Manchester United Fans Hate Glazers Because of U.S.

08/28/2021

You ask a Manchester United fan why exactly they want their owners, the Glazer family, out of the club, and you'll get some rambling about the poor performance of the team, the European Super League, debt, and not spending enough to improve the team. And if you observe the situation from the outside, this may seem like a logical argument. But in reality, this situation is nothing more than Americanophobia, a disdain for American culture, especially when it comes to the beautiful game.

The Glazers took over in 2005. Since then, Manchester United fans have been using a plethora of baseless excuses to disguise their hate for American influence in their club.

The same owners that just pulled off a last-minute coup to bring club legend, Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club and not their arch-rivals, are the same owners United fans claim don't have the club's best interest in mind.

One argument that's been made is that the Glazers simply haven't invested enough funds into the club. 

Keep in mind that up until this summer, the three most expensive transfers in EPL history were all Manchester United under the Glazers. Pogba in 2016, Lukaku in 2017, and Maguire in 2019. 

Before that, the Glazers funded Ferguson well enough to win five premier league trophies and one championship league trophy in the eight years they enjoyed together. The three champions league finals reached in those eight years were one more than they had in the competition's 50 years before that. Three finals in eight years, compared to two in the 50 years before that . . . how do you do that? With funding to buy quality players.

Since the takeover in 2005, in all of Europe, only super-spenders Manchester City have spent more on transfers than Manchester United. The Glazers have lost $1.2 billion in transfers since they took over, a clear sign of an ownership group looking to make the club as competitive as possible.

Since Manchester United last won the league in Sir Alex Ferguson's last season in 2013, they have had the most expensive transfer in four of those nine seasons, more than any other club. Take a club like Arsenal, who didn't make similar investments to stabilize the club after the exit of a long-serving coach and club legend. Would you rather be a Manchester United or Arsenal fan in 2021? You have the Glazers to thank for that.

And speaking of fan bases, Manchester United fans claim they have been mistreated.

Keep in mind that the Glazers have frozen ticket prices for the last ten years, meaning that despite inflation, they have kept costs the same. It's why Manchester United ticket prices are the least expensive of the Big Six. As of 2020, a Manchester United game was only a pound more expensive than a Southampton game, a club that has only won one major trophy in its 135-year history back in 1976. 

Manchester United has won the most trophies of any British club and is the third most followed club in the world, only behind Barcelona and Real Madrid. Basically, if the Glazers wanted to charge more than any other club, fans would still come to the game, yet they have chosen not to do that. Does that reek of an ownership intent of gouging fans for money? How do you think Arsenal fans feel knowing their club charges more for tickets than any other club in England, despite meager investments and poor results?

Another popular accusation is that the Glazers use the club as an avenue for profit and nothing more. 

The reason being that United now owes money, a contrast to when the Glazers took over. This statement willingly ignores the fact that in modern football, to acquire the best of the best, clubs must sometimes take on debt to invest in the club. When the Glazers took over the club in 2005, the world transfer record was $89 million for Zidane; that fee is less than what Chelsea paid for Kepa in 2018 and what Arsenal paid for Pepe in 2019.

The game has changed, and any club that hopes to compete at the highest level must spend a ton for the best players, and it often requires borrowing money. In the 2020 Premier League season, only two of the 20 clubs were debt-free. Crystal Palace and Aston Villa. Two clubs, who between them, have one major trophy in the last 39 years. Outside of that, every other club had some level of debt, and although Manchester United had the third most debt, it was still near $300 million less than Tottenham and nearly a billion dollars less than Chelsea.

The most important context to this situation is that a not-so-hidden secret in the footballing world is that American participation in the sport is looked at with disdain.

The fact that the game is called soccer, combined with the reality that the United States goes against the grain as virtually the only country in the world where soccer is far from the most popular sport, combines to create a scenario where American influence on the game is laughed at. Particularly in a country like England, which still holds a lot of animosity towards American culture and standing for various reasons.

Remember in 2016 when American coaching legend Bob Bradley left a successful job in France to take on the Swansea job and became the first American head coach in the English Premier League's history? Remember how supporting groups from the clubs immediately released statements criticizing the appointment, saying he only got the job because the club's new owners were American? Basically saying that they didn't want an American man coaching the club, ignoring his history of success in his 19 years as a head coach? Remember how that sentiment transferred over to the players, and before long, Bob Bradley made history once again, this time for the shortest tenure as a head coach in league history. Eighty-seven days was all he got, in pop culture terms, because why not; that is only two weeks longer than Kim Kardashian's marriage to Kris Humphreys.

Americans and British football often do not mix well at all.

And if any United fan wants to tell you they hate the Glazers because of the European Super League, then you know they are new to the fan base because United fans have been complaining about the Glazers since the day they took over. Despite years of success and growth, many fans have fabricated excuse after excuse to explain their hate.

And that tells me all I need to know, that the hate of the Glazers is simply because an American family from Rochester, New York now owns the most profitable and famous club in all of England. Perhaps it's out of passive-aggressive and subconscious disdain for how the turns have tabled. 

England once owned the U.S., but now Manchester United fans have to watch an American family from one of the thirteen states that declared independence from England in 1776 own the most treasured team in England's most treasured industry, in a sport that is the base of English culture. That has to hurt.


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