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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun Aug 08 11:57:27 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Results/Table before Sunday
2. Stam puts his courage to the test 
3. Centre spot for Beckham - Sunday Times
4. Omagh (Times)
5. Ferguson says he never wants to manage England
6. Keane is told: Sign or be sold
7. Sir Alex is ready to raid market


Daily MANCHESTER UNITED NEWS Sunday 8th August 1999:

Barry Daily Comment:
Kick off today here's to a great Millenium Season to REDS All over the World!


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!


             Arsenal   2-1   Leicester City        38,026
             Chelsea   4-0   Sunderland            34,831
       Coventry City   0-1   Southampton           19,915
        Leeds United   0-0   Derby County          40,118
       Middlesbrough   0-1   Bradford City         33,762
    Newcastle United   0-1   Aston Villa           36,600
 Sheffield Wednesday   1-2   Liverpool             34,853
             Watford   2-3   Wimbledon             15,511
     West Ham United   1-0   Tottenham Hotspur     26,010

*** PREM FIXTURES ON 08/08/99 ***
             Everton  v  Manchester United


08-AUG-1999 [16:00] Manchester Utd. vs Everton  (FA Premier League, AWAY)
11-AUG-1999 [20:00] Manchester Utd. vs Sheffield W  (FA Premier League, HOME)
14-AUG-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Leeds U  (FA Premier League, HOME)
22-AUG-1999 [16:00] Manchester Utd. vs Arsenal  (FA Premier League, AWAY)

UNITED Stats v All teams:
ALL FIXTURES at: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix992000.htm
Subject: 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   11.00  pre-season   W  2-0  60,000
18/07/99    Sydney    Australia   06.00  pre-season   W  1-0  78,000 
21/07/99    Shanghai  Shenhua     12.30  pre-season   W  2-0  80,000
24/07/99    Hong Kong South China 08.30  pre-season   W  2-0  40,000
 1/08/99    Arsenal        Wembley Charity Shield     L  1-2  70,185

 3/08/99    Omagh Town aid of Omagh Bomb Fund         W  9-0   7,000
 4/08/99    Wigan Athletic friendly at JJB Stadium.   W  2-0   ? 

 8/08/99    Everton                  away      16.00 Live on Sky
11/08/99    Sheffield Wednesday      home PL   20.00
14/08/99    Leeds United             home PL   12.00
22/08/99    Arsenal                  away PL   16.00 Live on Sky
25/08/99    Coventry City            away PL   20.00
27/08/99    Monaco - Lazio           ESC       19.45
30/08/99    Newcastle United         home PL   13.00
11/09/99    Liverpool                away PL   11.30 Live on Sky
15/09/99    ?     EC
18/09/99    Wimbledon                home PL   15.00
22/09/99    ?     EC
25/09/99    Southampton              home PL   15.00
29/09/99    ?     EC
 3/10/99    Chelsea                  away PL   16.00 Live on Sky
*11/10/99   Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial OT [Cantona + Schmeichel]
13/10/99    ?     WC 3
16/10/99    Watford                  home PL   15.00
20/10/99    ?     EC
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        away PL   15.00
27/10/99    ?     EC
30/10/99    Aston Villa              home PL   15.00
 3/11/99    ?     EC
 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
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]

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
 5/02/2000  Coventry City            home PL   15.00
12/02/2000  Newcastle United         away PL   15.00
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
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
24/05/2000  ?    EC f



EC links + Personal diaries here:

 Its the presentation of the European Cup at Nou Camp
  Video including sound   57secs  1.5 meg 


