Sir Matt Busby in his office in 1957

Busby's first contract as United manager

On this day in 1945, Matt Busby started work as Manchester United manager and began what became a defining era at Old Trafford.

The Scot agreed to be become our manager in February 1945 but, due to his military commitments, he did not take up his role until 22 October 1945.

His first contract was not officially signed until the following year on 22 October.

Busby's deal, which details the agreement that was put in place, was acquired by the club in May 2018 from a private collector for an undisclosed fee.

The eight-page agreement lists the clauses in Sir Matt’s initial five-year contract, including his annual salary of £675, together with his housing arrangements.

Busby was paid "a fixed annual salary of six hundred and seventy-five pounds" in 1946/47

The Old Trafford Museum added the agreement to its collection, thereby securing an item of memorabilia which changed our history. 

The document had never been displayed before but it is now exhibited in the museum, which already boasts over 500 medals and trophies from throughout the club’s 140-year history.

Speaking of the acquisition in 2018, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, commented:

“In a quarter of a century as manager, Sir Matt Busby changed the face of Manchester United and his role in shaping this club is well known.
A page from Sir Matt Busby's first Manchester United contract
The club provided the new manager with "a dwellinghouse free of rent and rates"

“From the devastating 1958 Munich Air Disaster to the pinnacle of becoming the first English side to win the European Cup just 10 years later, Sir Matt Busby has written such a large part of the history of this club and it is important we recognise and remember what he achieved.

I’m sure supporters will welcome this addition to the museum, as an artefact which changed this famous old club forever.

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