The United Stand’s Journey to 100,000!

As we all know as followers of The United Stand; there was a huge milestone hit on Youtube recently. The Utd Fan channel has officially reached 100,000 Subscribers! Every journey has story, and as fellow followers I thought it’d be nice for you to know where your channel came from and how it started. I’ll be bringing you up to speed on where it started and how it grew over the last few years.

The journey began when the Channel was set up on Wednesday 6th Aug 2014. It wasn’t always called The United Stand (Similar to Manchester United being called Newton Heath when it originated), The United Stand began life as SoccerboxTV, which is still in the email address we use today.

The motivation for starting the channel came from most fans (myself included), growing very tired and frustrated of the scripted nature of football pundits. Retired footballers making excuses for poor performances to protect their ‘mates’, as well as blatant lies by saying someone had played well (Rooney for example) when actually they had an awful game. It was like the fans were watching a completely different game and punditry no longer represented fan opinion!

Mark Goldbridge was also one of those fans; he then started SoccerboxTV back in Aug 2014, during the start of LvG’s first season. They were very raw videos and started out with his own match reaction after each game. As with anything that starts from scratch, it was slow and got on average around 10-50 views per show. Obviously the show grew with each passing week but Mark then wanted to evolve the show by having different opinions in a live group chat format. So he searched for other Man Utd fans doing a similar thing and asked a few if they were interested in joining forces.

Three others agreed; Mark, Kev, Martin and Rich all did a live Google chat about Man Utd every Sunday which is now known as the Flagship show for The United Stand. It was still raw but the four fans were spread out throughout the UK, from Birmingham, Newcastle and Essex which show’s that The United Stand proudly stands by the viewpoint that you don’t need to be from Manchester to be a passionate Man Utd fan!

As SoccerboxTV was growing nicely, they put out a mini-competition with the winner being invited onto the show. That winner was Alex; and as he was good at talking passionately about Man Utd he was invited back and the rest (as they say) was history. The name change came in January 2015, SoccerboxTV was renamed The United Stand. The number of subscribers at that point? – 516.

The United Stand had faced difficulties along the way and got a lot of stick as the channel was (and still is) raw, opinionated and passionate with real unscripted opinions. However, despite the stick that it got behind the scenes, more and more real fans joined the channel as they could relate to what the channel was saying about their club.

The channel hit its first major milestone at the start of Feb 2015 of 1,000 subscribers, effectively doubling in size in only one month. The summer of 2015 had a big jump during the transfer window when the next milestone was hit. Jumping from 5,000 to 10,000 subscribers from 11 Jul – 14 Aug 15. This was also the period where Paul Gardiner and Drawty Devil, who specialise in the Website and Graphics Design respectively, joined the team.

So the Website was born from Paul’s expertise and the Youtube Channel was looking more and more professional with Drawty’s excellent graphics design but the content remained the same; real fan opinion. Doing more shows in match reactions, transfer shows and match previews. It was fair to say the show was growing organically.

In November 2015, The United Stand won an award for Best New Video Award which is a huge achievement and the team were very proud. Throughout Van Gaal’s second season the channel steadily grew with more and more fans getting frustrated with how things were going. The next significant increase was during the next summer transfer window when a lot of things were happening at Man Utd and there was an air of excitement back in the club. Mourinho signed as Manager, Ibra, Pogba, Bailly and Mhki all rumoured to be joining. More and more fans came to The United Stand for a concentrated opinion on news and rumours on Man Utd which you just don’t get in mainstream media.

The fan channel jumped in subscribers again from 25,000 when Ibra signed to 40,000 subscribers when Pogba was confirmed a Man Utd player. Fans (like myself) enjoyed the content and opinions, and it was an easy way to get news on Man Utd’s activities. The live comments became a feature for the show so we could interact with each other as well as the hosts on the shows. It was also around this time that Kev started doing the weekly show Van Cam, giving his preview to matches which fans enjoyed as it was different and funny. The United Stand was becoming more and more a community!

Mad Marcus is a huge part to that community feel as he filters out the abusive comments but also gets involved with the live chat giving (but mostly taking) banter with the viewers of the shows. We had Zarah as part of the show for a 6 month period during 2016 before she moved on to develop her career in pastures new. Bek & Evil Duck are also heavily involved with helping Marcus in the comments section, both just as guilty as you for giving Marcus banter (he doesn’t help himself tho). #FellainiLover.

Without blowing my own smoke, I write this part for the other writers on The United Stand. They do a great job for the website and sometimes spend hours of their own time researching for their articles to give you as accurate of information as they can. No-one likes fake news, especially us, and we do our best to snuff it out before we write about it. So a quick shout out to the other writers (no particular order); Paul, Jamie, Abdullah, Ash, Ben, Larry, George, Terry, Zak, James B, Jim and all the guest writers. Keep it up lads! (if I’ve missed anyone I’m sorry!)

The only other aspects to the United Stand is the weekly Podcast which is also found on the website which Paul and Ash talk for roughly 45mins on topics that have occurred over the week. Giving each other banter and if you’re lucky you might have even caught Ash singing ‘Barbie Girl’ at the end of last season! The Facebook and Twitter Teams do excellent jobs in posting out news from Man Utd and snuffing out fake accounts to avoid giving followers fake news, which is instrumental to us being more credible. A very thankless task.

All aspects of The United Stand contribute massively to the success of the channel. With everyone’s help, including you the viewers there is no way we could have made it this far! But please note, this is only just the beginning! We have plans and idea’s we’re developing for the future, but bear with us as we’re all either in full time jobs or full time studying.

So that’s a brief history of The United Stand, how it started and how it grew. If there’s anyone I’ve missed as part of the journey, please know this article is also for you! Man Utd fans voice IS growing and people are starting to take notice!

The United Stand surpassed 100,000 Subscribers on Saturday 10th June 2017; only 2 years, 10 months & 9 days from originating as SoccerboxTV. Huge achievement and all the subscribers and everyone involved should be immensely proud.

Next stop 200,000!

Let’s look forward to the next show (I know I am!)

All the best guys, see you in the Live Comments!

Jason Bowditch

Supported United since the days of the yellow and green Sharp Jersey! Looking forward to Jose taking us back to the glory days of old. We're stepping in the right direction. Exciting times! Come on the lads!

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