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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Mon Aug 16 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Baaaaaaa! Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS
2. Rain on, Rain On Van der Gouw by RED KELLY
3. Cost of keeping United 
4. Roy Keane by Armann Hinrik 
5. Welcome back Mike! by OUR SALFORD LASS


Daily MANCHESTER UNITED NEWS Monday 16th August 1999:

Barry Daily Comment:

TWO fantastic personal reports by RED KELLY & OUR SALFORD LASS
in today's news, ENJOY!

SOUND INDEX: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/
Martin Edwards speaks out today on the Roy Keane saga!
        306k   4m 42secs


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!

       Bradford City   1-1   Sheffield Wednesday   18,276
        Derby County   1-3   Middlesbrough         24,045
      Leicester City   2-2   Chelsea               21,068
           Liverpool   0-1   Watford               44,174
   Manchester United   2-0   Leeds United          55,187
          Sunderland   0-0   Arsenal               41,680
   Tottenham Hotspur   3-2   Everton               34,539
           Wimbledon   1-1   Coventry City         10,635

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 14/08/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United     3  2  0  0   6   0   0  1  0   1   1    6    7
 2  Arsenal               3  1  0  0   2   1   1  1  0   2   1    2    7
 3  Aston Villa           2  1  0  0   3   0   1  0  0   1   0    4    6
 4  Middlesbrough         3  0  0  1   0   1   2  0  0   6   3    2    6
 5  Tottenham Hotspur     3  2  0  0   6   3   0  0  1   0   1    2    6
 6  Chelsea               2  1  0  0   4   0   0  1  0   2   2    4    4
 7  Leeds United          3  0  1  0   0   0   1  0  1   3   2    1    4
 8  Bradford City         2  0  1  0   1   1   1  0  0   1   0    1    4
 9  Wimbledon             3  0  1  1   3   4   1  0  0   3   2    0    4
10  Leicester City        3  1  1  0   3   2   0  0  1   1   2    0    4
11  Sunderland            3  1  1  0   2   0   0  0  1   0   4   -2    4
12  West Ham United       1  1  0  0   1   0   0  0  0   0   0    1    3
13  Liverpool             2  0  0  1   0   1   1  0  0   2   1    0    3
14  Watford               3  0  0  1   2   3   1  0  1   1   2   -2    3
15  Southampton           2  0  0  1   0   3   1  0  0   1   0   -2    3
16  Coventry City         3  0  0  1   0   1   0  1  1   1   2   -2    1
17  Derby County          3  0  0  2   2   5   0  1  0   0   0   -3    1
18  Everton               3  0  1  0   1   1   0  0  2   2   6   -4    1
19  Sheffield Wednesday   3  0  0  1   1   2   0  1  1   1   5   -5    1
20  Newcastle United      2  0  0  1   0   1   0  0  1   1   3   -3    0

*** ATTENDANCE TABLE AS AT 14/08/99 ***

   Manchester United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 55,064
           Liverpool @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 44,174
          Sunderland @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 41,155
        Leeds United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 40,118
             Everton @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 39,141
             Arsenal @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 38,026
    Newcastle United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 36,600
 Sheffield Wednesday @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 34,853
             Chelsea @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 34,831
       Middlesbrough @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 33,762
   Tottenham Hotspur @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 31,620
         Aston Villa @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 30,337
     West Ham United @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 26,010
        Derby County @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 24,973
      Leicester City @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 20,132
       Coventry City @@@@@@@@@@@@@@ 19,915
       Bradford City @@@@@@@@@@@@@ 18,276
             Watford @@@@@@@@@@@ 15,511
         Southampton @@@@@@@@@@@ 15,206
           Wimbledon @@@@@@@@ 10,836


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
08/08/99    Everton                  Away     D  1-1    10    39,141
11/08/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home     W  4-0     3    54,941
14/08/99    Leeds United             Home     W  2-0     1    55,187

       P   Won       Drawn     Lost      For        Against    Points
Home   2   2 (100%)  0 (0%)    0 (0%)    6 (3.0)    0 (0.0)    6 (3.0)
Away   1   0 (0%)    1 (100%)  0 (0%)    1 (1.0)    1 (1.0)    1 (1.0)

