Glazer lap-dog to stand down this summer
The man who was partly responsible for selling Manchester United down the river, is to stand down as chief executive of the club in the summer.
David Gill, who famously ‘changed sides’ following the Glazer takeover, is hoping to earn a place on the Uefa executive committee, where he can no doubt do what he does best by massaging the egos of those in power.
After famously stating that ‘debt was the road to ruin’ and pledging to oppose the debt-laden buy out of MUFC, Gill executed a shameless volte-face and became the man who did the Glazers’ bidding.
He was chief executive from September 2003 and will leave his post on June 30, with his responsibilities being assumed by executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.
Like a bad smell Gill will hang around, though, as he will stay on the board which he has been on for 16 years and which will choose the successor to Gill’s great ally and fellow Glazer apologist, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Here is what the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust had to say about it all:
“While opinion is split among United fans on David Gill, you can’t argue with the fact that his period as CEO has coincided with our greatest period of success on the pitch. The manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has in large part driven that, but we have to commend the work of the commercial team off the pitch too and of course the all to often overlooked role of the support of loyal Manchester United fans.
“We’ve had a long relationship with David Gill although for the last 8 years, regrettably, there has been no direct dialogue. Prior to the Glazers’ takeover MUST had a very good working relationship and on a personal level we liked and respected him but despite his initial strong resistance when the crunch came we ended up on opposite sides of the takeover barricade.
“Undoubtedly many fans were unhappy that he didn’t stand down on principle and appeared to make a u-turn on his previously vehement opposition to loading debt onto our club. Presumably he balanced up principle versus pragmatism and then made his decision and whether we agreed with that or not it should not prevent proper recognition of his major contribution to Manchester United Football Club.
“However we also can’t ignore the frustrations we’ve had as supporters under the Glazers’ ownership following a takeover that has cost our club well over £500m. That is a huge sum of money, lost through payments related to their debt and also directly to Glazer family members, while at the same time ticket prices rocketed and net player investment fell dramatically, relative to turnover. But perhaps the major frustration has been the lack of dialogue between the independent democratic fans groups and the club’s senior management and owners.
“So while it would be easy to draw up a list of grievances, there is little point in looking back now at what could or should have been. We know that with any change an opportunity may present itself, provided you are open to it, so our position must be to look forward in the best interests of our members, Manchester United supporters, and the club.
“The new CEO, Edward Woodward, is clearly a very capable operator and perhaps he will be less encumbered by baggage from past events and thus find it easier to seek out the win-win opportunities that could be unearthed if the club (and its owners) properly respect and communicate with their fans.”