Do the Glazers really own United?

fastwalker

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Who owns Manchester United? Obviously the Glazer's are the legal owners of the Manchester United brand, assets and resources, but does that mean that they 'own' the club? Remember United is more than its brand, assets and resources (all of which can be purchased as a legal entity), it is also a social entity ie: the loyalty, passion and commitment of fans. The truth is this: without the latter the former depreciates in value and if the former were to depreciate in value, then the Glazers will likely be gone within months.

Sounds easy doesn't it? But here lies the problem:

1. There is no homogeneity in fandom - like all owners the Glazer's have rightly calculated that United fans are disparate and all have different trigger points and passion levels. There are some that follow the club home and away, others who have never been to a United game but follow avidly from afar, others who follow the club in name only and others who associate with the club's success etc etc. The term 'fan' is a silly generic term used to describe a diverse and eclectic group and in that chaos the Glazer's thrive, because the fandom cannot and does speak with one voice. There is no leader or shop steward with the authority to speak on behalf of the fanbase and mobilise it to action.

2. Fans are fickle - the so called 'anti-Glazer' movement has been around for about 14 years. However, there is nothing quite like the shiny object of on-field success to cause United fans to start thumb-sucking again. A win here and a win there is all that is required to cool the fury of the Glazer-out movement.

3. United fans are not ready to 'kill' the club in order to save it - the Glazer's know only too well that the vast majority of United fans love the club way too much to harm it in order to save it. Forget the FC United protest - much as it has been a model in fan ownership of football clubs, it has in no way diminished or loosened the grip that the Glazer's have on United.

4. United fans are addicts - the truth is that like fans in other clubs the Glazers, being the savvy business people they are understand that United fans are like drug addicts. Much as we protest, complain and spew anti-Glazer frustration, we will then go off an buy as much merchandise as we can afford. By so doing, we provide the Glazers the very incentive they look for to remain at United. Until such as time as the profits drop and Sky Sports are greeted by empty seats for live games don't expect anything to change.

The fact is this: it is not that United fans don't have the power. Far from it, we have all of the power. We know it and most of all the Glazer's know it as well. The problem is that we just do not know how to harness the power that we have.

Any thoughts?
 

Aouer-United

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Something needs to change the law so Glazers has to pay the money back for the club who financed Glazer's loans, he never paid at full price to own the club so he only have two options, is to pay back or sell the club.
 

Eckers99

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Some abstract thinking going on right here. Yes, the Glazers own United. The fans are no more owners than people who drink coffee own Starbucks. Even if they are really passionate about skinny lattes.
 

Amerifan

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Since United is a public corporation the public shareholders own a non-controlling interest in the company. The Glazers own controlling interest. I understand United’s debt is secured by company assets, so in theory the debt holders could call their loans and potentially amass a controlling interest if the Glazers were unable to come up with the cash. But why would the debt holders do that, when the loans are current and the collateral strong. Because some fans are unhappy. That’s not the business the debt holders are in.
 

Valar Morghulis

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Some abstract thinking going on right here. Yes, the Glazers own United. The fans are no more owners than people who drink coffee own Starbucks. Even if they are really passionate about skinny lattes.
What if they're really, really passionate and their dads loved skinny lattes too and they live in the same city where Starbucks was founded?
 

ivaldo

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Someone should start up a new Manchester United, that's the same as the old Manchester United but with a changed name that's similar to Manchester United. That'll show em.
 

ICHM

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Glazers own 90% of United technically. I wish the ugly f..kers would feck off.
 

Jippy

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Who owns Manchester United? Obviously the Glazer's are the legal owners of the Manchester United brand, assets and resources, but does that mean that they 'own' the club? Remember United is more than its brand, assets and resources (all of which can be purchased as a legal entity), it is also a social entity ie: the loyalty, passion and commitment of fans. The truth is this: without the latter the former depreciates in value and if the former were to depreciate in value, then the Glazers will likely be gone within months.

