The Glazers’ time at Manchester United continues to be a hot topic for fans, with Gary Neville taking another swipe at the club’s controversial owners in recent days.
The American family have faced widespread criticism and protests from supporters, virtually from the moment they took control of the club. Their tenure has seen United undergo a steady decline over the years, although the family have continued to take money out of the club.
Despite being worth an estimated $ 3.1billion, the Glazers have regularly taken large sums out of the club, with their latest package seeing them take an £ 11million dividend out on Friday. The latest payment comes at a particularly inopportune time for United, with the club yet to make any new signings following a disastrous 2021/22 campaign, and with the new season now just over a month away.
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Former United captain Neville has been one of the Glazers’ most vocal critics over the years, and has called for them to stop taking dividends out while the club continues to slide. Amid reports that transfer target Christian Eriksen is weighing up whether to stay with Brentford or complete a move to Old Trafford, Neville took the opportunity to take another swipe at the club’s owners.
“That’s why dividends have to stop for a period,” Neville tweeted. “Every penny has to go back into the club until it becomes attractive again.
“The club has become a graveyard for players. Culturally for owners to take [money] out of a poorly performing business is demoralizing! “
Neville’s comments will strike a chord with United supporters, who have regularly shown their disapproval of the Glazers’ ownership. But who exactly are the people Neville is accusing of turning United into a “graveyard for players”?
The club is owned by the six children of the late Malcolm Glazer, who acquired the ownership of United back in 2005 following a £ 790million takeover through investment company Red Football Ltd. They are Joel, Darcie, Kevin, Bryan, Edward and Avram.
Joel and Avram are the two figures that United fans will be most familiar with. The pair have been in charge of the day-to-day running of the club since their father suffered a stroke in April 2006.
Following Malcom’s death in May 2014, the 90 per cent controlling stake he owned was split equally between his children. Joel and Avram were subsequently made co-chairman, with Kevin, Bryan, Darcie and Edward non-executive directors of the club.
As of September 2021, Joel held the largest share in the club with a 17.79 per cent stake. Darcie held a 16.9 per cent stake, while Kevin was not too far behind with a 16.85 per cent share.
Bryan held 16.04 per cent of the controlling stake, while the youngest of the siblings Edward had a 15.73 per cent share. Despite being co-chairman alongside Joel, Avram actually held the smallest share in the family with a 13.39 per cent stake in the club.
Since then though, the family have sold some of their shares, with their overall stake in United decreasing. Kevin and Edward offloaded 5million and 4.5million of their shares respectively for a total of $ 161.3m (around £ 117m).
The Glazer family’s total combined ownership of the club now stands at 69 per cent. They have stated though that they have no plans to sell their controlling stake.