European Super League: Owners 'have broken' fans' trust
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One of the most bizarre reactions to this week’s European Super League fiasco came from UFC superstar Conor McGregor, who capitalised on the near-universal criticism of the Glazer family with a tongue-in-cheek tweet offering to take Manchester United off their hands. The Red Devils were believed to be major players in the formation of the controversial tournament, which appears to be dead in the water with just three clubs yet to renounce their involvement.
The project, masterminded by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, was announced without much warning on Sunday and garnered widespread criticism during its short period of existence.
Fans of the six English clubs were particularly aggrieved, with the Super League threatening to ruin the sporting and competitive integrity of the ‘beautiful game’, and succeeded in applying enough pressure to get the tournament suspended.
United joined the other five Premier League clubs in announcing their intentions to pull out on Tuesday evening.
McGregor, who is preparing to face lightweight rival Dustin Poirier for a third time later this year, joined United fans in mocking the Glazer family by tweeting: “I’m thinking about buying Manchester United! What do you think?”
Although the Irishman’s light-hearted message is unlikely to have the elusive Americans quaking in their boots, it begs the question as to whether he could actually manage to acquire the club one day in what would undoubtedly be one of the strangest takeovers in the history of the game.
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McGregor has previously admitted to being a United supporter as a youngster, although he stressed that he mostly enjoyed playing football rather than watching it.
“I was big into football as a kid, but more as a player than a watcher,” he wrote in his Irish Independent column back in 2015.
“I suppose if you pushed me I would say Manchester United, but that’s only because it gets passed down from generation to generation.
“I think just about everyone in Ireland is either a Liverpool or United fan. But some people go a little weird, referring to the team they support as ‘we’. To me that’s a little crazy.”
However, although McGregor may be keen to take a seat in the boardroom at United one day, his chances of doing so are essentially impossible.
The 32-year-old’s net worth reportedly stands at around £181million, which is nowhere near enough to buy a club of United’s size.
The Red Devils were valued at more than £3billion by Forbes earlier this month, a figure that ensures their spot as one of the most lucrative clubs in the world behind only Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Even if McGregor managed to win the lottery 20 times over, it remains to be seen whether the Glazers would be willing to sell up.
Co-owner Joel Glazer suggested on Wednesday that the current ownership group are committed to the club for the foreseeable future, as part of a statement apologising to supporters in the wake of the Super League saga.
“Over the past few days, we have all witnessed the great passion which football generates, and the deep loyalty our fans have for this great club,” he said.
“You made very clear your opposition to the European Super League, and we have listened. We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right.
“Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.”
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