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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
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The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Wed Oct 06 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Bitter Brown blow «« 
3. REDitorial on the Goalkeeper Massimo Taibi
4. BBC - Inquests at Old Trafford
5. Goalkeeping Woes at Old Trafford (Times)
8. £14m for O'Leary, but Fergie's out of pocket 



Barry Comment:
Answers to our REDitorial on the Goalkeeper Massimo Taibi 
in todays newsletter. Bad news about WES BROWN out for the season.
Look forward to a 100% comeback in 2000/2001

Latest Table:
1 Leeds United  10 7 1 2  19 - 12   22 pts
2 Manchester U. 10 6 3 1  23 - 15   21
3 Sunderland    10 6 2 2  18 -  8   20
4 Chelsea        8 6 1 1  15 -  3   19
5 Arsenal       10 6 1 3  13 -  9   19

ECL Group D  ** Manchester United **
Olympique de Marseille * NK Croatia Zagreb * SK Sturm Graz

Manchester United FC Champions League Squad List
 1 Mark John Bosnich      2 Gary Alexander Neville 3 Dennis Joseph Irwin
 4 David May              6 Jakob Stam             7 David Robert J Beckham
 8 Nicholas Butt          9 Andrew Alex. Cole      10 Edward Sheringham
11 Ryan Joseph Giggs     12 Philip Neville         14 Johan Jordi Cruyff
15 Lars Jesper Blomqvist 16 Roy Keane           17 Raimond RJH Van der Gouw
18 Paul Scholes          19 Dwight Yorke           20 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
21 Henning Berg          23 Michael Jamie Clegg    25 José Quinton Fortune
26 Massimo Taibi         31 Nicholas James Culkin  33 Mark Antony Wilson
34 Jonathan Greening

Real Audio - Last weeks Daily News Sound Archive:
Click on INDEX at http://www.red11.org/sound


99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at

Mark Bosnich's Personal Details 



Previous News:
 BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
  Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
 Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

11-OCT-1999 Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial OT [Schmeichel + Cantona]
13-OCT-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Aston Villa  (Worthington (League) Cup, AWAY)
16-OCT-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Watford  (FA Premier League, HOME)
19-OCT-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Marseille  (UEFA Champions League, AWAY)
24-OCT-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Spurs  (FA Premier League, AWAY)

The line-up for the testimonial game is:
Eric Cantona		Peter Schmeichel
Zinedine Zidane		Gabriel Batistuta
Paul Gascoigne 		Juninho
George Weah		Alessandro Costacurta
Christian Ziege		Lillian Thuram
Roberto Mancini		John Collins


UNITED Stats v All teams:
ALL FIXTURES at: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix992000.htm
First Team Fixtures 1999/2000
All dates/times subject to change
Dates of possible cup ties also shown

Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/07/99    Melbourne Australia   pre-season  W  2-0     -    60,000
18/07/99    Sydney    Australia   pre-season  W  1-0     -    78,000
21/07/99    Shanghai  Shenhua     pre-season  W  2-0     -    80,000
24/07/99    Hong Kong South China pre-season  W  2-0     -    40,000

 1/08/99    Arsenal   Wembley Charity Shield  L  1-2     -    70,185
 3/08/99    Omagh Town Omagh Bomb Fund        W  9-0     -     7,000
 4/08/99    Wigan Athletic friendly           W  2-0     -    15,000 
08/08/99    Everton                  Away PL  D  1-1    10    39,141
11/08/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home PL  W  4-0     3    54,941
14/08/99    Leeds United             Home PL  W  2-0     1    55,187
22/08/99    Arsenal                  Away PL  W  2-1     1    38,147
25/08/99    Coventry City            Away PL  W  2-1     1    22,024 
27/08/99    Monaco - Lazio               ESC  L  0-1     -    15,223
30/08/99    Newcastle United         Home     W  5-1     1    55,190
11/09/99    Liverpool                Away     W  3-2     1    44,929
14/09/99    Croatia Zagreb           Home EC  D  0-0     -    53,250
18/09/99    Wimbledon                Home     D  1-1     1    55,189
22/09/99    Sturm Graz               Away EC  W  3-0     -    16,480
25/09/99    Southampton              Home     D  3-3     1    55,249
29/09/99    Marseille                Home EC  W  2-1     -    54,276
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  Away PL  L  0-5     2    34,909

