It was apt that the Glazer brothers, Manchester United's absentee directors, chose to arrive at Old Trafford by helicopter yesterday afternoon before heading off to Wembley to watch their other team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lose a NFL game to the Chicago Bears. The Glazers have no connection, whether emotional, family or even financial, to the club they own. Their father Malcolm has never even been to the city, let alone the ground, and is happy to charge fans £75 a ticket to pay off the Wall St loans he used to buy the club in the first place.
Say what you like about the last generation of English football club owners likes the Edwards, Doug Ellis and Peter Swales (and there is a lot you could say about them, much of it potentially libellous) but at least they were also fans of the clubs they owned as well as businessmen. They were members of the wider community of which the club was a part with the pressure that brought to bear on their behaviour, for example on ticket prices, unlike people who swoop in by helicopter now and again only to disappear into the sky like Mary Poppins at the end of the match.