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

Subject: Results/Table before Sunday *** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 07/08/99 *** Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City 38,026 Chelsea 4-0 Sunderland 34,831 Coventry City 0-1 Southampton 19,915 Leeds United 0-0 Derby County 40,118 Middlesbrough 0-1 Bradford City 33,762 Newcastle United 0-1 Aston Villa 36,600 Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Liverpool 34,853 Watford 2-3 Wimbledon 15,511 West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur 26,010 *** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 07/08/99 *** Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1 Chelsea 1 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 3 2 Wimbledon 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 2 1 3 3 Arsenal 1 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 4 Liverpool 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 1 3 5 Aston Villa 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 6 Bradford City 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 7 Southampton 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 3 8 West Ham United 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 9 Derby County 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 Leeds United 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 11 Everton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 Manchester United 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 Watford 1 0 0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 14 Leicester City 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0 15 Sheffield Wednesday 1 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 16 Coventry City 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 17 Middlesbrough 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 18 Newcastle United 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 19 Tottenham Hotspur 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0 20 Sunderland 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 -4 0
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Stam puts his courage to the test By Peter Fitton Sunday, August 8, 1999 Jaap Stam has been patched up to answer Manchester United's defensive emergency at Goodison Park this afternoon. But the 10.5m centre back will need all his renowned bravery and determination to overcome a longstanding achilles tendon injury in the opening weeks of the new Premiership campaign. Old Trafford's medical experts were so concerned earlier this week that they flew a Dutch specialist over to assess Stam's suspect fitness. The doctor, an expert in keyhole surgery, carried out a lengthy examination and a series of tests on the ankle injury causing so much concern to Stam. He also ordered a scan to probe the damage that first flared in the final weeks of Sir Alex Ferguson's successful pursuit of an historic Treble last May. The Dutchman flew back from United's summer tour of Australia and China with new fears surrounding his immediate future in Ferguson's first team. Last night the United manager confirmed: 'Jaap is fit for the Everton game and that is a great relief to us with so many other defenders out injured at the moment. 'The specialist came across from Holland earlier this week to check him out. The big man also had a scan and he's done a bit of training in the last couple of days so he is ready for the opening game.' Seven of United's big-name players are on an injury list that clearly has handicapped Ferguson's pre-season preparations. Missing are Ronny Johnsen (knee), David May (medial ligaments), Wes Brown (cruciate ligaments) and Gary Neville (hip). Roy Keane should return in midfield after coming through 90 minutes at Omagh in midweek, while Nicky Butt will have a fitness check after he took a knock on his ribs. Jordi Cruyff should start on the left because Ryan Giggs does not expect to return from his hamstring injury until Wednesday's game with Sheffield Wednesday. The Dutchman looked impressive against Wigan in midweek and Sir Alex feels he is on form.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Centre spot for Beckham - Sunday Times EVEN in August, Sir Alex Ferguson's working day begins shortly after sunrise. It starts in his office at The Cliff to a dawn chorus of brief telephone calls, and a variety of letters. On top of his in-tray on Thursday was something from the Labour Party, outlining an initiative on Europe. He would glance at it later. His immediate concern was domestic and European policy as sketched out on another document, the one pinned next to his desk. This is Manchester United's fixture list, annotated with 16 short black lines, marking the midweek dates when Champions League fixtures are scheduled; other hieroglyphs signal the notorious tournament in Brazil and the European Super Cup, in Monaco. "We'll be doing a lot of travelling," said Ferguson. "I go through that list every minute of the day looking for the moment where I can find some relief." The many demands on United's time have already meant abandoning their defence of one trophy, the FA Cup; retaining the other two will be a question of Ferguson's balancing his resources to an unprecedented degree. Nor, he concedes, is he "smitten" by the idea of going to South America for Fifa's World Team Championship in January. With so many matches, he remains disappointed that salary constraints have prevented him recruiting a new outfield player from Europe's top drawer to strengthen his pool. Yet this was not a gloomy Ferguson. Quite the contrary: the demands would be challenges, necessity the mother of invention. Pacing his team through the season, which begins in earnest at Everton today, Ferguson even envisages "resting" players during the autumn's European games, or those squeezed between domestic engagements with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool. The Premiership and Champions League start as equal priority, the principle of squad rotation is a given. He will also seek flexibility from his young and still improving personnel. In midfield, for instance, he acknowledges a "dilemma". Ferguson imagines Roy Keane, the club captain, will stay at United despite difficult contract talks but agrees that injury or suspension, of the type which denied