Wellington Phoenix FC
Wellington Phoenix Football Club is a New Zealand professional football club based in Wellington. It competes under licence from Football Federation Australia. Phoenix entered the competition in the 2007–08 season after its formation in March 2007, by New Zealand Football to replace New Zealand Knights as a New Zealand-based club in the Australian A-League competition; the club is one of the few clubs in the world to compete in a league of a different confederation from that of the country where it is based. Ernie Merrick was the head coach following the resignation of founding coach Ricki Herbert late in the 2012–13 season, until his own resignation on 5 December 2016. Andrew Durante has been the club captain since the 2008–09 season succeeding from the inaugural captain, Ross Aloisi; the club's highest achievement is reaching the A-League Preliminary Final in 2010. The club plays matches at a 34,500-seat multi-purpose venue in Wellington, their home kit consists of yellow stripes. During the stages of the 2006–07 A-League season, Football Federation Australia removed New Zealand Knights A-League licence due to the club's financial and administrative problems and poor on-field performance.
After the resignation of the New Zealand Knights board, FFA transferred the licence to New Zealand Soccer, which administered the club for the rest of the season before its subsequent dissolution. FFA provided NZS a provisional A-League licence to sub-let to a suitable New Zealand team to enter the 2007–08 A-League season. FFA set an application deadline to NZS and subsequently delayed that deadline to give more time for potential applicants in New Zealand to apply along with NZS support. While NZS was given a chance to apply with a new sub-licensee, a Townsville-based consortium, Tropical Football Australia expressed interest and prepared an A-League application to replace the place held by the Knights. However, TFA pulled out with the understanding of the FFA's preference to retain a New Zealand team for the league. TFA resubmitted its bid in the following year as a potential A-League expansion franchise under the name of "Northern Thunder FC", changed to "North Queensland Thunder", however this bid died after expansion for the 2007–08 season was cancelled.
After much delay, the final amount needed for the application came from Wellington property businessman Terry Serepisos in the latter stages of the bid. Serepisos, the club's majority owner and chairman, provided NZD $1,250,000 to ensure the beginnings of a new New Zealand franchise and a continuation of New Zealand's participation in the A-League. FFA finalised a three-year A-League licence to New Zealand Football who sub-let the licence to the Wellington-based club; the new Wellington club was confirmed on 19 March 2007. The name for the new club was picked from a shortlist of six, pruned from 250 names suggested by the public, was announced on 28 March 2007. Serepisos said of the name, that "It symbolises the fresh start, the rising from the ashes, the incredible Wellington support that has come out". Despite the backing of FIFA, AFC president Mohammed Bin Hammam stated that due to AFC criteria the Wellington team must move to Australia or disband by 2011. However, in an interview aired on SBS on 21 December 2008 FIFA president Sepp Blatter stated unequivocally that "It is not the matter of the Confederation, it is the matter of the FIFA Executive Committee...
If Wellington will go on play on in Australian League as long as Australian league wants to have them and Wellington wants to stay Both association in this case, New Zealand Soccer and Australian Football are happy with that we will give them the blessing. The Confederation can not interfere with that.". In the 2009–10 season Wellington Phoenix became the first New Zealand side to reach the playoffs of an Australian Football competition when Adelaide United beat Brisbane Roar 2–0 in the 26th round, it meant that Brisbane, which before the match was the only team, outside of the top 6 that had a chance of making the playoffs, no longer could. The Phoenix overcame the Central Coast Mariners on Friday the 12 February 2010 to finish fourth place which meant it would host a historic playoff game against Perth Glory on 21 February 2010; the Phoenix beat Perth by penalty shootout. Phoenix hosted a home game against Newcastle Jets on 7 March after the Jets won its away game against Gold Coast United by way of penalty shootout.
