who are the Glazers, main target of supporters’ anger?

Heirs to Malcom, the five brothers and the only sister of the Glazer siblings each own shares in the Manchester United club in the Premier League. If two of them are particularly involved in the management of the Red Devils, the other four co-owners are more distant and less known to the public and supporters.

Two defeats in as many Premier League games, Cristiano Ronaldo frustrated and on the way out, a succession of failures during the summer transfer window… Manchester United’s start to the 2022-2023 season is turning into a disaster and it may not be not finished with the reception of Liverpool next Monday during the Derby of England at Old Trafford. In addition to the risk of a new correction inflicted by the partners of Mohamed Salah, the Red Devils expose themselves to a new sling of the supporters against the management and against the American owners of the Mancunian club: the Glazer family.

Targeted by many critics across the Channel, the six Glazer siblings share 90% of Manchester United’s shares but are still relatively unknown to the general public internationally. The potential sale of the English club for a record sum of six billion euros or the possible arrival of Jim Ratcliffe as a minority shareholder have put a big spotlight on the current owners.

The legacy of self-made man Malcolm Glazer

Manchester United has belonged to the Glazer family since the takeover by the patriarch Malcolm between 2003 and 2005. The son of two Jews of Lithuanian origin who emigrated to the United States, Malcom Glazer quickly worked in the coin trade to show his parents. But after the death of his father, the one who became a wealthy businessmen then launched into real estate, finance and then invested in the medical sector across the Atlantic.

As his economic positions were taken, Malcom Glazer built a veritable empire whose financial power now exceeds my four billion euros. After making his fortune, the man behind the Glazers’ family wealth invested in the sport. By buying the Tampay Bay Buccaneers in 1995 for €192 million (an NFL record at the time) then gradually buying 90% of Manchester United for two years for nearly €935 million. As soon as he arrived at the head of the Red Devils, the supporters revolted against the foot business and pushed him to let his sons Joel and Avram manage day-to-day business. When he died in May 2014, Malcom left control of the club to his six children.

Joel and Avram, the two challenged managers

At present, pending a possible sale of certain shares or even of the club, Manchester United therefore still belongs to the six children of Malcolm. The five sons of the self-made man (Avram Glazer, Kevin Glazer, Bryan Glazer, Joel Glazer and Edward Glazer) each own 15% of the shares of the Red Devils just like their only sister Darcie.

All based in the United States, they take care of making the Glazer empire grow (including their NFL franchise) and ultimately participate quite little in the sporting choices concerning the residents of Old Trafford with the exception of Joel (55 years old ) and Avram (61) who are co-presidents when the rest of the siblings are content with a leadership position on the board. Two co-owners whose appearances in the stands of the Mancunian enclosure have regularly been accompanied by whistles and boos and even more since their commitment to the Super League project between continental leaders.

As reported by the British newspaper The Telegraph, Joel is clearly part of the decisions in Manchester and gives (or not) his approval before each big transfer considered by the sports management. In recent weeks, Joel Glazer would have opposed a sale of Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer transfer window.

A little less present in the daily life of the Red Devils than his younger brother, Avram speaks from time to time in the media to defend the impact and the work carried out by the Glazers in Manchester. However, his recent investment in a cricket team could lead him to leave football to develop another sports franchise.

Bryan and Darcie especially love football… US

Leaving the Avram-Joel duo in charge at Manchester United, the other members of the Glazer siblings have focused on the other activities of the family empire. Like the Red Devils, bought for less than a billion who have since multiplied their value by six, the NFL franchise has grown exponentially.

Since the purchase of the Buccaneers by the late Malcom in 1995, Bryan (57) and only daughter Darcie (52) have been heavily involved in the affairs of the Florida-based American football team. Co-chairman, Bryan is responsible for developing the Buccaneers business and brand. His sister, beyond her involvement in the Board of Directors, has worked extensively for the Glazer Vision family foundation.

Darcie Glazer (right), co-owner of Manchester United in 2021
Darcie Glazer (right), co-owner of Manchester United in 2021 © AFP

And unlike Manchester United, where the club has not won the Premier League since 2013, the Buccaneers won their only two Super Bowl titles after Malcolm (2002 season) and his heirs (2020 season) took over.

While Cristiano Ronaldo has failed to guide the Red Devils to success since his return, legend Tom Brady has gifted Florida fans a ring after joining them.

Kevin and Edwards, the most focused on business

Edward Glazer is also involved in the NFL franchise but especially in activities with fans or concerning the commercial aspect of the Buccaneers. A little more distant from the sport than most of his brothers and his sister, he notably embarked on a car sales business to expand the Glazers’ empire.

If five of the six children continue to take care of more or less far from the sporting activities of the family business, Kevin seems to look at it from much further. Admittedly, he remains co-owner of Manchester United, but this is above all an investment. Expert in the stock market, some of his administrative moves after the introduction of the Red Devils on the New York Stock Exchange have regularly revived rumors around a sale of the football club. His main activity is the management of Glazer Properties, the real estate entity that has made his family’s fortune for several decades. Clearly, for Kevin, football and the results of the team coached by Erik Ten Hag are not priorities. Except maybe when it drives down the value of his Manchester United shares.

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