The Glazers are HATED in Manchester but across the pond they’ve transformed Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Average Joe’s to Super Bowl contenders – and delivered Tom Brady… United fans have never felt the same love their owners have given the NFL franchise
- Joel Glazer said he’s proud of Tampa Bay Buccaneers for reaching Super Bowl
- The Glazers went all in to turn NFL’s lesser-lights into a real force this season
- They were also hailed for providing the resources for the Bucs to land Tom Brady
- In Manchester however, the billionaire’s have proven to be unpopular owners
After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached their second Super Bowl of the Glazer period, the reclusive Joel donned a mask and did his best impression of a giddy sports fan.
After lifting the George Halas Trophy to much hullabaloo, the 50-year-old billionaire gushed: ‘We’re so happy’, while giving Tom Brady the sort of eyes he normally reserves for a dilapidated shopping mall.
‘I’m so proud of all these players, so proud of Bruce Arians, the entire team.
Joel Glazer (left) spoke of his pride for Tampa Bay Buccaneers ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl
Malcolm Glazer bought the Bucs in 1995 and led them to Super Bowl success in 2003
‘And Tampa, we’re coming home.’
Those 25 words were more than Manchester United fans have heard from the Glazers in more than a decade.
The late Malcolm – whose widow Linda and six children control the estate – bought the Bucs in 1995 for $192million. Today the franchise is worth more than $1.2billion.
Under their stewardship, the Bucs won the Super Bowl in the 2002 season but since then success has been in short supply.
Until this storybook season they had reached the playoffs twice since – the last time in the 2007 season – losing both games in the wild card round.
The Glazers went all in to help Tampa Bay Buccaneers deliver a storybook seasons
After going through the last decade with two winning seasons, the carrot of a Super Bowl in Tampa was dangling. The Glazers went all in, determined to become the first team to host the game in their own stadium.
After showing uncharacteristic patience with general manager Jason Licht – his predecessor Mark Dominik was fired after going 28-52 in five seasons – the Bucs have assembled a talented, young roster.
With the most diverse coaching staff in the NFL, head coach Arians is a players’ coach, a gambler and a motivator.
All that was missing was Tom Brady.
‘I’m thankful to the Glazer family for giving me an opportunity,’ a newly remunerated Brady said after signing a two-year $50m deal which allowed him to swap the colder climes of Massachusetts for sunny Florida. After the arrival of the six-time Super Bowl winner on a two-year deal in March, a delighted Licht could barely contain himself.
They were hailed for providing the resources to bring in legendary quarterback Tom Brady
‘To say that this is an exciting day for the Buccaneers organisation and me personally would be a rather large understatement.
‘He is a Buccaneer today not for what he has done in the past but for what we know he can accomplish here in the near future as well.
‘We know that Tom is going to have a transformative effect on our locker room and he’s gonna demand the best out of himself, his team-mates and anybody that is around him.
‘I would like to thank the Glazer family for providing us with the resources and the leadership to make such a bold move in free agency.’
It’s fair to say the gamble has paid off. Since losing to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 29, the Bucs have won seven in a row.
However the Glazers, who also own Manchester United, are despised by the club’s fanbase
Even United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt urged to wish the Bucs well in their game against the Chiefs today, saying: ‘I’m very pleased for the Glazers and the owners that they play the Super Bowl this weekend.’
Many United fans may not share that goodwill. Since the purchase of the club in 2006, the Glazers have been enormously unpopular owners.
After seeing a swathe of green and gold scarves at Old Trafford in 2010, Joel Glazer was bewildered by the strength of feeling against his family.
‘I get that some fans don’t like us. To hate us when the club has been so successful, it’s extraordinary.’
While the Glazers acquired a behemoth in Manchester, in Tampa the Buccaneers are one of the NFL’s lesser lights.
The Glazers are chasing success on both sides of the Atlantic with United in the title race
With a low-maintenance, low expectation fanbase, the team has the worst winning percentage in the league.
In Florida no-one would think to prepare an unmarked minibus in the Raymond James Stadium – the kind of rancour felt toward the Glazers in Manchester is anathema to most.
But this is the land where team owners hoist the Super Bowl trophy aloft before players and coaches get anywhere near it.
As the Glazer teams chase success on both sides of the Atlantic, should the Bucs win tonight in Tampa it is very likely that Joel and Co will make more impassioned speeches.
And if the Red Devils claim a Premier League title for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, even if they do address United fans, it is likely that their words will fall on deaf ears.
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