Total  3   2 (67%)   1 (33%)   0 (0%)    7 (2.3)    1 (0.3)    7 (2.3)

                                         Averages per game in (brackets)

League position:            1st
Form position:              3rd
Predicted position:         3rd

HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 14/08/99 - Leeds United (55,187)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (54,941)
BEST WIN:                11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0)

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      W  2-0    F    60,000
18/07/99    Sydney    Australia   06.00      W  1-0    F    78,000 
21/07/99    Shanghai  Shenhua     12.30      W  2-0    F    80,000
24/07/99    Hong Kong South China 08.30      W  2-0    F    40,000
 1/08/99    Arsenal Wembley Charity Shield   L  1-2    F    70,185

 3/08/99    Omagh aid of Omagh Bomb Fund     W  9-0    F     7,000
 4/08/99    Wigan Athletic friendly.         W  2-0    F    15,000 
 8/08/99    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   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: Baaaaaaa! Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS The first couple of games of the season have all felt a little unreal to me, the aftermath of Barcelona I suppose, but yesterday the football season started in earnest - Becks winding up Leeds fans, getting soaked in the rain and beating the sheep - back to business as usual! On the way to Old Trafford, the talk was all about Keane - would he or wouldn't he sign? Opinion seemed divided as to what the likely result would be and also as to what the whole shenanigans does to Roy's standing amongst United fans. The majority opinion (on the buses of Manchester anyway) seems to be that whilst fans might understand why he is stalling, the whole affair leaves a bad taste in the mouth and sullies the reputation of one of our finest players. In all, a sad business and one which led to a subdued start to one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures of the season. On the way into town, I managed to avoid the heavy showers but found on my arrival on Sir Matt Busby Way that not all of us had been so lucky - there were some very wet and very forlorn-looking fanzine sellers dotted along the famous thoroughfare - I am sure that Kerry is grateful for having missed this one! We were to meet Dr Mark and his mum outside the Superstore, so after meeting up with the son-and-heir we watched the arriving fans as we waited. Like last year, the Leeds fans crept in largely un-noticed, apart from one group of about a dozen fans who turned up about half-an-hour before kick-off and marched "bravely" around the building work singing "We are Leeds, and we're proud of it". Since they were only a very small band, and most of them looked like they wished they were somewhere else, the reaction on the forecourt was one of amusement rather than aggravation. We watched as they disappeared into L stand and heard the volume of the singing rise dramatically as they arrived beyond the reach of the United fans outside. Once Mark's mum had arrived, and Paul B turned up to say that Mark couldn't drag himself away from the Throstle's Nest, we decided to head off inside and made our way towards the line of stewards in front of E33 entrance. Unlike Wednesday, when we simply walked through, this time they were searching bags - fair enough I suppose, we might have all sorts of things to throw at the Sheep - nail bombs, petrol bombs, sharpened coins, handfuls of best grazing pasture. Of course, we didn't have any of these but what Mark's mum did have was four very small plastic bottles of orange juice and some meat pies. The SPS decided that once we had drunk the orange in the bottles it was highly likely that us two middle aged ladies were going to lob our little plastic bottles (which weighed about an ounce each) at the Leeds fans and do irreparable damage to some helpless little Yorkshire tyke, so they insisted on confiscating them. Apparently, if we'd put our orange juice in a flask that would have been OK (despite the fact that a thrown thermos could do far more damage than a plastic bottle) or if we'd placed them strategically about our person they would never have been found (a hint for the future). So it was drink up one bottle each as quickly as possible and spend 5 minutes running around the crowd trying to find