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UPDATE: Joel Glazer responds to Bucs sale rumors

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Here's ownership's response to the original story, per the team's official website:

Statement by Joel Glazer, Co-Chairman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

"The report today by WDAE's Dan Sileo about our family and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is 100 percent false.

"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not, nor have they ever been for sale. In addition, our family or any of our related companies have never invested one penny with Bernie Madoff.

"The report is baseless, irresponsible and slanderous. This type of behavior by Mr. Sileo and his company Clear Channel will be dealt with in the appropriate manner."

Original story below.

In 1995, Malcolm Glazer outbid George Steinbrenner (marking the last recorded instance of a Steinbrenner outbid) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Glazer paid a then-record $192 million for the team, which sounds like relative chump change now. Forbes recently valued the Bucs at $1.085 billion, eighth-highest among NFL teams. But the Bucs entered the 2009 season with the most room available under the salary cap, and they remain approximately $23 million under at a time when other teams are using creative accounting to get their roster under the glass ceiling. The team is 0-7, rookie coach Raheem Morris looks to be in over his head, and the quarterback battle is between two inexperienced Joshes -- Johnson and Freeman. The formerly impenetrable defense looks incapable of stopping a good Valdosta State team, and fans are apoplectic. Not Washington Redskins apoplectic, but pretty fed up.

It's now coming out that the story of the Buccaneers may have more to do with what's happening off the field. The Glazer family (Bryan Glazer pictured above with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) also owns the Manchester United team, and according to a report from Business Insider, financial losses in the management of that team may affect the family's interest in further NFL ownership. Radio station WDAE recently reported that the Buccaneers either are, or soon will be, up for sale. Goodell has rebuffed any claims that the Bucs are operating on the cheap, or siphoning NFL profits to prop up an ailing soccer team.

"That charge has no merit,'' Goodell told the Tampa Tribune. "The Glazer family has consistently demonstrated a commitment to winning in the NFL and that has not changed. They've restructured their organization and patience will be a No. 1 imperative in Tampa.''

Well, either WDAE got it wrong, or Goodell's about to get a nasty shock from the Tampa area. It's worth noting that the Glazers aren't terribly popular in England, either -- when the Bucs traveled to England to get smacked around by the Patriots last week, British media was denied any access to the Bucs/Man United ownership group. Literally and figuratively, unanswered questions surround this team. Ticket sales are down, apathy is up, and if the Glazers are running out of the kind of capital they would need to operate both teams, it may be time to cut bait.

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