Owners be damned

STEVE SANDOR, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

Not every Manchester United fan who came to the Rogers Centre Friday were there to cheer on the Red Devils.

Hundreds wanted to show off just how ticked off they are at the ownership of the team.

At United games in England, green and yellow scarves have become commonplace; and they were in evidence in Toronto, as well. Fans waved them on Front Street and in the stadium.

The scarves are worn by supporters who want American Maclolm Glazer and his family out as owners of the club. The UK Telegraph reported in June that the Glazers‚ business empire is 1.1 billion pounds in debt, two-thirds of which can be attributed to Manchester United.

The Glazers also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The green-and-yellow faction unfurled a banner at the game reading “Love United, Hate Glazer.”

Security personnel yanked that sign down 20 minutes into the first half.

They preach that fans should not buy official merchandise as long as the Glazers own the club.

“There’s a large portion of United supporters who wouldn’t mind to see it all go down, to see us even get relegated, if it meant getting the club back in the hands of the supporters,” said Mississauga resident and life-long United fan Zain Ali, 23.

Ali said he was disappointed to see how many fans at the game were wearing official Nike United shirts, especially the brand new home jerseys the team debuted in Chicago earlier this week.

He said United’s dire financial situation will get as bad as fans let it get.

Roy Haigh, a 63-year-old United supporter from Burlington, thought there would be more green-and-yellow scarves on fans if they could get them in Canada, but they have to be ordered through supporters‚ groups in England.

“The Glazers can’t keep going the way they have been going,” he said. “We’re a billion dollars in debt. We can’t go the way of Portsmouth.”

Portsmouth was taken over by administrators during the 2009-10 Premiership season after the team fell into bankruptcy. It was relegated at the end of the season. And, even though the team would have qualified for the Europa League as it made it to the FA Cup final, it was not allowed to go into the international competition because of its unsteady finances.

steven.sandor@sunmedia.ca


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