgerus Johannes Martinus Ruud van Nistelrooy is a retired Dutch footballer and a current manager for the PSV youth team. A former striker, he is the fourth-highest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history with 56 goals and he is a three-time Champions League top scorer, as well as a top scorer in three different European domestic leagues. Van Nistelrooy began his career with Den Bosch, before moving onto Heerenveen, eventually making a name for himself at PSV, where he won two Eredivisie titles. His time at United was successful, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup and FA Community Shield, along with winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year twice. Van Nistelrooy hit 150 goals in just 219 games for United, as well as becoming, at the time, their all time European record goalscorer, Real Madrid then secured his services in 2006. Although an injury blighted the end of his days with Madrid, he did win La Liga twice, after one-and-a-half seasons with Hamburg, he moved back to Spain with Málaga in the summer of 2011. His retirement from football was announced on 14 May 2012, after netting 12 goals in 31 games in the 1996–97 campaign, he transferred for €360,000 to Heerenveen the next year, and scored 13 goals in 31 matches in his only season with the club. He was then signed by PSV the next season for €6.3 million, Van Nistelrooy capped off the year by winning the Dutch Player of the Year award. The following season, he won his second Eredivisie scoring title with 29 goals, Ferguson sent team representatives to PSVs next league game and signed Van Nistelrooy the next day. Van Nistelrooy looked set to complete a club record £18.5 million transfer to Manchester United in the summer of 2000, a year later, Van Nistelrooy signed a five-year contract after passing his medical. He downplayed Uniteds £19 million investment to reporters, saying, The price is not heavy for me – it lifts me up because it means United have big confidence in me, Van Nistelrooy made his debut in the Charity Shield against Liverpool, scoring in a 2–1 loss. On 19 August, Van Nistelrooy made his Premier League debut against Fulham at Old Trafford and he scored his first Champions League goals on 17 October in a 3–2 loss to Deportivo de La Coruña. On 22 December, Van Nistelrooy scored his first Premier League hat-trick in a 6–1 win against Southampton, in total during his first season, Van Nistelrooy scored 23 goals in 32 league games. He broke the record he shared with Mark Stein, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry and he also scored 10 Champions League goals, and was named the PFA Players Player of the Year. The following season, he finished as the top Premier League scorer with 25 goals in 34 games and his tally included three hat-tricks against Newcastle United, Fulham, and Charlton Athletic. He also scored in each of the eight games of the season as United won the title. Van Nistelrooy won the Premier League Player of the Season in 2003 and he was accredited with spearheading the title win for United with a goal tally that was described as astonishing. After scoring 12 Champions League goals, he was named by UEFA as the best striker in Europe, Van Nistelrooy started the 2003–04 season by scoring twice in his first two league matches
2005 FA Cup Final
The 2005 FA Cup Final was a football match played between Arsenal and Manchester United on 21 May 2005 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. It was the match of the 2004–05 FA Cup, the 124th season of English football’s primary cup competition. The shoot-out finished 5–4 to Arsenal, with Patrick Vieira scoring the penalty after Paul Scholes shot was saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. As both teams were in the highest tier of English football, the Premier League, Arsenal, matches up to the semi-final were contested on a one-off basis, with a replay taking place if the match ended in a draw. Both managers for the final made surprising changes to their team, Arsène Wenger unconventionally deployed a defensive formation, Manchester United dominated the match, creating four times as many shots as their opponents, but struggled to find the breakthrough. In extra time, Arsenals José Antonio Reyes was sent off for a second bookable offence, the British press unanimously agreed that Arsenal were fortunate to win, Wenger himself admitted so in his press conference afterwards. The FA Cup is English footballs primary cup competition, clubs in the Premier League enter the FA Cup in the third round and are drawn randomly with the remaining clubs. If a match is drawn, the tie is replayed at the ground of the team from the original match. As with league fixtures, FA Cup matches are subject to change in the event of games being selected for television coverage, in September 2004, it was announced that the Millennium Stadium was chosen as the venue for the semi-finals, in addition to the final. Arsenals cup run started with a tie against Stoke City. The visitors took the lead just before the break, but goals from José Antonio Reyes and they then faced Wolverhampton Wanderers at home in the next round, a goal apiece from Patrick Vieira and Fredrik Ljungberg secured a comfortable 2–0 victory. Arsenals opponent in the round was Sheffield United. After 35 minutes Dennis Bergkamp was sent off for his apparent push on Danny Cullip, with eleven minutes of normal time remaining, Robert Pirès scored for Arsenal, but the team conceded a late penalty which Andy Gray converted. The equaliser for Sheffield United meant the match was replayed at Bramall Lane on 1 March 2005, both teams played out a goalless draw after full-time and throughout extra-time, so the tie was decided by a penalty shootout. Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia saved two penalties, which ensured progress into the quarter-finals, bolton Wanderers hosted Arsenal at the Reebok Stadium in the sixth round of the competition. Ljungberg scored the goal of the tie after just three minutes, he had an opportunity to extend Arsenals lead in stoppage time, but hit the ball over from six yards. It was described by BBC Sport as the most glaring miss of the match, Arsenal faced Blackburn Rovers in the semi-final which was played on 16 April 2005. Two goals from Van Persie and one from Pirès gave Arsenal a 3–0 win, in a match marred by Blackburns aggressive tactics, Manchester United, the holders of the FA Cup, began their defence of the trophy with a home tie against non-league Exeter City
Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London, England, which opened in 2007, on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 2002–2003. The stadium hosts football matches including home matches of the England national football team. The stadium will be the home of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur while White Hart Lane is being demolished. Wembley Stadium is owned by the body of English football. The FA headquarters are based in the stadium, with 90,000 seats, it is the largest football stadium in England, the largest stadium in the UK and the second-largest stadium in Europe. Designed by Populous and Foster and Partners, it includes a retractable roof. The stadium was built by Australian firm Multiplex at a cost of £798 million, a UEFA category four stadium, Wembley hosted the 2011 and 2013 UEFA Champions League Finals, and will host both the semi-finals and final of UEFA Euro 2020. The stadium hosted the Gold medal matches at the 2012 Olympic Games football tournament, the stadium also hosts rugby leagues Challenge Cup final, the NFL International Series and music concerts. The design of the services was carried out by Mott MacDonald. It is one of the most expensive ever built at a cost of £798 million. The all-seater stadium is a design with a capacity of 90,000. It can also be adapted as a stadium by erecting a temporary platform over the lowest tier of seating. The stadiums signature feature is a circular section lattice arch of 7 m internal diameter with a 315 m span, erected some 22° off true and it supports all the weight of the north roof and 60% of the weight of the retractable roof on the southern side. The archway is the worlds longest unsupported roof structure, a platform system has been designed to convert the stadium for athletics use, but its use would decrease the stadiums capacity to approximately 60,000. No athletics events have taken place at the stadium, and none are scheduled, the conversion for athletics use was a condition of part of the lottery funding the stadium received, but to convert it would take weeks of work and cost millions of pounds. Demolition officially began on 30 September 2002, with the Twin Towers being dismantled in December 2002, delays to the construction project started as far back as 2003. In December 2003, the constructors of the arch, subcontractors Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company of Darlington, Cleveland Bridge withdrew from the project and replaced by Dutch firm Hollandia with all the attendant problems of starting over. In October 2005, Sports Minister Richard Caborn announced, They say the Cup Final will be there, by November 2005, WNSL were still hopeful of a handover date of 31 March, in time for the cup final on 13 May
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, ComM, GOIH is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He primarily plays as a forward, but has also deployed as a winger. In 2008, he won his first Ballon dOr and FIFA World Player of the Year awards, Ronaldo then won the FIFA Ballon dOr in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, he received his fourth Ballon dOr, the most for a European player in the history of the award, in 2015, Ronaldo scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country. He is the player to win four European Golden Shoe awards. One of the most marketable athletes in sport, in 2016 Forbes named Ronaldo the worlds best paid athlete, in June 2016, ESPN ranked him the worlds most famous athlete. Ronaldo began his club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United at age 18 in 2003. After winning his first trophy, the FA Cup, during his first season in England, by age 23, he had received Ballon dOr and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. He was the subject of the most expensive association football transfer when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million. In Spain, he has won one La Liga title. Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season, in 2014, Ronaldo became the fastest player to score 200 goals in La Liga, which he accomplished in his 178th La Liga game. He is the player in the history of football to score more than 50 goals in a season on six consecutive occasions. In 2015, Ronaldo became the top goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League. He is the second highest goalscorer in La Liga history behind Lionel Messi, Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in August 2003, at the age of 18. He is Portugals most capped player of all time with over 130 caps and he is the first Portuguese player to reach 50 international goals, making him Portugals all-time top goalscorer. He scored his first international goal in Euro 2004 and helped Portugal reach the final and he took over captaincy in July 2008, and he led Portugal to the semi-finals at Euro 2012, finishing the competition as joint-top scorer. In November 2014, Ronaldo became the top scorer in the UEFA European Championship with 23 goals. Ronaldo lifted the trophy after Portugal defeated France in the final, Ronaldo was born in Santo António, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener
Assistant referee (association football)
In association football, an assistant referee is an official empowered with assisting the referee in enforcing the Laws of the Game during a match. At most organised levels of football the match officiating crew consists of the referee, the assistant referee functions in an advisory role, and all judgements made by an assistant referee may be overruled by the referee. At higher levels of play the referee is assisted by a fourth official. The fourth officials duties are usually administrative in nature and vary depending on the match rules, depending on the local match rules, the fourth official may replace the referee or one of the assistant referees if they are unable to continue. Law 6 of the Laws of the Game specifies that two assistant referees may be appointed and it also outlines the general duties of the assistant referees, however, their duties in a given game remain subject to the decision of the referee. e. Their decisions are not binding and the referee is allowed to overrule an assistant, an assistant referee may also be called upon by the referee to provide an opinion regarding matters which the referee requires clarification on. Occasionally the assistant referee will assist in player management during free kicks, the