Dear Joel Glazer,
Over the last three days or so, I have been angry, annoyed and left discontented. I felt like the club that I have supported for much of my life had been taken away from me with not even the chance for to state what I wanted to see from the club. In fact, since your father, Malcom Glazer took over Manchester United in 2005, the bad feeling has grown considerably.
You may feel that you have the club’s best interests as an owner, but the truth is that you have continuously confirmed that you do not care. You and your stooges have tried to direct the club into a non-competitive European Super League that you felt would attract the supporters and line your pockets, however there was no attraction to your greedy scheme.
You see, as a Manchester United supporter, to play the best clubs in Europe, it needs to be earned. To do this, you need to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, then be drawn against these clubs. This is the magic of European football. The supposed Super League that you helped to create would have been a meaningless pre-season tournament played as mid-week matches during the season. The league would have no history, magic or anything else besides greed, which is why it failed.
The one thing your greed did not allow you to do was consult the supporters of the club, along with your peers and this is why you have become an architect of a failed money-making opportunity – which is exactly what this was. You see, in the European Super League, there would be no desire to win, no desire to achieve and certainly no desire to have the best players playing for the club. It would have been stagnant and boring. But you only care about the money, which is the only area your interest is present.
Your open letter to Manchester United supporters was only written because of the pressure and the backlash that has come off your failed scheme to take more and more money away from this game – the English game which is embedded into the very society in this country. You also talked about the deep loyalty of the supporters of the club. If you had any loyalty at all to anything but cold, hard cash, you would have addressed the supporters of the club a lot sooner – this also seems to be the first time you have recognised that we actually exist. I mean, you knew we did exist but in the form of numbers on a spreadsheet that you could manipulate to increase revenues.
We are more than that. We are the very heart and soul of this football club. Without us, you would own something that would cost more to upkeep than you would earn from it. From the past dealings of the Glazer family and the continuous snatch and grab from the club in the manner of share sales, it is clear that you as a family are only interested two things; control and money.
In your open letter, you have apologised unreservedly for what you have done. That apology does not make amends and never will. You also stated that you wanted to rebuild trust with the supporters of the club. But that is one thing you never actually had – the trust of the supporters. From the day your father took over the club, with a leveraged takeover, securing all debt to the club, we knew that it was all about money. Greed is never a good thing and I personally see your family as greedy. You do not care about this football club as you very rarely attend any matches. I am talking pre-pandemic here.
As an owner of the club, you do not seem to want to invest your own money into the club – just borrow money and leverage it on the club. That is not sustainable. I speak for myself here, but also millions of other people will resonate – but your family is the worst thing that has ever happened to this football club. That is what it is – a football club. It is not a personal bank for your family and it is not a play thing. I am not a hateful person but I despite everything I have seen over the past 16 years from your family.
I am glad that Ed Woodward will be stepping down, but it should be sooner rather than later. He has been a mere continuation of your greed. At the start he was good at the commercial side of the business, signing new sponsors, advertising space and everything else involved in the marketing of the club. I understand why that is here and understand that it needs to be. But for a non-footballing man to be in charge of the football side, I am ashamed that it took eight years for him to realise that he was not cut out for the task. All he has done is lie to supporters and underachieve, also overpay for players who were not a good fit for the club. He was even responsible for three managers of the club who were all fired by him. It is a legacy of failure on the footballing side.
For Manchester United to rise from the ashes of this debacle, it needs to be with footballing people in charge of the club, not greedy, money-hungry stooges. I only hope that you will allow people into the club that have the best interests of the club at heart – but then again I am talking about owners who do not care in the slightest about footballing achievement.
As a Manchester United supporter, I would like to see the club build upon the success of this season and challenge for the Premier League title, which the club last won in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge. United have finished second once but they did not challenge Manchester City that season. I would also like to see the club consistently qualify for the UEFA Champions League, which is a competition (despite the name change) that eight of the clubs players died travelling home from a match in Belgrade. This is why the moral fibre of the club is so intertwined in that competition which you happily would have seen the club walk away from, showing a blatant disregard to those who died and those who rose from the ashes and won the trophy a decade later. This is important for this club but you and your greed has upset the apple cart and left a bad feeling not only in English football but across the world. You have brought shame on this club.
The best way for the club to earn its respect again would be if your family were nothing to do with this football club. For 16 years now there has been consistent discontent against the Glazer family and what you have done to this institution. You have never fully backed any manager. Always strived to get the cheaper options and I don’t think you realise that if Manchester United are winning Premier League titles, FA Cup trophies, League Cup trophies, the UEFA Champions League, then playing on the international stage in the FIFA Club World Cup, it creates a great marketing opportunity for the club. Winning trophies means success both on the pitch and in the boardroom. The number of impressions on social media is not success.
With the Glazer family in charge of Manchester United, there seems to be a glass ceiling that can never be penetrated. Your family do not want this football club to find success on the pitch, not if it means that your profits are cut. It is best that you start to find a way of selling the club and not be greedy about it. The mere fact that your father took over this club without a single cent of his own money is very telling. The debt is still very much a problem for the club and for that reason, the selling price should be something that is competitive – and if you did sell the club, it would only be fair that the debt would be cleared from your share of the profits as without your family the debt would not even be there.
Manchester United supporters are sick and tired of your name, your greed and the blatant discontent that you have continued to deliver at this football club. I personally, am sick and tired of seeing your fake interest in the club and the lack of any real direction back onto the road of success. For years now, the Glazers have held Manchester United back in this competitive world of football. You will probably suggest that the club has seen successful under your ownership but that was all because of one clever man – Sir Alex Ferguson. If you wanted to keep the club successful, money would be no factor in bettering the squad and solving the issues that we can still see on the pitch.
I am not interested in trusting you because it is not something that I will ever do. I am sure there are people that feel the same way as me here. I don’t want to see you try to right the wrongs as it will be done to try and get back on an even keel so you can continue taking the cream from the club. Your ownership is negative to this club and it needs to end. Your greed has opened up a can of worms here. Everything that people have been saying for 16 years has become true. You don’t care about Manchester United – just what you can take from the club. The club is just a cash cow for your family. When the money stops rolling in, you will never sustain the club out of your own pocket. 16 years of bad ownership has confirmed that.
Old Trafford was once one of the best stadiums in England and now the problems have been painted over – seemingly hoping for the best. Good owners will do what is necessary for Manchester United to continue but your family just are not interested. But they are happy to profit from the club. This is sheer greed. I am not alone in saying that the Glazers should leave Manchester United. I hope that the Government of this country can do something to help kick greedy owners like you from this game. You are not needed or wanted. You are just saying what you are saying as your scheme failed and you have no other direction to turn.
The sooner the Glazer family have sold this club, the better. Of course, the supporters of the club will not just accept anyone. We did that back in 2005 and look what we ended up with.
Written by John Walker