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Explained: Manchester United owners and the hierarchy of the Glazers family

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The Glazer family- owners of Manchester United Football Club.

Who are The Glazers, the owners of Manchester United?

The Glazers (gen x) are a family of 5 sons and 1 daughter, all of whom have a stake in Manchester United, with two of them being the poster faces of the club’s backroom staff. The family started its business in sports in the United States of America, where they had acquired the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL by the late 1990s. The family then seized on an opportunity when Manchester United were on the lookout for new investors in 2003. They started out with a small stake in March 2003 and spent £9million.

The family gradually completed a majority takeover by June 2005 when they had 98% shares in the football club. Their relationship with the fans was already off to a bad start by then. After their first visit to Old Trafford since the takeover, they were hounded by protestors, with Shareholders United (Manchester United Supporters’ Trust) declaring them the enemy of the club.

And that is also when the story of United’s ever-increasing debt had started. Ever since the takeover, the club was saddled with debt that resulted from loans taken via American hedge funds. It kept on increasing and at one point in 2010, stood at £716.5million. The latest figures indicate that despite attempts to reduce the debt over the years, it still stands somewhere around £443.5million.

The Glazers have not always found favour with the Manchester United fans. (GETTY Images)
The Glazers have not always found favour with the Manchester United fans. (GETTY Images)

The hierarchy of the Glazers family

So, who are these people that have taken an interest in the club over the past 18 years and have perpetually been the target of frustration from United fans? Let us find out more about the Glazers family with the focus lying mainly on Joel and Avram Glazer, the two main owners of the club.

Malcolm Glazer (The father)

Malcolm Glazer was born in August 1928 to Abraham and Hannah Glazer in New York. His parents were Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants and Malcolm was 5th of their seven total children. His father, Abraham, died when Malcolm was 15. Ever since then, Malcolm made his money in Real Estate, with his first major sports venture coming in 1995 when he bought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after their owner’s death.

The Glazer Glazers family tree Man United owners.
The Glazer family tree.

Avram and Joel Glazer (The Sons)

Malcolm married Linda Glazer in 1961. The couple had 5 sons and 1 daughter. Joel and Avram are perhaps the most well known because of their explicit interest in Man United, one of the most popular teams in world sports. Avram has been the Executive Co-Chairman of the club since 2005.

Joel, similarly, is also the Co-Owner and Co-Chairman of the club for that same duration. Malcolm, their father, died in 2014 at the age of 85 and his sons have assumed more control of their father’s companies since then. The duo has been never truly adored by United fans but their biggest mess-up came in April 2021 when they forwarded United as one of the 12 clubs for the foundation of the European Super League.

The Glazers family Manchester United owners family tree hierarchy.
Avram and Joel Glazer, of the Glazers family, are the owners of Manchester United. (imago Images)

The ESL was started with nothing but money in mind- killing the spirit of meritocracy and competition in football and taking the club further away from the fans. Widespread protest from fans led all 6 English clubs to back out from the venture within 48 hours of the initiative and has since forced the Glazers to be more transparent in their operations via Fans’ Forum.

Avram and his wife, Jill Henkin Glazer, have two daughters together- Kendall and Libby Glazer. Joel and his spouse, Angela Glazer, also have two daughters- Zoey and Dylan Glazer.

Darcie, Kevin, Edward, and Bryan (The Other Children)

Malcolm had 4 more children apart from Avram and Joel. Three of them are sons, namely Kevin, Edward, and Bryan Glazer. The other one is a daughter by the name of Darcie Glazer. In 2006, Malcolm put Darcie, Kevin, and Edward in the role of non-executive directors.

Bryan was put in the same role later on to replace the resigned members. It is said that it was Bryan who played a key role in securing AIG as United’s shirt sponsors back in 2006/07, a symbol that became iconic with United’s on-field success during that era.

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