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Man United Fans Launch Anti-Glazer Protest: In Pictures

 Man United Fans Launch Anti Glazer Protest: In Pictures

 Man United Fans Launch Anti Glazer Protest: In Pictures

 Man United Fans Launch Anti Glazer Protest: In Pictures

 Man United Fans Launch Anti Glazer Protest: In Pictures

Manchester United supporters launched a very loud and visible protest against the club’s owners, the Glazers, Sunday during their last match of the season against Stoke City.

At half-time and at full-time, the sound of Man United supporters whistling their disapproval against the Glazer family was deafening. The whistles were met with “We Want Glazers Out” chants. Plus there were large parts of the Old Trafford stadium which had empty seats during the second half.

At the full-time whistle it was pretty surreal to hear Old Trafford whistling their disapproval against the Glazer owners rather than applauding their team for a very good season.

In related news, I was interviewed by The Palm Beach Post regarding the Glazer story and a few of my quotes are featured in the article entitled Man U Fans Are United Against Palm Beach Billionaire Malcolm Glazer. The article mistakenly referred to me as host of the EPL Talk Podcast. That title goes to Richard Farley.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

37 Responses to Man United Fans Launch Anti-Glazer Protest: In Pictures

  1. Matthew N says:

    Wow I wish my local news had such high quality articles!

  2. patrick says:

    Am I the only one who thinks these protests are just stupid? The Red Knights would run the club even further into debt… is it that they are American? Jewish? what? Just doesn’t add up. They have elevated the brand, Manchester United around the world and risen its brand value to the greatest in the world at 329 million pounds, passing Real Madrid.

    Sorry but if you are so upset go support FC Manchester and STFU. The Glazers have done everything and more that they promised.

    check the link for the top clubs as per brand value in the world
    http://www.brandfinance.com/Uploads/pdfs/SXB_issue3_p18-23.pdf

    • brn442 says:

      Not exactly – the Glazers have done the best they can: staying out of Fergie’s way/raising commercial revenue/making money available to spend when they can. However, they’ve bought a once debt-free club and leveraged its assets to pay for it. That’s what can happen when a club becomes a PLC.

      • Devils Advocate says:

        brn..United’s status as a PLC ought to have offered it greater protection from the likes of Malcolm Glazer but invariably, where you have a small number of large shareholders and large number of small investors, it can leave you open to a hostile takeover as is the case here.

        United’s fans/benefactors ought to have heeded the warning once it was clear Glazer was looking to gain control of the club. It was a case of too little too late but I guess that in the tradition of English football clubs, they never anticipated the de-listing of the Company nor the securing of huge loans against the assets of what was formerly a debt free company.

        • brn442 says:

          DA, that’s like saying you never anticipated getting a parking ticket after you’ve purchased an auto.

          When you float your company on the stock exchange, you run that risk – to say it should’ve offered more “protection” against the likes of the Glazers seems……

          Facts:

          The Glazers in good faith bought the club with mostly other people’s money and leveraged the club’s assets to do so, a “brilliant” thing to do from their point of view – all before the massive credit crunch.

          To their credit, they’ve done the best the can to keep the team competitive, it’s not their fault Ronaldo wanted to leave and was rightfully sold.

          Give Man U fans some credit, they would’ve been concerned about the debt and ticket prices regardless of who owned the club.

          However, the fact that the Glazers are American hasn’t helped endear them to the green & gold brigade. – The English can be as condescending and xenophobic as anyone. I would even throw in a dash of anti-semiticism.

          • Devils Advocate says:

            brn..I was merely passing comment. The point I’m making is that purchasing PLC’s can be more complex where there are numerous shareholders, particularly if they are non-connected. In addition, purchasers undergo more stringent checks eg solvency, “fit and proper” etc. than if the company was bought from an individual “privately”…hence the idea of being more secure.

            I am well aware of the facts surrounding this matter. Hopefully you can appreciate the perspective of most of the responses here; that this is not a question of being anti-American nor anti-semitic. Any owner of any nationality (including English I might add) would be under attack for:

            A. mortgaging the assets of the club to the degree where interest payments nullify profits made. It is indeed, fortunate that Ronaldo wanted to leave for Real given interest payments on the various loans are in excess of £42m per year.

