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Any pact with Glazers is always going to be toxic for United fans

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CHRIS WHEELER: Any pact with the Glazers is always going to be toxic in the eyes of Manchester United fans – it is a black mark against Sir Jim Ratcliffe before he has even walked through the doorSir Jim Ratcliffe’s involvement with the Glazers could make him unpopularThere are questions over how much influence the Glazers will continue to have Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’By Chris Wheeler for the Daily Mail Published: 22:31 BST, 15 October 2023 | Updated: 23:20 BST, 15 October 2023 The Manchester Half Marathon finished at Old Trafford on Sunday and proud athletes posed for photos with their medals in front of the stadium which was bathed in bright autumn sunshine.There were the usual sights. A married couple running as Batman and Robin. Some bloke dressed in a luminous headband and yellow tutu.The branding from Saturday’s rugby league Grand Final still adorned the main facade of the ground above the Megastore, welcoming fans from Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons. For a moment you could have been forgiven for thinking there is a lot more to Old Trafford than football. But there really is not.It is in every brick, every corner of the old place. From the statue of Sir Alex Ferguson in the north to Sir Matt Busby and the United Trinity of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton in the east. To Jimmy Murphy’s statue in the west and the Munich Tunnel in the south. A proud history calling out to you from every direction. Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s pact with the Glazers means he already has a black mark against his name The fact that the Glazers are still in situ is hugely disappointing for many United fans Right now, though, Manchester United feels like a club at a crossroads.As one marathon was ending at Old Trafford on Sunday another was drawing to a close after 11 months of tortuous uncertainty.Having passed up the opportunity to hand the keys to Sheik Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani for more than £5billion, the Glazer family have opened the door to Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his offer to purchase a quarter of the club for £1.4bn.Time will tell whether it is the first step in a staged takeover or a clever plan by Joel and Avram Glazer to buy out their siblings and stay in power.The suggestion that Ratcliffe will assume control of the football operation certainly hints at the former, but the Glazers’ critics – and there are more than enough of them – will note that it would leave the Americans elbow deep in the commercial pie for the foreseeable future.There are more questions, many of them posed by the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust on Sunday, over how the balance of power will be impacted by Ratcliffe’s injection of cash.For many, however, it will not really matter. The mere fact that the Glazers are still in situ is enough to turn them against this proposal.It was the case when Ratcliffe was initially prepared to leave the Americans with a minority shareholding, and even more so now they will retain a controlling stake of 75 per cent. There are questions over how the balance of power will be impacted by Ratcliffe’s involvementSheik Jassim withdrew his offer to take over Manchester United from the Glazer family No doubt, the British billionaire felt he had no choice but to do a deal with the devil to get his foot in the door.The drawback is that any pact with the Glazers is always going to be toxic in the eyes of fans who yearn to see the back of them. There are bound to be fresh protests in the weeks ahead.Among those supporters who milled around Old Trafford with the half-marathon runners on Sunday, there was a sense of regret over what has happened this weekend.Instead of Sheik Jassim, they are getting Sir Jim.’It’s disappointing because the Sheik was buying 100 per cent of the club and eliminating the debt,’ said Thabang from South Africa.’Some of the funds were going to be used for transfers, renewing the team, upgrading the training facilities and also rebuilding the stadium. We do need a new stadium. I’ve got no objection to Jim Ratcliffe, I only wish it was 100 per cent.”If it’s not in the best interests of the club and fans then it’s bad for football,’ added Gambia-born Ed, from Manchester.It is a black mark against Ratcliffe before he has even walked through the door, and the voices of dissent will only grow louder if the deal is ratified.As the athletes who limped home on Sunday nursing sore limbs and blisters will attest, there is no easy way to do this. IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!  It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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