Hard to Understand Hatred of GlazersMarch 12, 2010 at 5:11 am | Posted in General Football | 8 Comments
Malcolm Glazer became the owner of Manchester United back in 2005. He and his sons run Manchester United. They were not greeted warmly by a good number of United fans. Some even turned their back on the team and formed their own club, which, by the way, has had success in some small form. While some saw the downfall of United in the Glazers, the record of the club has been fantastic since they took over. Under the Glazers Manchester United has won the Champions League, appeared in the final of another Champions League, won three Premiership titles, and two League Cups. No a bad haul. One would think this would have shut up the doubters and the nay sayers. In fact, with such a record, you would expect the fans would raise the Glazers on their shoulders for a victory lap.
But no, a fan movement to get rid of the Glazers is picking up steam, and a group known as the Red Knights is looking to buy the team from the Glazers, even though it is not for sale. From my perspective I find the hysteria over the Glazers to be incredible in light of the success they have brought to United on the pitch.
The Glazers have a number of strikes against them in the eyes of many Manchester United fans: first of all they are Americans, and second of all they are Jews. Don’t put it past the fans of Manchester United to be xenophobic and anti-semetic. The fact that the club is 700 million pounds or so in debt is not enough to explain the virulent hatred of the Glazers, so I fear the hatred comes for different reasons. The banners unfurled at Old Trafford did not say “I disagree with the financial basis upon which the club is run,” but “love United, Hate Glazer”.
There is no doubt the debt of Manchester United is worrying. The amount of debt in football in general is worrying. However, revenues of football clubs have been on the increase, in spite of the massive economic downturn in the global economy. Given that Manchester United is rated by Deloitte as the third richest football club in the world with revenue in the 2008-2009 season of 278.5 million pounds, is the problem so huge that people need to panic? Remember 278.5 million pounds is the revenue alone, not the net worth of the club, which could be in the range of 2 billion pounds. Any new owner will have to purchase the debts as well, so if the debt problem is so bad, why are people even considering buying the club? All of the rancour simply does not add up.
Manchester United are the best run club in the best league in the world. It has financial worries, but I always thought the measure of a football team was success on the pitch, which Manchester United has had in abundance since the Glazers took control. There is no sign that there will be less success in the future: quite the contrary. United demolished once mighty AC Milan 7-2 over two legs in the Champions League, recently won another League Cup, and currently sit atop the Premiership. It all makes it look like the anti-Glazer movement is filled with chicken littles, who are predicting the sky will fall on their heads.
Most any football fan in the world who supports a club other than Manchester United probably wishes the sky would fall on their heads in the same way!