The Phoenix won in extra time 3 -- 1. In the Preliminary Final against Sydney FC, the Phoenix lost 4–2 in controversial circumstances. After being locked at 1–1 through goals from Chris Payne for Sydney and Andrew Durante for Wellington, Payne missed a header and deflected the ball into the goal off his hand. Andrew Durante, marking Payne went straight over to the linesman, but the goal stood. "I went straight to the linesman. I knew 100 per cent. I spoke to the ref at halftime about it and he said it wasn't deliberate. It's pretty funny that one; such a big game and such a big occasion, for something like that to change the game is disappointing." Sydney FC strikers Alex Brosque and Mark Bridge both scored break-away goals as Phoenix pushed forward. Eugene Dadi added a late consolation goal. Phoenix striker Chris Greenacre said. "It just rips the heart out of you. We got back in the game with a good goal and that takes it away from you, it wasn't to be. I think, they played some good football but I thought we had withstood it OK.
If we went into hal
Perth Glory FC
Perth Glory Football Club is an Australian professional soccer club based in Perth, Western Australia. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia. Founded in 1995, Perth Glory is one of three A-League clubs to survive from the now defunct National Soccer League. Glory entered the A-League competition for the inaugural 2005–06 season, eight years after the club's formation in 1995. Perth won their first silverware in the A-League era; the club plays at Perth Oval known as HBF Park for sponsorship purposes, with a seated capacity of 20,500. A youth team competes in the Y-League, a women's team competes in the W-League. Both the youth and women's team play at various locations across Perth, most played at Dorrien Gardens. Perth first showed interest in joining the National Soccer League prior to its inaugural year in 1977. However, a series of logistical problems and financial concerns meant that the league was not keen to include a Western Australian side.
While the state representative side continued to perform well in national and international cup competitions, WA continued to be unrepresented at a senior club level until 1994. In 1994, a group of businessmen led by Joe Claudio formed the Perth Kangaroos IFC; the club competed in the 1994 Singapore Premier League along with the Darwin Cubs. At the time, there were visions of establishing an Asia-Pacific Super League which could become a sporting and financial empire in the east, it turned out to be something of a farce. The Kangaroos finished the league season undefeated and won the Singapore league title. However, with dwindling support and resources, the experiment proved to be a financial disaster and Perth Kangaroos IFC soon folded. In 1995, another consortium led by Nick Tana made a bid for entry into the National Soccer League. Perth Glory was subsequently licensed to join the 1996–97 NSL season and on 1 December 1995 the club was launched. From a unheralded start, the club would develop beyond all expectations and help commercially re-establish Association football in a state where Australian rules football dominates the media and Rugby league was commercially about to fail.
Former Adelaide City player and Perth Kangaroos coach Gary Marocchi was appointed coach for the first two seasons and won many fans with his bold, attacking style. Believed to be nothing more than a token participant, Perth surprised many by only just missing the cut for the finals; the exciting style of "you score three, we score four" drew fans – including many British expatriates. Players like NSL-title-winning sweeper Vinko Buljubašić, Perth-based striker Bobby Despotovski and young local star Vas Kalogeracos were brought into the team and achieved cult status. New Zealand international Gavin Wilkinson was signed while local midfielder Gareth Naven was appointed captain. In their first match in the NSL, Perth Glory lost to Sydney Olympic 4–1, with veteran Scot Alan MacKenzie scoring the first goal for Glory and Doug Ithier winning the first Man-of-the-Match award. Large crowds and good results soon followed with an exciting win over defending champions the Melbourne Knights thrilling a huge crowd.
Glory needed only a point in their final match of the season but were defeated by the Knights and fell just short of making the finals. Glory midfielder Paul Strudwick was sent off during the match in controversial circumstances while trouble in the crowd marred the match. In the 1997–98 season, despite again narrowly missing the top six and signing more high-profile players like Ernie Tapai, Danny Hay and Nigerians Samson Siasia and Peter Anosike it was a disappointing season for the Glory. Fan support was further consolidated in the era of Bernd Stange; the former East German national coach became a media star after replacing Gary Marocchi, sacked and took the team into the competition playoffs. The success of the team created record attendances along with record exposure in the local media. During Stange's reign, Glory competed in its first-ever NSL Grand Final in 1999–2000 after having won the League championship. In his first season, Stange had taken Glory to their first finals series the previous season and had fallen in the preliminary final against Sydney United.
