Last updated : 25 January 2007 By Ed

The laughable Stuart Mathieson in The MEN with some utterly scandalous drivel on how Abramovich may be helping the Glazers become accepted.

'Sir Alex Ferguson and his side may not be the only Old Trafford winners from the possible meltdown at Chelsea - the Glazers may also earn some brownie points into the bargain.

When Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich wiped out Chelsea's £80m debt in June 2003 and let managers Claudio Ranieri and then Jose Mourinho dip into the contents of his vast wallet almost everybody in football wanted a sugar daddy.

The richest man in Russia, and the 11th richest in the world, with an estimated fortune of around £40bn and prepared to bankroll the building of a successful side, seemed ideal.

Smashing any football transfer record was going to be a drop in the ocean for someone awash with that kind of dosh.

Someone with loads of cash who just turns up on match day, smiles embarrassingly in the directors box, watches the game, says `yes' to any player the manager fancies and then goes home. How good is that?

Never mind the damage to the competitive nature of English football and harm to the transfer market, Chelsea fans were in raptures.

Around the country there were thousands of green-eyed fans moaning about Chelsea but secretly wishing Abramovich had chosen their club as his plaything.

A proportion of United's support saw past the rolling pound signs in people's eyes and were glad that Abramovich didn't turn his attention to Old Trafford. He wouldn't have been welcome even if he'd brought Ronaldinho with him.

Even less welcome was an American who plunged the club into immediate debt.

Malcolm Glazer and his family's relationship with the fans has been decidedly hostile in some quarters and, at best, an uncomfortable one. They split the Reds support.

Some left for FC United and some stayed but remain anti-Glazer.

Those who vigorously opposed the Florida millionaire buying United were not hate-fuelled because they believed the recluse would suddenly be nipping over the Atlantic and barging in on Sir Alex Ferguson's team talks. Their concerns were deeper than that.

Nevertheless, there were fears from the `wait and see' brigade who were prepared to reluctantly take a step back and monitor the Glazer influence at the club.

Some of their worries centred on the possibility of Malcolm Glazer or his more active sons Joel, Bryan or Avram meddling with on-field affairs when they got their feet under the table. They imagined a video conference link from Tampa Bay to Old Trafford every week where the Yanks demanded that Gabriel Heinze should play instead or Patrice Evra, or Wayne Rooney should be dropped because he hadn't scored.

Or perhaps chief executive David Gill's phone would be ringing and a Glazer would say `go and buy so and so from Barcelona or Milan and tell Fergie that Paul Scholes should make way for him!

`Oh and by the way tell Mr Ferguson that we are sending over a couple of coaches to help him out and if he doesn't like it then he can start using his bus pass because we'll get somebody in who will agree to our ideas.'

But there has been little sign of the family in any of the corridors at Old Trafford, let alone those leading to the dressing room on a match day.

The reclusive family have largely remained just that on the football front although increased ticket prices and staff redundancies are another story.

The concerns harboured about the Glazers are coming home to roost at Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich has gradually been appointing his own men on the backroom staff. Allegedly it was he who wanted misfit Andriy Shevchenko and not Mourinho.

The spectre of Guus Hiddink, who Abramovich helped get the Russian international job, is now hanging over the Special One who has brought two Premiership titles to a previously non-achieving outfit.

The sugar daddy is starting to leave a bitter taste at the Bridge.

The Glazers' PR machine couldn't have done a better job of improving their acceptability rating.'