Win tickets to the FA Community Shield

July 19, 2011 Tags: , , , Shorts 80 comments

** Update – competition is now closed **

We’ve teamed up with McDonald’s, the official Community Partner of the FA, to offer ten readers the chance to win two match tickets to watch Manchester United take on Manchester City at The FA Community Shield, sponsored by McDonald’s, on 7 August at Wembley Stadium.

This year’s match will be a Manchester derby, which will see Manchester United and Manchester City go head-to-head in this competition for the first time since 1956. The Red Devils look to secure their 14th Community Shield victory against current FA Cup holders City.

McDonald’s has been the Community Partner of the FA since 2002 and aims to create more football opportunities for all. Since the partnership was formed McDonald’s has created over 20,000 qualified football coaches, offering two million hours of free, quality coaching to young players across the UK.

“This year’s FA Community Shield will no doubt be a sell-out as fans from across the country make their way to Wembley to support the Reds and the Blues. It’s going to be a great game – a fantastic match to kick-off the new football season and I wish everyone who enters the competition the very best of luck,” said Geoff Hurst, McDonald’s Director of Football.

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, answer the following question and email your answer to with the subject line “McDonald’s Compo”.

Q: How many times has Manchester United won The FA Community Shield?

The Small Print

1. Rules: Please note that, in addition to these Provisions, entrants are bound by both the Promoter’s terms and conditions at and the Supplemental Rules For Third Party Promotions Featuring Football-Themed Prizes Supplied By McDonald’s (“General Rules”) at

2. Participants: Must be 18 and over and UK resident

3. Duration of Promotion: Enter the Promotion between 6pm 18th July 2011 and 6pm 28th July 2011 inclusive.

4. Entry Criteria: Answer a question correctly to be entered in to a draw for a chance to win.

5. Conditions of entry: Limit of one entry per person.

6. How to Submit your Entry: Entries to be submitted via email. No other method of entry will be accepted. Email:

7. Prizes: The prize pool consists of ten prizes each of: Two match tickets to The FA Community Shield on 7th August 2011 at Wembley Stadium.

8. Prize Awards: Winning entrants will be notified by telephone and / or email and should be contactable no later than Friday 29th July 2011. Prize notification will be sent by email to the address registered at time of entry. If the winner cannot be contacted by telephone before 1pm on Monday 1st August, an alternative winner will be selected.

9. General: Winners will be required for promotional and media activity in relation to this promotion and other related McDonald’s football activities, including facilitating the publication of press releases, editorial and photographs on the UK websites of the Promoter, McDonald’s, and The FA, winners’ local media and in McDonald’s UK restaurants.

10. Promoter’s Details: United Rant,,

United Rant on the net

July 11, 2011 Tags: , , Shorts 2 comments

United Rant has a number of channels and places for fans to get together and join the debate. If you haven’t already, why not join in on Twitter, Facebook, the Podcast and the Rant Forum. Coming soon, Rant Monthly, our new magazine.

Facebook Fan Page: Join Facebook users on the United Rant fan page at and meet the growing community of Reds from around the world.

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Rant Forum: the United Rant forum is one of the longest standing independent United discussion forums on the internet. Can you hold your own? Join the debate at to find out!

Podcast: out every Friday Rant Cast, currently on a summer break until the first week of the new season, brings topical analysis and debate in a 45 minute show. With special guests lined up for the new season.

New: United Rant Monthly: coming in August, United Rant monthly is an A4 full-colour digital magazine featuring the best analysis from United Rant, guest writers and unique editorial. PDF format from 1 August.

Mobile: navigate your Samsung Bada phone to the Bada store and search for “United Rant” for the native app. iPhone, Android and other touchscreen smartphone users navigate to the United Rant website and install the web app directly from the home screen.

MUST / Reds in Business summer meet-up

July 7, 2011 Tags: , Shorts No comments

Reds in Business (RiB), the business network exclusively for Manchester United supporters, is holding a summer event at Lancashire County Cricket Club, Friday 15 July. The event will bring together fans for the Lancs versus Northamptonshire day/night 20 Twenty fixture at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and Rant can offer readers 50 per cent off the normal hospitality package.

RiB, fronted by MUST CEO Duncan Drasdo, is a free network for United supporters to facilitate  fun and rewarding business relationships. The summer meet-up, with exclusive use of LCCC’s Trafford Suite with private, is a chance for RiB (and MUST) members to build potential business network contacts but mainly just for fun with fellow Reds.

