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Jul 22, 2012

Ferguson backs Glazers ownership

Sir Alex Ferguson has defended the tenure of Manchester United owners the Glazer family, insisting that he has never been prevented from signing a player by them.

• Smalling to miss 10 weeks with injury

The Glazers have become figures of hate among large sections of the United faithful since they took control of the club in 2005, with numerous protests against their ownership taking place over the past seven years.

Red Devils fans believe the Americans, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL franchise, are saddling United with unmanageable levels of debt and putting the club's long-term financial health in danger.

Supporters have also expressed concern that United's transfer spending is being heavily restricted and Ferguson himself has come under criticism in the past for not publicly speaking out against the Glazers.

But while the Scot recognises there has been a feeling of "disaffection", he believes that United's success on the pitch proves that the current owners are doing a good job.

"So if you're asking me for my views, I don't have any complaints. I have never encountered opposition," Ferguson said. "They've always been as sensible as they can be in terms of financing the team and they have to invest in the team to maintain the value of their asset.

"I think the problem for them is they are not publicists. They don't go out of their way to seek good publicity. They are quite happy to stay in the background and Abramovich is the same at Chelsea."

Since the Glazers arrived at Old Trafford, Ferguson has led United to ten trophies - including four Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League - and he is adamant the Americans have the club's best interests at heart.

"Just look at what they are spending on the training ground," he said. "It's going to be marvellous with a new sports science and medical centre, outdoor astro-turf pitches, a new viewing gallery and a groundsmen's work base.

"At the moment it's a bit of a bomb site but it will hopefully be completed by October and they will have spent about £30 million on it, which is fantastic.

"United are different to other clubs in that there are a whole lot of factions who think they own the club. And for all the good intentions they show there will always be contentious issues around whoever owns the club.

"When I came to the club Martin Edwards was always getting pelted because he was going to sell to Maxwell, then to Murdoch, then Michael Knighton.

"When we were a PLC, there was disaffection and when the Glazers came in more disaffection."

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