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Paul Scholes: Footballers don't care who the owners are, just look at the Glazers and Manchester United

By Paul Scholes

Published 15/05/2015

Seldom seen: Manchester United owners Joel Glazer (left), Avram Glazer (second from left) and Bryan Glazer (front, right)
Seldom seen: Manchester United owners Joel Glazer (left), Avram Glazer (second from left) and Bryan Glazer (front, right)

When the Glazer family bought Manchester United 10 years ago, I cannot remember a single occasion when the takeover was discussed by the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, with us players.

We took our lead from him. If he was comfortable with the change and happy with the way the owners were treating the club, then we were too.

I know that there are many supporters who are not happy with the Glazers.

As players, I have to say that within Carrington, our training ground, and at Old Trafford, nothing changed for us in May 2005. No one among the players and the staff left the club. David Gill, the chief executive, stayed in place. Life carried on as usual.

I understand that the Glazers borrowed money against the value of the club and then used the club's profits to pay that money off. They are business people and shares in United had been traded a long time before the Glazers invested.

Some fans' groups may be disappointed that as players we were not outspoken on the matter. But you have to understand what it is to be a footballer at United.

Your job, your only job, is to win every game you play. You are under pressure to perform in every training session, never mind every game. If the manager decides that you are not up to standard then there are others he can use instead. Two defeats on the spin is considered a crisis. Maintaining standards is everything. There is no room for anything else.

For my whole career, I concentrated on that cycle of games from August to May and being mentally and physically ready.

I never wanted to lose my place in the United team, much less my place at the club. What went on beyond the pitch was none of my business.

As players, we were paid to do a job we loved - in my case, at the club I supported. And nothing I did could be allowed to interfere with that. The manager would not have permitted it.

I respect the right of supporters to protest, but I am not sure what the anti-Glazer fans would have wanted from the players.

I would never do anything to damage United, whoever the owners might be, and I am sure that no United fan would want me to do that.

My job was to play for the manager and take my lead from him. I was loyal to Sir Alex and I knew he always had the best interests of United at heart.

Had I been asked by supporters to say or do anything on behalf of the anti-Glazer fans, my answer would have been quite simple.

My priority was winning games for United. And whatever unhappiness there was about the new owners, I know that the vast majority of fans at Old Trafford cared about one thing above all - whether we won or not. That was always our priority in everything we did.

I admire FC United, the club set up by supporters in opposition to the Glazers, for what they have achieved in such a short space of time.

I met one of their board members on a flight back from a Champions League game this season and I was interested to hear how they had accomplished their rise to the Conference North.

The club I co-own, Salford City, is one division below FC United. They have built their own stadium for £5.5m and they do not accept investors beyond their core 4,000 members.

But as a United player, I make no apologies for saying that my job was to win trophies. As an elite sportsman you cannot allow yourself to be sidetracked by anything else.

It was not up to me who owned the club, and it would never have been appropriate for a player to have got involved in that debate.

Through the club's history, United have been through ups and downs, and times when the focus from outside the club was on certain issues.

But inside the dressing room, the aim was always simple. We had to keep winning.

Belfast Telegraph

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