Tag Archives: Glazers

Joel Glazer makes Man Utd transfer promise as Glazers bid to get angry fans back on side

Manchester United executive co-chairman Joel Glazer has pledged to increase transfer investment in a statement released by the 20-time Premier League champions on Friday afternoon. The Glazer family have come under significant criticism in recent weeks after the failure of the European Super League fiasco, with a large-scale fan protest against the club’s owners causing Sunday’s Premier League match against Liverpool to be rearranged.
The wealthy American family took control of United in 2005 and have failed to gain many admirers during their period at the helm.

Glazer issued a message to Red Devils supporters in a lengthy statement on Thursday, promising to work on improving the relationship with supporters and stressing that significant investment will be made across the board in future, especially with regards to player recruitment and club facilities.

“Thank you for your letter dated April 30, sent in your capacity as representatives of Manchester United fans,” he wrote in a message to members of the club’s Fans’ Forum, published on United’s official website.

“I read the contents closely and your love and passion for the club came across very clearly. I want to salute your service to the Fans’ Forum, which I know is a vital channel for consultation between the club and our fans.

“As I recently stated publicly, I am personally committed to ensuring that we strengthen this relationship in future.

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“Your heartfelt letter captured the unique spirit of Manchester United, forged through decades of triumph, adversity and tragedy, and still powerfully present in today’s exciting team under Ole and the vibrant fanbase which you represent.

“I was personally humbled by parts of your letter, as you explained so clearly why our initial support for the European Super League left you feeling angry and let down. I would like to reiterate my sincere apology for the mistakes that were made.

“In particular, I want to acknowledge the need for change, with deeper consultation with you as our main fan representative body across a range of important issues, including the competitions we play in.

“We also recognise the importance of fan and football interests being embedded in key decision-making processes at every level of the club, and we are open to constructive discussions on how to reinforce that principle.


“We remain committed to working with the wider football community to make the game stronger and more sustainable over the long-term, and we will now refocus our efforts on doing this within the existing structures of UEFA and the Premier League.

“In addition, I want to reassure you that my family and I care deeply about Manchester United and feel a profound sense of responsibility to protect and enhance its strength for the long-term, while respecting its values and traditions. 

“Our top priority is, and will always be, competing for the most important trophies, playing entertaining football with a team comprised of top-quality recruits and some of the world’s best homegrown talent. Under Ole, we feel we are absolutely on the right track.

“Success on the field must be underpinned by solid foundations off it. We have supported sustained investment in the team over many years, and that will continue this summer.

“We recognise that the Government-initiated, fan-led review of football is a positive opportunity to explore new structures for fan engagement and influence. I can assure you that we will willingly and openly engage in the review, with the aim of putting fans at the heart of the game and ensuring their interests are advanced and protected.

“These commitments are a starting point for further dialogue, including all the specific points you raised, rather than final proposals. We want to work together to come up with an ambitious package of measures which will transform our relationship with fans and strengthen the club for the long-term.

“In this spirit, we will reach out to members of the forum to schedule a meeting in which I shall participate as soon as possible after the final game of the season. 

“Thank you again for your work for the forum and your passion for the club. I look forward to meeting you and in the meantime let’s look forward to a successful end to the season.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Manchester United supporter charged by police

A 28-year-old man has been charged by Greater Manchester Police in relation to an incident at the Lowry Hotel which occurred during Sunday’s chaotic protests in opposition to the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United.

Police claim that Michael Cusker was involved in throwing fireworks and using threatening behavior amid the mass protests and demonstrations which took place inside and outside Old Trafford and at the nearby Lowry Hotel, where United’s squad stayed before Sunday’s scheduled game against reigning Premier League champions Liverpool.

The game was eventually postponed after more than 100 supporters gained entry to the stadium and invaded the pitch and stands, prompting some club employees to lock themselves in offices for their own safety.

Some supporters set off fireworks and flares, some of which were thrown in skirmishes with police who said that six officers were injured in violent exchanges with fans.

One police officer suffered a broken eye-socket, while another was taken to hospital for emergency treatment to a large facial wound after a glass bottle was thrown at his face.

Cusker, meanwhile, was charged with “throwing fireworks in a street, use of threatening behaviour and wilful obstruction of the highway“.

Given the high-profile nature of the incident and any ensuing charges which may come as a result of it, the authority said that the incident will be overseen by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which they believe will ensure “complete transparency and independence“.

Following the mass protest, United released a statement vowing to co-operate with local police to help find those responsible for “criminal activity“, but said that peaceful protestors will not be punished.