            B. Increasing ticket prices significantly (near 50%) over the past 3 seasons, thereby pricing “core” fans out of the stadium. United have gone from having a waiting list for season tickets to having them advertised via the media.

            C. The Glazer family then drawing a variety of “administration and management fees” in the form of dividends DLA’s amounting to £20m/year. (You will be aware this only came to light as a result of the recent Bonds Issue when the family were obliged to disclose earnings).

            The Glazer/United relationship has, of course, received much attention both here and elsewhere. The rumour in the press that the family will, under the terms of the Bonds Issue, be able to draw £70m/year is a worrying sign. The assumption that the Bonds can yield 9% over the next 7years is, in the eyes of many financial commentators, “unrealistic”.

          • brn442 says:

            DA, I appreciate your accurate description of the facts surrounding the Glazer question. You’re one of the few in the thread who actually knows what he’s talking about.

            However, I did say: “Give Man U fans some credit, they would’ve been concerned about the debt and ticket prices regardless of who owned the club” but I still believe that the Anti-Glazer sentiment is compounded by the fact that they are foreign, especially American – that’s just human nature – the same reason Gerrard doesn’t get called out for his diving the way Drogba or Eduardo does.

          • Devils Advocate says:

            brn..You are, of course 100% right when you say that United fans would have been concerned (I’d say angry) about the debt and ticket prices regardless of who owned the club. As I said above, this is not anti-American, but it’s increasingly seen as that.

            I do think the Glazer family missed a great opportunity here to “endear” themselves to the OT faithful and personally believe American ownership could have been a “win win” for all concerned. At present it appears to have backfired spectacularly.

            Their persistent abscence from the stands (yes I know they fear for their lives!) is treated with cynicism and increased suspicion. It doesn’t help their case when they refuse to be interviewed on the matter.

            To be fair there is a fair degree of ignorance on the mechanisms of operating a successful business for sure, but I do believe it would be great PR for the family to visit OT from time to time and not appear to be “sucking the lifeblood” from what is deemed the “crown jewels” of English football from afar.

            Have they done everything they can to keep the team competitive? I’m not so sure. Income and expenditure suggest there might be tough times ahead. Whether this is the case or not, it “appears” to most fans they will be a lot less profitable in the coming years. As we all know, “uncertainty” breeds dissent.

    • This One Guy In Detroit says:

      “Am I the only one who thinks these protests are just stupid? “

      Nope, you’re not alone. The protests are idiotic. Like every witch hunt, it’s just a bunch of overblown sanctimony, fueled by that annoying mob mentality that takes over when people decide to be “outraged” about something. It just builds on itself and take on this weird momentum, because each act of protest only makes the participants feel even more aggrieved about their “cause.”

      Humans are strange creatures. It can be fascinating to watch how they behave in groups, especially when they choose to get all self-righteous about something. The whole thing is kind of depressing, but it’s also pretty funny when you really step back and look at it from the big-picture view. We’re sort of pathetic, really, we human beings.

      • ovalball says:

        This real “Guy” in Beaufort (NC) gives you a +1. “Pathetic” might be a bit much, but the rest of it was on the mark.

        Waiting for your minuses to build up……. :-)

    • I don’t know why you think the glazers have made man u the richest club in the world. They were the richest club in the world 5 yrs ago. The glazers have done nothing but unload the best player in the world for 80 mil and put a once debt free club around 800 mil in debt. Do you want the man u fans to say thanks for that?

      I’m not a man u fan and i’m not saying i agree with these protests, but don’t think for one second that the glazers have done anything good for man u, they were already the richest club in the world before the glazers showed up, they had a better team before the glazers showed up and they were debt free before the glazers showed up.

      • Patrick says:

        I didn’t say richest… I said best BRAND VALUE. This is a valuation of a brand’s effectiveness based on marketing etc… That is the value of the Glazers.

        And while you see Man U and think of the players wins and trophies , many will see kits and TV rights and other products associated with the team.

