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20 Years of Glazer Ownership: Two Decades of Discontent at Old Trafford vs the rise of FC United

As Manchester United fans mark the 20th anniversary of the Glazer family's initial foray into the club's ownership, it is time to reflect on the legacy of their tenure at Old Trafford. Two decades have passed since the Glazers quietly began buying Manchester United shares on the stock exchange, and for many supporters, the verdict is clear: the Glazer ownership has failed; corporate greed has won.

The Glazer Era: A Legacy of Discontent

From the outset, the Glazer ownership was met with scepticism and concern by Manchester United supporters. The Glazers, American business tycoons, acquired the club with a highly leveraged takeover that burdened the club with substantial debt. Fans were rightfully worried that this debt would stifle investment in the club, preventing United from competing at the highest level.

Over the years, these concerns were validated. While Manchester United remained a profitable venture for the Glazers with £1.1 billion taken out of the club, on-field success has taken a backseat to commercial pursuits. The club's performance wavered, and some of the most loyal fans feel increasingly disconnected from the club they love. Rising ticket prices, merchandising pushes, and corporate partnerships prioritise financial gain over the passionate supporters who had been the lifeblood of the club.

Old Trafford, once a premier stadium in Europe, has suffered from chronic underinvestment. It is now showing signs of slow decay and deterioration, mirroring the decline in the quality of training facilities at Carrington, which are falling behind those of Europe's elite clubs.

The European Super League debacle in 2021 served as a stark reminder of the divide between owners and fans. Supporters' outrage and protests ultimately forced the Glazers to backtrack on their involvement in the ill-fated venture, highlighting the power of a united fanbase.

In more recent times, the way the Mason Greenwood situation was managed has underscored a club that appears to prioritise the balance sheet over doing what is morally right.

FC United: Where Supporters' Interests Take Priority

Amidst the growing disillusionment with the Glazer ownership, FC United of Manchester emerged as a beacon of hope for disenchanted supporters. Founded in 2005 in direct response to the Glazer takeover, FC United was born from the desire to prioritise fans and the matchday experience over commercial exploitation.

The core principle of FC United is supporter ownership, ensuring that fans have a meaningful voice. This means that the club is democratically owned and run by its supporters, with a one-member, one-vote system, ensuring that the interests of fans are central to decision-making processes. This model stands in stark contrast to the top-down approach of corporate ownership, where profits often take precedence over football passion and traditions. FC United remains firmly under the control of passionate supporters, with no risk of external ownership from overseas investors. There is no chance of stateside capitalists or Gulf states attempting to sportswash their questionable reputations ever taking control of FC United

A Call for Change

As the Glazers' initial purchase of shares reaches its 20-year milestone, FC United stands as the longest-running and most visible protest against the faltering Glazer ownership of Manchester United.

We passionately call for the restoration of Manchester United to its former glory, grounded in the principles of genuine footballing heritage and traditions. The club needs improved fan engagement and representation, strong leadership, substantial investment in infrastructure, financial stability without compromising on-field performance, transparency, adaptability to modern football dynamics, and a clear, well-executed long-term strategy. Putting the interests of supporters first is paramount in this journey towards renewed success. These key elements will collectively shape the club's path back to success as one of the world’s leading football clubs.

At FC United, we firmly believe in a better way to run football clubs, one where the interests of supporters are prioritised over profit and greed. Our commitment to this ethos has never wavered. Join us in advocating for a fairer approach in football by becoming an FC United co-owner https://fc-utd.co.uk/membership.

First Posted ~ 14:26 Wed 6 Sep 2023
News ID ~ 9675
Last Updated ~ 15:22 Wed 6 Sep 2023