As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get ready to do a cannonball into the free-agent pool (as long as it doesn’t cost too much money), ownership is facing a threat to its control of Manchester United, the English soccer powerhouse.
While the Glazer family insists that Manchester United isn’t for sale, multiple outlets (including the BBC) report that a group of financiers have met to discuss a possible hostile takeover of the team.
The group calls itself the “Red Knights,” and they met on Monday.
The existence of more than $1.1 billion in debt has prompted increasing concerns regarding the Glazers’ ability to properly run the franchise. And the cash issues regarding the soccer club have caused many Bucs fans to wonder whether profits from owning a pro football team are being diverted to the Manchester United debt and not being devoted to acquiring better football players. (There’s no evidence that this is actually occurring.)
Part of the problem is that folks in England never have completely warmed up to American ownership of their soccer clubs, and so anything that the Glazers do or don’t do will be criticized. The existence of enormous debt, however, provides an easy excuse for folks to pile on. More problematically for the Glazers, it finally has sparked what could become a real threat to their ongoing ownership of the team.
Such an outcome might be seen as good news not only by fans of Manchester United, but also by fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.