Sounds easy doesn't it? But here lies the problem:

1. There is no homogeneity in fandom - like all owners the Glazer's have rightly calculated that United fans are disparate and all have different trigger points and passion levels. There are some that follow the club home and away, others who have never been to a United game but follow avidly from afar, others who follow the club in name only and others who associate with the club's success etc etc. The term 'fan' is a silly generic term used to describe a diverse and eclectic group and in that chaos the Glazer's thrive, because the fandom cannot and does speak with one voice. There is no leader or shop steward with the authority to speak on behalf of the fanbase and mobilise it to action.

2. Fans are fickle - the so called 'anti-Glazer' movement has been around for about 14 years. However, there is nothing quite like the shiny object of on-field success to cause United fans to start thumb-sucking again. A win here and a win there is all that is required to cool the fury of the Glazer-out movement.

3. United fans are not ready to 'kill' the club in order to save it - the Glazer's know only too well that the vast majority of United fans love the club way too much to harm it in order to save it. Forget the FC United protest - much as it has been a model in fan ownership of football clubs, it has in no way diminished or loosened the grip that the Glazer's have on United.

4. United fans are addicts - the truth is that like fans in other clubs the Glazers, being the savvy business people they are understand that United fans are like drug addicts. Much as we protest, complain and spew anti-Glazer frustration, we will then go off an buy as much merchandise as we can afford. By so doing, we provide the Glazers the very incentive they look for to remain at United. Until such as time as the profits drop and Sky Sports are greeted by empty seats for live games don't expect anything to change.

The fact is this: it is not that United fans don't have the power. Far from it, we have all of the power. We know it and most of all the Glazer's know it as well. The problem is that we just do not know how to harness the power that we have.

Any thoughts?
So what are your suggestions?
 

Enigma_87

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Last time I checked - they did.
 

Scotty McT

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Who owns Manchester United? Obviously the Glazer's are the legal owners of the Manchester United brand, assets and resources, but does that mean that they 'own' the club? Remember United is more than its brand, assets and resources (all of which can be purchased as a legal entity), it is also a social entity ie: the loyalty, passion and commitment of fans. The truth is this: without the latter the former depreciates in value and if the former were to depreciate in value, then the Glazers will likely be gone within months.

Sounds easy doesn't it? But here lies the problem:

1. There is no homogeneity in fandom - like all owners the Glazer's have rightly calculated that United fans are disparate and all have different trigger points and passion levels. There are some that follow the club home and away, others who have never been to a United game but follow avidly from afar, others who follow the club in name only and others who associate with the club's success etc etc. The term 'fan' is a silly generic term used to describe a diverse and eclectic group and in that chaos the Glazer's thrive, because the fandom cannot and does speak with one voice. There is no leader or shop steward with the authority to speak on behalf of the fanbase and mobilise it to action.

2. Fans are fickle - the so called 'anti-Glazer' movement has been around for about 14 years. However, there is nothing quite like the shiny object of on-field success to cause United fans to start thumb-sucking again. A win here and a win there is all that is required to cool the fury of the Glazer-out movement.

3. United fans are not ready to 'kill' the club in order to save it - the Glazer's know only too well that the vast majority of United fans love the club way too much to harm it in order to save it. Forget the FC United protest - much as it has been a model in fan ownership of football clubs, it has in no way diminished or loosened the grip that the Glazer's have on United.

4. United fans are addicts - the truth is that like fans in other clubs the Glazers, being the savvy business people they are understand that United fans are like drug addicts. Much as we protest, complain and spew anti-Glazer frustration, we will then go off an buy as much merchandise as we can afford. By so doing, we provide the Glazers the very incentive they look for to remain at United. Until such as time as the profits drop and Sky Sports are greeted by empty seats for live games don't expect anything to change.

The fact is this: it is not that United fans don't have the power. Far from it, we have all of the power. We know it and most of all the Glazer's know it as well. The problem is that we just do not know how to harness the power that we have.

Any thoughts?
Did you write that for your GCSE?
 

