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 17 years in charge the Glazers now seem prepared to relinquish control of Manchester United after the club announced it was ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ which do include a sale.

The news has been greeted with glee by most Manchester United fans, though they should perhaps be aware that there are no benevolent billionaires.

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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