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Glazer promises money for Man U

Joel Glazer: "We are going to provide the manager with the resources necessary" for the best team.

By wire services
Published July 2, 2005


MANCHESTER, England - Manchester United board member Joel Glazer tried hard Friday to reassure hostile fans of his family's plans for the team by promising to give manager Alex Ferguson money to sign top players.

In the first interview given by a member of the Glazer family, the son of Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer told Manchester United's MUTV, "We are going to provide the manager with the resources necessary to field the best team."

Glazer also denied newspaper reports that transfer spending would be capped at $44-million, saying they were "absolutely not true."

"When I read about caps and hands being tied it's very frustrating," he said. "You can't have caps in this game, in any sport. Things change."

Joel, Avi and Bryan Glazer needed a police escort from Old Trafford Stadium when they visited Wednesday. The visits this week were designed to win over hostile fans, who opposed Malcolm Glazer's $1.47-billion takeover two months ago.

Manchester United great Bobby Charlton, who survived the Munich air crash in 1958 and helped the Red Devils win the European Cup 10 years later, met the Glazers Thursday.

"I apologized to them for what happened last night," he said. "There is no room for violence in football. I don't think they were rattled by it, maybe a bit surprised."

But he told them that they had to take into account the feelings of United supporters.

"I tried to explain they couldn't ignore the fans, who are so emotionally involved in the club but who sometimes do go a bit too far," he said.

Joel Glazer said he was not concerned about the team's financial situation: "We would have not got involved with Manchester United if we did not feel that the club under our ownership could continue to be the great club it has been. Our family personally has invested over $270-million. A lot of businesses have debt. Debt can mean different things to different people, but I can assure everybody that the structure that was put in place is a structure we are extremely comfortable with."

According to U.K. newspapers, Glazer told staff he would attend every United match next season, while ticket prices would rise in line with the previous five years. The London Times had reported that Glazer would raise prices 54 percent over five years.

Joel Glazer stressed several times there would be few changes: "We understand there is skepticism, we understand when there is change there is uncertainty. But it's going to be business as usual. ... What attracted us and lured us to Old Trafford are all the great things, all the great history, all the great heritage. People are not going to notice a change."

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