Glazers Are Not to Blame For Lack of Squad Quality at Manchester United

This will not be a popular opinion, but the Glazers and Ed Woodward are not to blame for the lack of squad quality at Manchester United. The facts show that the Glazers have loosened the purse strings whenever they have been asked to.

Here is a comparison that will further elucidate this point. Between 1998 and the takeover, Manchester United signed six already established world renowned players – Jaap Stam, Fabien Barthez, Rio Ferdinand, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and Wayne Rooney (and the last one is debatable because he was signed more on exceptional promise). I do not count Ronaldo and others due to the same reason I state for Rooney. Either way, the spending on all players during this time stands at roughly £230million.

Since the Glazers have taken over, and for approximately the same length of time, this list is impressive – Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Dimitar Berbatov, Juan Mata, Robin van Persie, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Marcos Rojo and the soon-to-be-announced Angel di Maria. Add to that other big money signings such as Anderson, Nani, Luke Shaw and the total for spending is at roughly £479million. This figure is more than twice the amount for the pre-Glazer era.

Naysayers will point out the influx of money by the Ronaldo sale and inflation as the reasons for the disparity. However, when looking at sales in the pre-Glazers era, it is clear that the club was more concerned about recouping transfer fees than it is now. And the above stats show that United has signed more established players in the Glazers era than before. And inflation cannot account for the doubling of fees spent on transfers.

Having said that, I would be happy to see the back of the Glazer family. They have mired the club in debt and prostituted the name of the club. However, to say that they have been frugal in the transfer market is demonstrably wrong. The problems at Manchester United far exceed the boogieman of the Glazer family.

6 thoughts on “Glazers Are Not to Blame For Lack of Squad Quality at Manchester United”

  1. So what are the problems? All you did was select the blame from the Glazers without actually highlighting the problems.

    1. As a outsider the problem is Jones Smalling Cleverley Nani Anderson never improved. Plus Welbeck. MUFC always had homegrown talent that resource has dried up.

  2. By comparing two era’s you are missing the fact that during that early era almost no one was buying players like that. Now the top teams around the world are spending and buying more top players, so MUFC, despite having the most revenue, are not competing.

    On a side note, neither are they picking up signings like Fernando for 12mill.

  3. United Rant recently had a very good article that pinpoints some of the problems with United recently (

    In many cases it does seem to be a matter of poor choices in transfer targets and not replacing world class players with other world class players.

    Far too often money has been spent on young unproven potential talent and not enough spent on proven world class players or even proven players of high quality.

    While Di Maria may not be as necessary to the squad in the same way a defender would, he is at least a world class player.

  4. If you mention Ander, Marouane or Rojo you’d better compare them to Blomqvists, Djemba Djembas or Solskjaers of that era – they might prove hits or misses, but none of them is anywhere close to elite atm. Even Berbatov is debatable, while Tevez was only brought on mid-term loan and wasn’t signed when the time came. Basically, we’re left with Mata and Hargreaves, both great at the time of signing, but clearly not wanted by their previous clubs, and RVP, who was overpaid, taken his age and injury proneness into account.
    Sheer numbers can’t be compared at all, back in 1998 Yorke (another top player) was a club record signing for 12m, while today an average teen fullback costs that much, while a player of that status would cost 40 to 50m.

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