Lancs normally charge £60 for this hospitality package but Rant readers can get a discounted rate of £30 using this code: RIBT20RANT

For more event information, including details of the package, and to book tickets:

Fergie’s ‘keepers: good, bad and ugly

June 27, 2011 Tags: Shorts 30 comments

David de Gea completed a medical in Manchester today ahead of a €20 million transfer but Sir Alex Ferguson has not always been successful when it comes to recruiting goalkeepers. From calamitous Jim Leighton, to ‘Two’ Andy Gorams, via Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar, Rant reviews ten of the best and worst Fergie ‘keepers.


  • Jim Leighton 1988-1991
    Scotsman Leighton joined from Ferguson’s old haunt at Aberdeen but failed to live up to the big reputation. The international was ignominiously dropped by Ferguson following a calamitous display during the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup Final.

  • Mark Bosnich 1989–1992, 1999–2001
    Cocaine loving Australian Bosnich spent two periods at Old Trafford, neither successful. First joining as a trainee in the late 1980s before leaving for Aston Villa, Bosnich then re-joined United at Chairman Martin Edward’s behest in 1999.

  • Les Sealey 1990–1991, 1993–1994
    Sealey came to prominence during the 1990 FA Cup Final replay, going on to ‘keep for the club during United’s successful Cup Winners’ Cup campaign the following season. Returned as an understudy to Schmeichel in 1993. Died in 2001

  • Peter Schmeichel 1992-1999
    Surely the best goalkeeper to have ever played for the club. Schmeichel played eight glorious seasons at Old Trafford, lifting the Champions League before semi-retiring to Portugal in summer 1999.

  • Massimo Taibi 1999–2000
    Italian Taibi joined United for £4.5 million following Schmeichel’s departure but played just five games for the club following a calamitous error against Southampton. The ‘keeper allowed a Matt Le Tissier shot through his legs and with that went his United career.

  • Fabien Barthez 2000–2004
    The French international joined a great expense and offered brilliance and errors in almost equal measure. Played nearly 150 games for the club before Ferguson lost patience and loaned the ‘keeper to Marseille.

  • Roy Carroll 2001-2005
    Ulsterman Carroll joined United as a promising youngster but failed to fulfil the potential during four inconsistent years at Old Trafford. Now playing in Denmark.

  • Andy Goram 2001
    Schizophrenic pie-eating Scotsman Goram inspired one of the finest terrace chant ever, arriving on an emergency loan in 2001, playing just two games for United.

  • Tim Howard 2003-2007
    Tourets Tim enjoyed a fine début season at Old Trafford, being voted into the PFA Team of the Year. But inconsistency and a loss of confidence damaged his promising start before being transferred to Everton in 2007.

  • Edwin van der Sar 2005-2011
    Arguably the second finest ‘keeper in United’s history. The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford during a dark time for United’s ‘keeping department but has offered a calm authority in six years at Old Trafford. Should have joined in 1999.

  • David de Gea 2011-
    With the world at his feet, talented de Gea faces a critical first season at Old Trafford. Already one of the finest ‘keepers in the world but will face a unique pressure during his début campaign for the club.

FC United (re)releases stadium plans

June 21, 2011 Tags: Shorts 13 comments

FC United of Manchester, the Red Rebels, is stepping up a bid to build a new stadium this week. The breakaway club will present plans for a 5,000 capcity stadium at Moston, near Newton Heath, at Moston Methodist Church on Tuesday evening, in the face of local opposition. Moston is FC United’s second attempt at building a permanent home for the six-year-old club, after plans to build at Ten Acres Lane, Newton Heath, fell through earlier this year.

However, strong local opposition to FC United’s plans could thwart the club’s ambitions before ground is broken, with more than 3,000 people having reportedly signed a petition opposing the stadium’s development. The City council is due to make a planning decision in July, with FC United stepping up its efforts to win over both local government and residents.

In addition to presenting plans tonight, club management will hold a series of consultation sessions in Moston next week, while delivering 10,000 leaflets to local residents.

FC will submit final plans for a £3.5 million stadium later this summer, with the club hoping to raise around half the development costs from a long-running community shares scheme.

The stadium, which includes both terracing and seats for up to 5,000 fans, will include a range of community facilities, according to the club. IT and teaching rooms, a full-sized artificial pitch and medical treatment facilities will be made available to the public.

“As part of our pre-planning consultation we want to give residents as much information as possible about the proposals,” said general manager and former fanzine editor Andy Walsh.

“We have had a very positive response from local people and we are continuing to discuss any remaining matters of concern that residents have.

“This development isn’t just about football, it’s about creating a community facility with open access to the people of Moston and north Manchester. It’s about proposals that create the opportunity to enhance the existing provision in the local area.

“FC United are trying to minimise the impact on the local area and we want to reassure residents that their concerns will be listened to.”

FC currently play home matches at Bury’s Gigg Lane but need a permanent home to curtail prohibitive rental costs associated with crowds that average more than 2,000 in the seventh tier of the English football pyramid.

