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Who are the 12 Manchester United board members that will vote on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid? SIX Glazer siblings involved in takeover decision

Bynewsmagzines

Oct 17, 2023
Who are the 12 Manchester United board members that will vote on Sir Jim Ratcliffe's bid? SIX Glazer siblings involved in takeover decision

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe hopes to become a minority owner of Manchester United but the decision rests in the hands of 12 others.

The boyhood Red Devils fan has become the leading contender to purchase a stake in the club after Sheikh Jassim Bin Al Thani withdrew his bid for a full takeover.

Ratcliffe already owns Nice in France and Lausanne in Switzerland

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Ratcliffe already owns Nice in France and Lausanne in SwitzerlandCredit: AFP

The much-maligned Glazer family have owned United since May 2005 but now finally seem to be ready to relinquish some control.

Qatar’s exit has left Ratcliffe as the only remaining bidder and he is now reportedly set to pay £1.3billion for 25 percent of the Red Devils.

But the 12-strong board seated at Old Trafford will decide this week whether or not to accept his offer for a quarter share.

talkSPORT.com runs through exactly who they are…

Avram and Joel Glazer – Executive co-chairmen and directors

The board is led by co-chairman Avram and Joel Glazer, who were left in charge when their father Malcolm Glazer passed away in 2014.

But the pair had actually been overseeing the day-to-day running of United since Malcolm suffered a stroke in April 2006 – less than a year after his controversial takeover for £790million.

Avram’s early business career included being chairman and chief executive of the George W Bush-founded Zapata Corporation.

The 66-year-old is also co-owner of NFL side Tampa Bay Buccaneers alongside the rest of his siblings, however, he is not listed as a chairman.

Avram sold £70m of shares in March 2021 – United did not receive anything from that sale – and now owns around 14 per cent of voting rights.

The Glazers still remain as United's current owners

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The Glazers still remain as United’s current ownersCredit: AFP

Joel, meanwhile, has a much more active role with the Bucs, as he oversees the day-to-day operations of the franchise.

The 56-year-old is thought to be more of a central figurehead at United as well but is less public-facing than his sibling.

He wrote an open letter to the club’s fans following their involvement with the European Super League in April 2021.

And he has the largest stake in United of any of the six Glazer siblings at 19 per cent.

Joel and Avram Glazer will not let Manchester United go on the cheap

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Joel and Avram Glazer will not let Manchester United go on the cheapCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Kevin and Edward Glazer – Directors

The pair are much less involved in United than their two brothers.

Kevin is the founder and chairman of Glazer Properties, a commercial real estate firm across the family’s native United States.

Edward is the youngest of the six Glazer siblings and is co-chairman of NFL giants the Bucs and the CEO of the US Property Trust.

The pair sold a combined 9.5 million shares in United in October 2021 – the deal reduced the entire family’s holding to 69 per cent.

United fans have long protested against the Glazers ownership

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United fans have long protested against the Glazers ownershipCredit: Getty

Bryan Glazer – Director

While Joel and Avram are more associated with United, their other brother Bryan is more involved with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 58-year-old serves as the Buc’s co-chairman while he is also on the NFL’s Digital Media Committee.

Bryan was a major influence on the design and construction of the Bucs’ ground – the Raymond James Stadium – which opened in 1998.

Bryan Glazer is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman

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Bryan Glazer is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairmanCredit: Getty

Darcie Glazer Kassewitz – Director

The only daughter of the late Malcolm Glazer and his wife Linda, Darcie is the President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation.

The businesswoman also serves as president of the Glazer Vision Foundation, which does a lot of philanthropic work in the city.

She currently resides in Florida with her husband, Joel Kassewitz.

Darcie Glazer Kassewitz - right - is the driving force behind the Bucs' fan engagement

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Darcie Glazer Kassewitz – right – is the driving force behind the Bucs’ fan engagementCredit: Getty

Richard Arnold – Chief executive officer and director

Back to the figures more commonly associated with United’s fans ire.