people to drink up the other two, since both of us would rather pour orange juice onto the ground than leave it in the fast-growing cache of soft drinks which the SPS were collecting to drink at half-time. Now, as a Salford fan I have the usual stereotypical view of anyone who lives within 10 miles of the pie-eating centre of the Universe otherwise known as Wigan, so when the SPS looked again into the depths of Mark's mum's bag and she screamed in anguish "Oh no, not my pies as well" I had a little titter. Luckily, they left her with the pies and we entered East Lower about 15 minutes before kick-off. The view up to our left was not a pretty one, with Yorkshire's best, chanting away, dressed in their new pale blue shirts, which made them look like City fans. Right at the front was a huge Scotland flag with "Aberdeen Leeds United" on it - this provided a target for much amusement later in the game. The teams soon came out, we stood up, cleared our throats and we were off. Either the SPS had decided that the atmosphere was likely to be too volatile to stir it up even further, or Martin didn't want to encourage any more chants aimed at himself, but we were not bothered by either stewards or SPS for the whole game. Those who wanted to stand - stood, those who wanted to sit down - sat down. When asked politely to sit down, those standing in front of those who preferred to sit, did so without argument. All very civilised! The atmosphere was good, but not as aggressive as I have experienced at Leeds games in the past - most of the United fans seemed to be amused, rather than angered by the neanderthals up on the mantelpiece to our left. In the first half, the chanting was brilliant and Mark's mum was heard to exclaim "This is better than boring North Stand!" The Leeds fans were singing their usual "We are Leeds" and "Yorkshire, Yorkshire" (presumably to remind themselves of where they come from, so they won't get lost on the way home!) whilst we reminded them that "We are the "Champions, Champions of Europe" and "We all hate Leeds scum." Of course, the Leeds fans had to put the boot in re Keane and began chanting "There's only one greedy b.....d" (easily countered with "Where's your Jimmy gone?") and "Keano to Juve" (we responded "Do you know where Juve is?"). On the pitch, it was not a game for faint hearts. The play was moving from end-to-end and both teams had chances to score. United were playing towards us, and we had an early chance when Giggs, Cole and Yorke all managed to cock it up, then Nigel Martyn brought Cole down but the deserved penalty never came. The referee, as usual, was bobbins - booking two of our players and ignoring equivalent fouls by Leeds players, penalising a foul one minute, and then ignoring a similar foul the next. Stam almost scored from a header which went just wide and then Bosnich went off injured after a save from Kewell. Raimond came on to a standing ovation. Whilst all this was going on, we had the Leeds fans on their feet screaming abuse after a chorus of "Ooh Aah Cantona" - amazing how an event that happened 7 years ago can still get them apoplectic!! We had more and more chances - Scholes had a good chance which Martyn saved, then Beckham's shot was blocked on the line and Irwin shot over the bar after being presented with an open goal. The Leeds fans were chanting "England, England's No 1". The best moment of the first half, however, was after Radebe fouled Becks, right under the away section. The Leeds fans had cheered loudly when Radebe brought Becks down. Once on his feet, Becks shook Radebe's hand sportingly and waited until the linesman and referee had turned away - he then gave the Leeds fans a well-known gesture which consisted of gripping his right arm with his left hand and raising his right fist - you know the one!! Of course they all went absolutely bananas, as we laughed and applauded. A few seconds later, after giving them a very nasty stare, they began to sing "Posh Spice takes it up the arse". Whilst we sang "Your sheep takes it up the arse", Becks showed them 3 fingers, which incensed them further. We now wait to see whether the sad b......s actually complain about it! "David Beckham, is a wanker" was replied to with "David Beckham is a champion" and "One David Beckham, there's only one David Beckham." Half-time brought a visit from Paul W and his lucky charm (who