him both Keane and Paul Scholes for the European Cup final, would leave a large gap. To his regret, an Edgar Davids would not be filling it, still less a Rivaldo or a Juan Veron. Enter David Beckham. Ferguson indicated that the most creative Englishman in the Premiership is about to assume the role many of his admirers, and indeed Kevin Keegan, have longed to see him play - the centre of midfield. "I think we'll probably play him there quite a lot," said Ferguson. Just as he was about to expand, his phone rang. Ferguson frowned as he learned that Everton had reduced the width of their playing surface by seven yards this season. He put down the phone and laughed: "We'd better start with Beckham in the centre on Sunday, then." Most opponents will be seeking to clip United's wings one way or another, be they Ryan Giggs and Beckham, Jesper Blomqvist, Jordi Cruyff or Jonathan Greening. He would tackle Everton manager Walter Smith about his slender touchlines after today's game, he added, still smiling. But the point about Beckham was delivered in earnest: "Up front, I'm happy with the different combinations I've got. But in midfield, you'd have to keep them all fit to feel safe. Beckham's range of passing would give me all sorts of options in the centre and the range of game I'd be happy with. He's not just somebody of consummate ability and accuracy; there's also his sheer work-rate. He's blessed with good stamina. He'll run and run and run." Ferguson warmed to his theme. If Beckham remains the best crosser of a ball in Europe (with due respect to Barcelona's Luis Figo), there is still an attractive logic to his moving in from the wing as he matures, as Bobby Charlton did in a previous Old Trafford era. "It's all down to the balance of the side," he said. "I expect Jonathan [Greening] to appear in the first team more this season and if he can come along, playing wide on the right, then we have more cover than might have appeared." Cruyff's form has also been encouraging. Would Beckham, as is often suggested, prefer a central role? "I don't think it matters what position he sets himself out to be, if any," said Ferguson. "He enjoyed the challenge of what he did in the FA Cup final, when Roy Keane went off early in the match. He was fantastic in the centre. David just likes to be playing in the game." So, no hangover from a busy, matrimonial summer for United's No 7? "His whole life is centred around the game of football," said Ferguson. At times in the past two months, it has been harder to say the same for Corporation Man U. Ferguson has a number of players short of fitness as he enters the season and there must be doubt over the advisability of United's trip to Australia and China on a tour that had more to do with increasing the club's marketing reach than returning the players to their physical peak. They have been back for less than a fortnight. Ideally, Ferguson would have allowed many of those who travelled to ease into the season, but injuries to Gary Neville, David May, Wes Brown and Ronny Johnsen - a whole defence - as well as to Giggs and Blomqvist mean he cannot. "United have become such a big name that everybody wants a piece of them," Ferguson reflects. "But the piece they're taking is from the same cake. You saw the hullaballoo from sponsors about Beckham not being in Australia. Has it got to the stage where they decide what the team is? "I agree that we should go to places like that, but there's no good time to do it. I've got to have an eye on the season's start and what's the best possible preparation for the players." Defeat in the Charity Shield left him with the impression that perhaps Arsenal had a better structured build-up. He was, however, encouraged by the response of his players to losing at Wembley: "They were sick about it." The hunger for success is still sharp and the manager will ensure every European medal-holder is inoculated against complacency. What does concern him is the absence of a big signing to revitalise the team. Whereas last year Ferguson was able to launch his season with three fresh faces - Dwight Yorke, Jaap Stam and Blomqvist - the three new additions on display this August are the FA Cup, the Premiership trophy and the European Cup, assets easily removed from the premises at the end of a season. They can also be quite as awkward as a new teammate. The treble will cast a massive shadow and, in that respect, the manager himself is entering the most challenging of his 14 seasons at Old Trafford. Having spent the last, most dramatic of those years working on an absorbing autobiography, he has had cause to reflect as much. He will retire, as planned, at 60, but would be open to a role as general manager after that. Keeping United buoyant requires imagination. "I know that another year with the same manager has its pitfalls," he said. "The players know my team talks, they've heard the tactics, they've heard my demands. Sometimes you have to change the pattern a bit, so they're not always hearing the same thing. I'd love to be able to announce we've got the best player in the world coming to us. It would give such a lift to the whole place. It would challenge me, too, in learning to deal with someone who's better than most. Look at the effect Eric Cantona had." As it is, any new faces would be "youngsters, relatively cheap". The task of remotivating his serial champions must come from within: "The most important contribution a coach can make is bringing imagination to a player's game. You have to incorporate an imagination into the training so that it becomes part of them. For example, when [Andy] Cole and Yorke started to develop their little run-overs and linking play last year, they would be getting it from their training sessions. "The development of players is something that happens on the training ground. Ability's not about trial and error; it's about trying and succeeding. There's no room for trial and error out on the pitch. You don't have time for that." So much to do, so little time. Ferguson glanced again at the fixture list. Once the draw has been made for the first group stage of the new-look Champions League, he will be clearer about possible breathing space. United may be fortunate and find themselves grouped with one or two weaker opponents, in which case Ferguson can consider resting senior players and