Arnold, previously United’s managing director, succeeded Ed Woodward as United’s executive vice-chairman last year.

An accountant by trade, Arnold has been chiefly responsible for a number of club partnerships including shirt sponsors.

He also took the lead on the situation surrounding Mason Greenwood, first telling the club’s executive leadership in early August that the club were planning to bring the forward back.

United's chief executive officer Richard Arnold serves on the club's board of directors

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United’s chief executive officer Richard Arnold serves on the club’s board of directorsCredit: Getty

However, after a furious backlash from fans, Arnold reversed his decision in an open letter to fans and allowed Greenwood to leave.

Last year, Arnold was filmed meeting with disgruntled supporters in a pub after they’d threatened to protest outside his Cheshire home.

Prior to United, Arnold worked in the technology sector and at PricewaterhouseCoopers which was where he met Woodward before he joined the club in 2007 as commercial director.

As Group Managing Director, he has had an active track record of fan engagement via his chair role of Fans’ Forum.

Arnold took the reigns from Ed Woodward at Old Trafford in February 2022

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Arnold took the reigns from Ed Woodward at Old Trafford in February 2022Credit: Getty

Cliff Baty – Chief financial officer and director

Baty has been with United since 2016 and was appointed to the board of directors the following December.

An Oxford graduate, he previously worked in the gambling industry for Ladbrokes and Sportech PLC.

Baty drew the ire of Gary Neville last year following his comments made about the distribution of wealth in football.

Baty had spoken out against plans to overhaul the revenue earned from European football but Neville hit back to say he that would be better served focusing on fixing United’s debt.

Baty - pictured here with Sir Alex Ferguson - handles United's financials

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Baty – pictured here with Sir Alex Ferguson – handles United’s financialsCredit: AFP

Patrick Stewart – Chief legal officer/General Counsel and director

Stewart has been at the club since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2006 and now heads the club’s legal department.

Prior to his arrival in Manchester, he worked at TEAM Marketing, who sold the commercial rights to the Champions League.

Stewart has been an arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland for the past five years.

He was appointed to the club’s board of directors only in December, around the time when the Glazers’ interest in a sale was made public.

United's general counsel Stewart (left) qualified as a solicitor in 1997

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United’s general counsel Stewart (left) qualified as a solicitor in 1997Credit: Getty

Robert Leitao – Independent Director

He is one of three independent directors on the club board who are tasked with representing United’s minority shareholders.

Leitao is a managing partner at Rothschild Bank, spawned from the Rothschild family who are one of the oldest and wealthiest in history.

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Manu Sawhney – Independent Director

Sawhney formerly served as the CEO of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The prominent role runs the sport’s major tournaments such as the T20 and 50-over World Cups.

But he was fired in October 2021 after an ICC review allegedly found him guilty of bullying colleagues and acts of ‘physical aggression’.

Sawhney also resigned in similar circumstances at both of his previous jobs at Singapore Sports Hub and ESPN STAR Sports.

But he continues to sit on United’s board, with a club spokesman telling the Telegraph in 2021: “Manu Sawhney has served as an independent director of Manchester United for the past nine years.

“During his tenure on the board, we have not received any complaints about his conduct.”

Sawhney proclaimed he had been the victim of a ‘pre-meditated witch-hunt’ at the ICC.

Sawhney was CEO of the International Cricket Council

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Sawhney was CEO of the International Cricket CouncilCredit: Getty

John Hooks – Independent Director

The third and final independent director who makes up the board is a prominent figure in the luxury fashion industry.

Hooks, pictured below at a 2007 Giorgio Armani show in Dallas, worked as deputy chairman at the Italian luxury fashion house.

He was appointed CEO of Pacific Global Management in 2015 and also spent three years as Ralph Lauren’s group president for Europe and the Middle East.

Hooks (centre) makes up the twelfth and final member of the board

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Hooks (centre) makes up the twelfth and final member of the boardCredit: Getty

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