With new signings John Markovski and Con Boutsianis fitting straight into the side, local player Jamie Harnwell started to develop into a key defender and made the step to replace the injured Vinko Buljubašić. A horror form slump at the height of summer denied the Glory a top two place but massive crowds still attended their two home finals at the WACA Ground against Adelaide City and Marconi Stallions; the following year, Glory recruited young players Ivan Ergić, Jason Petković and Olyroo Kasey Wehrmann. The 1999/2000 grand final is remembered. Earlier in the Championship Playoff series, Perth had narrowly beaten the Wollongong Wolves in a two-legged Major Semi Final – needing a dramatic 80th-minute penalty and goal in extra time to advance. In the grand final, Perth again faced the Wolves and led 3–0 at half time against a miserable Wolves outfit. Yet, the Wolves rallied superbly and Perth experienced a series of defensive blunders to be pegged back to 3–3 at full-time. Perth subsequently lost on penalties, but this defining moment galvanised the team and would be a motivating force for years to come.
James Afkos, a young defender and son of Glory co-owner Paul Afkos saw his penalty saved, which gav
Carl Fletcher (Welsh footballer)
Carl Neil Fletcher is a former professional football player and manager employed as youth team manager at Bournemouth. As a midfielder Fletcher represented Wales at senior international level for five years, scoring one goal in 36 appearances. Having made his professional debut for Bournemouth in 1998, Fletcher went on to play for West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Plymouth Argyle, making 414 appearances in league competition and scoring 34 goals. Born in Camberley, Fletcher retired from playing in 2012 to focus on his role as manager of Plymouth Argyle, he resumed his playing career in October 2013 with Barnet. After playing football for Oakdale Middle School, Fletcher moved onto being Captain of his local football team in Poole, Dorset. Fletcher started his career at Football League club Bournemouth, making his debut in February 1998 as a 17-year-old, he made 185 league starts for the south-coast club, including captaining the side to a 5–2 victory over Lincoln City in the 2003 Division 3 playoff final and scoring 2 of the goals himself, before earning a move to West Ham United in 2004 for £275,000.
Fletcher played in the Premier League after West Ham won promotion the season he signed for them. He had a month-long loan spell at Watford. Upon his return from Watford in October 2005, he made 12 league appearances for West Ham. On 13 May 2006, Fletcher was drafted into the West Ham team to face Liverpool in the FA Cup Final due to the suspension of Hayden Mullins; the FA Cup final proved to be his last competitive match for the Hammers, however, as he signed for Crystal Palace in that summer, for £400,000. He was appointed as captain by manager Peter Taylor. After Neil Warnock took over, the captaincy went to Mark Hudson. Fletcher captained Wales for the first time on 28 May 2009 against Iceland. However, he was substituted after just 41 minutes after damaging his ankle ligaments. After Neil Warnock was appointed as manager Fletcher found first-team opportunities limited, starting many games on the substitutes bench, which led to Fletcher and teammate Paul Ifill being placed on the transfer list in August 2008.
Fletcher was signed on loan by Nottingham Forest in October of that year due to their ever-growing injury list. However, he only made five appearances in this period and due to a problematic back injury, was sent back to Palace. Fletcher signed a month-long emergency loan deal with Plymouth Argyle on 20 February 2009, scoring on his debut against Sheffield United. A string of commanding performances led to the loan being extended a month until the end of the 2008–09 campaign. Following his release by Crystal Palace in May 2009, Fletcher signed a two-year contract with Plymouth. Having been made captain by Paul Sturrock, he led the team in this role throughout his time as a player with the club. Fletcher extended his contract by 12 months during the summer of 2011, he retired from playing at the end of the 2011–12 season in order to focus on management. Fletcher resumed his playing career in October 2013. Prior to signing a contract he trained with the club during pre-season and spent time back at Bournemouth.
He made six appearances, three in the league, before being released in January 2014. Fletcher was appointed caretaker manager of Plymouth Argyle on 19 September 2011, a day after Peter Reid was sacked by acting chairman Peter Ridsdale; the club was taken over by Akkeron Group at the end of October and Fletcher became the club's full-time manager, having won two and drawn one of his seven games as caretaker. He retired as a player. "I have enjoyed playing. There have been highs and lows, tough days and good days, but it's on to a new era in my life," he said to The Herald. "I'm starting again and trying to build my reputation up as a manager now." Fletcher was sacked on 1 January 2013 after a run of eight defeats in 13 league games left the club 21st in the League Two table. In a tearful post-match interview with BBC Radio Devon, he said that "since I've been down here we've been through a lot, that's football really. I might be a young manager but I know if you don't win games you don't keep your job."Fletcher was appointed youth team manager at Bournemouth on 15 January 2014 after leaving Barnet.
