The Daily Telegraph - Sport

Time running out for Glazers at Old Trafford

- By Tom Morgan

It was Joel Glazer’s name in the bombshell press release launching the European Super League late on Sunday that drew the sharpest intake of breath from Gary Neville.

“Big problem,” Neville said during one of his epic rants for Sky Sports this week. He doesn’t put his name on anything that man. He’s intelligen­t, he knows what he wants.”

During Neville’s last six years at Old Trafford he said he had seen the

“steel” of the club’s loathed American owners first hand.

Yet for all the abuse the Glazers faced then, and in the decade since, nothing compared with the unmitigate­d humiliatio­n they faced last night.

Florentino Perez, the outspoken president of debt-ridden Real Madrid, was happy to be billed publicly as the conspirato­r-in-chief of the ESL, but so much else about this hare-brained money-grabbing scheme appears to have been cooked under the close eye of the Glazer brothers.

The influence of the Glazers can be seen most of all in the detail in the financial carve-up that had been planned. The Daily Telegraph learnt yesterday of a commitment on salary caps signed by all the clubs involved to bring the competitio­n in line with American franchises such as the NFL, where collective bargaining agreements take place with players and agents.

United and Liverpool had meekly allowed Project Big Picture, their plan for a domestic overhaul to die in October, but they were up for the fight for this latest plot, as court papers served in Madrid yesterday proved.

Rival figures within the Premier League last night suggested the ESL, and its blueprint of an American dream, is perhaps what the Glazers had in mind when they took over the club in 2005.

For Joel and Avram Glazer, what does life after Ed Woodward look like? A long-awaited sale of the club and the return to the American sports where enhanced riches are guaranteed?

As football emerges from the pandemic battered and bruised, never have their legions of enemies looked more likely to get their wish.

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