giving the likes of Greening, 20, and the highly-rated Mark Wilson, also 20, a run. By then, the club will also have got one trophy out of the way, the Super Cup, a one-off match in Monaco against Lazio later this month - or, if you like, another clot in modern football's bloodstream. Then, come the New Year, that other obligation must be fulfilled. The World Team Championship has caused no end of trouble. Ferguson is respectful enough of tradition to regret United's exemption from the FA Cup, the heavy price for participation in Fifa's new event. He simply says: "We've got to fly the flag for England. But I am concerned about having to go to Brazil in January. That's the nitty-gritty time in the season and I can't afford any bad injuries then. "Where Brazil is on the priorities we'll have to wait and see. It'll be a different climate, and a bit of an unknown quantity. At the moment it's just an idea which nobody has been smitten by, particularly us. "But who knows? It may turn out to be the best tournament ever. It may turn out to be an unmitigated disaster. We won't know until it actually happens, but it's going to be an arduous test for Manchester United." One among many.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Omagh (Times) August 8 1999 FOOTBALL: IRELAND Playing for Omagh against some of the best players in the world had its surreal moments. By Frankie Wilson A week in Omagh spent picking up Poyet and taking out Keane I DON'T think that anyone who was in the Omagh Town dressing room on August 15 last year will ever forget it. We were playing a League match in Belfast at Glentoran and when we got back in after the game, news of the bomb was starting to come through. I remember just looking around at the guys who lived in Omagh, such as Mark Donnelly and Paddy Hunter. They didn't know if anyone in their family had been caught up in it. There was such a feeling of helplessness because you didn't know what to do or say. So these games against Chelsea and Manchester United - and Liverpool in October - were a chance for the club to do something positive. The real buzz and the whole butterfly-stomach thing only really hit me on the morning of the Chelsea game. I was nervous, but in a way it was all a bit easier on the drive to the ground, when I passed the corner of Market Street where the bomb exploded. It was then I realised what it was all about. When the team was picked I was lucky enough to get a place on the left side of midfield. At around 6pm we got on the coach to go to the ground. The next thing, our manager Roy McCreadie is shouting down the bus: "Where's Frankie Wilson? Where's Frankie Wilson?" I had been given the job of arranging the boys to do the gate, but my brother and his mates hadn't turned up and I was getting the blame. So instead of worrying about Chelsea, I was more nervous about these stewards. Luckily, they were there when we arrived, but I bet you Zola or Di Matteo don't have to spend their Saturday mornings rounding up a few mates to work at Stamford Bridge. We held Chelsea for the first half hour. There was a bit of banter when I went up for a header with their keeper and smashed into his nose. When he was being taken off, I asked Tore Andre Flo who he was. Flo said he didn't know his name, but thought he might be Italian. So on the basis that these guys knew each other by nationality instead of first names, I asked him if they had any room for an Irish midfielder - but only if they could match the 50 a week I get for Omagh. There were some surreal moments. During the second half, a really fat Chelsea supporter ran onto the pitch and pretended to score a goal at the Omagh end. I turned to Di Matteo and said: "You can tell he's an Irish streaker because he keeps his clothes on." He laughed, so he must have got the joke. At the set pieces you could hear these shouts - "Who's got Petrescu?" "Somebody has to pick up Poyet." "What about Flo?" - and it was then that you realised you were playing for Omagh Town against all these international players. Weird. The build-up to the United game was even better, but it was a totally different kind of match. We tried to play 5-3-2 which was disastrous as it allowed their full-backs, Denis Irwin and Michael Clegg, far too much room. They scored after 30 seconds and the rest of the game was very frustrating for me as a player, but on the plus side I got to mark Roy Keane. He never gives the ball away, but one thing I did notice is that he does like to get onto his right side. So in the extremely unlikely event that I ever mark him again, I'll be looking out for that. They won 9-0 and after the game I heard Keane saying to some television people that some Omagh players were not afraid to leave their foot in. I hope he was talking about me, so at least I can say in years to come that I got a mention in one of Roy Keane's post-match interviews. Afterwards we were back to the hotel for a fund-raising dinner with all the United team. I watched Alex Ferguson for a while and he was brilliant. He never stopped smiling, posing for photos and signing autographs. There was one point just after the meal when the importance of it all hit home to everybody. Claire Gallagher, who was blinded in the bomb, went up on stage and started playing the piano. I could see all the United players just looking at each other with a little bit of shock on their faces. I think it was then that they realised this wasn't just another run-of-the-mill pre-season friendly. The rest of the season is bound to be a bit of a comedown. Instead of 8,000 people, we'll be playing in front of 80 in glamour spots such as Larne and Carrickfergus. However, when we look back on all of this in years to come, we can say that we shared a pitch with some of the best players in the world. Match of the Day will never be the same again. Frankie Wilson plays in midfield for Omagh Town
