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Malcolm In The Middle
The fans may not like it, but Malcolm Glazer may be Manchester United’s best hope of catching Chelsea next season, says Tony Cascarino
Tony Cascarino, 05 May 2005
Maybe I’m missing something, but the fans’ opposition to Malcolm Glazer taking over at Manchester United seems to boil down to one thing – he’s American! I honestly think that if his name was Oglazervich and he’d made his money in the Russian oilfields, those same supporters would be outside Old Trafford now demanding that the board accept his offer.
I heard the same, “He doesn’t understand our game”, arguments two-years ago when Roman Abramovich took over at Chelsea and now you’d be lynched if you said anything negative about him in South-West London.
What it boils down to is a fear of the unknown, and not appreciating what Malcolm Glazer’s achieved in America. When he bought the Tampa Bay Bucaneers in 1995 they were worth $195 million. Eight years and a Superbowl win later, they were valued at $671 million, which is a 300% return on his investment. This is a man who wants to make money by winning things, not asset stripping.
What is damaging to Manchester United is that until the matter’s resolved, Alex Ferguson can’t be active in the transfer market. If you look at Man U’s successes, they always came on the back of Alex signing players for what at the time was a record British transfer fee. United’s chances of winning the Premiership without bringing in the modern day Roy Keane, Gary Pallister or Steve Bruce are neglible. Ten years ago if Alex had wanted Steven Gerrard he’d have got him, whereas now he’s third or fourth in the queue.
The other problem he has at the moment is Rio Ferdinand. Does he say, “This is what we’re prepared to pay, take it or leave it”, or do whatever it takes to keep him at Old Trafford? If Man U were winning things I’d say the latter, but they’re not and you can’t be handing out a hundred and fifty grand a week to one player when there’s serious squad rebuilding to be done.
What I don’t buy is that Rio “owes” United because of the way they “stood by him” during his nine-month suspension. If it had been someone like Nicky Butt, or Louis Saha now, who wasn’t so crucial to the team, they wouldn’t have waited around for him. There’s no loyalty in football, just expediency.