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Not such a special relationship: US owners' checkered history of investing in English soccer

May 3, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.6%. 2 min read.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 02: The United Trinity statue is seen as fans protest Manchester United's Glazer ownership outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on May 02, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

They are the US billionaire owners of multiple sports teams, but you don't often see the likes of Arsenal's Stan Kroenke, Liverpool's John W. Henry and the Glazer family, which runs Manchester United, popping into the stadiums of their clubs to watch the teams they bought.

Henry and the Glazer family, which runs Manchester United, popping into the stadiums of their clubs to watch the teams they bought.

Sunday's postponement of the game between Manchester United and Liverpool due to fan protests -- that at times turned ugly -- brought into sharp focus the dissatisfaction of many supporters over the way the Glazer family have run the Premier League's most successful team.

In response to the protest, Manchester United issued a statement, saying: "The club has no desire to see peaceful protestors punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or member identified . . .

United fans' discontent with the Glazers has intensified after six of England's top clubs signed up last month to join the European Super League (ESL) -- a multibillion dollar competition consisting of 12 of the biggest teams in European football.

"After sixteen years not one member of the Glazer family has ever had so much as a conversation with us," said the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), a group of more than 200,000 club supporters, said in a statement on Monday.

Manchester United was a debt-free club before the Glazers bought the team.

While the Glazers point to a meteoric uptick in the club's commercial revenues, MUST is calling for a more fan-oriented ownership model after Sunday's protests.

One of the points includes Manchester United fans being offered the opportunity to buy Glazer family shares in the club until they have been "reduced to a minority or indeed being bought out altogether. "

by summa-bot

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