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Ferguson says he never wants to manage England LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Manchester United's Scottish manager Sir Alex Ferguson ended any possible future speculation when he said on Saturday that he never wants to coach England. In an interview with the BBC, Ferguson was asked if there would ever be a chance of that happening and he turned the idea down flat. "No, never, I would never want the job, in any circumstances," he said. Ferguson, who took Manchester United to the treble of European Cup, English title and F.A. Cup last season, has often been touted as a future England manager, despite the fact he is a Scot. But he did say that when he retires as Manchester United's manager in three years, he would like to stay at the club as general manager. Ferguson, who will have been at United for 16 years by 2002 when he will be 60, said: "That's the kind of active role I would enjoy. Of course I would like to stay if the club want me. "I think I'll deserve a rest by then, but there may be the challenge of a different role. "The new manager could ask me for advice if he wanted it, but I would stay on the periphery. I would have had the pressure of being a manager for 28 years, it would be time to have a rest." On a less savoury note, Ferguson has been drawn into an argument with Brian Kidd, his former assistant at Old Trafford, who is now manager at Blackburn Rovers. Ferguson has criticised Kidd, who was his assistant at Old Trafford for seven years in his new book saying that he had reservations about his managerial strength and of him ever becoming a future manager of Manchester United. Kidd responded angrily saying: "I believe Walt Disney is trying to buy the film rights to the books as a sequel to Fantasia. "After working with a person for over 10 years, you get to know a lot about them personally and privately. I've chosen to respect that relationship. Clearly he hasn't."
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Keane is told: Sign or be sold By Peter Fitton Sunday, August 8, 1999 Roy Keane will be put up for sale this week if Manchester United fail to persuade their inspirational captain to sign a new contract. And Lazio are waiting with a 25m deal to tempt the 27-year-old Irishman to Rome in a move that would set up the family man for life. Keane, demanding 40,000 a week, is approaching crisis point over his Premiership career after rejecting United's second contract offer of just over 30,000 on Tuesday. Throughout a hectic week of boardroom manoeuvres, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been lobbying desperately for the pay deal that would keep his No 1 player at Old Trafford. Last night Ferguson insisted: 'I don't think he really wants to leave United.' But Keane, who faces Everton as Treble winners United kick off their Premiership defence this afternoon, knows that Italy's powerhouse clubs are ready to satisfy his financial demands. Juventus and Inter Milan are prepared to offer him a tax-paid 1.5m a season and Keane would collect around another 1m a year from commercial work. Lazio, bankrolled by Sergio Cragnotti's fortune, have already contacted mediators in London and insist they want to buy Keane this week. Last night lawyer Michael Kennedy, Keane's long-trusted adviser, said: 'Roy is giving serious consideration to his position. I expect him to deliver a decision by Monday or Tuesday.' Keane's demands would demolish United's wage structure and guarantee him 10m over five years. Unless United's entrenched hierarchy come up with the right package, they risk having to put Keane up for sale. Chief executive Martin Edwards and the plc's paymasters are terrified that if they yield to Keane, United's other major stars will launch a wages stampede. But United's greatest fear is that unless they persuade Keane to sign before the Champions League deadline on August 15, they will be staring at two grim options. They could stall for a few more months, testing Keane's loyalty before reaching a midwinter agreement just before he could sign pre-contract deals with foreign clubs on January 1. Or they could cash in immediately rather than lose their 12m asset for nothing in a year's time when his current four-year agreement ends. Ferguson, aware that it is almost impossible to recruit a replacement of Keane's stature with the new season looming, would fiercely resist such a radical move. A few weeks ago he was thwarted in a secret initiative for Dutch star Edgar Davids because United erected the usual financial barriers. But last night it was rated at no more than 50-50 that Keane will be persuaded to stay at United.
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Sir Alex is ready to raid market By Joe Melling Sunday, August 8, 1999 Sir Alex Ferguson makes no bones about the fact that his Manchester United Treble winners embark on a new season at Everton today seriously under-manned, especially for a club renowned as the wealthiest in the world. Sir Alex has had plenty of battles in the past with the Old Trafford board over funds to help maintain United's position at the peak of the English game. A further fracas is likely after his declaration yesterday that he intends to buy before the European qualification deadline on August 31. United's injury situation is worsening rapidly before a ball has even been kicked and Sir Alex admitted yesterday: 'We're certainly not properly equipped at the moment. 'I would like to bring someone in before the European deadline at the end of the month, but it is very difficult to operate at the moment with the high salaries being demanded by players. 'I have to admit I am not even close at the present time.' Nevertheless, Sir Alex remains confident enough to suggest that while United were always unlikely to repeat last season's Treble, even before withdrawal from the FA Cup, a Premiership-European Championship Double is the target this time around. 'It's going to be arduous because there is a lot of travel ahead of us,' he said. 'Quite apart from the increase in numbers of games in the Champions League, we have games in Monaco, Tokyo and, of course, Brazil in January. 'We are setting out with the ambition to win the Premiership, Champions League or both. At the end of the day winning a major tournament in a season should be regarded as a success. 'I am optimistic about making a good start at Everton, even allowing for our injury concerns, because we have done well at Goodison in recent years.'
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Pic Link today is http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/

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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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