What's it like to set up a United Supporters' Club?
What do Seattle, Switzerland and southern China all have in common?
Although those locations practically span the globe, all of them now boast official Manchester United Supporters’ Clubs (MUSC) after groups of passionate Reds got together and sought the seal of approval from Old Trafford for 2018/19.
We spoke to their representatives to find out more...
SEATTLE RED ARMY MUSC
Seattle Red Army (pictured above) became the USA’s second official Supporters’ Club. The city in the northwestern state of Washington is probably best-known to people in the UK as the home of grunge music, producing bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
The club’s constitution states that:
“The primary objective of The Seattle Red Army is to provide a strong local community to increase interest, promote and support Manchester United Football Club in Seattle, Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest.”
Sounds like they are going to be a noisy outpost whenever the Reds are playing, with one of the club’s principles being:
“Spirited enthusiasm and unconditional support – we chant, we sing, we support our team with passion, no matter the result!”
The club holds viewings of United matches and coordinates twice-yearly trips to Old Trafford, as well as other social activities.
Club secretary Jeremy Brown told us:
“The Seattle Red Army is so proud to be a part of the United family. Our city is such a unique and spirited place, we had to put our own twist on how we support the greatest football club on the planet. Being the first city in America to make it happen [to have its own dedicated MUSC] has been magnificent, and we’re getting others on board too.
“You have to stop by or join us if you can! Whether we're watching at Old Trafford or 4,600 miles away at 4am at our pub in downtown Seattle, the journey to our next trophy will be a joyous one. Thank you to all of our team who made it happen and glory, glory Man United!”
Originally formed as Canton Reds in August 2015, Guangzhou became an official MUSC in 2018/19. Located in one of China's largest cities - Guangzhou is the capital of Guandong province - it has grown a strong membership core, with fans getting together to watch matches, take part in United sponsors' events and hold quizzes and other activities.
Branch chairman JiaLiang Huang says:
“Manchester United have so many supporters in Guangzhou and they are thrilled to know we are authorised by the club. Last August, we held a huge party to celebrate both our three-year anniversary and our new official status!”
CHANGSHA REDS MUSC
Based in the city of the same name in Hunan province, to the north of Guangzhou in central southern China, the Changsha fans' group was first established over a decade ago.
With a membership of more than 400 and its own successful amateur football team to boot, Changsha Reds MUSC is hoping that its endorsement by Old Trafford in 2018/19 will allow it to grow even further, extend its activities and take the Manchester United name to areas of the country where knowledge of football is still relatively lacking.
Branch secretary Jingxuan Xiao said:
“Changsha Reds has been established since 2005 and we were all very excited to receive official status.”
Suisse became the second MUSC to be established in Switzerland, after Swiss Red Devils. The club originates from the Valais area in the French-speaking southwestern part of the country. The club began with a group of young United fans who would get together to watch matches.
For the last two years, though, activities have expanded to include trips to Old Trafford, and now that official status has been granted the club aims to go from strength to strength.
Club president Marc Voutaz says:
“When I got the email stating that we were approved as an official Supporters’ Club, I was at work and jumped for joy!”
THINKING OF STARTING YOUR OWN SUPPORTERS' CLUB?
There are now a record 213 official supporters’ clubs in 61 different countries.
As for individual Official Members, last season we had 254,642 throughout the world, with around 36,000 of them being linked to official supporters' clubs.
If you can get enough Reds together and would like to form an Official United Supporters' Club in your area, then please email email@example.com for more information.
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