It is expected that the club will issue bans to supporters responsible for violent acts at their stadium and on Manchester’s streets.

The Premier League has also hit out at “all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass“, and the English Football Association is currently investigating the matter.

Also on rt.com Man United vow to punish ‘criminal activity’ in wake of Old Trafford unrest as footage shows police officer ‘punching protester’

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

United against the Glazers: How long-running resentment from Man Utd fans

Sunday’s scenes at Old Trafford were seen by many as a reaction to Manchester United’s involvement in the ill-fated Super League, but the reality is the disconnect between the club’s owners and its fanbase has long been raging.

It has been a year of significant ups and downs for the billionaire Glazer family. Their bustling sporting portfolio saw perhaps its biggest success yet earlier this year when, bolstered by the addition of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, the NFL franchise they have owned since 1995, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

It was a remarkable turnaround for a sports team who had become little more than an also-ran in NFL circles, and much of it came about as the result of repeated and considered investment in the team.

Brady’s arm will cost Tampa and the Glazer’s a cool $ 41 million in 2021 alone (some of which is offset by league rules and salary cap dark arts, but that’s a conversation for another time) – but Brady is just one of a galaxy of experienced stars who, let’s just say, weren’t exactly tempted to sign a contract in Tampa Bay because of the team’s sterling reputation (prior to last year, the Buccaneers hadn’t made the playoffs since 2007).

But ask any Manchester United supporter about this and you will likely be met with a scowl. There is a prevalent thought amongst many United fans that Tampa’s recent success has been built on the backs of the world’s most famous football club, and if you dip into the archives it is easy to see why.

It was in 2003 when the patriarch of the Glazer family, Malcolm, set in place a series of actions which would culminate in Sunday’s chaos in the red half of Manchester when he purchased an initial stake of 2.9%.

By October of the following year, Glazer had upped his stake to almost 30%, and by the end of May 2005 he owned more than 76% of the club – prompting both the club and its board to advise shareholders to accept the Glazer’s ensuing takeover bid.

By June, though, signs were becoming clear that the thousands of fans who pack themselves into Old Trafford each week, as well as the millions who follow the club across the globe, were sounding the alarm bells when as part of the takeover the Glazers placed their own borrowings of £525 million ($ 730 million) – a figure which has since reportedly snowballed to in excess of £1 billion.

For some supporters, this signaled the end of a lifelong association with Manchester United. A host of furious fans set up a phoenix club, FC United of Manchester, who would be placed in the 10th tier of English football – and while they wouldn’t quite be taking part in the glamour ties Manchester United were associated with, FC United of Manchester was seen by some as a clean slate. A football club unencumbered by the grubby paws of foreign billionaires.

Fan discontent flash-boiled. “Love United, Hate Glazer” became a catchphrase rarely far from the lips of the Stretford End faithful. In July 2005, Glazer family members were whisked away from Old Trafford in a secure police fan after encountering furious protests at the Old Trafford. It was their first ever visit to the stadium.

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By 2010 the debt saddled onto the club had inflated past £700 million – with the Glazers against castigated for taking £10 million from Manchester United’s coffers for ‘management and administration fees’. They also borrowed a further £10 million from the club.

Then in 2014, Malcolm Glazer dies at the age of 85. Shortly afterwards, the Glazer family made $ 200 million selling shares in the now publicly listed football club, adding to the $ 75 million made in the same manner the year prior. Again, the furious fanbase was powerless – and the Glazer family vowed that they wouldn’t consider selling the club for at least five years, regardless of the overwhelming sentiment from supporters.

Remarkably, an investigation by The Guardian concluded that well over £1 billion has been removed from the club’s bank account since the Glazer’s debt was placed on the club in 2005, due to the accrual of interest and other assorted fees. The total debt associated with the club stands at over £450 million as of March of this year.

That brings us to the present day. Manchester United’s involvement as a founding member and signatory of the Super League, of which Joel Glazer was a key voice, appears to have been the straw which broke the camel’s back. Former players and fans alike have savaged the club’s ownership at every opportunity, with ex-United fullback Gary Neville being particularly vocal on the issue.

The first echoes of fan rancor were heard recently at United’s Carrington training ground when a disgruntled mob of supporters staged a sit-in protest and were only compelled to leave when personally addressed by manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, among other club dignitaries – but the true boiling point came on Sunday at Old Trafford, in a move which has made headlines across the world and will have even blipped on the Glazer’s absentee landlord radar.

