Malcolm Glazer dead: Manchester United and Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner dies at 85
His death was announced by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Malcolm Glazer, the controversial billionaire owner of Manchester United, has died.
Glazer bought Manchester United in 2005 for £790 million and presided over an era in which it won the Champions League and five premiership titles but he remained unpopular with many fans who believe he used the club as a cash cow to finance debts.
It remained unclear last night what the repercussions would be for the club, which with the retirement of manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the sacking of his successor David Moyes is already facing an uncertain future.
The club, which is 90 per cent owned by the Glazer family, downplayed the significance of his death and his three sons, Bryan, Joel and Avram, are on the board. A spokesperson at Old Trafford said: “The thoughts of everyone at United are with the family tonight.”
His death, at the age of 86 on Wednesday, was announced by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the US NFL team that the self-made billionaire bought in 1995.
A statement issued by the NFL club said he had a “long established estate succession plan” which means the Buccaneers “will remain with the Glazer family for generations to come” but the future of Manchester United was not mentioned.
Glazer's Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Superbowl in 2003 (AP) Glazer, one of seven children, was born in New York, and he took over the family watch business at the age of 15 when his father died. His investments over the years included holdings in companies such as Harley Davidson and Tonka. Forbes estimated him and his family to be $4 billion.
His health had been failing since 2006 when he suffered two strokes which left him with limited speech and movement.
His ownership of the Buccaneers transformed the team from a laughing stock to a model franchise and one of the most successful teams, including winning the Super Bowl, but his take-over of Manchester United was widely opposed by fans.
Even after a decade of continued success, however, many Manchester United fans accused him of using the club’s money-making capacity to finance other debts rather than using it to invest in transfers and the club’s future.
Manchester United fans protest against the Glazer ownership in 2010 (Getty)
The club was debt-free when he bought it but now has debts amounting to £400 million. He borrowed to finance the purchase and then used the profits to pay off interest.
In its statement announcing his death the Buccaneers paid tribute to him as an owner and businessman.
“A pioneering thinker, Glazer rebuilt the Buccaneers into a model franchise and a Super Bowl winner.
“A dynamic business leader, Glazer helped mold the Buccaneers into a model franchise and one respected league-wide. Since being purchased by Glazer in 1995, the Buccaneers franchise has earned seven playoff berths, five playoff wins, and captured its first Super Bowl championship [in 2003].”
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...