Tuesday 20 March 2018

Glazers may go to Carling Cup final

Mark Ogden

Manchester United's owners, the Glazer family, could attend the Carling Cup final - their first game since the escalation of supporter-led protests against them.

They are considering travelling from the United States for the clash against Aston Villa at Wembley on Feb 28.

The Florida-based Glazers have been absent from United fixtures for the majority of the season and none of the six family members on the club's board have attended a game since the release last month of the prospectus for the controversial £500 million bond issue, which led to revelations of the scale of the club's £716 million debt.

Since then an anti-Glazer campaign, marked by the wearing of green-and-gold scarves, has become increasingly visible at Old Trafford.

Chief executive David Gill has been forced to endure a protest banner being draped from the gates of his Cheshire home, while security has been stepped up to protect senior club officials.

But despite the hostility towards the family, chairman Joel Glazer and brothers Avram and Bryan have not ruled out attending the Wembley showpiece.

Although no Glazers were at the 2005 FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal in May 2005 – eight days after the completion of their takeover of United – they have since travelled from Florida for all of the club's subsequent finals in the FA Cup, Carling Cup and Champions League.

With security remaining a sensitive issue, sources close to the family have refused to disclose any possible travel plans. But with London offering greater anonymity than Manchester should the Glazers choose to attend, they are now considering returning to Wembley for the first time since the NFL fixture between their Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise and New England Patriots last October.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists he is unconcerned by the green-and-gold protests against the Glazers.

He said: "Every fan has a right to complain about what they think is right. We also have to run the club the way we think is right and I think we are doing the right thing with the club."

United travel to Everton on Saturday with Ferguson admitting he is hoping to persuade Paul Scholes to sign a one-year contract extension, despite the midfielder's recent claim that he could retire this summer.

Ferguson said: "I'd be happy to do that. His form in the last few weeks has been incredible, absolutely brilliant. There's no need for him to think about retirement."


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