managed to do her magic in the end, it just took longer than usual!) who was very excited about the arrival of Raimond van de Gorgeous down our end for the second half. Rai arrived in front of East Stand to another standing ovation and proceeded to put in the sort of performance that lead many of us to put forward the opinion that he is as good, if not better, than Bosnich. The atmosphere at the beginning of the second half was a little subdued as it often is but soon brightened up as we wound up the Leeds fans again - "There's only one United", more Cantona chants and mass bleating and monkey noises. Butt was brought on for Scholes and did well and we had the better chances in the second half. Early on, a Dwight header from Giggs almost went in. Leeds had a couple of chances, the best of which being a strike from Kewell which hit the post after Stam had done another Giggs impression and left a massive gap at the back. Then the heavens opened - there was thunder and lightening and we tried to concentrate on the football, whilst someone stood on the top of the roof and threw buckets of water down on us at regular intervals (there were signs outside the turnstyles apologising for the roof being taken off in the next few days - this might not be pleasant for you lot in K Stand, but it will improve the lives of those of us who sit underneath the edge of it no end!!). Mark's mum and I were muttering about how Fergie should bring off Yorke (who was not having a good game, by any stretch of the imagination) and bring on Teddy, when Yorke (who must have heard us) decided to score the first goal! Becks put Phil Neville through, Phil laid on a wonderful cross to Yorke's head and we were leaping up and down in the rain celebrating the first goal! We struggled to stay afloat in the lake that East Lower had become, whilst chanting "Scotland, Scotland, what's the score" at the Leeds fans with the Aberdeen flag and "One-nil to the Champions". The storm got worse but we carried on singing "We all hate Leeds scum" whilst, down the other end, through the rain, we could just make out Becks taking a free kick. The ball arrived on Yorke's head again, and we were two-up!! Almost as big a surprise as the ending in Barcelona! That completely took the stuffing out of the Leeds fans and they were all sitting or standing in silence, totally stunned! We celebrated in the rain and the puddles, whilst trying not to notice the wet jeans clinging to our legs and the rain running down the back of our necks. The sheep soon woke up and began to get petulent - a chorus of "Who's that dying on the runway?" was accompanied by hundreds of aeroplane impressions as we chanted back - "If you follow Leeds United, then you must be f****** scum" and "Two-nil, in your Cup Final" and "Have you ever won the double/treble, have you f***". Then the Leeds fans asked "Will you come to Elland Rd?" and we replied "Where were you at Elland Rd?" Eventually, our prayers were answered and the final whistle blew. We left the stadium to the sight of Leeds fans trying to climb over the barriers and the stewards and get into K Stand. Then it was a wet walk down to the Throstles Nest to dry out a little before the journey home. It was really good to see John Kellett again, before he returns to Perth and to be able to wish him a safe journey home. All the talk was of Keane's announcement that he was going to put off any decision until the summer and the bad driving habits of Australians and Brits! But the best fun was had watching the Sky coverage of the Premiership and singing "Calm down, calm down" when seeing that Watford had scored against the scousers! So it was a good game but an even better result. O'Leary's young team play impressive, exciting football - it's just a pity that their fans have never managed to get beyond the 70's! My man of the match? Phil Neville - he had a superb game - but I'd also like to give a mention in dispatches for Raimond - he played with speed and agility that completely belies his age. One last thing, though, watching the end of MOTD last night, and seeing what Dwight did to Ole on their way off the pitch (and seeing Ole's delighted reaction), I'm getting worried about the effect our movie star is having on the rest of the team!! Copyright 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
Click On pic - for latest interviews/pics from OT"

