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The Guardian view on Manchester United up for sale: give fans a say in the future | Editorial

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The acquisition of Manchester United by the American Glazer family in 2005 was the most egregious example of carpet-bagging in sporting history.

The Glazer family should never have been given the opportunity to inflict their business model on Manchester United.

In order to buy one of the most famous and profitable football institutions in the world, the Glazers raised £540m worth of debt and then loaded it on to the club itself.

The family have used Manchester United as their private ATM, personally extracting vast sums in dividend payments and “management fees”, and organising soft loans to their other companies.

The spectacle of Manchester United and Liverpool – the country’s two most famous clubs – up for sale should concentrate minds both in Westminster and at the Premier League.

Some United fans will be breathing a sigh of relief that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, having been permitted to buy Newcastle United last year, is unlikely to come knocking at the Glazers’ door.

Fans, whose protests may have contributed to the family’s decision to explore a sale, can celebrate a breakthrough moment.
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