MALCOLM Glazer, the self-made billionaire who led the takeover of Manchester United and owned the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has died aged 85.
The reclusive Palm Beach businessman had been in failing health since April 2006 when a pair of strokes left him with impaired speech and limited mobility in his right arm and leg.
Mr Glazer raised his profile in 2005 with a $1.47bn (€1bn) purchase of Manchester United that was bitterly opposed by fans.
Fans, under the banner “loveUnitedhateGlazer”, argued the debt built up in the deal would hurt the club and force supporters to pay higher ticket prices.
Glazer went on, however, to preside over one of the most successful eras in the club’s history.
“The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with the family tonight,” the team said.
Mr Glazer was born August 25, 1928, in Rochester, New York.
Forbes ranked him this year as No. 354 on the world’s richest people list with an estimated net worth of $4.2bn (€3bn).
He purchased the Bucs in 1995, taking over one of the worst-run and least successful franchises in professional sports and making them superbowl champions in 2003.
Although United’s debt has dropped from €800m in 2008-09 to €430m, anger towards the Glazers has remained.
Mr Glazer is survived by his wife Linda, six children and 14 grandchildren.