Football owners’ most embarrassing gaffes after Avram Glazer’s Cristiano Ronaldo mistake

Premier League managerial departures so far this season

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Manchester United’s Avram Glazer has become the latest football club owner to be left red-faced after an embarrassing gaffe. The 61-year-old, who also owns NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was presenting a motivational talk to a group of young athletes when he incorrectly stated a fact about Red Devils legend Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Glazer, a member of the Glazer family who own the Old Trafford outfit, wrongly told the cohort that United legend Cristiano was 16 when he first signed for the club in 2003.  

The iconic forward famously signed from Sporting Lisbon as an 18-year-old and went on to make 292 appearances before completing a then-world-record transfer to Real Madrid in 2009.  

Ronaldo has since completed a sensational return, with an incredible transfer saga culminating with him joining United from Juventus in August.  

Express Sport looks at some of the most embarrassing gaffes from other club owners after Glazer’s error.

FSG’s furlough U-turn 

Right at the start of the pandemic, and with football suspended due to lockdown, clubs were deciding how the financial implications might affect them.  

Liverpool owners FSG controversially decided to place around 200 non-playing staff on the government’s furlough scheme, which would have seen their least well-paid staff take home 20 per cent less pay. 

The Reds turned over £533m in the prior financial year and made a profit of £42m. At the time, they were the world’s seventh richest club. 

They were not the only Premier League club to do so. Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich also made the same decision.  

But huge backlash over the decision prompted a very swift U-turn and left the Liverpool owners with egg on their face.

Vincent Tan’s Cardiff shirt colour change

 

Cardiff City had worn blue home shirts since 1899 when eccentric owner Vincent Tan had other ideas in 2012.  

The Malaysian businessman is reported to have believed that red would bring the club good luck and so swapped the clubs traditional colours from blue to red.  

Tan received vast criticism for his decision but took two-and-a-half years to change back. It is one of several incredible stories from Tan’s first few years in charge of the Welsh club. 

To make matters worse, it took Tan years to admit the move was an error in judgement.

“I made a mistake by changing the colour and I’ve reverted back to blue. I made a mistake and I rectified it,” he admitted to supporters in January 2015. “There will be no more tinkering with the colours.”

Massimo Cellino’s Leeds press conference

 

Cellino’s three years as Leeds owner were full of amazing tales about the maverick Italian.  

But the one that stands out the most was when he held an hour-long press conference in which he blasted supporters and left midway through for a cigarette.  

In May 2015, Cellino announced that he would be moving his family to London after receiving abuse. There had been calls for then-boss Neil Redfearn to be dismissed following a poor run of form.  

“My wife and daughter are moving to London because they were disrespected,” he said. “When they walked down the street here, the fans say your father is the C-word. 

“She said: ‘I don’t want to stay here anymore. I can’t walk down the street’. Why don’t they give respect to my wife and daughter? What should I do? Sell the club? Or should I keep Neil Redfearn for my wife and daughter?”

Not exactly the best way to go about endearing yourself to the fans.

David Gold congratulates the wrong West Ham player

 

West Ham co-owner David Gold has a history for some bizarre, funny and often controversial tweets.  

But one recent contribution to Twitter saw him congratulate the wrong player.  

Defender Issa Diop made his 100th appearance for the East Londoners against Manchester City on October 27.  

Gold wrote a lovely message to Diop on the social media platform, and all he needed to do was make sure he accompanied his tribute with a picture of the correct player.  

Simple enough? However, Gold instead used a picture of Xande Silva by mistake.

Silva was sold to Nottingham Forest in August for £200,000 after making just two appearances for the Hammers. 
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