Who are the Glazer family? Details about the family that owns Manchester United

Who are the Glazer family? Details about the family that owns Manchester United

Kevin Omuya

The National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English Premier League's Manchester United are owned by the Glazer family of Florida, USA. In 2005, the club was purchased by Joel after the death of his father, Malcolm, who had been a longtime fan. The Glazer family is now considering putting the club on sale.

Who are the Glazer family?
Members of the Glazer family at the stand during the UEFA Champions League match between Man United and Villarreal at Old Trafford on November 22nd, 2005, in Manchester, England. Photo: Matthew Peters
Source: Getty Images

It has just been reported that Manchester United could be placed up for sale. The discord between Manchester United fans and the Glazer family has been exacerbated by the current poor performance of the club.

The team's loyal fan base has been vocal in their displeasure with the owners for years. They are widely suspicious that the owners are only interested in profiting financially from their ownership of the team they love.

Who are the Glazer family?

Who are the Glazer family?
Man United owner Avram Glazer (R) during the UEFA Europa League match between Manchester United and Celta Vigo at Old Trafford on May 11, 2017, in Manchester, United Kingdom. Photo: Gareth Copley
Source: Getty Images

Among Malcolm's relatives, he was the first to follow in his father's footsteps and support Manchester United. He was the chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation and hailed from the United States. This umbrella organization managed his diverse business holdings, including well-known brands such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Tonka toys, and Omega Protein.

Over time, he amassed holdings in the sports industry, media, the oil and gas industry, and the healthcare industry. He paid a then-record $192 million to purchase the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise in 1995. The team's first season was hugely successful, winning the Super Bowl.

Malcolm wanted to make it big in European soccer around the turn of the millennium. Manchester United, led by Sir Alex Ferguson, were one of the most successful clubs ever at the time, winning several trophies. By 2005, Malcolm had paid approximately $790 million to buy out the club's previous stockholders and become the sole owner.

Where are the Glazer family from?

Malcolm was the fifth of seven children born to Lithuanian-Jewish immigrants Abraham and Hannah Glazer. He was born in Rochester, New York. At 8, he joined his father's watch parts company. When he lost his father at age 15, he had to help provide for his family by selling watches door to door.

Who is the actual owner of the Manchester United club?

Who is the real owner of Manchester United club?
Joel (2nd-L), Avram (2nd-R), and Bryan (R) talk with club director Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford on June 30th, 2005, in Manchester, England. Photo: Matthew Peters
Source: Getty Images

Avram, Joel, Kevin, Bryan, Darcie, and Edward Glazer, the six children of Malcolm Glazer, the club's former owner, now own Manchester United. In 2005, Malcolm's investment firm, Red Football Ltd., acquired a controlling interest in the team. After his death from complications from a stroke in May 2014, his six children were each given one-sixth of his controlling share.

When their father had a stroke in April 2006, Joel and Avram ran the club daily. Kevin, Bryan, Darcie, and Edward have all been promoted to director roles, and the duo have taken on the role of co-chairman. Avram Glazer offered to sell $97 million worth of his shares for £70 million in March 2021.

How did the glazer family make their money?

How did the Glazer family make their money?
David Gill (left) of Man United talks to Bryan Glazer during a match at Hong Kong National Stadium on July 23rd, 2005, in Hong Kong, China. Photo: John Peters
Source: Getty Images

The Glazers' fortune was built on extensive real estate and property holdings, which paved the way for their expansion into the sports industry. Malcolm, the fifth of seven children, was born to Lithuanian parents in Rochester, New York, in 1928.

He sold watches door-to-door to help support his family when his father died as a teenager. He started in real estate but later bought the watch repair concession at Sampson Air Force Base in New York and turned it into a thriving enterprise.

How did the Glazer family get rich?

Glazer started owning a few properties in Rochester, but he has now amassed a vast portfolio that includes major institutions like banks, hospitals, television stations, and more. His holding firm, First Allied Corporation, gained notoriety as a "slumlord" after tenants at one of his trailer parks claimed that it had illegally added fees to their rent.

After the untimely passing of Hugh Culverhouse, owner of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 1995, Glazer made his first foray into the world of sports ownership by purchasing the team for a then-record $192 million (£122m). Joel, Bryan, and Edward, Glazer's sons, took over the team's helm.

Are the Glazers selling Manchester United?

Are the Glazers selling Manchester United?
Manchester United supporters protest against the Glazer family ownership at Old Trafford on August 22nd, 2022, in Manchester, England. Photo: James Gill
Source: Getty Images

Bloomberg reported in August that the owner was considering selling a minority investment in United after the team's dismal start of the season. One of Britain's wealthiest individuals, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, showed interest. Mr Ratcliffe submitted a last-ditch offer to purchase Chelsea from American billionaire Todd Boehly earlier in 2022, but he was unsuccessful.

After telling ITV News that the club was up for sale, a representative for Ineos CEO Ratcliffe, later said, "we have been assured that the club is not for sale." A chemical engineer from Failsworth reportedly tried to invest in the club "to take full control if the Glazers welcome new investment," as reported by The Times.

In 1989, Knighton's offer to purchase the Red Devils was accepted. However, the deal was never finalized. He has shown confidence in acquiring the club and explained that he has been in talks with three prospective partners to propose a deal.

"They are small-time billionaires that I have been speaking to for three to four months now", Knighton explains.
"When I was approached by some fan groups, oddly enough, saying 'look, our club is dying on its feet' would you please do something?'
"I made a few phone calls and I've been pulling this consortium together ever since."

How many trophies have Man United won under the Glazers?

How many trophies have Man United won under the Glazers?
Manchester United director Avram Glazer (right) with his brother Bryan Glazer (left) in the stands during a game. Photo: Martin Rickett
Source: Getty Images

United remained a Premier League powerhouse with Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm, winning five titles in eight seasons and a memorable Champions League in 2008. However, United's success has declined after Ferguson's retirement, with only three significant trophies won in the past nine seasons, all under the ownership of the Glazer family.

Glazer family's net worth

Based on Forbes' data, we calculate their net worth to be $4.7 billion. This would increase dramatically if Manchester United were sold, with the owner reportedly seeking 6 to 7 billion Euros.

How much have the Glazers spent on Man United transfers?

How much have the Glazers spent on Man United transfers?
Paul Pogba of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on December 26, 2016, in Manchester, England. Photo: Matthew Peters
Source: Getty Images

The Glazer family has spent about $2.06 billion on transactions since the 2005-06 Premier League season began, which equates to over £1.5 billion. That works out to over £92 million ($120 million) every season, with eight separate seasons breaking the £50 million ($68 million) barrier, second only to rival Manchester City in Premier League history.

While the club's record transfer was £94.5 million ($123 million) for Paul Pogba from Juventus in 2016, the likely free move of the Frenchman was symbolic of the club's mismanagement.

Manchester United, owned by the Glazer family, is one of the world's wealthiest and most successful sports organizations. However, the ownership of United has been met with widespread disapproval among the club's diehard supporters.

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