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Family business: How Glazers exploited Manchester United

The Glazers bought Manchester United in 2005 for the sum of £790 in a highly leveraged deal that has been criticized for loading debt on to the club.

In 2012, the family sold 10 percent of their holding through the US listing and have sold more shares since, but still retain majority ownership.

Malcolm Glazer, was a businessman and owner of a sports franchise in America. He died in 2014. Glazer was born in New York, where he started out at his father’s watch parts company at the age of eight.

His father died when he was just 15 years, and to make ends meet, he began to sell watch door-to-door. From this humble beginning, Glazer nurtured his business expertise, and went on to own not only Man United but also the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Besides, he was the president and chief executive of First Allied Corporation, a holding company for his multiple business endeavours. The Reds of Manchester is currently owned by his six children.

No doubt, the wealth of the serial entrepreneur and business tycoon brought the needed transformation to the club which saw the Manchester club become the envy of other clubs in England.

Manchester United won a record 20 top-flight league titles, 12 FA cups, six League cups and a record of 21 FA Community shields. No other club in in England has equaled their record so far.

This as expected boosted the share price of the club, as many big sponsors jostled to be identified with the club. However, the prevailing reality is that things are falling apart, and centre cannot hold for Man United with the Glazers still in charge.

The share price falls by 18 percent after media reports that the Glazer family want to postpone selling the Manchester United club

Manchester United’s share price has suffered its worst day ever after an 18.22 percent fall. It follows weekend reports the Glazer family were going to take the club off the market.

The share price closed at $23.66 on Friday and dropped to as low as $18.83 on Tuesday, closing at $19.35.

This is the biggest sell-off since United went public in 2012 with the previous record drop of 13.8 percent on March 12, 2020.

The two bidders, Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim, are still interested; however, the Mail recently reported that the Glazers are planning to take Man Utd off the market.

They then plan to put the club back up for sale in 2025, hoping for a valuation of £7 billion to £10 billion.

However, reporting by the Daily Mail, claimed that “nothing had changed” and a decision has yet to be made by the Glazers.

Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani’s latest offer is £5 billion. However, the Glazer family would prefer the British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe to take over.

It was previously reported in the Sun that Jim, the chemicals magnate, was first choice, having been engaged in a five-month-long bidding war for ownership of the club he has supported since he was a boy.

The Glazers put Britain’s biggest football club up for sale last November. Nearly 200 days later, Old Trafford insiders told the Sun that the Glazers would prefer to sell majority control to Ratcliffe’s Ineos Sport rather than selling the whole club to Sheikh Jassim.

Despite recent on-pitch troubles at Old Trafford (the club had not won a trophy for six years until its Carabao Cup success in February 2023), the Red Devils still rank among the most popular and marketable football teams in the world.

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The Old Trafford Football followers must begin to understand that the interest of the Glazers is not just the round leather game and trophies but the account balance of the family. The owners are investing, simple and short.

The Glazers in their own interest decided not to pay the club’s debts, but chose to use the revenue generated by Manchester United itself. They left the £60 million repayments due every year, and £200 million in other loans which were sold into hedge funds, simply because, the interest of the family is obviously miles away from that of the fans.

The Glazer’s family attitude can best be explained via their craftiness of using a leveraged buyout, raising £600 million in loans against the club’s assets, instead of just using a credit card from the family’s fabulous wealth to purchase the club.

This meant syphoning away millions every season, and in order to make up the shortfall, they went about securing deals and sponsorships which would bring more money into the club.

Team Viewer, the club’s current sponsor has decided not to renew its contract with Manchester United when it ends in 2026 due to the club’s falling share price. That tells you how sour the Glazers have raped the club financially.

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