*11/10/99   Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial OT [Schmeichel + Cantona]
13/10/99    Aston Villa              Away WC 3 19.45
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL   15.00
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC   19.45 
24/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away PL   15.00 - moved from 23/10
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC   19.45
30/10/99    Aston Villa              home PL   15.00
 2/11/99    Sturm Graz               Home EC   19.45 
 6/11/99    Leicester City           Home PL   15.00
20/11/99    Derby County             Away PL   15.00
24/11/99    ?     EC
27/11/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Away PL   15.00
30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         WCC       20.00
 1/12/99    ?     WC 4
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL   15.00
 8/12/99    ?     EC
11/12/99    FAC 3 Will not enter ...
15/12/99    ?     WC 5
18/12/99    West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
26/12/99    Bradford City            Home PL   15.00
28/12/99    Sunderland               Away PL   20.00  "live on sky"
 3/01/2000  Middlesborough           Home PL   20.00

 ***** 5-14 /01/2000 Brazil WTC  *****   [3-4 games]

*  8/01/2000  FAC 4 Will not enter ...
12/01/2000  ?    WC sf i
15/01/2000  Leeds United             Away PL   15.00
22/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   15.00
26/01/2000  ?    WC sf ii
* 29/01/2000  FAC 5 Will not enter ...
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            Home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         Away PL   15.00
* 19/02/2000  FAC 6 Will not enter ...
26/02/2000  Wimbledon                Away PL   15.00
27/02/2000  ?   Wembley WC f
 1/03/2000  ?   EC
 4/03/2000  Liverpool                Home PL   15.00
 8/03/2000  ?   EC
11/03/2000  Derby County             Home PL   15.00
15/03/2000  ?   EC
18/03/2000  Leicester City           Away PL   15.00
22/03/2000  ?   EC
25/03/2000  Bradford City            Away PL   15.00
 1/04/2000  West Ham United          Home PL   15.00
 5/04/2000  ?   EC qf i
 8/04/2000  Middlesborough           Away PL   15.00
*  9/04/2000  FAC sf Will not enter ...
15/04/2000  Sunderland               Home PL   15.00
19/04/2000  ?   EC qf ii
22/04/2000  Southampton              Away PL   15.00
24/04/2000  Chelsea                  Home PL   15.00
29/04/2000  West Ham United          Away PL   15.00
 3/05/2000  ?   EC sf i
 6/05/2000  Tottenham Hotspur        Home PL   15.00
10/05/2000  ?   EC sf ii
14/05/2000  Aston Villa              Away PL   15.00
* 20/05/2000 Wembley FAC f Will not enter ...
24/05/2000  ?    EC f



Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Bitter Brown blow «« Wes Brown could be out for the rest of the season after deciding to have the knee operation which he had been hoping to avoid. The United defender suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in pre-season training but looked well on the road to recovery when he started kicking the ball again last month. But Brown's hopes of returning to first team action in the next couple of months are over after he admitted defeat in his bid to avoid surgery. He said: "I've tried it in training but it keeps on giving way so I've decided to have the operation done." The news comes as another blow to Sir Alex Ferguson who has several star names on the club's long-term injury list. Jesper Blomqvist recently underwent an operation on his knee injury, sustained in pre-season, while Ronny Johnsen had a double knee op which will keep him out until at least Christmas. Gary Neville is out for at least another month while David May's long-awaited return appears to be anyone's guess. Barry wrote: >Sorry to bringer of bad tidings, Wes goes under the knife next week >Full details real audio now at >http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/wes_out_for_season.rm > >214k Oct 5 2m... wes_out_for_season.rm >Realistically it will be next season before he plays again. > >Barry
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: STAM IS LATEST INJURY PROBLEM Jaap Stam has had to pull out of the Dutch squad ahead of Saturday's friendly with Brazil as he becomes the latest United defender to suffer injury this season. Stam picked up an Achilles injury during Sunday's defeat at Chelsea and he will not be risked against Brazil. Defenders Wes Brown, Gary Neville, Ronnie Johnsen and David May are already missing for United with long-term injuries.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: REDitorial on the Goalkeeper Massimo Taibi From: Diana Low Well, I don't really know....how long do they take to settle in? How long did Pete take? I know that being in this position as United are in right now, everybody needs to perform asap, especially a goalie. After the Chelsea game, (which I tuned in through the BBC, hence not being able to judge anyone), I felt dejected, but then maybe Chelsea were the better team on Saturday.... You can just go on winning every game you know.......... But personally, I prefer Raimond. He did well in the Champions League, so why not stick with him between the post? Give him a chance, he was always second to Pete, so now he should be first choice. My ratings: Bosnich ---------- I reeeaaaaaallly do not know, but so far, gave us some pretty shaky performances. Taibi ------ Good goalie but lack the Schmeichel influence. Should learn English faster and start shouting nonsense. Rai ---- My choice. 'nuff said. He's been with the team, know the team, and the defenders probably play well and have good communication with him....... PS: I take the Chelsea game as an off-day for us. Can't blame the goalie.. Shouldn't blame the goalie... It's just ONE bad game..... Diana Low Designer ----------------------------- A quick point before I discuss Taibi with regard to this notion that Peter Schmeichel made a shaky start to his United career, he began by keeping 4 clean sheets. Alex Stepney's best run of clean sheets was four in a row (Oct 71), the great Harry Gregg's was only three in a row (April 59). On to Massimo....... Massimo Taibi's task this year is virtually an impossible one. He arrived after pre-season had been completed meaning he didn't get a proper chance to integrate with the team, he doesn't speak a word of English so he isn't able to communicate with his defenders and he had to replace a goalkeeper, who arguably was the greatest ever. Given all this I still think he has performed at a substandard level in his first games for United and he does not look very promising. He generally has great difficulty dealing with crosses and on one or two occasions his positioning has been wrong e.g. should have been closer to the near post for Pahars goal in the Southampton match. Some people might think this a miner point but it isn't. Things such as positioning are basics and therefore are learnt in youth team football, Taibi is 29 and if he hasn't mastered these things now he is never likely to. To look at things positively, I think Taibi's difficulties with crosses is not unique among foreign goalkeepers arriving in this country - given time on the pitch he should improve. The language problem should not be underestimated either - once he has a basic grasp of English he will feel more at home both on and off the pitch. Also one of the most important points in his favour is that Massimo Taibi now plays for Manchester United. Alex Ferguson obviously believed him to be a quality keeper and as we know Fergie can judge a player. At United he will have access to a great coaching staff and you need only look at Andy Cole to see the sort of improvements that can be made. In conclusion, I personally believe Taibi does not look a great keeper. However I am no expert and given the promising signs he showed on his debut he should be given a fair go. I have been proved wrong by the boss too many times to go against his judgement again. I think that Taibi should continue in goal in what should be a relatively easy home fixture with Watford. A clean sheet and comfortable win should do wonders for his confidence. ( I know about Southampton and the dons but Watford......surely not). Wednesday's CC Cup game vs Villa could be a good chance to have another look at Bosnich. Andrew McGrath Email : a.mcgrath@liberty-it.co.uk ----------------------------------- "Vincent Tan" I personally feel that the Italian is not up to mark, at all. The first goal was a pure blunder by the keeper and so were a few in the season already. The hardest part to swallow is when my Liverpool friends compare him to their keeping great, David James! Not. Vinz. --------------------------
