Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Manchester United Owner Malcolm Glazer Dies at Age 86

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2014

AP Images

Malcolm Glazer, who has served as the principal owner of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1995 and the EPL's Manchester United since 2005, died Wednesday morning. He was 86.     

The Buccaneers announced Glazer's passing Wednesday afternoon in a press release, though they did not note the cause of death.      

A real estate giant in the Los Angeles area, Glazer was the president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation. First Allied has numerous holdings, particularly in shopping malls, where Glazer earned a majority of his fortune leasing out properties. He was also an investor in other publicly traded companies, most notably Harley-Davidson.

An avid sports fan with a keen sense of a booming sports landscape, Glazer purchased the Buccaneers from the estate of the late Hugh Culverhouse in 1995.

Photo from 2005.
Photo from 2005.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Long one of the NFL's doormat franchises, Tampa Bay reached unprecedented success under Glazer's stewardship. In the Buccaneers' first two decades before Glazer came aboard, they had just three winning seasons—and none since 1982 at the time of purchase.

With Tony Dungy guiding the ship and Glazer enabling his front office to revamp the roster, the Buccaneers became a perennial contender beginning in 1997. Tampa Bay earned its first playoff win since 1979 in Glazer's third season aboard and went on a string of six straight non-losing seasons. Though Dungy was fired after the 2001 season, Glazer's all-in push to replace him with Jon Gruden led to the franchise's only Super Bowl win in the 2002 season.

The last decade-plus since Super Bowl XXXVII has seen the Bucs make the playoffs just twice and not since the 2007 season. Glazer also served on the NFL's Financial Committee, which oversees the sale of franchises and future business plans, among other endeavors. 

Photo from 2006.
Photo from 2006.D.J. PETERS/Associated Press/Associated Press

"Known among his league peers as a pioneering thinker, Glazer infused his team and employees with the determination and dedication to be the best in the NFL," the Buccaneers' statement read. "Glazer’s commitment to building a championship organization has provided the foundation for continued success, on and off the field."

Glazer's purchase of Manchester United, completed in 2005, allowed him to have sports success an ocean away from Tampa, Florida.

Arguably the most famous sports club worldwide, Manchester United returned to their status as a world power under Glazer. The Premier League side has won five league titles, most recently in 2012-13, and won the Champions League in 2008. The Champions League title was the Red Devils' first European triumph in nearly a decade.

Valued by Forbes at $3.165 billion as of 2013, Manchester United is ranked as the second-most valuable sports franchise in the world behind Real Madrid ($3.3 billion).

The Buccaneers' statement on his passing indicated the franchise will stay with the family trust. Glazer's wife, Linda, and the couple's six children currently plan to operate the team together. 

Joel and Avram Glazer have largely handled the day-to-day operations of Manchester United, and Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News indicated the publicly traded company will have no changes:

Glazer is survived by his wife, six children and 14 grandchildren. The family will hold a private funeral, though a public remembrance will be held at a later date.