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United fans should thank Glazers - Kroenke

ARSENAL majority shareholder Stan Kroenke has told Manchester United fans to lay off the Glazers and start thanking them for the success they have delivered since their takeover.

Malcom Glazer and his family have come under intense criticism from United supporters since they completed their leveraged takeover of the Old Trafford club in 2005.

The American family, who also own NFL club the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have been criticised for the way that they have financed their purchase of the club with loans partly secured against the club's assets.

Ticket prices at Old Trafford have soared since the Americans took over -- a move which has caused the birth of a widespread protest movement against the family.

In Kroenke, however, the Glazers have a big fan. The American businessman, who became Arsenal's majority shareholder in May this year, thinks there is a big difference in how sports clubs are run either side of the Atlantic.

The 64-year-old maintains he has no plans to secure loans against Arsenal in the way that the Glazers have done at United, but admits he is baffled at the way United fans have taken a severe dislike towards his compatriots.


Kroenke said of United lifting four league titles since the Glazers took control six years ago: "Since they took over they have won and they have increased revenues by a huge amount.

"If I was a fan of that club, I would go there and go 'Wow,' because how could you do it any better? "They (the Glazers) took money out of the club. So what? (LA Lakers' owner) Jerry Buss takes money out of his club. A lot of owners in the US do."

Before leaving his media briefing, Kroenke was keen to make one more point clear, his unwavering support for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was heavily criticised for the club's poor start to the season.

"Arsene Wenger is an unbelievable manager," he added. "I think he's a tremendous person. He is as good as there is."