Manchester United have risked angering a large section of loyal supporters after reportedly removing a plaque commemorating Sir Matt Busby from the directors’ box at Old Trafford.
According to the Manchester Evening News, his grandchildren have been told they will no longer have access to the four seats the family have enjoyed for decades. They were originally gifted to Busby following his retirement in 1969.
Busby himself was a regular visitor to Old Trafford but, following his death in 1994, his children Sandy and Sheena continued to enjoy the privilege. Since their own deaths, it has been the grandchildren of the legendary manager who have made use of the seats.
That all changed in the summer after the Busby family were told they would no longer be given access to the director's box on matchdays. Worse yet, they have also decided to remove the plaques on the four seats, which read Busby's name.
A source told the same report: “For over 40 years Matt Busby’s family have had a table in the directors suite at Old Trafford, with four tickets in the directors’ box.
No more tickets
"These have been used by Matt himself, by his son Sandy and daughter Sheena. Since they have both died the grandchildren have had access to those tickets. That was until last season.
“The powers that be at Old Trafford have decided to call time on this and have told the families they wont be getting any tickets this year.
“Worse than that they have removed the plaques on the seats, including the one with Sir Matt Busby’s name on. That name has been on his seat for nearly 50 years - so who is going to sit there now?”
Stick it in the post
Another source told The Sun that Sir Alex Ferguson was always keen to make sure the Busby family formed a part of the modern-day club, but his judgement has now been overruled.
“When Sir Alex Ferguson was here he was keen to make Sir Matt’s son, daughter and seven granddaughters part of modern-day United," they said.
They continued: “It hasn’t gone down well. They called the family about the plaque and said ‘We can stick it in the post if you want?’"
Having almost lost his life in the tragic Munich air disaster in 1958, which claimed the lives of 23 people including eight Manchester United players, Busby rebuilt the club and eventually turned them into European champions with the help of George Best, Dennis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton.
A statue was erected outside Old Trafford two years after his death in 1996 to commemorate his services to the club.