The Glazers at Manchester United: A thorny relationship stretching back almost 20 years

Manchester United supporters protesting the Glazers Credit: Alamy
Manchester United supporters protesting the Glazers Credit: Alamy

After almost 18 years in charge the Glazers now seem set to relinquish control of Manchester United, with a Qatari bid to buy the club rivalling that of Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The news has been greeted with glee by most Manchester United fans, though they might want to be careful what they wish for. Do they really want to be a state-owned sportswashing vehicle for Qatar?

Regardless, being rid of the Glazers is reason to celebrate. Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the timeline of their reign.

March 2003 – The Glazers, fronted by Malcolm, buy a 2.9% stake in Manchester United after a £9million investment, which increased later in the year.

May 2005 – After steadily increasing their stake in the club, the Glazers make a formal takeover bid which is accepted.

June 2005 – Now owning 98% of shares, the Glazers formally own United, loading £525m of debt onto the club. Phoenix club FC Manchester of United is born later that year.

May 2006 – The first signs of unrest among the fans are seen, with ‘Love United Hate Glazer’ banners appearing at Old Trafford.

May 2010 – As the Glazers operate the club with huge debt, hundreds of United fans – wearing yellow and green – protest at the ownership before the final game of the 2009/10 season.

August 2012 – Manchester United is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with the Glazer family making a profit from selling a portion of their shares.

May 2014 – Malcolm Glazer dies, but the operating of the club is not affected.

April 2021 – Joel Glazer is revealed as one of the main players behind the plans for the ill-fated Super League, which caused huge outrage among fans, politicians and even the Royal family. Fans break into the club’s training ground later that month to protest.

May 2021 – Up to 10,000 United fans break into Old Trafford amid a vociferous protest against the owners which leads to the Premier League game with Liverpool being called off. Criminal damage occurs and six police officers are injured.

August 18, 2022 – British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe reveals he would be interested in buying Manchester United if the Premier League club was for sale.

August 22, 2022 – A more peaceful protest takes place ahead of United’s fixture with Liverpool, with thousands of fans marching from the town centre to the stadium ahead of a 2-1 win.

22 November, 2022 – The Glazer family announce they are ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ including a sale of the club.

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