As the Reds prepare to welcome the Barclays Premier League trophy back to OT, Museum curator Mark Wylie reveals the process behind the changing of the guard...
Firstly, how and when is the trophy transported to Old Trafford?
It doesn’t come straight from Manchester City; it comes from the Premier League. It left the Etihad Stadium at the end of March to be checked for damage and to ensure it’s in tip-top condition for us to receive, along with the medals, after the Swansea match on Sunday 12 May. We won’t have it in the Museum until the following Tuesday, after the open-top bus parade in Manchester on Monday 13 May.
Speaking of the parade, what would happen if the players dropped the trophy off the bus like Real Madrid did with the Copa del Rey in 2011?
I would cry! I saw that and was glad I wasn’t the person who had to deal with it. I wouldn’t be too happy, it would cause a big problem for any club if the trophy gets badly damaged when it’s in their possession because people expect to see it. So if you have to send them away for repairs – which can takes weeks – it causes a big problem. So, it's best not to even think of that happening.
But we hear there are two trophies?
There are two in use but only one is real, which is presented to the winners. The other is owned by Barclays and is sent to various marketing events and broadcasts - although the one you see on Match of the Day is normally the real thing. They look almost identical but in the past, when the Premier League was sponsored by Carling, you could notice subtle differences between the two.
And when it's in our possession,what do you have to do to look after the trophy? Who cleans it for example?
We clean it - everyone in the Museum office, it’s quite a privilege for us. When we first receive it, there’s normally champagne in the bottom, so we have to give it a good clean because it’s acidic. Fingerprints also have to go because some people have very acidic sweat and when you grab hold of silver, you can literally etch your fingerprints into the trophy. It’s not a bad job though because it means it has been put to good use.