assistant referees also usually assist the referee with preparatory and administrative functions. Assistant referees wear an identical to that of the referee and carry brightly-coloured flags which are used to indicate their decisions to the referee, players. During the game each assistant referee oversees one touch-line and one end of the field utilising the diagonal system of control, the more senior of the two assistants will normally occupy the side of the field containing the technical areas, to help oversee substitutions. Assistant referees were formerly called linesmen, in 1996, the name was changed, primarily to better reflect the modern role of these officials, and secondarily to become non-gender specific. They are also incorrectly referred to as referees assistants. The fourth official assists the referee in a variety of tasks, the fourth official is a recent addition to the officiating crew. The fourth official is simply instructed to assist the referee at all times and his usual duties can be broadly divided into assisting functions and a replacement function. The fourth official typically has a table a short distance from the touchline between the two teams technical areas, however his positioning is not defined by the Laws of the Game. The fourth official serves as a replacement official in the event that one of the other officials cannot continue officiating, in situations where an assistant referee is unable to continue, the fourth official replaces that assistant referee. Competition rules are supposed to clarify which of these options is to occur, if for some reason it is not stated, then typically the official with the most refereeing experience will replace the referee. Assistants beyond those discussed above are generally uncommon, however, extra official roles have been trialled in a few international tournaments. For matches in the 2006 World Cup, FIFA assigned five officials, if an assistant referee could not carry on his duties, the fifth official was to be the primary replacement, whereas the fourth official was the referees primary replacement
Football in England
Today Englands top domestic league, the Premier League, is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world, with six of the ten richest football clubs in the world. The England national football team is one of only 8 teams to win the World Cup, a total of five English club teams have won the UEFA Champions League. Football was played in England as far back as medieval times, kicking ball games are described in England from 1280. An account of an exclusively kicking game from Nottinghamshire in the fifteenth century bears similarity to association football. By the 16th centuries references to organised teams and goals had appeared, there is evidence for refereed, team football games being played in English schools since at least 1581. The eighteenth-century Gymnastic Society of London is, arguably, the worlds first football club, the Cambridge rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, during the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised a set of rules. These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, the Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games. A match between Sheffield and Hallam F. C. on 29 December 1862 was one of the first matches to be recorded in a newspaper, on 8 March 1873, the England national teams 4–2 win over Scotland at the Oval was the first ever victory in international football. The late nineteenth century was dominated by the split between the amateur and professional teams, which was roughly aligned along a North-South divide. Northern clubs were keen to adopt professionalism as workers could not afford to play on an amateur basis, preston North End were inaugural winners in 1888–89, and were also the first club to complete the double of both winning the league and the FA Cup. Aston Villa repeated the feat in 1896–97 and it remained at 40 until the league was suspended after the 1914–15 season with the outbreak of World War I. Other clubs to win titles in this period include Sheffield United, Manchester United. During the war, competitive football was suspended, however, an unofficial Wartime Football league was played from 1915–16 to 1918–19, although the FA Cup was suspended until after the war. The next season the league was expanded with the Third Division divided into North and South sections. In the 1923–24 season the Third Division North was expanded to 22 clubs, Bolton Wanderers defeated West Ham United to win this landmark game. Bolton Wanderers would win the FA Cup on three occasions during the 1920s, by the turn of the 1930s, the national side regularly played against other national teams from outside the British Isles
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is a football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Marks, they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887, the club moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won five major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, by 2014–15, Manchester City had the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €463.5 million. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated they were the sixth most valuable football club. City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899, with it promotion to the highest level in English football. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, in the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, after relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer, in the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Further trophies followed, City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy, the club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, the final trophy of the clubs most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2–1 in the League Cup final. A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s, Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone, under John Bond, City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were relegated from the top flight in the 1980s. However, this was only a respite, and following Reids departure Manchester Citys fortunes continued to fade. City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, after two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their countrys third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline, under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham