Meet the Glazer family: Owners of Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United

(L to R) Joel Glazer, Avram Glazer and Bryan Glazer, sons of Malcolm Glazer
(L to R) Joel Glazer, Avram Glazer and Bryan Glazer, sons of Malcolm Glazer

The Glazer family owns two of the biggest names in sports: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the current Super Bowl Champions, and Manchester United, an iconic soccer club based out of England with a worldwide following.

Loved at times, and at other times loathed, they have been canny operators in the cutthroat sports market. Accused of mismanaging the team's potential from both sets of fans, they were responsible for a prolonged drought in Tampa after their first Super Bowl, where they failed to make the postseason from 2008 to 2019. Similarly in Manchester, the club have failed to win the English Premiership since 2013.

To correct that sequence, they bet heavily on brining Tom Brady to Tampa and were rewarded with an instant Super Bowl. They have now signed soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Glazer family will now be hoping Cristiano can return Manchester United to the top of the English game, where they were when they initially purchased the club.

Malcolm Glazer: The father of the Glazer family

Macolm Glazer was born in Rochester, New York. He entered the business world as part of his father's watch repair company, after his father died, and carried on with watch parts and jewelry for the first few years. Getting a contract through that business into Sampson Air Force Base changed his fortunes.

He ventured into real estate in Rochester, New York, and soon owned various estates across the country. He would then go on to the healthcare business starting in Hartford, Connecticut. By 1970s, he had also expanded into buying television stations.

With the ever burgeoning portfolio, he founded the First Allied Corporation to take care of all his holdings. It paved the way for further diversification as he took on businesses in oil and gas, the restaurant industry, and even heritage brands such as Harley-Davidson.

In 1995, he decided to enter the field of sports by buying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the death of previous owner Hugh Culverhouse. He paid a record US$ 192 million for an NFL franchise. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not an established team, having reached the postseason just thrice in their existence until then, and many people would have thought him to have overspent. Under his watch, though, they won their first Super Bowl, leaving him vindicated.

Having established his credibility there, the Glazer family then decided to buy Manchester United. However, the purchase was unpopular as the club was loaded with debt against future revenue, which reduced cash flow despite increasing valuation. Unlike the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the time of purchase, Manchester United were the second most successful English club of all time behind Liverpool.

The children of the Glazer family

Even while alive, Macolm Glazer delegated much of the running of his sports business to his sons. In Tampa, for instance, he was the President, but his sons were the co-chairmen. Bryan, Joel, and Edward Glazer are still serving in their posts after their father's death.

Among the representatives of the Glazer family in Manchester who are taking care of the operations are Avram and Joel Glazer. However, since the fortune of Malcolm Glazer was equally divided after his death between all his children, other members such as Bryan Glazer, Kevin Glazer. Edward Glazer and Darcie Glazer Kassewitz serve as non-executive board members.

The fortunes of the Glazer family

The Glazer family had a net worth of US$ 4 billion in 2014, when Macolm Glazer passed away. It is equally divided between his six children and widow Linda.

The value of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is US$ 2.94 billion, having risen 29% from the year before. Manchester United was valued at around US$ 4.65 billion.

In addition to the two sports teams, the Glazer family still owns significant real estate in the United States, which is from where they had found their initially gone big in the business world. According to Forbes, the Glazer family owned 6.7 million square feet of premium shopping center space across the U.S. in 2015.

Today, the Glazer family stands at the forefront of the sporting world of both the US and Europe. What started as a watchmaking business, transformed through real estate into one of the biggest sports business families. With two champion teams in tow, expect them to make splashes on both sides of the bond.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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