Skip to main content

Manchester United and Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer dies aged 85

updated 8:32 AM EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer dies aged 85
  • Glazer assumed control of NFL team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995
  • The Buccaneers won their first Super Bowl crown in 2002
  • Despite loading the club with debt Man Utd have maintained their success

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Malcolm Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and English soccer club Manchester United, has died aged 85.

The NFL franchise released a statement on their official website announcing Glazer had passed away on Wednesday morning.

One of seven children, Glazer assumed control of the Buccaneers in 1995 and they went on to claim their first Super Bowl crown in 2002.

He bought English Premier League team Manchester United in 2005 in a controversial takeover that was heavily criticized by a large section of their fans for loading debt onto the club.

Read: The battle for Man Utd

Despite this discontent, the club continued to enjoy huge success on the field, winning five Premier League titles and one European Champions League crown under his stewardship.

"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are saddened to announce the passing of Owner/President Malcolm Glazer earlier this morning at the age of 85," read the statement.

"Mr. Glazer's long established estate succession plan has assured the Buccaneers will remain with the Glazer family for generations to come.

"Linda Glazer, along with their five sons and daughter, will continue to own and operate the team as they have throughout the family's ownership."

"A private family funeral service will be held for Mr.Glazer. The opportunity for others to remember and celebrate Mr. Glazer's life will be announced at a future date."

Moyes out at Manchester United
Did David Moyes deserve to be sacked?
David Moyes: Paying the price of failure

Glazer took control of his family's business when he was just 15, and developed a wide portfolio of international holdings as it grew exponentially.

The Buccaneers had been perennial underachievers in the NFL prior to Glazer's takeover in 1995 but he transformed their fortunes and led them to a maiden Super Bowl title in 2002.

His Glazer Family Foundation, which was established in 1999, has donated millions to charitable causes in the Tampa Bay area.

Glazer suffered a pair of strokes in 2006, which impaired his speech and affected his mobility in his right arm and right leg. His sons have long been running both the Bucs and United.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell paid tribute to Glazer on his official Twitter account: "Malcolm Glazer was the guiding force behind the building of a Super Bowl-champion organization," he said.

"His dedication to the community was evident in all he did, including his leadership in bringing Super Bowls to Tampa Bay. Malcolm's commitment to the Bucs, the NFL and the people of the Tampa Bay region are the hallmarks of his legacy."

If Glazer was lauded by Bucs fans for his achievements it was a different story in England after his purchase of Manchester United in 2005.

United are one of the world's richest clubs -- behind Spanish pair Real Madrid and Barcelona in Forbes' most recent rich list with a value of $2.81 billion -- and are one of the globe's best-supported teams.

Glazer had to borrow money to complete his takeover, the deal plunging the club into over $1 billion worth of debt overnight, and installed his sons Bryan, Joel and Avram to the board.

Protests were widespread, fans burning effigies of Glazer outside the stadium, but despite this animosity United's success on the pitch endured.

Under the stewardship of Alex Ferguson, the club won five English Premier League titles after Glazer's takeover, as well as the coveted European Champions League crown in 2008.

But their fortunes nosedived after Ferguson retired at the end of the 2013/14 season. His replacement, David Moyes, lasted barely 10 months and was sacked with the club languishing in seventh.

Louis Van Gaal will take over after leading Netherlands to the World Cup in Brazil, with the club desperate for a top four finish next season and a return to the lucrative Champions League.

A statement on Man Utd's official website read: "The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with the Glazer family tonight following the news that Malcolm Glazer has passed away. He was 85.

"The news was announced earlier on the official website of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NFL franchise he acquired ownership of in 1995.

"Malcolm leaves behind his wife Linda, six children and 14 grandchildren. Staff at Manchester United extend deep and sincere condolences to them all at this difficult time."

Read: Moyes - from Chosen One to Sacked One

Read: Moyes' tenure by numbers

People we've lost in 2014

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT