Former Man Utd owner Glazer died at 85

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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The move paid off right away. Gruden led the Bucs to their first NFL title the following season, and Glazer joined in the celebration in the locker room.

"He came from heaven and he brought us to heaven," Glazer said at the time. "We were waiting for the right man and the right man came — Jon Gruden."

The family fired Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen after the 2008 season, however, when the team completed one of the biggest collapses in NFL history, losing four straight games following a 9-3 start to miss the playoffs. The slide continued in 2009 under new coach Raheem Morris as the Bucs went 3-13, their worst record since 1991.

The family didn't get a warm reception in Britain, where United fans protested and burned Glazer's likeness in effigy because they feared the American was acquiring the storied British football club purely for financial gain.

At the time, Mark Longden of the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, said his group was "calling on all supporters to wear black. If they can get hold of black flags, they should wave them because it represents what is happening to the club."

But the club had success on the pitch, winning the League Cup in 2006, 2009 and 2010, the English Premier League from 2007-09, 2011 and 2013 and European Cup and Club World Cup titles in 2008.

Within a year of the leveraged buyout, Glazer had two strokes and his children ran the 20-time English champions, with all of them sitting on the board of directors and owning the remaining 90 percent of the club that was not listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012.

Although United's debt has dropped from a high of high of $1.1 billion in 2008-09 to $590 million, anger toward the Glazers has remained among sections of the fan base. The family's divisiveness in Manchester has been exacerbated by its reluctance to engage with any supporters or speak publicly about the club.

Despite its worst league finish in 24 years this season, United has been generating record revenue, each quarter, with turnover set to exceed $700 million in the 2013-14 financial year.

Before he bought the Buccaneers, Glazer made failed bids to land an NFL expansion franchise for Baltimore and purchase the New England Patriots, San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also tried to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from Rupert Murdoch before turning his attention to Manchester United.

An intensely private man who cherished maintaining a low profile and spending much of his free time with family, Glazer also bickered with four older sisters over his mother's estate — a legal battle that lasted more than a decade.

Glazer is survived by his wife Linda, six children and 14 grandchildren.