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United CEO: Only small minority oppose Glazers

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 23, 2013 at 10:10 am •  Published: April 23, 2013

"They get the personal enjoyment," Gill said. "Are they going to drink or anything like that? I wouldn't think they'd worry about that. The important thing is there's really no ego about them. They operate behind the scenes here, they don't walk around saying 'We own the club.' "They are very mindful of the traditions and the history of the club and people ... clearly if you own an asset and it comes up with winning a 20th title, it's unbelievable."

Manchester United is among five Premier League clubs with U.S. controlling owners, joined by Arsenal (Stan Kroenke), Liverpool (John Henry), Aston Villa (Randy Lerner) and Sunderland (Ellis Short).

"I'm not going to name other teams who have been taken over by foreigners," Gill said, "but you can see there are some examples of some not-so-good foreign owners, shall we say — or owners, because it's not the passport that matters."

Gill will leave the club at the end of the season and will try to earn a seat on the executive committee of the Union of European Football Associations. During his time at Old Trafford, he watched crosstown rival Manchester City become a force under Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who bought the club in 2008.

City edged United for the 2012 league title, winning on goal difference on the last day of the season.

"I'm sure they'll come back. They've got some ambitious plans on their investment and their academy," Gill said of City. "That's what the excitement of the Premier League is. I'm sure all the clubs who missed out this season will be doing business in the summer — as we will be — with a view to come back all guns blazing next year."


Rob Harris can be reached at