And this is the issue. The Glazers view the Manchester United as a completely different entity to its supporters. The perception is that for the owners, the world’s most famous club is a financial asset – a piggy bank from which to shake out coins, hopefully without having to use a hammer to smash it. It is a franchise. It is a sports entertainment brand.

To fans, it is more than just a football club: it is an identity, and not a commodity. And unlike the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can’t buy off the fanbase with shiny new toys. But for now, one suspects that the Glazer family are more than content in keeping their financial interests tied to a club they probably won’t be able to ever visit in their lifetimes.

Also on rt.com The battle is won but not the war – football fans must fight on against the gall and greed among the game’s elite

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Manchester United vs Liverpool officially postponed after Glazers protests at Old Trafford

Manchester United were due to face Liverpool at 4.30pm. However, the match has now been called off after supporters stormed Old Trafford. There were chaotic scenes at the Theatre of Dreams earlier today, with Sky Sports pundits left shocked by what unfolded.
Manchester United lock horns with Liverpool looking to boost their chances of finishing second in the Premier League table.

But, before the game at Old Trafford, fans stormed the stadium.

Supporters were protesting over the Glazers’ running of the club, with the Americans under fire in the wake of their failed European Super League plot.

Some made their way onto the turf, with images and clips from social media showing large numbers inside the ground.

The stadium was then placed in lockdown – not for the first time this year.

And it’s now been confirmed the match has been officially postponed.

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A Premier League statement read: “This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities.

“The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance.

“We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches.

“Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.

“We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football.

“The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.”

There was a meeting that took place behind the scenes and, with fans also taking to the Lowry Hotel to vent their feelings, it’s been put on hold.

It emerged before the fixture that United were worried about team buses being targeted, while also fearing a rescheduling of the match.


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And United legend Roy Keane believes things are now at a ‘tipping point’, saying: “It’s got to a tipping point now for Man United fans.

“It was peaceful, I think they threw one or two bottles and a couple of flares – I think that was towards Jamie, to be fair, but I think they’ve had enough.

“Enough is enough for these United fans now.

“United have got some of the best fans in the world, huge club, we’ve seen today that it’s come to the end now and enough is enough with the ownership of the club.

“We’ve seen over the past few weeks with the frustration at the Super League, not being able to support the club over the last year, enough is enough now and the United fans obviously want the Glazers out.”

Graeme Souness, however, thinks the protests won’t have an impact.

“I don’t think it will (have an impact),” he said. “The Glazers, since Fergie retired, have given successive managers over a billion pound to spend.

“I think it’s £719million net spend over the eight years. I think it’s born out of United not being top dogs as much as what happened last week, I think that’s another excuse to have a go at them. These are serious, serious business people, I don’t think this will impact on their thoughts. I really don’t.

“We live in a country where you can demonstrate, you can vent your feelings, you’re allowed to do it, but I still don’t see it impacting on the Glazers one little bit.

“If you think you can bring serious pressure to serious business people who live 3,000 miles away, across the Atlantic, that it will drive them to accept a discounted offer for Manchester United, that will not happen.”

Souness also feels the cancellation of the game suggests something has happened they don’t know about.

“I hope I’m wrong, it’s a big decision to call the game off, but it would suggest that something went on that we don’t know about,” he said.

“If you’ve come out today to achieve something that will be seen throughout the world, then they’ve achieved that and more with the game being postponed.

“But for the Police to say that it isn’t safe, then it would suggest that something has happened that we don’t know about.”

The Glazers apologised for their ESL actions, while Ed Woodward also addressed supporters on a fans forum meeting earlier in the week.

Woodward also said sorry, saying: “It’s clear we did not do enough of that (listening) before the Super League decision. Today is our first step towards putting that right.

“You will all have read Joel’s open letter to fans last week apologising for the Super League decision and I would like to add my personal apology to this Forum.

“I know that you will feel angry and let down by the lack of consultation and by the way the proposal failed to recognise the vital principle of open competition. Proper discussion would have helped us avoid the mistake we made.

“We fully accept that there were fundamental elements which were badly misjudged.

“We failed to give enough weight to the essential principles and traditions of sporting merit which are so vital to football not just in domestic competition but in European competition since the mid-1950s.

“We want to restate our commitment to those traditions. I can assure you that we have learned our lesson from the events of the past week and we do not seek any revival of the Super League plans.

“We will now continue working with the rest of the football community to address the long-term challenges facing the game.

“But I can assure you that we will be doing that with great sensitivity to the opinions that you and other fans have expressed in recent days.