        • YORKSHIRE REDS says:

          No one gives a flying f**k about brand value. We just want our club back. We supported this club when they went years winning NOTHING, we still loved it and travelled around Europe watchin the team. Replica kits hadn’t been thought of, it wasn’t even a plc then. There is a good deal of ignorance of OUR history in this thread.

          • This One Guy In Detroit says:

            “We just want our club back.”

            But your club hasn’t gone anywhere. That’s the thing. That’s why most people don’t get this whole uproar.

            At the end of the day, your concern is really about the state of modern football, not about the Glazers, per se. It was your club, pre-Glazers, that helped set the stage for all this stuff you don’t like, by co-founding the Premier League 18 years ago. It was your country’s leading sports network, SkySports, that contributed to it by paying massive rights fees. It’s the era we live in — the age of the Internet — that helped fuel it all, by globalizing the European game and making huge international brands out of clubs like yours.

            In other words, there’s a whole host of factors that have led us to this point. I know it’s human nature to identify and target a villain with a face, holding him culpable for stuff we don’t like. Screaming “Glazers out!” might be an easy way to vent, but it doesn’t mean reality is that simple.

          • patrick says:

            What is this ignorance? That you are the highest brand value club? and you don’t know what that means… I get it. You love the Reds. and you hate Americans owners and you hate all the titles under the Glazers. you rather have Man United shit and owned by the English. Hey West Ham are now owned two English David’s. seats are cheap and the post match grub can’t be beat. PROPER CURRIES MATE.

          • brn442 says:

            Well, you should care about brand value – its commercial turnover is what helped Manchester Utd compete with Continental Clubs in the 90′s, before Man U made a deal with the devil and became a PLC, they won @#$% all in the previous 26 years, if you were a real supporter you would have known that.

  3. Lansing says:

    Patrick is absolutely right. These protests make no practical sense when one considers the success Manchester United has had on AND off the field since the Glazers bought the club. Either the protesters have no understanding of how financial leverage works or they have a more visceral ax to grind……something tells me if they were an English family named Windsor no one would care how much debt they had on the balance sheet.

    • brn442 says:

      No Lansing – contrary to your condescending sentiments, they definitely understand how leverage works – do you?

      • This One Guy In Detroit says:

        Look, I have no idea how leverage works, and I’m really awesome and stuff. I seriously doubt that the typical English football fan has some great grasp on the complexities of the high-end investment world.

  4. scummer says:

    well, if you listen to the comments on the talking reds message board, it seems like the real manc’s only hate the glazers because they are american. they hide behind the debt issue, but it is nationalism plain and simple. the english hate us yanks and they really make foriegn fans feel unwelcome. that is a shame because you dont choose the club you support, it chooses you. we have no choice!!

  5. Eious says:

    They have a right to be angry about the debt but the fact is that the team is being given the money it needs to succeed and there has never been a a time where the team has sold or NOT bought someone for financial reasons

    Ronaldo wanted to leave and has said so….so this EXTREME outrage seems quite misplaced

    • patrick says:

      Its not real debt in terms of the big picture in football… Its debt in terms of what the owe from the purchase. Most football debt is from player buys and day to day running of the club. But Man U’s debt isn’t real in that if they sold it would all be gone. and that is what many of the Reds point to… But who can really afford Man U and then afford to splash out on the best players in the world with out leveraging a loan to buy the club… ??? maybe the richest men on the planet.

      so what is the real outrage…. That is what I need to find out. Do they just hate titles, Americans or Jews. what is it?

  6. WayneBridgeSucks says:

    The English football fans are a rare breed. I look at man u like I look at UNC tarheels. An entitled fan base that seems to act like they know more than they do. Man U fans need to get over it. They have good American owners and are using this leverage issue as a smokescreen for their hate for American owners. The English want English footy all to themselves. Sounds selfish to me. When man u goes into administration u will have a beef, bit now, nope.

    • ovalball says:

      “I look at man u like I look at UNC tarheels. An entitled fan base that seems to act like they know more than they do.”

