More than a decade ago, the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the owners of the Manchester United soccer club in England. The move created local controversy then, and it’s still creating controversy now.
As explained by Cindy Boren of the Washington Post, fans of Manchester United recently have embarked on a publicity campaign aimed at pressuring the Glazer family to sell the team.
A #GlazersOut Twitter effort has unfolded throughout the month, the product of an extended run of mediocrity from the franchise. Despite winning the Premier League championship 20 times, Manchester United hasn’t secured a title in six years. It also hasn’t reached the coveted Champions League final since 2011.
Apart from the fact that the Glazers are viewed as foreign interlopers who have little involvement in the team, debt has been a major issue for the club since the Glazers purchased it, which contributes to the perception/reality that enough isn’t being done to make the team as competitive as it could be.
It’s unlikely that any of this will matter. The criticism didn’t keep the Glazers from buying the team in the first place, and it hasn’t deterred them from holding it all these years. A semi-organized effort to get them to sell will barely be noticed — especially since they’ve apparently done a very good job of not paying attention.
Of course, that may be a little bit harder to do when the Buccaneers return to England this season for a game against the Panthers.