The Glazers remain in situ at Old Trafford, but the smell surrounding Manchester United won’t improve until the maligned American owners are finally ousted from their positions of power

The Glazer family remain at the head of Manchester United

The Glazer family remain at the head of Manchester United

If, on and off the pitch, the opening salvos of a new season of elite club football can be instructive, the beginning of the 2023-24 tells you one thing.

And that one thing has been evident to so many Manchester United supporters for a long, long time. A fish rots from the head down and unless the Glazers go, the smell around the club will linger. It might even get worse.

Is it their direct fault that Antony is under investigation over accusations he assaulted a former girlfriend? No.

Is it their direct fault Mason Greenwood has shown himself unfit to wear United’s shirt ever again? No.

Is it their direct fault Jadon Sancho - a £73million player - is now at loggerheads with his manager? No.

Is it their direct fault so many signings in recent seasons have been underwhelming at best, duds at worst? No.

Is it their direct fault United have a squad that appears to be injury-prone? No.

Is it their direct fault Erik ten Hag’s team has lost two matches already this season and, after a mere four matches, rated as 40-1 outsiders to win the Premier League? No.

But the overwhelming uncertainty at the club, the apparent lack of direction, the environment in which all the above have been allowed to happen, IS their fault. Quite simply, United is a blue-chip club - one of the grandest institutions in sport - that needs a new broom.

Manchester United fans have to carry on with their protests against the Glazers Manchester United fans have to carry on with their protests against the Glazers (


Getty Images)

And that is why, when the club season resumes after this international break, it is incumbent on United fans to redouble their protests against the Glazers. Never mind that protests have, over so many years, left the Glazers completely unmoved. They have to carry on, with new - but always peaceful - vigour

There is an argument that the architects of United’s mediocrity and troubles are the people in managerial positions throughout the club. True, they have a responsibility but they answer to the Glazers, an ownership more interested in the club’s monetary value than its values.

And don’t go thinking the Glazers have lost any money in these past few days as the United share price has fallen. They have taken over £150million in dividends out of the club in the last seven years, have loaded it with £725million worth of debt and believe they will get a profit of at least £4billion when they finally sell.

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Of course there are employees who have to be held accountable for United’s recurrent issues. Ten Hag, for example, has yet to fully convince as a manager who will out-duel the very best in the game and Richard Arnold, the chief executive officer, has certainly not distinguished himself with his handling of the Greenwood situation.

As director of football, John Murtough has to take his share of scrutiny for some muddled player recruitment. But it is no cop-out to blame the Glazers for United’s slide from the very summit of the game. Because they ARE to blame. And, hopefully, supporters will never tire of telling them.

Ahead of the Premier League game against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford, some United fans raised a banner that read … history, dignity, integrity - you stole it all.

The Glazers can never steal United’s history but those fans were not far wrong.

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