Green_Red

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Who owns Manchester United? Obviously the Glazer's are the legal owners of the Manchester United brand, assets and resources, but does that mean that they 'own' the club? Remember United is more than its brand, assets and resources (all of which can be purchased as a legal entity), it is also a social entity ie: the loyalty, passion and commitment of fans. The truth is this: without the latter the former depreciates in value and if the former were to depreciate in value, then the Glazers will likely be gone within months.

Sounds easy doesn't it? But here lies the problem:

1. There is no homogeneity in fandom - like all owners the Glazer's have rightly calculated that United fans are disparate and all have different trigger points and passion levels. There are some that follow the club home and away, others who have never been to a United game but follow avidly from afar, others who follow the club in name only and others who associate with the club's success etc etc. The term 'fan' is a silly generic term used to describe a diverse and eclectic group and in that chaos the Glazer's thrive, because the fandom cannot and does speak with one voice. There is no leader or shop steward with the authority to speak on behalf of the fanbase and mobilise it to action.

2. Fans are fickle - the so called 'anti-Glazer' movement has been around for about 14 years. However, there is nothing quite like the shiny object of on-field success to cause United fans to start thumb-sucking again. A win here and a win there is all that is required to cool the fury of the Glazer-out movement.

3. United fans are not ready to 'kill' the club in order to save it - the Glazer's know only too well that the vast majority of United fans love the club way too much to harm it in order to save it. Forget the FC United protest - much as it has been a model in fan ownership of football clubs, it has in no way diminished or loosened the grip that the Glazer's have on United.

4. United fans are addicts - the truth is that like fans in other clubs the Glazers, being the savvy business people they are understand that United fans are like drug addicts. Much as we protest, complain and spew anti-Glazer frustration, we will then go off an buy as much merchandise as we can afford. By so doing, we provide the Glazers the very incentive they look for to remain at United. Until such as time as the profits drop and Sky Sports are greeted by empty seats for live games don't expect anything to change.

The fact is this: it is not that United fans don't have the power. Far from it, we have all of the power. We know it and most of all the Glazer's know it as well. The problem is that we just do not know how to harness the power that we have.

Any thoughts?
MUST -Man Utd Supporters Trust

I think the existence of FC United of Manchester is proof that 'fans' are willing to a lot further than just a green and gold campaign.
 

Johan07

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The Glazers control United. They dont own it by themselves anymore. I own a part (as small as it is), as do many other small shareholders who bought the shares that the club floated on the NYSE. And some really big investment funds have large holdings; like Baron Capital which holds as much as 24 percent of the shares floated on NYSE as of today.
The Glazers own between 80-90 percent of the shares currently issued (I didnt have time to check the exact number as of today).
Voting power is something else.
 

Johan07

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The Glazers control United. They dont own it by themselves anymore. I own a part (as small as it is), as do many other small shareholders who bought the shares that the club floated on the NYSE. And some really big investment funds have large holdings; like Baron Capital which holds as much as 24 percent of the shares floated on NYSE as of today.
The Glazers own between 80-90 percent of the shares currently issued (I didnt have time to check the exact number as of today).
Voting power is something else.
EDIT
The Glazers holding might even be lower than 80 percent of the total shares today.
 

Buster15

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The Glazers own Utd. Everything else is incidental.
Quite right. Of course our fans/supporters have an emotional bond with Manchester United. But the Glazers own the Football club full stop.
 

Grande

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The Glazers own Utd. Everything else is incidental.
Not alone, they don’t.

EDIT
The Glazers holding might even be lower than 80 percent of the total shares today.
So one could say, ok, so they don’t own all of it, but enough of it to fully control it. But equally then, one could say, if the employees (managers, staff, players) or fans unite to control factors that Glazers depend on, we can indirectly control them and thereby control the club. Owning it is not 100% the same as controlling it. The OP points are valid - United ‘fans’ are a diverse lot and hard to organize around one common goal and one common action as a means to that goal. But if we did, Glazers would have to be completely self destructive to ignore it. But again: How to unite a un-united united?