      I *know* you can’t be a Duke fan! ;-)

  7. Caroline says:

    Leeds were also a successful club before they weren’t into Administration because of their huge debts. Man U fans know what may happen if a club continues to accumulate huge debts. I’m not a Man U fan but I don’t think these Man U fans are misguided or stupid for protesting about the huge debts the club has amassed. History is on their side.

    • patrick says:

      Leeds and Man U are apple and oranges

      its not debt like you have on your credit card. Its like a 1000 debt on your credit card when you have 10,000 equity on your house. You won’t lose anything its just that you have a grand of it owed to someone else.

      Man U is no where near administration NO WHERE and never will be. I think everyone NEED understand that.

      • brn442 says:

        “no where near administration NO WHERE and never will be” and the “prices of houses will always go up” , “12 countries with 12 different central banks can use a single currency without any conflict.”, and “off-shore drilling is 100% safe” I take everything said by “experts” with the cynicism of a Pompey player going to collect his wages.

        Is Manchester Utd Leeds? no but Caroline’s points are well taken. Debt itself isn’t a necessarily a bad thing but being so up to your eyeballs in it that you’re having problems servicing that debt can be a problem.

        The Glazers had done the best they can. However, the club is still a couple of 5th place finishes away from potential disaster.

  8. Brian says:

    I hate to play the nationalism card as an American, but all you Engish Man Utd fans who hate the Glazers should really be thanking us. Without us Americans, your country may have gone out of existance on more than one occassion (see World War I and World War II). Without us, Hilter would have probably invaded the UK taken it over, remade it, and Man Utd in its current form probably wouldn’t exist. Yeah, I’ll admit its far fetched, but it is plausible.

    The thing I don’t get is that if you righteous Man Utd fans hate the owners of the club this much, why do you still buy season tickets, why do you buy team merchandise, why do you go to away matches to support them, and why do you subscribe to Sky to watch them on tv?

    Face it if you keep buying the Man Utd product and supporting the product, the owners can figure out that you like their product, so your opinion about how they run the business pretty much falls on deaf ears.

    If you hate the Glazers that much, there is a team down the road that you can support: its FC United of Manchester.

    All of your debt arguments, Glazer arguments are pretty much meaningless and pointless. Either get over the fact Americans are running your club, or go and support another one.

  9. CHELSEA MUST REIGN WETHER MANCHESTER UNITED LIKE IT OR NOT.GOD BLESS ANCELOTTI

  10. infamy says:

    I’ve never read such misinformed tripe.
    As a Mancunian and a lifelong United fan, the lack of grasp of the subject exhibited here is beyond belief.
    Try going on a mainstream United message board and putting forward these kind of views – you will probably be seen as City wind-up merchants rather than taken seriously.
    Anti-semitism? no chance
    Anti-americanism? not at all
    The Queen owing United? Wouldn’t accept that either.
    The club’s gone nowhere? It has gone out of the reach of supporters who have followed them for years, driven out by ticket pricing (which has accelerated beyond belief under the Glazers) and by the club’s policy of attracting middle-class fans from outside Manchester, as they spend more money at the ground.
    “Brand value”? Stick it up yer arse. We were supporting United (never Man U) when we were in the second division, and when 99.9 per cent of Americans had never heard of them.
    Richest club? Grass roots Reds don’t want to be the richest, and many would trade the trophies and success for a return to a club which values its fans and does not see us as “customers” of a “brand”.
    Mind you, a big thank you to you benevolent Yanks who came over here and bailed us out against Hitler. I don’t know how we managed for the previous 900 years without you.

    • Devils Advocate says:

      infamy…I looked through all these comments, took a raincheck and have now come back and re-read them. Suffice to say I’m in agreement 100% with you and your perspective. I too am staggered by the lack of understanding, misinformation and basic ignorance displayed by many of the above. This is most certainly not anti-American but anti-debt.

      It is clear that few truly comprehend the depth of resentment the Glazers have engendered amongst United supporters and followers. But for those who are interested imagine this:

      You have a family business with shareholders, most of whom are small investors who identify/feel part of the company and its gradual growth over several generations. The product is attractive, regularly wins awards and is already a world leader in its field. Most importantly, it has NO debts, for the business owns its premises and it has a healthy operating profit year in year out.

