Gridiron tycoon ups stake in United

Malcolm Glazer, who took American football’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers from obscurity to the Super Bowl title, has increased his stake in Manchester United.

Malcolm Glazer, who took American football’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers from obscurity to the Super Bowl title, has increased his stake in Manchester United.

The Premiership champions revealed in a statement to the Stock Exchange that Glazer’s stake in Manchester United plc had risen to 3.17%, which represents over eight million shares.

Glazer shot to fame in the United States when he splashed out $192m (€167.4m) in 1995 for the struggling Tampa Bay franchise.

He funded a new $200m (€174.4m) stadium and helped drag the club out of the doldrums and into the elite of the National Football League, culminating in this year’s Super Bowl victory.

Glazer, whose family made their money from the oil and gas industries, is listed as the 244th richest American by Forbes magazine, worth an estimated $1bn (€871.83m), and was recently tipped to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

The Florida-based businessman, who was born in New York and has six children with his wife Linda, is not believed to have had any direct contact with United, instead preferring to buy up shares discreetly.

But London Stock Exchange rules mean investors must make it clear if they acquire over 3% of a company, which Glazer did yesterday to prompt United’s statement.

United’s shares were worth 195.5p at close of trading yesterday, valuing the Old Trafford giants at around £500m (€722.6m).

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