In September 2010, Fletcher was unsuccessful in an attempt to get out of jury duty at Plymouth Crown Court by saying that he was too well-known in the local area. Scores and results list Wales' goal tally first; as of 1 January 2013 Bournemouth Third Division play-offs winner: 2002–03West Ham United Football League Championship play-off winner: 2004–05 FA Cup runner-up: 2005–06Individual Plymouth Argyle Player of the Year winner: 2009–10, 2010–11 Carl Fletcher at Soccerbase Carl Fletcher management career statistics at Soccerbase
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War; the current champion is France. The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, called the World Cup Finals. After this, 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation, compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about a month; the 21 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, they are the only team to have played in every tournament; the other World Cup winners are Italy, with four titles each.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, as well as the most viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games. Brazil, Italy and Mexico have each hosted twice, while Uruguay, Sweden, England, Spain, the United States and South Korea, South Africa and Russia have each hosted once. Qatar are planned as hosts of the 2022 finals, 2026 will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, which will give Mexico the distinction of being the first country to have hosted games in three finals; the world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural British Home Championship, took place in 1884; as football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the start of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, at the 1906 Intercalated Games.
After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were early days for international football, the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure. At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association, England's football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain won the gold medals, they repeated the feat at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909; the Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team.
Lipton invited an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to defend their title. In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", took responsibility for managing the event; this paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and 13 European teams, won by Belgium. Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928; those were the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era. Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet as the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.
The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet persuaded teams from Belgium, France and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total, 13 nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America; the first two World Cup matches took place on 13 July 1930, were won by France and the USA, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent o
Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England, part of the City of Brighton and Hove, located 47 miles south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon periods; the ancient settlement of "Brighthelmstone" was documented in the Domesday Book. The town's importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France; the town developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses. In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London.
Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Metropole Hotel Grand Hotel, the West Pier, the Brighton Palace Pier. The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town's boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, granted city status in 2000. Today and Hove district has a resident population of about 288,200 and the wider Brighton and Hove conurbation has a population of 474,485. Brighton's location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural and arts scene and its large LGBT population, leading to its recognition as the "unofficial gay capital of the UK". Brighton attracted 7.5 million day visitors in 2015/16 and 4.9 million overnight visitors, is the most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas tourists. Brighton has been called the UK's "hippest city", "the happiest place to live in the UK".
Brighton's earliest name was Bristelmestune, recorded in the Domesday Book. Although more than 40 variations have been documented, Brighthelmstone was the standard rendering between the 14th and 18th centuries."Brighton" was an informal shortened form, first seen in 1660. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Most scholars believe that it derives from Beorthelm + tūn—the homestead of Beorthelm, a common Old English name associated with villages elsewhere in England; the tūn element is common in Sussex on the coast, although it occurs infrequently in combination with a personal name. An alternative etymology taken from the Old English words for "stony valley" is sometimes given but has less acceptance. Brighthelm gives its name to, among other things, a church and a pub in Brighton and some halls of residence at the University of Sussex. Writing in 1950, historian Antony Dale noted that unnamed antiquaries had suggested an Old English word "brist" or "briz", meaning "divided", could have contributed the first part of the historic name Brighthelmstone.
The town was split in half by the Wellesbourne, a winterbourne, culverted and buried in the 18th century. Brighton has several nicknames. Poet Horace Smith called it "The Queen of Watering Places", still used, "Old Ocean's Bauble". Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray referred to "Doctor Brighton", calling the town "one of the best of Physicians". "London-by-the-Sea" is well-known, reflecting Brighton's popularity with Londoners as a day-trip resort, a commuter dormitory and a desirable destination for those wanting to move out of the metropolis. "The Queen of Slaughtering Places", a pun on Smith's description, became popular when the Brighton trunk murders came to the public's attention in the 1930s. The mid 19th-century nickname "School Town" referred to the remarkable number of boarding and church schools in the town at the time; the first settlement in the Brighton area was Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic encampment on Whitehawk Hill, dated to between 3500 BC and 2700 BC. It is one of six causewayed enclosures in Sussex.