      A foreign businessman buys into this business and his capital investment is welcomed. Over time he increases his stake in the business by buying out senior investors. When he achieves 30% ownership, under corporate law he is required to buy the business outright. Even though he is a billionaire, he decides to borrow the money to buy the business.

      After much sourcing he manages to scrape together enough to make the purchase but he is charged high rates of interest. This is not a problem for him as it turns out because he forces all the minority shareholders to sell their shares to him, making him outright owner but infuriating and alienating all those who have effectively been the company’s customers and income stream. He then “closes up shop” and de-lists the company from the stock exchange whilst at the same time, securing the various loans against the business’s assets. A once debt free business is now heavily in debt. This has repercussions for future investment in product improvement. It is inevitable given economic conditions that product improvement takes a back seat.

      Fortunately, the customers continue to buy the company product and it has continued success but the cost of the product starts to rise significantly. Notwithstanding the burden of debt, it is discovered the new owner takes an alleged £30million a year in salary (this guy is a billionaire, right??) Then the customers discover that the interest on these loans is about £40million a year so they can now see why the cost of their favourite product has risen so much. Some people might now view this business as the owner’s private piggy bank……

  11. redyank says:

    As a yank united fan who was out in full force with the red army yesterday i feel stuck in the middle. i completely understand the debt issue would piss off fans, i completely understand that “foreign” owners would piss off fans, but most importantly what i do understand is that american jews no how to make alot of money. So i’m not really worried about that part of it. What bothers me is that the Glazers probably never even watched a damn match 5 years ago, and that their interest is solely an economic one. It hard to know what would be better. Do we want a die-hard fan splashin money out of his own pocket for the team he loves? Because Newcastle doesnt seem to be doing that good. Or would we prefer owners who know how to make the team more “successful” around the world, which will increase revenue which will be pumped into the team. Remember, Ferguson spent a good few quid under the glazers so far. I really dont know what to think but what i will say is that I wore the green and yellow scarves of newton heath yesterday because i dont want the team to be another soulless marketing machine where its all about money. Success isnt always measured or increased with money. Most of uniteds greatest players have come through the youth academy. Its about heart, not money. And thats why Ronaldo had to go. His heart wasnt with United anymore. And as far as brand recognition and that is concerned…..if you dont no who UNITED are by now, who the f**k wants ya anyway!!!!!

    • redyank says:

      and i wont say which one i am but i’m in one of the pictures above and i thought it was f**kin hilarious when the smoke bomb went off hahaha…………………..

  12. ben LUHG GLAZER OUT says:

    United were debt free before the glazers. United had the financial weight to out bid almost anyone before the glazers. Now ticket prices are higher, we are customers, not fans, manchester united is a company, not a football team. If the money spent on shirts, beer pies etc… was goin back into to club, for new players, youth development, fair enough, but it seems to me that more than 3/4 of every pound spent at OT is going directly to the glazers pockets/debt. We got 80mil for ronaldo, and did what? nothing, we cant buy any1… watch how many top class players are bought this summer if the glazers are still incharge. There has been a waiting list for STs since i started goin to OT 20 years ago, i’d be prepared to bet there isnt one this year.
    Every FC fan, every true red still wants the team to do well, wearing green and gold is still supporting the team… but WE WANT GLAZERS OUT! Less plastic malasians and more mancunians in OT is what i want… glazer ticket prices forced many true mancs out, leaving room for the forigners…. who buy merchandise like its goin out of fashion, dont sing, dont support the team.
    VIVA RED KNIGHTS… LOVE UNITED HATE GLAZER

  13. mufc luhg says:

    how can anyone defend the glazers they have took the richest club in the world and put it in 775 million pounds of debt by putting personal debts on the club. its the manager and backroom staff thats keep the club competitive not glazer. the hatred for him has nothing to do with him being a jew or american its the fact hes raping our beloved club.
    ps its united not man u

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