– How and when was the Manchester United Bangalore Supporter’s Club (MUSCB) set up?
MUSCB formerly knows as MUFCB was formed in 2013 when a bunch of crazy United fans started watching the game together at a local pub. After that game, they wondered why fans like them do not watch United games together? They started working on brining United fans in Bangalore together under the same roof.
– You are now recognised by the club as an official Manchester United Supporter’s Club. How and when was this done?
We received our official status from Manchester United in August 2014 and we are known MUSCB since then. This started in March of 2014 when MUSC, Mumbai the only official supporters club then inspired us to achieve the feat. We started working hard towards the common goal and set up the foundation by June 2014. We the core team of MUSCB worked hard to reach out to individual fans and get them on board to get the One United Membership which was critical to achieve the feat.
– How many members do you have in your Supporters Club and how can new members join you?
We currently have a fan base of ~2000 fans in Bangalore who are associated with MUSCB. New members can register them selves on our website www.manutdbangalore.com and we reach out them via emails welcoming them the supporters club.
– On Manchester United matchdays, does the Supporters Club meet up anywhere to watch screenings of our matches?
On match days an average of 500 United fans associated with the supporters club to meet at our usual screening place at a local pub.
– On non-matchdays do you also have meetings for the members of the Supporter’s Club?
The core committee of Supporter’s Club meets on non match days to plan different events and discuss the future plans.
– Have any of the members of the Supporters Club visited Old Trafford?
Though each and every one of us wants to visit our heaven to watch United play, unfortunately the geographical location constraints make it a little difficult for the majority of them. However, Yes, a few members (about 10) linked to MUSCB have visited Old Trafford to watch United play.
– There have been rumours that Manchester United were looking at playing a friendly match in India. How popular would this be and also how popular are Manchester United in India, especially compared to other teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich?
Popularity of Manchester United in India is unrivalled as compared to other teams you mentioned. There is no one city that is the hub of United fans because the fans are spread all over the country. If Manchester United happen to play a friendly in India, it would mean the world to the fans here. It has never happened before and this would provide an opportunity for fans to meet the players and staff. Though United staff and legends has visited Delhi and Mumbai during their trophy tours and fans there have had a chance to meet ex united legends like Dwight Yorke, there are still cities like ours, who miss out these kind of opportunities.
– What did you think of the Indian Super League so far and how did former Manchester United players like Mikael Silvestre and Bojan Djordjic do? Was it a disappointment that Bangalore did not have a team in the competition when it started?
ISL was a popular set up and it did bring football fans together to support their own respective city. It was a great boost to Indian football. Players like Silvestre and Bojan established instant connect with United fans. They did well for their respective clubs and we are sure it will improve the state of Indian football in coming years. It was a disappointment that Bangalore was not a part of the competition however Bangalore does participate in another league called iLeague and were the champions in their debut season. Ashley Westwood who is an ex United Academy player is the coach of Bangalore team and is quite popular among the fans.
– What have you made of Manchester United this season under Louis Van Gaal?
We have surely improved under LvG as compared to last season however we still need to wait how the second half of the season turn out to judge him and team’s performance. Some of the performances have been lackluster however some performances have been inspiring and we hope we achieve a realistic target which is champions league spot this season.