Archaeologists have only explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. There was a Bronze Age settlement at Coldean. Brythonic Celts arrived in Britain in the 7th century BC, an important Brythonic settlement existed at Hollingbury Castle on Hollingbury Hill; this Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. 1,000 feet. Cissbury Ring 10 miles from Hollingbury, is suggested to have been the tribal "capital". There was a Roman villa at Preston Village, a Roman road from London ran nearby, much physical evidence of Roman occupation has been discovered locally. From the 1st century AD, the Romans built a number of villas in Brighton and Romano-British Brythonic Celts formed farming settlements in the area. After the Romans left in the early 4th century AD, the Brighton area returned to the control of the native Celts. Anglo-Saxons invaded in the late 5th century AD, the region became part of the Kingdom of Sussex, founded in 477 AD by king Ælle.
Anthony Seldon identified five phases of development in pre-20th century Brighton. The village of Bristelmestune was founded by these
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, 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 more trophies than any other club in English football, with a record 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups and a record 21 FA Community Shields. United have won three UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the club became the first in the history of English football to achieve the continental European treble. By winning the UEFA Europa League in 2016–17, they became one of five clubs to have won all three main UEFA club competitions; 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 as manager, including 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, between 1986 and 2013, when he announced his retirement. Manchester United was the highest-earning football club in the world for 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €676.3 million, the world's most valuable football club in 2018, valued at £3.1 billion. As of June 2015, it is the world's most valuable football brand, estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. After being floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club was purchased by Malcolm Glazer in May 2005 in a deal valuing the club at £800 million, after which the company was taken private again, before going public once more in August 2012, when they made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Manchester United is one of the most supported football clubs in the world, has rivalries 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. The team played games against other departments and railway companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match. By 1888, the club had become a founding member of a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League; 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 £280,000 in 2019 – the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies, each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name.
Under Ernest Mangnall, who assumed managerial duties in 1903, the team finished as Second Division runners-up in 1906 and secured promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1908 – the club's first league title. The following season began with victory in the first Charity Shield and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. 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, where it remained until regaining promotion in 1925. 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. Following the death of principal benefactor John Henry Davies in October 1927, the club's finances deteriorated to the extent that Manchester United would have gone bankrupt had it not been for James W. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000 and assumed control of the club.
In the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. In October 1945, the impending resumption of football led to the managerial appointment of Matt Busby, who demanded an unprecedented level of control over team selection, player transfers and training sessions. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947, 1948 and 1949, to FA Cup victory in 1948. In 1952, the club won its first league title for 41 years, they won back-to-back league titles in 1956 and 1957. 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. En route to the semi-final, which they lost to Real Madrid, the team recorded a 10–0 victory over Belgian champions Anderlecht, which remains the club's biggest victory on record; the following season, on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final victory against Red Star Belgrade, the aircraft carrying the Manchester United players and journalists crashed while attempting to take off after refuelling in Munich, Germany.
Sydney Football Club known as Sydney FC, is an Australian professional soccer club based in Sydney, New South Wales. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia; the club has won three A-League Championships, three Premierships, one FFA Cup and won the Oceanian Champions League prior to Australia moving into the Asian Football Confederation. Prior to the 2018-19 A-League Season, the club's home ground was Allianz Stadium, a 45,500 seat rectangular multi-use venue in the suburb of Moore Park. With that stadium scheduled for demolition & rebuilding, the club will be playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Leichhardt Oval and Jubilee Oval for the next two seasons. Despite the club's migration, The SCG Trust agreed to renew Sydney FC's lease at Moore Park for a further 10 years on the 17 May 2017; as the only A-League team in the city for the first seven years of its existence, the club's fans hail from all across the Sydney Metropolitan Area.
