Since 2005 the Glazer family have come under protest and condemnation from Manchester United supporters, and understandably so given the nature of their takeover of the club and how the owners have run it thereafter.
Financing the takeover riddled the club with immense debt – which amounted to more than $1 billion at one stage in 2010 – and with a stadium in increasing need of renovation and an ever-diminishing transfer budget the American clan’s presence considerably gripes.
As per David Conn in the Guardian, the selling of a portion of their shares in 2017 garnered them a whopping £56m, and that’s on top of their annual dividends paid out between them.
If things were positively rosy on the pitch then perhaps all this would be grumbled about a little more beyond the hardcore support but of course things aren’t rosy, not at all. Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 United have finished 7th, 4th, 5th, 6th, 2nd and 6th in the league. Last season they fell behind their rivals Man City by a colossal 32 points.
And now, with the team in urgent need of an overhaul after several years of under-achievement, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly been restricted to a budget of £100m this summer, though United’s reported £70m bid for Harry Maguire – arriving just days after the club signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £50m – suggests that those reports have underestimated their spending power. Alternatively, it may well indicate that a departure will be sanctioned to finance a move for the Leicester powerhouse.
Some years ago, so intense was the anger felt towards the Glazer family that an off-shoot club was formed by the name of FC United as fans became disillusioned with it all and began anew. In addition to this a ‘Love United/Hate Glazers’ campaign took hold and persisted, complete with scarves, banners and stickers adorned in green and gold to denote the club’s original colours when they were Newton Heath.
Now the latest protest has taken to social media with a #GlazersOut crusade that has trended – at various junctures – across the globe.
Calling all MUFC fans…
Friday at 15:30pm UK time, we are targeting NYSE. That time on Friday's is the NYSE "Sell" time.
— #GlazersOut (@GlazersOut1999) June 27, 2019
— Totally Man Utd™ 🔰 (@TotallyMUFC) June 27, 2019
To keep it at trending, we need people to keep tweeting #GlazersOut. So keep tweeting and retweeting as much as possible.
— Boycott MUFC Sponsors (@Boycott_MUFC) June 26, 2019
To @ManUtd fans around the world, please use #GlazersOut in your tweets and retwwets. We can make a difference, these so called owners of our club are using @ManUtd for their own financial gain. We want to make our voices heard that we don't want them at our club. #GlazersOut
— Dray 🙋🏻♂️❤️😈 🖕🏻Glazers&Woodward (@Drayaffro) June 27, 2019
These thousands of tweets have had an impact. They have brought attention to the fan’s cause from as far a field as America. They have got the media talking about the fight. Most encouragingly of all they have got the club running scared, as their recent decision to scrap phone-in shows on MUTV have proven.
Watch a Man Utd fan’s epic Ed Woodward rant in the video below…
Yet as laudable as these achievements are they will still amount to the status quo continuing for as long as the Glazers wish to be in charge.
Why? Because a section of the club’s support upping roots and starting afresh didn’t sway them. A prolonged and very public campaign – that even had the backing of David Beckham – didn’t come close to dislodging them. Constant criticism doesn’t shame them and they are impervious to it all so long as the money keeps flowing in and being the major shareholders remains a profitable enterprise.
They’re not stopping now for anyone, least of all angry strangers in the Twittersphere.