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: BBC - Inquests at Old Trafford Inquests at Old Trafford For the first time in a long time, there are red faces among the Red Devils. Manchester United's 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea on Sunday was the reigning champions' first defeat in the Premiership for 10 months. The Stamford Bridge match brought their 29-game unbeaten run to a shuddering and humiliating halt. And it re-ignited a title race that had looked like turning into an anti-climax after the Treble winners began the season in the same vein they had finished the last. But what has suddenly happened to a team that had seemed destined to effortlessly strengthen their stranglehold on the domestic game? Crisis, what crisis? Three weeks ago everything was rosy at Old Trafford. A 3-2 away win over their arch rivals Liverpool had taken Sir Alex Ferguson's team six points clear at the top of the Premiership. Nicky Butt (right) gets a red card to add to United's troubles Victories over two of their closest competitors, Arsenal and Leeds, and a 5-1 demolition of Newcastle already had United's huge band of supporters contemplating the prospect of yet more silverware. Europe has so far proved a successful enough diversion - but since that high-point at Anfield, the Premiership has turned into a problem area for Ferguson and his players. Two of England's less glamorous top-flight sides, Wimbledon and Southampton, both came away from Old Trafford with surprise draws - swiftly followed by the embarrassment at Chelsea. Ferguson himself insists Sunday's result will not give him sleepless nights and vowed that his side would bounce back from the setback. "We'll just have to bite the bullet and get on with it," the manager said. Ferguson and assistant Steve McLaren see their defence ripped apart by Chelsea But for the fans, accustomed as they now are to such unprecedented levels of success, the 5-0 mauling may be harder to take. Questions are being asked about the United defence, which has been singled out as the major factor in the team's recent Premiership stutter. So far United have conceded 15 league goals - more than any other team in the top half of the table. In particular, Ferguson's choice of goalkeeper has raised eyebrows among the United faithful. It was never going to be easy to replace Peter Schmeichel, the Danish keeper who left at the end of the season after playing a huge role in United's domination of English football in the 1990s. Schmeichel's iconic status ensured any successor would struggle to fill his boots. Ferguson decided to replace the Dane with an Australian, Mark Bosnich, who joined on a free transfer in the summer. But before long rumours began to circulate that Ferguson was unhappy with Bosnich - speculation that intensified when Schmeichel's deputy Raimond Van Der Gouw was brought into the team. Massimo Taibi contemplates his error against Southampton Then United signed a third keeper, Italian Massimo Taibi, and Ferguson looked to have finally resolved the question of who should take the gloves. But the start to Taibi's Old Trafford career has been far from auspicious. He committed a farcical mistake against Southampton, allowing a feeble Matt Le Tissier shot to slip through his legs, which gifted the Saints a 3-3 draw. And he was humiliated again in the Chelsea debacle - caught out of position for Gustavo Poyet's opener, he then saw Jody Morris' fifth goal go between his legs. But the question of Schmeichel's succession is not the only cause of United's on-going defensive woes. Ferguson has built a formidable squad capable of competing on many fronts, but even his vast resources have been tested by a spate of injuries that has robbed him for long periods of the services of key defenders like Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen, Wes Brown and Dennis Irwin. And of those defenders who are playing, new signing Mickael Silvestre has yet to find his feet, Henning Berg has developed a penchant for finding his own net and even Jaap Stam - arguably the best defender in England - has not been the force he was last season. Fergie puts faith in history Despite the sudden leaks in his back four, Ferguson remains upbeat. Indeed he is drawing heavily on the memory of how United reacted to a pair of similarly devastating blows three years ago. In the space of two weeks in October 1996, they lost 5-0 to Newcastle and 6-3 at Southampton. But by the following May, the title again belonged to United. "This was a result that seems to happen to us now and again," Ferguson said of the Chelsea defeat, "and in the past we've always responded in the right manner. "We've got to hope history repeats itself. "A result like this just shows how hard it is to win the title, but my players have bounced back before. "And we'll do it again - no question."
