Who are the Glazer family? History and net worth of Manchester United owners - and fan protest explained

The American owners are coming under increasing pressure...
Manchester United's co-chairmen Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)Manchester United's co-chairmen Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United's co-chairmen Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Sunday afternoon saw incredible scenes in the Premier League, as Manchester United's scheduled clash against Liverpool was postponed in response to a fan protest at Old Trafford.

After initially gathering outside the ground and in front of the team’s hotel in Salford, a number of United fans forced their way into the historic stadium and took to the field to voice their disdain for the club’s current ownership.

The Reds have been owned by the Glazer family since 2005, but have been unpopular figures in the north west for several years now.

Here’s everything you need to know about the United chiefs, and why supporters are so eager to see them leave their club…

Who are the Glazers?

The Florida-based family have been the majority stakeholders at Old Trafford for 16 years now.

Initially, patriarch Malcolm Glazer bought into the club in 2003, before eventually wrapping up a deal to takeover the club completely a couple of years later.

In total, that buyout cost around £790 million.

Prior to his involvement with United, Glazer had first moved into the world of sport with takeover of NFL franchise the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995.

The American businessman first made his fortune in watch repairs and real estate before diversifying into a wide range of ventures including food service equipment, broadcasting, health care, banking, and natural gas and oil.

Glazer passed away in 2014 at the age of 85, and his ownership of United was taken up by his six children.

In terms of day-to-day running of the club, two of Glazer’s sons, Joel and Avram, have overseen business since their father suffered a stroke in 2006.

Why do Man United fans want the Glazers out?

Tensions have been mounting between the owners and United’s fanbase since the very early stages of their tenure.

As part of their leveraged takeover at Old Trafford, the family immediately loaded their own borrowings of £525 million onto the club to repay.

By 2010, five years after the buyout was completed, United were said to be facing debts of £716.5 million, with further suggestions that the Glazer family had taken another £10 million out of the club to cover “management and administration fees”.

Fast forward to 2018, and a report from The Guardian claims that the owners have drained more than £1 billion out of the club in interest, costs, fees and dividends since their arrival.

Anger over these finances have been at the root of fan frustrations for some time now, but anger was heightened even further by the recent announcement that United were planning on becoming one of the founding members of a European Super League.

Obviously, the climb down from that stance was swift, but for many fans the damage had already been done, and the decision to associate the club with such a controversial move was yet another indication that the Glazers are not the right people to lead their club.

Sunday’s protest was just the latest example in a long line of visible disgruntlement with the Americans’ ownership.