Podcast: United, from community institution to commercial juggernaut – Tom Clare

Sir Matt Busby shares a drink with Bob Paisley

Authors: Doron and Phil

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Beyond The Pitch and Stretford-End.com have come together once again to record another podcast, the fourteenth in the series. This week we are joined by Tom Clare who has spent over 60 years following United.

To listen to the podcast, click on this link. It is available to listen to or download on iTunes at this link.

Topics covered:


We take a look a back at what happened on an emotional day at Anfield last week and try to pick apart United’s really quite dire performance.

Tom Clare

Tom is a link back to a much different time in the history of Manchester United, its history, evolution and move from a community institution to the commercial juggernaut that it is today. Tom tells us how he became a supporter from his days as a boy, what those times looked and felt like, how much different those times really were and his first person accounts serve as a wonderful balance to what the club has become starting with the days of Martin Edwards, long before there ever was a Glazer family takeover of the brand.

We also examine where the club is today in stark contrast and how young people around the area can no longer afford to attend games and be part of the very club that their parents and grandparents have followed over the years and Tom has some very pointed comments about how the club is being operated and what it really sees as its mandate in this Premier League era where commercial realities have supplanted a more traditional role in the Manchester area.

Tom also gives us the account of how he first became a Manchester United fan, how the community was once shaped by the club and how some of its most famous players held a serious bond within the local area even though they were considered world class international footballers. His comments on Sir Alex, the stewardship of the football club and his thoughts on the current administration are as deeply interesting as they are informative when cast against the commercial reality of one of the biggest football clubs in the world with record level turnover and an increasing level of dissent amongst its most ardent and loyal supporters.


Recorded before the Capital One Cup tie, we consider which youngsters might play and look forward at the games to come.

Once again, to listen to the podcast, click on this link. It is available to listen to or download on iTunes at this link.

To listen to the first thirteen podcasts, click here.

Our thanks again to Tom for his time and we’ll hopefully have him on again soon as he has many more fascinating stories to tell.

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