“We will be listening closely to your feedback today, and we’ll be taking it away for consideration as we review how we can engage more effectively with you in future. Our fans are what makes Manchester United so great, and they should always be at the heart of this club.”

Solskjaer previously pleaded for fans to be peaceful with their protests.

“It’s important that the fans’ views are listened to and we communicate better,” he said.

“My job is to focus on the football side and that we have the best possible team.

“As I’ve said before I’ve been backed, I’ve had great support from the club and the owners and I’m sure I will get the backing again to go one step further.

“But I’m so happy all the clubs have agreed that this shouldn’t be the way of moving forward.

“Then again, when the protests are on, it’s important they go in a good fashion and that we keep it peaceful.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Gary Lineker's cold response to Man Utd fans' Glazers stance amid ownership row

Author: [email protected] (Mark Taylor)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

Gary Lineker issued a cold response to a Manchester United fan’s claim that he wanted to see the Glazers out, regardless of the impact it would have on the club.

The ownership of the Premier League’s top clubs has been a hot topic for debate following the botched Super League breakaway attempt.

The fans of several of the six English sides involved have protested against their current owners.

Arsenal and Manchester United are the main two which continue to rumble on, with mass protests taking place outside the Emirates Stadium last Friday.

Spotify co-founder and billionaire Daniel Ek has sparked talk of a huge takeover in north London.

Ole Gunnar Solskjr takes a selfie with Avram Glazer (R) owner of Manchester United during the training session before the second leg Champions League match of Quarter final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United in Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona 15 of April of 2019, Spain.
Manchester United has been owned by the Glazers since 2005

But former Spurs striker and Match of the Day host Lineker raised a good point about replacing one mega-rich businessman with another.

“This is a big part of the problem,” Lineker put on Twitter, referencing talk of Ek’s alleged takeover.

“Fans want these billionaires to buy their clubs….just hoping for better billionaires than the ones they already have.”

This led to a United fan to respond that they want to see the Glazers leave, regardless of the financial situation the club would be left in.

Gary Lineker speaks on Match of the Day
Gary Lineker has once again retorted to a fan with his views on the current issues in football

And Lineker coldly shot them down, replying: “Excellent, fully admire your stance.

“When the club can’t afford top players and gradually slide into mid-table mediocrity or worse, I hope you continue to feel the same way.”

According to the Telegraph, Ek is still keen to push on with his takeover bid for Arsenal, despite being told by the club’s current owners that the club is not for sale.

Daniel Ek, CEO of Swedish music streaming service Spotify, gestures as he makes a speech at a press conference in Tokyo on September 29, 2016.
Spotify founder Daniel Ek is looking to buy Arsenal from Stan Kroenke

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Current owner Stan Kroenke attempted to ward off any interest from Spotify co-founder Ek with a statement renewing their intentions to carry the club forward.

The statement said: “In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club.

“We remain 100% committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the Club. We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer.

“Our ambition for Arsenal remains to compete to win the biggest trophies in the game and our focus remains on improving our competitiveness on the pitch to achieve this.

WATCH: Furious Manchester United fans burn US flag outside Old Trafford in protest against Glazers

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

A demonstration outside Old Trafford protesting Man Utd’s ownership by the US-based Glazer family in the wake of the ill-fated Super League plans has led to at least one United States flag being burned outside the famous stadium.

Man Utd were among the so-called ‘dirty dozen’ of European clubs who were signatories to the hugely unpopular Super League plans when it was initially announced last weekend but today, with the those plans now lying in ashes, a section of angry Red Devils fans took out their fury at the club’s ownership – by settling alight the Stars and Stripes.

More than a thousand fans gathered outside the home the 20-time English champions to have their voices heard not just about the Super League plans, which prompted a tail-between-their-legs concession by the club’s bosses, but also the Glazer’s longstanding ownership of the team which has hit new heights of unpopularity in the past few days.

Fans could be heard chanting “Glazers out” at the demonstration, while also wearing scarves emblazoned with a similar message. Smoke bombs were also said to have been set off during the protests on Saturday afternoon.

Footage making its way to social media also appeared to show fans burning an American flag outside the stadium in the starkest signal to the club’s ownership yet that they have lost any remaining support amongst the fanbase that they may have previously enjoyed.

All of the consequences of the debt-ridden Glazer ownership of the club have come home to roost in the last week, with the disgraceful plans to walk away from our roots in English football and walk away from our history and tradition in the European Cup,” read a statement distributed by the organizers of the demonstration.

