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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Malcolm Glazer on his way to owning Manchester United

for all the talk of how it would never happen its going to happen.,. american glazer, known as the owner of the tampa bay bucs of the nfl, just bought a 28% stake in man u owned by two irish ... with this huge purchase he now counts with 57% of the shares... its going to be very hard for anyone to stop him.. i have to say i'm not sure what the huge problem man u fans have with glazer is... he's a shareholder and has a right just like anyone else to acquire as many shares as he wants.. if he gets the most shares- under any nation's corporate law- he has the right to become chief executive officer (or appoint one) and run the affairs.... the british man u fans seem opposed to him merely because he is american... tough luck!..

if i remember correctly man u was a public club until the early 90s when its shares were placed on the london stock exchange.. in other words, like most clubs in the world (and unlike the US) the club belonged to the members who i guess paid a monthly dues to be members.. in the early 90s i think the club management decided they could raise money (and make money for themselves too of course i 'm sure) by placing shares on the stock exchange.... the members got shares too i guess.. but the problem with this is that of course you essentially privatized the club and the members lost pull and left themselves open to someone coming in and buying a controlling stake.. until glazer things worked well as there were some minority owners like these irish with 28% and then glazer started off last year with something like 15%... but if you live by the sword or the market then you leave yourself open for this to happen.. it seems innane that the club management that was so happy recommending stocks be sold in the early 90s now is unhappy because someone playing by the rules is buying control and of course is going to run out the management that has opposed him the whole way... the management i'm sure was counting on a continued situation with many minority shareholders in which case they- the managers- could remain in control... well, they calculated wrong... at least this is the way i think the situation is for all the talk about an american buying the club etc..

the ap article here

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