Fixtures bring tough start but great run-in

June 17, 2011 Tags: , , Shorts 26 comments

Manchester United will open the new Premier League season against Roy ‘Woy’ Hodgson’s West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthornes in what might prove to be a season of two distinct halves. Sir Alex Ferguson’s team faces a tough start to the season, with seven matches against direct title rivals before mid-February, but just one match against teams searching for Premier League glory during the run-in.

The Scot’s side will play three tough fixtures against direct rivals adjacent to Champions League groups stage matches, with Ferguson surely hoping for home European games when the draw takes place on 25 August.

The Champions League quarter and semi-finals are likely to be next to games against Fulham, Blackburn Rovers, QPR, Aston Villa and Everton. Only the match with City on 28 April 2012 at Eastlands, which backs on to the second leg of the Champions League semi-final should United make it that far, will concern Ferguson.

But it is the season’s end that will get Ferguson purring with only that City fixture likely to be against a direct rival for the Premier League title. March, April and May will bring games against likely relegation candidates including Swansea, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn, Wolverhampton Wanderers and QPR.

Rant would bring you a full fixture list but the Premier League, via the Football Data Co., insists that even not-for-profit blogs such as this site buy an annual license at the cost of several hundred pounds.

Arise Lord Ferguson of Govan

June 16, 2011 Tags: Shorts 12 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson could be appointed to the House of Lords if two Manchester MPs have their Early Day Motion (EDM) read in Parliament. Labour MPs Tony Lloyd, Manchester Central, and principal sponsor of the motion Graham Stringer, Blackley and Broughton, have called for football to be more widely represented in the upper house, with Manchester United manager Ferguson the outstanding candidate for a Peerage.

The EDM does not mean Ferguson’s Peerage is guaranteed. Far from it, EDM 1926 is tabled for debate on an unspecified future date and may not receive Ministerial support, although it will remain open signatures for the duration of this Parliamentary session.

That this House recognises the economic, social, cultural and sporting importance of football to the United Kingdom; is therefore surprised at the paucity of representatives from the world of football in the Upper House; further notes that Sir Alex Ferguson, as the manager of Aberdeen and Manchester United, is the most successful manager in the history of British football; and calls for him to be recommended for appointment to the House of Lords.

Ferguson has been a long-term supporter of the Labour Party, dating back to his roots as a shop steward in the Glasgow docks, although the Scot’s closeness to the Labour government has led to predictable criticism of ‘Champagne Socialism’.

Ferguson was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1983, a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995 and then a Knight Bachelor in 1999, after United’s historic treble season.

Rant anywhere: mobile site/app

June 7, 2011 Tags: , Shorts 32 comments

As part of United Rant’s continual evolution we welcome to two new interfaces for the website – for touchscreen smartphones and Samsung Bada-enabled devices.

First, those readers with a touchscreen smartphone will enjoy our web-app interface. Navigate to on your touchscreen smartphone and touch to add the web app interface to your home screen. The application is a HTML-based skin, optimised for iPhone and Android devices. Depending on demand Rant may also offer a native iPhone/Android applications, enabling offline reading, in the coming year.

However, the first native app for readers not on iPhone/Android is for Samsung Bada, which is available for free from the Samsung Apps store here.


United Rant Mobile

Champions League Final 2011: Rant @ London drinks

May 26, 2011 Tags: , , Shorts 25 comments

The United Rant podcast crew will be attending the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust drinks event in London during the Champions League final this weekend. There are several meet-ups planned across the capital and in Manchester – we’ll be at Weatherspoons O2 Centre, near Finchley Road tube station in London, for the duration.

Fans can buy tickets for any of the events from MUST – there are venues across Manchester and London. We’ll be at venue #11 and all profits from ticket sales go to the trust. Tickets guarantee entry for pre-match drinks for those going to the game at Wembley (with easy access via the Metropolitan Line), plus a screening of the match and after-party for those who are not.

Join us where we’ll be recording supporters’ views before, during and after the match for the Rant Cast!

If you can’t get to Finchley Road these other Manchester and London events are taking place, all bookable via the MUST website (or here for the Fabric nightclub event).


  • Ramada Piccadilly
  • Palace Hotel
  • Copper Face Jacks
  • The Point – OT, Lancs Cricket Ground
  • The Crown
  • The Quay House, Salford Quays
  • Mint Lounge, Manchester


  • Wetherspoons, O2 Centre, Finchley Road
  • North Star, Finchley Road
  • Walkabout, Finchley Road
  • Fabric Nightclub, Farringdon
  • Trinity Bar, Harrow
  • Sattavis Patidar Centre  (pre and post match party, NOT showing game)