MUST -Man Utd Supporters Trust

I think the existence of FC United of Manchester is proof that 'fans' are willing to a lot further than just a green and gold campaign.
I agree that MUST and FCUM are two different examples of uniting for Manchester United against Glazers. One is the carrot and the other is the stick. When the two movements were at their strongest, Glazers were more willing to invest in players and eventually more willing to start listening to fans about things to do with prices and stadium. If 80% of United ‘fans’ united around their goals and actions, though, the leverage would be much higher. Especially if it endured.
 

JamesCurran

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Your basically explaining how a business works? If they stop getting customers they business doesn't make as much revenue and is worth less as a result?

The Glazers own Manchester United (Red Football Limited) bar the small amount of shares they have sold on the stock exchange and we are all their customers, same as Mark Zuckerburg owning Facebook and all users are customers one way or another, if everyone stopped using it then it loses it value and revenue. The social entity doesn't own Facebook.

The same way I don't own the local corner shop just because I am a customer.
 

Tom Cato

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Who owns Manchester United? Obviously the Glazer's are the legal owners of the Manchester United brand, assets and resources, but does that mean that they 'own' the club? Remember United is more than its brand, assets and resources (all of which can be purchased as a legal entity), it is also a social entity ie: the loyalty, passion and commitment of fans. The truth is this: without the latter the former depreciates in value and if the former were to depreciate in value, then the Glazers will likely be gone within months.

Sounds easy doesn't it? But here lies the problem:

1. There is no homogeneity in fandom - like all owners the Glazer's have rightly calculated that United fans are disparate and all have different trigger points and passion levels. There are some that follow the club home and away, others who have never been to a United game but follow avidly from afar, others who follow the club in name only and others who associate with the club's success etc etc. The term 'fan' is a silly generic term used to describe a diverse and eclectic group and in that chaos the Glazer's thrive, because the fandom cannot and does speak with one voice. There is no leader or shop steward with the authority to speak on behalf of the fanbase and mobilise it to action.

2. Fans are fickle - the so called 'anti-Glazer' movement has been around for about 14 years. However, there is nothing quite like the shiny object of on-field success to cause United fans to start thumb-sucking again. A win here and a win there is all that is required to cool the fury of the Glazer-out movement.

3. United fans are not ready to 'kill' the club in order to save it - the Glazer's know only too well that the vast majority of United fans love the club way too much to harm it in order to save it. Forget the FC United protest - much as it has been a model in fan ownership of football clubs, it has in no way diminished or loosened the grip that the Glazer's have on United.

4. United fans are addicts - the truth is that like fans in other clubs the Glazers, being the savvy business people they are understand that United fans are like drug addicts. Much as we protest, complain and spew anti-Glazer frustration, we will then go off an buy as much merchandise as we can afford. By so doing, we provide the Glazers the very incentive they look for to remain at United. Until such as time as the profits drop and Sky Sports are greeted by empty seats for live games don't expect anything to change.

The fact is this: it is not that United fans don't have the power. Far from it, we have all of the power. We know it and most of all the Glazer's know it as well. The problem is that we just do not know how to harness the power that we have.

Any thoughts?
The Glazer family own a controlling interest in Manchester United Football Club, so for all intents and purposes, yes.

As for the argument that the fans loyalty is what really owns the club.

Well, every club, company and association is going to go down into the annals of history at some point. And it always happens over time with loss of interest, control or an inability to change with the times. The argument that the fans control the club is a philosophical one, but unfortunately its non consequencial. Even if half of the people who attend Old Trafford games wear the old colors. They still attend the Old Trafford games. If the fans stop showing up, the seats are empty, but the TV deals are so staggeringly huge that PL clubs almost don't need fan attendance at matches to break even. (This is not COMPLETELY true any longer, but its not far from it. Fan attendance is not the biggest factor that keeps the paychecks flowing).

What fans CAN do is influence sponsors to pull out of the club, but how on earth they are going to do that is another question. But they will be replaced by a new sponsor. AND, even if every single Old Trafford regular stopped showing for games, and tweeted angrily at the Glazers on the daily, you would just bring more global media exposure to a club that already has hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. The local fans who attend games are very nice to have and absolutely a part of the club, but they are not that imporant.

