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An Open Letter to Joel Glazer

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

A European Super League? It’s a no from me…

“A team died in 1958 to play in Europe, and this is our history being thrown away for money, by owners who know nothing about Manchester.”Ian Sterling of Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST)

On Sunday, rumours were rife about a supposed European Super League and there were 12 European football clubs that were willing to break away from the standard structure of European football. Six clubs in the Premier League were involved; Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Three teams from La Liga in Spain; Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid and three teams from Serie A in Italy; AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus. There were also suggestions of three more clubs being involved meaning 15 clubs would start up this new league. However, the figure seems to be stuck at 12.

United beat Burnley 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday but immediately this win was taken away because of this Super League. Former United defender and captain Gary Neville was not please on Sky Sports, showing his displeasure live during the half time break of the match involving his former club. Talk then spread at full time with another former captain and midfielder, Roy Keane airing his displeasure in the breakaway. Former City defender Micah Richards also spoke his mind about this money grab in football – as that is what it really is. The whole suggestion of it is disgusting. It rips the heart and soul out of the game.

The Glazer’s have never really been a great fit at United. They took over the club by leveraging a debt against the club and have continued to take money away from the club in dividends and share sales, giving nothing back from their own pocket. United are still in a substantial debt and this Super League that seems to be propped by by JP Morgan, will put them in more debt, seemingly selling the souls of the club to the greedy so they can take more money off the top, cutting the hard-working supporters out of the game. This is really the ugly side of football. A side that should be kicked out of the game.

Earning money is necessary in life but greedy football club owners are not needed at all.

The funny thing yesterday is that Sky seem to have found a bad taste in the plans for the Super League, climbing up their own Ivory Tower and calling the six Premier League clubs out. I mean, it is not as if Sky have profited massively from this game and they did not set to to do just that from the inception of the Premier League in its inaugural 1992/93 season! Granted, this is a different kind of greed and it will spoil the game for millions of supporters all over the world. The greed of the Glazer’s and their stooge, Ed Woodward has been seen for what it is now and it has played out live during a football match.

Manchester United supporters have a bond with the club. They have supported it for many years, sometimes most of their lives. They have learned the history of the club, the traditions, the success, the failure and the tragedy. This is the embodiment of a supporter of this club. The majority know the trajectory of the club through the years. The blood, sweat and tears put into the club. The survival of bankruptcy and the survival of the club after the Munich Air Disaster which saw eight players die on their way back home from a European Cup match in Belgrade. The history of the club has been upturned and shaken out just to earn more money.

United literally lost the majority of a team to play in a European competition, which later became the UEFA Champions League. For ten years, United fought back from the aches of Munich to lift that blessed trophy in the honour of those that died a decade before. Sir Matt Busby steered United from death to glory to the pinnacle of Europe. In the years following Busby, United stuttered, were relegated and then fought back to reach the top-flight of English football once more. The years later, the success of Sir Alex Ferguson in his near 27-years at the help of the club brought that fighting spirit back once again.

The Glazers are greedy, money-motivated owners that don’t deserve Manchester United.

When Malcolm Glazer took over Manchester United in 2005, a loan was taken out and leveraged against the football club. The Glazer family are clear of debt and for 16 years now, United have been stuck with a massive debt which is no closer to being paid off. Having a debt lowers taxes and that is a must for money-men like the Glazers. The history of this football club is just something they can market and profit from – they don’t care about the blood, sweat and the tears of the players, the supporters and the manager’s throughout the history of the club. They care about the strength of the love for the club, which is now dying in many places.

United have won many trophies during the Glazer’s ownership but that was down to one man; Sir Alex Ferguson. United have won five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups, four FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup in Ferguson’s time under the Glazers. Post-Ferguson, United have won one FA Community Shield, one League Cup and one UEFA Europa League. The success was not because of the Glazer’s – it was because of the merit of the manager (at the time), the players and the backroom staff. The Glazer’s don’t care about winning things, as has been seen post-Ferguson.

You see, the Glazers and Woodward celebrate impressions on social media, sponsorship deals and other commercial dealings which bring money to the club. More recently, the Glazers have ben celebrating the fact that United’s shares are at a high rate so they can sell some lower category shares to line their pockets some more – as if they have not taken enough already. The formation of this European Super League will create endless revenue streams for the Glazer’s, which is the success that seem to value. Cold hard cash. It will see the club turn its back on its traditions, history and more importantly, the future.

When history and tradition is eradicated from Manchester United, what is left?

Manchester United have a rich history and tradition. The club has always strived to create young players who rise into their first team and drive the team towards success. Granted, that does not always happen but there is a rich picking of youth coming through the ranks throughout the history of the club, winning trophies. Then there are special periods where players either succeeded or were stopped in their tracks by tragedy. The Busby Babes of 1958 were the ones that were stopped by tragedy but the Class of 1992 were the ones that went all the way to becoming the pinnacle of European football once again. On Sir Matt Busby’s birthday too.

United have a record which lasts more than 80 years having included at least one youth player that came through the academy in every league match. If United are no longer allowed to participate in the Premier League, or any other league in the land, that tradition stops right there – and there is a feeling that this tradition would continue for many years to come. United’s academy has some talented players in the ranks but what could happen with them. Surely many of them want to play in the Premier League, the Champions League, aiming to lift the famous trophies one day. What about their dreams? Let them achieve at another club?

You see, the Glazers have profited from the traditions and history of the club and they will presumably continue to do that in this Super League, but they will have ended those traditions and become a smudge in the very history of the club. Money is the route to all evils and that seems to be the very thing the Glazer’s want – money. These American owners don’t see to understand why leagues here have relegation, as they don’t in America. They don’t seen to understand the word competition. To do this would be a sad end to a once great football club. The Glazer’s will be the death of the club and they just don’t care about that.

What is being done to stop this greedy mess from ruining football for the United faithful and others?

It has been reported that FIFA and UEFA are against the formation of a European Super League. There are sanctions that can be brought against the clubs involved, but as sooner as that is said, the clubs can appear these sanctions in court – so there is no way to tell if the sanctions will be upheld or whether the breakaway clubs will win. UEFA has also suggested that clubs would be kicked out of UEFA led competitions; the Champions League, Europa League and the Super Cup. Players of the breakaway clubs could also be banned from playing for their countries in the UEFA European Championships and the FIFA World Cup.

There is a lot to lose for these clubs, all for a glorified friendly competition where a trophy with no history will be presented, plus bags of cash, which is the real prize the clubs are interested in. If these clubs are willing to bring an end to players striving to win the Premier League, the FA Cup, League Cup and qualify for European competition, they will be taking away hopes and dreams of the younger players too. The youth leagues will be affected. I very much doubt that United will be able to participate in the U18 Premier League, the FA Youth Cup, the Premier League 2 and the Papa John’s Trophy. What then? Abolish the youth teams and get rid of identity?

United are a club that has these traditions in the DNA. They largely predicted players from the clubs academy, bringing them to first team standard. The Busby Babes, Fergie’s Fledglings and so on. Then there are the league titles, of which United have 20; 13 Premier League titles and seven First Division titles. This success will mean nothing if the Super League is allowed to start. Money is not really what supporters want to see clubs winning as miscreant owners don’t use that money within the club, they use it one themselves. As Sir Matt Busby one said; “Football is nothing without fans.”.

The Premier League is holding a meeting on Tuesday with the 14 Premier League teams not involved in the Super League. This could result in teams involved in the Super League being suspended from the league, which is the worst case scenario. It is something that needs to be carefully considered though as the league will be severely weakened with these six teams being removed permanently. What a mess this has created.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW