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20 things you never knew about Malcolm Glazer

Here are twenty things you didn't know about the reclusive US billionaire Malcolm Glazer (photo right), who bought Manchester United in a bitter battle 2 years ago.

1. Loadsamoney. 75-year old Glazer is estimated by Forbes magazine to be the 244th richest person in the US Though his wealth is listed at around a billion, what the real figure is remains shrouded in secrecy.

2. Buccaneering. Glazer bought the struggling American football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995 for $192m, after it had notched up a long strong of losses both financial and on the pitch. His first act was to fire the manager. In 2003, the Buccaneers won the Superbowl to crown their improved fortunes.

3. Manchester, prepare! Glazer goes for the jugular. When he offered to buy the Buccaneers, he promised the Tampa authorities he would go halves on a new stadium with them. After getting control, he backed out of the deal, and gave Tampa two years to build it themselves or he would move the team to a city that would. Tampa caved in, and city taxpayers are still paying a half cent sales tax to fund the stadium's construction.

4. No slow coach. Though he wouldn't buy the stadium, he has spent plenty on players. He even broke the record for poaching a coach, paying Oakland Raiders $8m for Jon Gruden. Gruden helped the Buccaneers to its Superbowl win in his first season.

5. Tough love. Glazer doesn't just play hard in the business world. He even fought his five sisters through the courts over the contents of his mother Hannah's will.

6. Bought on tick.Despite the name, Glazer didn't begin his rags to riches saga installing windows. When his father Abraham died, he took over his father's watch-parts shop in Rochester, New York in 1943 at age 15. At that time he had just $300 to his name. One of the few quotations attributed to this very private man was on his father's death which he said was “probably the most tragic thing in my life. But it was good in one way. It made me a manâ€.

7. Miniature for Sport? The bespectacled Glazer is very short and sports a ginger beard. To the Buccaneers' fans he is known as the leprechaun.

8. The Bush connection.Glazer owns a company, Zapata Corporation, that was started by the father of US president George W. Bush. While George H. W Bush began Zapata as an oil and gas outfit, Glazer sidetracked it into fish protein, Caribbean supermarkets and sausage skins. Yuck.

9. V-twin spin. Before his interest turned to the world's richest soccer club, Glazer tried to buy other glamorous firms. In 1989 he tried to buy the ultra-cool motorcycle company Harley-Davidson.

10. Naff. But he also made an equally unsuccessful attempt to buy the company that makes Formica, the outdated 1950s-style table and worktop material in 1988.

11. My first train set. Glazer's first attempt at a takeover was in 1984 when he tried to buy the bankrupt US Conrail system. He offered $7.6bn, though he only actually had $100m of his own. Attempt to raise the difference eventually failed.

12. Part of a US tradition. Malcolm Glazer's family were orthodox Jewish immigrants from the Baltic republic of Lithuania. His father was said to be a deserter from the Russian Army before travelling to the US.

13. Shop till you drop. Glazer made his mega-bucks in banking, nursing homes and real estate, mainly in the Florida area. Allied Corporation, the family property firm, owns shopping centres in 15 US states.

14. Jet set commute. Glazer travels by private jet from his £16m Palm Beach home to Tampa for every home game of the Buccaneers.

15. Scoring boom. The Tampa stadium has a $3m replica pirate ship that fires its cannons every time the Buccaneers score.

16. All in the family. Glazer's two soccer-fanatic sons Avram and Joel led the bid for Manchester United. There is no history of their father having an interest in football.

17. Official investigation. The US Securities and Exchange Commission, the powerful watchdog that oversees Wall Street, is probing allegations that Glazer's family artificially boosted the market values of two family-controlled companies which may have been used as collateral for bid finance

18. Dogged. Glazer was taken to court by tenants at one of the residential caravan parks that he owns in New York state after he started charging each household £2 a month per child and £3.50 per dog.

19. Rats. The Buccaneers travel 80 miles to a training ground because their existing Tampa training facilities, which Glazer has yet to renew despite promises, are infested with rats.

20. Corporate raider. Many of Glazer's attempt to buy companies seem to have failed. However, buying the company approached may not have been the objective. By raising the share prices of the companies he approaches, he has often been able to offload his shares at a profit. If his record is anything to go by, this is what he may do at Man Utd.
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