The disgraceful plan was a direct consequence of an ownership structure which is all about money and nothing about supporters.

United fans demand change. We demand the German model requiring fans own 50% +1 of the club. We demand that the Glazers begin the process to make this happen with immediate effect.

The last week has shown them the future they dreamed of for Manchester United is not possible and is never going to happen. There will never be a better time to hand majority ownership to the only people who have the long-term interests of the club at heart – the United fans.

We call on all United fans to come together on the forecourt at 2pm, before the Liverpool game, to collectively make this point in a way the Glazers, and the rest of the world, cannot ignore.”

However, the protests – and in particular the flag-burning element – wasn’t met with unanimous consent from fans online.

This perhaps is getting out of control,” said one supporter. “Burning a national flag can be serious.”

Another described the act as “trashy behavior“, adding that “regular Americans have nothing to do with the Glazer family.”

Whatever the reaction, it is clear that the fanbase of the most traditionally successful club in English football has rarely been quite as vocal in their dissatisfaction with the direction the club’s owners are taking them – and one wonders if, sooner or later, the furious fans will get their wish.

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Glazers make clear to Man Utd chiefs family won't sell club despite Super League backlash

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Manchester United are not for sale – despite the collapse of the European Super League (ESL) deal which would have helped the club’s American owners ease their spiralling debts.

The Florida-based Glazer family, who took over at Old Trafford in 2005, are braced for a fresh wave of fan protests following revelations that they played a leading role in the failed breakaway proposal.

But the Glazers still regard United as a valuable asset that will continue to bank them millions in dividends in the coming years.

And they have made it clear to senior members of staff that they will not be driven out of Old Trafford.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed it was business as usual for the Glazers – despite executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward‘s decision to bring forward his resignation following the ESL debacle.

Solskjaer said: “I am very confident that they [the owners] will remain committed.

“I’ve had an open and good relationship with them and they’ve been very supportive of me. They have backed me.

“We have shown in the players we have signed, that we’re committed to improving – and that they’re committed to improving.

“There are other projects we work on, which we don’t always broadcast. It’s all about improving the club, the infrastructure, the facilities and the squad.

“We’ve had an apology from Joel Glazer – and I think that’s important.

“He’s told us how committed he is to helping us going forward. Unity and everyone coming together and working together for one common goal is the best way forward.”

United’s debts are once again close to £500million, 16 years after Malcolm Glazer completed a leveraged buy-out by borrowing heavily to secure ownership of the club.

“But I’m not the one who writes the job description. My job now is to take care of results, but whoever comes in I am hopeful I can have a good working relationship with and I can provide results.”

Solskjaer was a United player when the Glazer takeover was completed and witnessed the open hostility of the fans.

In midweek, he was confronted by a group of militant supporters at the club’s training ground.

He is braced for more unrest – especially when fans are allowed back into stadiums – but believes his attempts to continue to rebuild his team will not be damaged by the failed attempt to launch the Super League.

Solskjaer said: “The market has changed after this year, but I’m still very positive and hopeful that we can follow through on the plans we’re working on.

“I don’t think that will change at all. I think we’ll still have a good opportunity to do what we have planned to do.

“I think the owners of every club that signed up for the proposal have got a job on their hands.”

Man Utd fans 'block both entrances to Carrington' during protest against Glazers

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

A group of Manchester United fans protesting against the Glazers have allegedly blocked both entrances to the club’s AON training complex in Carrington this morning in a bid to cause disruption. Angry supporters were left feeling betrayed earlier this week, when it was confirmed that the Red Devils were one of 12 founding members of the European Super League.
Not only that but owner Joel Glazer, a man who has given just one interview to the club during his 16-year tenure at Old Trafford, was at the forefront of the idea with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Yet following a fierce backlash and a series of protests, United were forced to back down as they ordered a legal team to start work on their withdrawal.

The development later saw Woodward resign during a dramatic series of events on Tuesday night, when the ESL soon began to fold like a deck of cards.

Woodward reportedly called Joel Glazer to inform him that he would be stepping down at the end of 2021.

The American businessman then pleaded with Woodward to stay but given he was already close to walking away, this proved to be the final straw and his decision was final.

Yet United supporters are not going to let the club’s withdrawal slide, with most believing this is the perfect time to finally force the Glazers out of the club.

This morning, fans blocked both entrances to Carrington, as documented by Twitter account @RedIssue.

A series of a banners were then held up around the complex by figures who had covered up their faces.

One banner read: “We decide when you play,” and was held aloft in front of the the main building.