Sun. Feb 28th, 2021

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How the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady coup inspired Manchester United

2 min read

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ‘very pleased’ for the Glazer family that their NFL franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is involved in this weekend’s Super Bowl.

The Bucs beat the Green Bay Packers to secure their first Super Bowl appearance since their 2003 win and Sunday’s game will be staged at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

The Glazers have owned United since their hostile takeover in May 2005, with Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer listed as the co-chairmen of the club and their four siblings Bryan, Edward, Kevin and Darcie Glazer Kassewitz are directors.

A Glazer sibling has not been in attendance for a United game since August 2019 and supporter discontent simmered last season, becoming so virulent some militant supporters attacked executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s Cheshire house.

Last month, the Bucs won the National Football Conference hours after United beat Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round. Joel Glazer accepted the trophy and spoke briefly but has not spoken about United on the record for nearly 16 years.

The Bucs have been inspired by the arrival of six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, 43, and Solskjaer drew parallels with the quarterback’s impact and that of Edinson Cavani on the other side of the Atlantic.

“I think when you operate at the top you try to widen your horizon and have a network you speak to and I’m very pleased for the Glazers and the owners that they play Super Bowl this weekend,” Solskjaer said. “For me, the big learning from that is the Tom Brady story, what he does to keep going at such an age and to be so professional.

“He’s come into the club and brought them to the Super Bowl. It’s not him by himself, of course, but we tell our young players to be at the top level it’s not just natural talent, it’s dedication, hard work, focus.

“We’ve got the example of Edinson coming into our place and how much one player can influence a team. We’ve had Eric Cantona coming into the team with that experience.

“So Tom Brady is an example for every sportsman out there that it’s still possible at the age of 42 or 43, whatever he is now. But yeah we do keep the dialogue between ourselves.”

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