The post-Alex Ferguson era as a Manchester United fan has been unpleasant, and most will agree with fingers pointing at the Glazer ownership to have been the root cause of the club’s downtrend in success.
Fighting tough and nail to remove Manchester United as a public limited company (PLC), the Glazer’s takeover became uncontrollable once they released the club’s shares from the stock exchange in 2005 – the first time in 14 years.
Disapproval of their dealings has been present since they first began a takeover, and they have failed to build a positive relationship with the fans. This includes last year’s European Super League protests and the club’s climbing debt. The anti-Glazer position isn’t going to disappear, as they’re consistently blamed for the Red Devils’ under-performance since 2013.
Billions of pounds have been spent since the departure of Ferguson, but to what avail? We’ve witnessed a steadily-climbing debt, poor decision-making, and millions wasted.
The Glazers have used United’s popularity to support their brands and, in the words of former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, ‘It’s pure greed at its worst.’.
To make matters worse, the club’s structure and operations have received little to zero time invested. Spending so long without a director of football, with some of the most critical decisions left for Ed Woodward and his posse, was potentially the worst decision-making in United’s history.
Look at the Premier League’s most domineering teams; have they been operated similarly? Nope.
But how many teams have taken the intelligent operational approaches found at Manchester City, Liverpool, and Tottenham to overtake United? Many.
For eight of their seventeen-year tenure as Manchester United owners, the Glazers provided a smoke screen in the shape of Ferguson and his managerial success. But the previous nine years have delivered fans all the evidence they need to understand this club is in the wrong hands.
The Red Devil Revolution
The good news is that times are changing, and the never-ending protests in conjunction with the failure of United’s EPL efforts have caused the Glazers to begin talks with fans over selling a stake in the club to them.
United fans can additionally also take solace in the club’s recent decisions – amid a horrible 2021/22 season that witnessed the Red Devils fail to qualify for the Champions League – as the appointment of John Murtough and other key scouting/recruitment bodies is a positive stance. And of course, the arrival of Erik ten Hag could finally end United’s managerial issues, as the Dutchman should provide wise-decision making to transfers, training, and team-building.
Manchester United will play Brighton Hove & Albion in the Premier League 2022/23 season Matchday 1 schedule, as New York betting apps will deliver a plethora of odds on the American-owned English team. This could also be viewed as another positive, United’s popularity has often stemmed on a global scale, but the American markets have been tough to tackle. The sports betting world mainly hasn’t been interested in “soccer,” but the New-York-born Glazers are assisting this is becoming a thing of the past.
New Yorkers should pay attention when Manchester United open their 2022/23 season at Old Trafford; the available odds could provide some betting value with United’s poor performance of the last term. Still, the oddsmakers won’t consider the recent changes when creating their prices.
With that said, Manchester United fans won’t forget the past, and the Glazers will ultimately receive the slack if this team continues to falter.
When the arrival of Van Tag failed to settle the supporter unrest, another anti-Glazer protest was scheduled for their Matchday 1 meeting with Brighton. This has ultimately given the owners no choice but to offer the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust a position within the club.
Talks have been put in place, and if the members vote to favour the proposals on August 9, the fans will own the same voting weight as the Glazer family’s B shares, as share sales will be reinvested in the club.
This won’t alter Glazer’s majority shareholding position, but it’s a significant step toward creating a better ownership model.