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Goalkeeping Woes at Old Trafford (Times) Jim Leighton can still feel the anguish of the moment so vividly that he is unable to watch any footage of the 1990 FA Cup Final to this day, and even the mention of Alex Ferguson had him in torment for some time thereafter. A decade on, the malaise afflicting the bearers of Manchester United's goalkeeping jersey is no less significant. Indeed, the Leighton affair was special not so much for the actual event - when he was dropped for the Cup Final replay against Crystal Palace - but for the ruthlessness shown by Ferguson, the United manager then and now. Leighton was broken by it, while Les Sealey, the victor in this instance, was made up by it. It shall be interesting to see whether similar fates await Massimo Taibi, Mark Bosnich or, perhaps to a lesser extent, Raimond van der Gouw. There may not be an FA Cup Final in the equation, but, in slumping to a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea in the FA Carling Premiership on Sunday, it is evident that Ferguson may not have confronted his last, contentious ruling on the club's number one.An autumnal blip is not uncommon, but the sense of instability coursing through the team is virtually unheard of. Was life without Peter Schmeichel supposed to be this traumatic? For weeks, and not days, Ferguson thought long and hard about his decision to sacrifice Leighton. A similar process will be unfolding in his mind now about Taibi, Bosnich and van der Gouw, as he attempts to extricate his side's fortunes from the messy situation in which they have become embroiled. Taibi, the unknown Italian, was purchased for £4.5 million at the end of August, in Ferguson's hope that he might provide an antidote to the mental and physical shortcomings displayed by Bosnich. However, Taibi's costly mistakes, against Liverpool, Southampton and Chelsea, do not look good given his status as Britain's most expensive goalkeeper. Taibi is not helped by his poor English, the sense that he is not settling easily to life in the Premiership is growing. At the moment, he does not have to do that in Europe, for another of the calamities to befall the club was the refusal of clearance by Uefa to allow Taibi to play in any Champions' League games before Christmas. While Bosnich was annoying Ferguson, van der Gouw has stepped in to that breach with his usual minimum of fuss. Van der Gouw, unfortunately according to Ferguson, is 36-years-old and not one, therefore, for the future. So, it is time for Bosnich to re-enter. After an enforced break through injury, and after heeding the warnings, it seems that Bosnich is back on the straight and narrow, and not far away from earning a reprieve. It is likely that Ferguson will try and comfort Taibi by naming him in the team to face Watford in the Premiership on October 16, but United have a Worthington Cup fixture three days before. heir trip to Villa in that lowly-regarded competition could provide Bosnich with his chance. Thereafter, there are five more Champions' League matches in which Taibi cannot interfere and in which Bosnich can hope to play. If he has not made an impact by then, time may well have run out: the six-month embargo concerning the selling-on of Bosman transfers ends for Bosnich in December.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: MONEY MATTERS Manchester United's operating figures from the year 1998/99 have been announced, and good reading they make too! The big number, total turnover, sees the club break the nine-figure barrier for the first time, with 110.7 million pounds the magic figure. That represents a 26% raise on last year's performance, and includes record operating profits of 32.3 million pounds before player costs. Martin Edwards, speaking from his luxury office overlooking Stretford Tripe Works in the distance, welcomed the amazing announcement, saying, "1999 was a truly outstanding year for Manchester United PLC and the board is pleased to announce record turnover exceeding 100 million pounds for the first time, record operating profits and an increased dividend, lovely jubbly. "Performance both on and off the pitch was excellent - the stadium operated at full capacity and the Manchester United team achieved an unprecedented treble by winning the Premier League Championship, FA Cup and European Champions' Cup. "For the fifth time in seven years, Manchester United has started the financial year as Premier League Champions and we shall be defending the European Champions Cup in a competition that has been extended by UEFA with greater financial reports," he concluded. "However, the collapse of the BSkyB deal has repercussions. We cannot afford to go out a buy a Rivaldo. We have spent around 40 million pounds on players in the past two years and quite frankly, it has got to stop. I look down to the bench during games and see up to five players sat about earning massive wages and doing nothing. It is obvious that the manager has far too many players. Personally I think Sir Alex's best signing was the Dutch goalie, Van Der Valk, we got him on a free you know." As he spoke he shoved a large wad of money into his back pocket. "Another problem is players wages. I chatted to Victoria somebody in the Directors Box last week, she's married to one of the staff here, turnstile operator or whatever, and she admitted that she and her husband David don't have a Washing Machine in their home. She posts their washing to her Mum! Now, I don't know what a Washing Machine is, but it made me realise that our players are far too cossetted. From next month they can take their kit home with them." Edwards rolled another cigar as his customised wheelbarrow was filled with gold bullion. "More savings will have to be made. I intend to raise the price of the pies here to reflect the fact that we are selling European Champions pies. Programmes will be in line with Wembley ones - our ground is much better and the product has to show that, well, at least the price does." "The stadium rebuilding is coming on a treat. Soon we will have more seats for corporate hospitality than for the normal working-class types who spoil matchdays with their noise and crudities. I mean, you give them a seat and they won't even sit on it. The executive apartments, sorry training complex at Carrington will soon be completed and available to the estate agents, er, playing staff. I am even investigating timeshare options in the South Stand. Just think, you could sit in your seat any time of the week you fancy." The United supremo then returned to the players wages. "I know we have won one or two trophies lately, but football goes in cycles, unlike money, which once