Want to hurt the clubs in the Premier League? Stop watching TV.
 

Le Red

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Someone should start up a new Manchester United, that's the same as the old Manchester United but with a changed name that's similar to Manchester United. That'll show em.
Man Red?
 

Dennis_Law

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Who owns Manchester United? Obviously the Glazer's are the legal owners of the Manchester United brand, assets and resources, but does that mean that they 'own' the club? Remember United is more than its brand, assets and resources (all of which can be purchased as a legal entity), it is also a social entity ie: the loyalty, passion and commitment of fans. The truth is this: without the latter the former depreciates in value and if the former were to depreciate in value, then the Glazers will likely be gone within months.

Sounds easy doesn't it? But here lies the problem:

1. There is no homogeneity in fandom - like all owners the Glazer's have rightly calculated that United fans are disparate and all have different trigger points and passion levels. There are some that follow the club home and away, others who have never been to a United game but follow avidly from afar, others who follow the club in name only and others who associate with the club's success etc etc. The term 'fan' is a silly generic term used to describe a diverse and eclectic group and in that chaos the Glazer's thrive, because the fandom cannot and does speak with one voice. There is no leader or shop steward with the authority to speak on behalf of the fanbase and mobilise it to action.

2. Fans are fickle - the so called 'anti-Glazer' movement has been around for about 14 years. However, there is nothing quite like the shiny object of on-field success to cause United fans to start thumb-sucking again. A win here and a win there is all that is required to cool the fury of the Glazer-out movement.

3. United fans are not ready to 'kill' the club in order to save it - the Glazer's know only too well that the vast majority of United fans love the club way too much to harm it in order to save it. Forget the FC United protest - much as it has been a model in fan ownership of football clubs, it has in no way diminished or loosened the grip that the Glazer's have on United.

4. United fans are addicts - the truth is that like fans in other clubs the Glazers, being the savvy business people they are understand that United fans are like drug addicts. Much as we protest, complain and spew anti-Glazer frustration, we will then go off an buy as much merchandise as we can afford. By so doing, we provide the Glazers the very incentive they look for to remain at United. Until such as time as the profits drop and Sky Sports are greeted by empty seats for live games don't expect anything to change.

The fact is this: it is not that United fans don't have the power. Far from it, we have all of the power. We know it and most of all the Glazer's know it as well. The problem is that we just do not know how to harness the power that we have.

Any thoughts?
I think you have forgotten a 5th: United fans (most, not all) just cannot or will not hear a bad word said against their manager from 1986-2013, even though he took several years before winning anything, bought some right duff players during his middle period and towards the end kowtowed to the Glazers for his own personal gain leaving a club which looked solid from the outside, but was in effect a structure built on sand. Sinking sand. Oh and to repair things he recommended a certain David Moyes.....
 

fastwalker

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The Glazer family own a controlling interest in Manchester United Football Club, so for all intents and purposes, yes.

As for the argument that the fans loyalty is what really owns the club.

Well, every club, company and association is going to go down into the annals of history at some point. And it always happens over time with loss of interest, control or an inability to change with the times. The argument that the fans control the club is a philosophical one, but unfortunately its non consequencial. Even if half of the people who attend Old Trafford games wear the old colors. They still attend the Old Trafford games. If the fans stop showing up, the seats are empty, but the TV deals are so staggeringly huge that PL clubs almost don't need fan attendance at matches to break even. (This is not COMPLETELY true any longer, but its not far from it. Fan attendance is not the biggest factor that keeps the paychecks flowing).

What fans CAN do is influence sponsors to pull out of the club, but how on earth they are going to do that is another question. But they will be replaced by a new sponsor. AND, even if every single Old Trafford regular stopped showing for games, and tweeted angrily at the Glazers on the daily, you would just bring more global media exposure to a club that already has hundreds of millions of fans worldwide. The local fans who attend games are very nice to have and absolutely a part of the club, but they are not that imporant.