Since its establishment, Sydney FC has had a reputation for signing high-profile players. In doing so, they have received the nickname'Bling FC' from pundits alike. Notable players who have represented the club include Dwight Yorke, Juninho Paulista, John Aloisi, Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill, Marc Janko, Filip Hološko, Miloš Ninković, Alessandro Del Piero; the first steps towards the foundation of Sydney FC taken in April 2004 when Soccer New South Wales announced its intention to bid for a licence in the new A-League competition. The bid was lodged with the Australian Soccer Association on 19 July, challenged only by a consortium headed by Nick Politis, known as the "Sydney Blues", for Sydney's place in the'one team per city' competition. A public row broke out between the two bidders after reports that the ASA were set to vote in favour of Sydney FC, causing Politis to withdraw his support for a team, leaving Sydney FC as the only candidate remaining. Sydney FC was launched as a member of the new 8-team A-League on 1 November 2004, with a 25% stake in the club held by Soccer NSW, the remainder owned.
Walter Bugno was announced as the inaugural chairman of the club. On 11 December 2004, Soccer NSW announced that it would pull out of its involvement with Sydney FC amid concerns over part owner Frank Lowy's autocratic style in establishing the club and lack of consultation with Soccer NSW on key Sydney FC issues; these included the choice of the Sydney Football Stadium over Parramatta Stadium as the team's home ground, the erosion of Soccer NSW's initial 100 per cent involvement to just 25 per cent. By February 2005, Sydney FC had filled 16 of its allowed 20 squad positions—attracting Socceroos Alvin Ceccoli, Clint Bolton, Steve Corica and David Zdrilic as well as youth internationals Justin Pasfield, Mark Milligan, Wade Oostendorp, Iain Fyfe and Jacob Timpano. German Pierre Littbarski was signed as Head Coach, to be assisted by former Norwich City player Ian Crook. Sydney FC played its first match against Manly United FC on 25 March 2005, winning 6–1. Shortly after, Sydney FC set off on a tour to the United Arab Emirates to play matches against local teams FC Hatta, Al Ain FC and Al Jazira, winning all three.
Whilst in Dubai, Sydney FC announced that it had agreed to terms with former Manchester United player Dwight Yorke as the club's "marquee player"– one paid outside of the $1.5million salary cap— for two seasons. Sydney FC's first competitive match was against Queensland Roar at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford as part of an Australian qualifying tournament to enter the 2005 Oceania Club Championship. After winning the match 3–0, Sydney went on to defeat Perth Glory and the Central Coast Mariners to qualify for the Oceania Club Championship, to be held in Tahiti. Despite an early scare against New Zealand club Auckland City FC, Sydney FC won all of its matches in the competition and qualified for the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan; the start of the 2005 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup marked Sydney FC's first match at Allianz Stadium, as well as Dwight Yorke's first appearance for the club. Yorke scored the first goal of Sydney FC's 3–1 win which stretched its unbeaten run to 9 competitive matches.
Upon reaching the semi-finals, Sydney's unbeaten run ended at 11 with Perth Glory midfielder Nick Ward scoring in injury time to inflict the new club's first loss. Sydney FC's first season was a success. Finishing second on the ladder behind Adelaide United they went on to defeat Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the 2006 A-League Grand Final with Steve Corica scoring in the second half of the game. However, the club's success wouldn't last long, with German manager Pierre Littbarski leaving the club due to being forced to accept a lower pay cheque and inaugural marquee player Dwight Yorke being signed by Premier League club Sunderland. Former English international Terry Butcher was signed as Sydney FC's new coach for 2006–07; however it was regarded as an overall failure, with Sydney playing poor football despite the signing of Alex Brosque and Benito Carbone as a Guest player. Sydney had 3 points deducted during the season, after it was found that they had breached the Salary cap, involving player David Zdrillic.
Despite the off field problems, Sydney managed to scrape into the finals series, however they lost in the semi-final to Newcastle Jets. Although Butcher lead the club into the finals, Sydney fans were unhappy with his tactics. In the end Butcher and Sydney FC went their separate ways at the end of the season. Sydney FC would go on to sign Branko Čulina for its 2007 Asian Champions League campaign, where they finished second in the group, one point behind ultimate champions and J-League heavyweights Urawa