To buy the world-renowned English football club Manchester United almost eight years ago, Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer and family incurred great debt, and some United fans have been less than pleased about the new ownership.
Nevertheless, Manchester United has fared quite well from a competitive perspective in recent years, winning the Premier League five times in the last seven seasons, including the 2012-13 title. Also, United captured the prestigious UEFA Champions League in 2008. And as the Guardian pointed out in April, the Glazers’ investment could pay off handsomely, with the club valued more than double what it was upon their takeover.
However, United now faces a daunting challenge: replacing retiring manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is leaving his post at season’s end.
In a statement released on the club’s website, Ferguson praised the club’s ownership as well as CEO David Gill.
“Over the past decade, the Glazer family have provided me with the platform to manage Manchester United to the best of my ability and I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a talented and trustworthy Chief Executive in David Gill,” Ferguson said. “I am truly grateful to all of them.”
Joel Glazer, a co-chairman of the Buccaneers, an executive co-chairman of United and the son of Malcolm Glazer, paid tribute to Ferguson.
“Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is but he’s also a wonderful person. His determination to succeed and dedication to the Club have been truly remarkable,” Glazer said in a statement from the club.
Malcolm Glazer has owned the Buccaneers for close to 20 years. The team has hired four new head coaches in that span: Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, Raheem Morris and Greg Schiano. The firings of Dungy and Gruden were big NFL stories; Dungy, after all, helped lead the Buccaneers to four playoff berths, and Gruden’s first Buccaneers team won the franchise’s only Super Bowl.
However, it’s safe to say the Glazer family has never been involved in a coaching change of the magnitude that will occur at United. In 26 seasons as United’s manager, Ferguson won 13 Premier League championships, and he was knighted in 1999.
According to the Guardian, Everton manager David Moyes appears a strong candidate to replace Ferguson.