Want to hurt the clubs in the Premier League? Stop watching TV.
I agree. That is my point about United ownership being both a legal as well as social entity. As hard as they try and as much as they would like, the Glazer family can never take ownership of the social entity that is Manchester United. The premise of the OP is that the potency of that social entity is the extent to which it can be mobilised, capitalised and ultimately weaponized to exert power and influence. It is the diverse and often conflicting interests that comprise fan loyalty that the Glazers are counting on to retain ownership of the club.
 

Offsideagain

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Who owns Man City? Sheik Mansour? The ABU Dhabi Emirate (which is Sheik Mansour), UEFA (as they do feck all when City break the rules) . In fact everything in the Abu Dhabi Emirate will be owned by Mansour and his family. United is the Glazers cash cow therefore you can at least see a reason for them carrying on. Mansour has pumped over £1 billion of his own dosh into City and will wait years to get it back. I believe he has a ‘IOU’ somewhere so why did he buy them? Real life monopoly perhaps. Trying to get one over the other Arab owned clubs which he hasn’t done yet.

So anyone waiting for the Glazers to disappear or even Woodward is in for a long long wait unless that Saudi Prince buys them out.
 

Nou_Camp99

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They own us. End of.

However the day they sell us will be a happy one indeed unless they sell us to even bigger charlatans than they are. :(

The Glazers have been the worst thing to happen to the club since Munich. Relegation to old division two wasn't even as bad as what they've done to us.
 
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Something needs to change the law so Glazers has to pay the money back for the club who financed Glazer's loans, he never paid at full price to own the club so he only have two options, is to pay back or sell the club.
If you have a house with a mortgage, perhaps you should give the house to the bank?

It’s called a leveraged buy out, and it’s perfectly normal in business. It’s only emotive as it’s a football club, and not a business without fans.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the owners of the club (Edwards) who listed Utd on the stock exchange in the 90’s.
 

wolvored

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Not alone, they don’t.



So one could say, ok, so they don’t own all of it, but enough of it to fully control it. But equally then, one could say, if the employees (managers, staff, players) or fans unite to control factors that Glazers depend on, we can indirectly control them and thereby control the club. Owning it is not 100% the same as controlling it. The OP points are valid - United ‘fans’ are a diverse lot and hard to organize around one common goal and one common action as a means to that goal. But if we did, Glazers would have to be completely self destructive to ignore it. But again: How to unite a un-united united?



I agree that MUST and FCUM are two different examples of uniting for Manchester United against Glazers. One is the carrot and the other is the stick. When the two movements were at their strongest, Glazers were more willing to invest in players and eventually more willing to start listening to fans about things to do with prices and stadium. If 80% of United ‘fans’ united around their goals and actions, though, the leverage would be much higher. Especially if it endured.
Glazers say were selling naming rights were selling pogba were closing Carrington, who would be able to say no in your opinion
 

Aouer-United

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If you have a house with a mortgage, perhaps you should give the house to the bank?

It’s called a leveraged buy out, and it’s perfectly normal in business. It’s only emotive as it’s a football club, and not a business without fans.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the owners of the club (Edwards) who listed Utd on the stock exchange in the 90’s.
Seriously, are you comparing the club to the house? The club earns money themselves to finance the Glazer's loan and saddled with debt under their name, not Glazers. Technically the Glazer didn't pay for full ownership, they use the leveraged loan to buy out outright and inserting all of Glazer's debt into United's so Glazer doesn't have to pay the loan and United does, how is it fair? This is one of the reasons I think something needs to change the law about this
 

Grande

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Glazers say were selling naming rights were selling pogba were closing Carrington, who would be able to say no in your opinion
To turn it around (to try to answer), in fear of what do you think they haven’t already done so?

I think if Glazers overnight sold our stadium name, our most popular players (not sure Pogba is one of them for the time being) and shut out fans, they’d be able to unite and galvanize more fans against them quicker than any one else, including MUST, Red Knights, Ole or Sir Alex if they tried. And that’s why they don’t, because they respect and maybe even fear that power as a threat to their project with investing in ownership of Man Utd.