Fred Done Slams Manchester United Owners the Glazer Family in Angry Interview

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2014

Avi Glazer, left, and Joel Glazer, right, sons of Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer, take their seats ahead of the match against AC Milan during their Champions League semi final first-leg soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday April 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
JON SUPER/Associated Press

Fred Done, the man who nearly took over Manchester United before the Glazer family agreed a deal for the club, believes the Red Devils need "an Arab sheikh or Russian oligarch" to ensure future progress.

He has also launched a scathing attack on the American owners, questioning their commitment and suggesting they use United as nothing more than a financial vehicle bought for personal gain.

As reported by Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News, Done also remains upset by his lack of involvement at Old Trafford:

It breaks my heart. They’re sat in Florida while 70,000 who love the club are paying for their debt and dividends and are not seeing a good team. We’re watching rubbish.

It’s purely a financial instrument for the Glazers. When the right cheque is waved at them they will go.

Done proceeds to compliment the work of Sheikh Mansour, who has transformed neighbours Manchester City into a financial behemoth without riddling the team with debt:

Look at City. They are murdering them. When you go there everything from the catering to what is on the pitch is better than United at the moment. Sheikh Mansour does not care about a return on his money. He has done fantastic for City and for the city of Manchester. The Glazers want dividends.

Facilities are fresh and improving at the Etihad—highlighted by the club's plans to extend its training ground, per The Telegraph—while the owner hasn't compromised on talent, as highlighted by the recent Capital One Cup triumph.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Even the anti-Glazer movement, defined by United's green and gold scarves, seems to have lost momentum in recent seasons, as noted by Rory Smith of The Telegraph back in 2011:

They are still visible inside the ground, too, though they do not twirl from the thousands of wrists they once adorned, more likely to accompany a sparkling new Aon sponsored home shirt than one of the 1994-style away shirts that were supposed to be worn by the foot-soldiers of football’s first anti-capitalist mutiny.

Done believes it will take £2 billion to oust the Glazers away from Old Trafford, but the owner of 1,350 Betfred shops insists he is not the man to make such a commitment. He was asked to join the Red Knights, a group of financial juggernauts who would take the club over together, but he has always declined, per Keegan's report:

"I was asked on three occasions would I join," said Done. "If I wanted United I would want to own it for myself."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND-AUGUST 9 : (L to R) Joel Glazer, Avram Glazer and Bryan Glazer, sons of owner Malcolm Glazer, are seen before the Champions League third qualifying round, first leg match between Manchester United and Debreceni VSC at Old Trafford on A
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Done also suggests David Moyes could become a "good manager" given time and that he expects United to finish mid-table for the next few seasons.

Despite a disappointing season, some heart can be taken by United's record second-quarter revenue of £122.9 million, as reported by Jack De Menezes of The Independent. However, this is unlikely to satisfy supporters, who have been forced to watch on in envy as City's rebuilding mission lauds major success.

United's sense of invincibility has disappeared since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in the summer. The Scot has been vocal in his support of the Glazers, reported via an alternate Keegan article, saying they assured him with "all the things I wanted to hear."

BEIJING, CHINA - JULY 25: (CHINA OUT) Bryan Glazer (L), son of new Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer, chats with Sir Alex Ferguson as they visit the Tiananmen Gate with the team on July 25, 2005 in Beijing, China. Manchester United are in China's cap
China Photos/Getty Images

Major investment is needed if the majority of United's fans are going to support the Glazers' extended tenure, but there's no denying it would be extremely exciting to have someone of Fred Done's stature in place as the club's owner.

As a diehard United fan, he could offer a personal touch that isn't possible with the current regime. Done has grown up with the history and ethos of the club naturally instilled into his life, ensuring he would represent a relatable figure to those who oppress United's American owners.