it goes into the bank, stays there. These fancy superstars, your Jam Stamps and Quids-In Fortunes, ponce about in their designer gear and flash cars. Well, soon they'll have to use their Versace jumpers as goalposts. I'm getting them all to meet up at the Dog And Partridge before kick-off, and even start paying subs, like other local sides do." Edwards glanced up as his personal assistant wiped his nose with a fifty pound note. "MUTV has been a loss-maker. I don't think it been a problem with the programme content, but I have told them to exclude Paul Hinson in future, I have seen his satirical efforts and the Board and myself do not approve. Take-up has been poor, piss-poor actually, there's a crazy guy in Denmark but that's about it. Replica shirts are a worry, I used to say, launch a new one and the mugs, sorry punters will buy it. We must look at other revenue streams, such as pension plans, mortgages and loans. Just imagine, fans with Red Devils Mortgages, what a way to respossess and own properties all over the world!"
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: GIGGS SET TO MAKE SWISS ROLL By Paul Walker, PA Sport Welsh winger Ryan Giggs could be set for a remarkable return against Switzerland in the Euro 2000 qualification game. The Manchester United star appeared to be out for two months after aggravating a hamstring injury against Wimbledon a fortnight ago. But Giggs believes that he still has a chance to play against the Swiss and help former team-mate Mark Hughes claim the Welsh manager's job on a permanent basis. "The injury is clearing up nicely, and the key to it is the next few days to see if I'm OK to play," Giggs said. "I rate my chances at 50-50 at the moment. I have done some running with the United physios, but obviously that is a lot different from playing a game. "I will be going back to United for treatment now until Friday at least, and just take it from there. "I will give it until the very last minute. These next few days are crucial but hopefully I will be available for Saturday. "Mark and me will then just have a chat to see how the injury is progressing, to make sure I'm 100 per cent and don't come back to early. I don't want to be out for six or seven weeks. I would imagine Sir Alex Ferguson would have a say in what happens! "We'll just see how it goes, if I'm fit then I will play. But I won't do anything silly, I won't risk it if it means I will be out for another eight weeks. "But everyone wants Mark to get the job, and we all aim to do everything we can to make sure that happens." But Giggs' return is bad news for the Swiss, who still have an outside chance of reaching the play-offs. And Hughes is prepared to leave Saturday's opponents guessing as to whether Giggs will play at The Racecourse, Wrexham, on Saturday. Hughes has lost Mark Pembridge (ankle) and Andy Melville (thigh) from his squad. Paul Trollope of Fulham has been added to the party, with one of the Under-21 youngsters promoted to the full squad after Friday's game with Switzerland at Newtown.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: £14m for O'Leary, but Fergie's out of pocket By Peter Ferguson David O'Leary was last night sitting on the richest transfer fund in Britain following a near-£14million cash injection into Leeds United. While Alex Ferguson was left wondering what he has to do to prise substantial cash out of Manchester United plc, O'Leary is looking at the best part of an astonishing £30m war chest with which to pursue Elland Road's title dream. United, the wealthiest club in the world, posted record profits of £32.3m after a sensational season in which the European Cup completed an unprecedented treble - but chairman Martin Edwards immediately ruled out a major signing to supple-ment Ferguson's injury-hit squad. Yet Leeds counterpart Peter Ridsdale will invite O'Leary to utilise the riches provided by the sale of just over nine per cent of the club to BSkyB. The irony will not be lost on Ferguson, who would have been provided with awesome spending power if Rupert Murdoch's £635m bid to buy United had not been blocked. Instead, he has seen Leeds march to the top of the table on the same Sunday that United were thrashed at Chelsea and yesterday had any hopes of a big buy flattened by Edwards. He has taken a long, hard look at Ferguson's bill for summer signings, a not insignificant £11.3m for Massimo Taibi, Mikael Silvestre and Quinton Fortune. He pointed out: 'If you look at our profits after tax, we are left with just £16m. We have spent £40m in the past two years on players, effectively spending more than we earned. And you cannot keep adding to the wage bill.' Forty miles across the Pennines, the man who would be king is being made privy to a king's ransom. A huge majority of shareholders swept aside dissenters to give BSkyB 9.2 per cent of Leeds for £13.8m. O'Leary has been promised the new funds that bring even Europe's biggest names within his compass. BSkyB will act as 'media advisors' to Leeds and pocket 30 per cent of any increased profits regarding television contracts over the next five years. Leeds' last set of figures showed a £6.4m profit, small change when compared to Old Trafford's worldwide licence to print money reflected in United's massive £110m turnover. But O'Leary will be content to leave the bid for global supremacy to others. At least for now.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

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Singalong Calypso available here: mp3

          If ever they are playing in your town
          You must get to that football ground
          Take a lesson come to see
          Football taught by Matt Busby
          Manchester, Manchester United
          A bunch of bouncing Busby Babes
          They deserve to be knighted

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