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Malcolm Glazer: The Controversial Owner of Manchester United FC

Malcolm Irving Glazer is an American businessman and the owner of the Football Club Manchester United. He is also the president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation and owns Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a National Football League team in Tampa, Florida.

Glazer belongs to a Jewish family and is fifth among seven siblings. He inherited his father’s jewelry business and at that time he had just $300. He started to expand his business by buying mobile homes in 1970 in Florida. He then became the president of First Allied Corporation, a company in US. Glazer’s first attempt at a corporate takeover was in 1984, when he failed to buy a bankrupt freight rail company for a bid of $7.6 billion. After two more consecutive failures in buying a corporation, he finally succeeded to buy a bankrupt company name Zapata formerly owned by George H. W. Bush.

Malcolm Glazer, due to his interest in sports purchased the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a National Football League franchise for a record $192 million after the death of Hugh Culverhouse, the former owner.  For the first several years, the Buccaneers experienced improved success on the field during Glazer’s ownership before going through a decade of continuous losing seasons. Bucs won the first Super Bowl in 2002 under Coach Jon Gruden. But when Glazer purchased Manchester United FC in 2003 all his funds and concentration diverted towards it and the Bucs went into a TV blackout. The blackout streak continued into 2011.

Between 2003 and 2005, Glazer gradually bought out the shareholders in the English Premier League soccer team in a deal that valued the club at around $1.47 billion. The takeover was fiercely opposed by many fans of Manchester United, who organized themselves in the form of independent Manchester United Supporters, partly because the Glazer takeover saddled the club with a large debt and interest that comes with it.

Many of these fans got together to set up a new club called F.C. United of Manchester. The new protest club has had success which including three successive promotions in three years while attracting gates of well around 2,000 fans each week, with a record attendance of 6,023.Anti-Glazer songs and chants are still regularly heard at Manchester United and F.C. United games.

More support for the protest movement came from David Beckham when he put on a green and gold scarf which had been lying on the pitch. Although Beckham subsequently denied that his action had any significance, it was taken by many to indicate that he was in support of the anti-Glazer protest and was described as “an iconic moment” by the Manchester United Supporters Trust.In early 2011, Glazer refuted a rumor that he was going to sell Manchester United for a reported £1.6 billion to the Qatari royal family, stating that the club was not for sale at any price.

Malcolm Glazer now lives in Palm Beach, Florida. He is married to Linda and has five sons and one daughter. Three of them (Joel, Bryan and Edward), are vice-presidents in First Allied. He runs a wide-ranging business empire that includes shopping centers and nursing homes.

On April 16, 2006, Glazer suffered a stroke causing impaired speech and loss of mobility in his right arm and leg. After spending much of the intervening period in the hospital, Glazer suffered a second stroke in May 2006. Controversies might go on and on but the love of fans for Manchester United FC will make them buy more and more Manchester United FC tickets.

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