Subject: Rain on, Rain On Van der Gouw by RED KELLY The funny thing is you tend to forget about the traumas of following United especially after you've spent balmy nights in Barca and experienced the ultimate high you could ever experience watching football, but the journey home from the Leeds game was a wake-up call I could have well done without. It's not as though I'd spent the whole of the close season not travelling up and down the M6, especially with the majority of my family living in Manchester, but it seems match days are different. This was the first Premier League game I had been to this season as I'd vowed I would take it a little easier this year and not go to as many games. It was also to be a break from the routine of previous seasons as my new, and probably regular travelling companions were to be Richard and his Dad due to richard not being able to drive for a while. There were also two others in the car - Nigel and most importantly, my youngest daughter, Gina who in the past has been our lucky charm but who seemed to lose her powers sometime during the second half at the Charity Shield. In fact the journey up the M6 from the Midlands was fine until we got to the outskirts of Manchester, but then we should have expected the traffic to be heavy - it was Saturday morning and there just happened to be a big game on down the road at Old Trafford. We had made one stop on the way up at Knutsford services for a visit to the toilets where a father was being repeatedly asked the same question over and over again. It was one of those questions every father dreads and an inevitable consequence of colourful advertising in a public (for men anyway) place. "What comes out of that machine dad?" You know the one the little lad was referring to - ribbed, flavoured or coloured items made of latex. What's a bloke supposed to say to his young son? This one says nothing, tries to ignore the question and strikes up a conversation with the bloke standing next to him. A bizarre situation at the best of times - two men chatting while pointing gods gift at the porcelain. They both smirk until the lad asks again and again, not in the least satisfied with the lack of response. I decide to leave before the matter was resolved and get back on the road thankful that my son had never asked me that particular question. Once parked up at the back of the Stretford Sports Centre we had a leisurely walk down to Macaris chippy to pick up my Season Ticket from Steve so that Nigel could take my place as I would be in East Lower with Gina. Two home games and still haven't sat in my own seat in K Stand - this has got to be a record. We then wandered down to the ground picking up new fanzines on the way - it was a familiar scene. Another season, another game. But this was no other season because for the first time in over three decades we were kicking off as the Champions of Europe. Keep saying it over and over again and revel in it. As we walked down Warwick Road I saw the new construction for the first time. I'd seen the start of the excavations during the summer but hadn't been since. This is to be my home I thought and winced. I know it's nowhere near finished but it looks as though it is an ill conceived design uncoordinated with the rest of the stadium. We made our way down through the temporary tunnel to E33 after saying goodbye to Steve and Nigel and there was one more barrier to get through. The over zealous line of the guardians of Old Trafford, the SPSers, faced us as we walked hand in hand. Gina (who's nine by the way) had a rucksack on her back. Inside the rucksack was a waterproof, a packet of sweets and a plastic bottle containing juice. Now this has happened before, but this time I was ready for it. We showed our tickets and slipped through the line. "Can I search the bag" said the surely SPS stooge. I thought we were going to sneak it through this time, but no, it wasn't to be. "You can't take that in there you know" he said holding up the non United brand plastic bottle. I wondered whether the MUPLC style police had caught us on camera and complained about the lack of logo, but no. Last time I argued that a little girl is hardly likely to do any harm with a plastic bottle full of juice - but it was to no avail and the offending bottle had duly been confiscated. This time it was different, "she's a diabetic" I said. Total silence and looks of astonished incredulity spread along the whole line of goons. It's a complete lie of course, but it had the desired effect. "Oooh, well that's different then." they seemed to say in unison and off we went, with Gina asking awkward questions about diabetics and me trying to shush her up until we were out of earshot. Once down in East Lower we oust someone from our seats on the second row and wait for the teams to appear. Fane's music machine growled into life and the familiar running style of Roy Keane was seen leading the pack. I hope this isn't the last time I ever witness that sight I thought to myself and settled down to watch the game. Nice of Leeds to play in sky blue - I mean, that would make the new man Huckerby feel at home - nice touch! The Leeds hoards were up to our left and as superbly well behaved as ever. They provoke enormous feelings of hatred amongst Reds everywhere and thus the general language from those around was not what the delicate ears of a nine year old should necessarily witness. I reminded her we were at a football match and she should expect this sort of thing. She'd never mentioned it before and did so this time with a smirk. It proved quite a challenge though when you're joining in with songs with you're usual gusto, trying to replace certain words with others of a more sober nature. I gave up in the end as I felt more like a product of sanitised United merchandise than a real supporter. I just sang less loud at certain points! As you'd expect the game was combative both on and off the pitch and none less than Keano who got stuck in early on with a crunching challenge provoking loud cheers. I then had to explain to Gina why we should be so wound up by a mere tackle as she saw it. It's a worry taking kids isn't it, but worth persevering with as they soon pick it up! End to end it went with both teams going close and that Harry Kewell causing all sorts of problems. If ever an attack seemed to be promising down at our end everyone would stand and Gina would leap up on to her seat. if she hadn't been concentrating enough - in other words dipping into her bag of Malteesers instead of watching the game, I would grab her and lift her up so that she could see. At one time this nearly resulted in her throwing up as I grabbed her round the waist rather too vigorously as I lifted her high for another close call. I thought her groans were a result of the near miss, but apparently they were due to an over active father! So I was just about getting away with the language problem when young Beckham goes and spoils it for me. He'd been subjected to the usual foul barracking from the Leeds brethren when after an altercation with Radebe had ended up in a handshake they gave him the type of abuse they probably reserve for uncooperative sheep. Becks reacted with an 'up yours' gesture out of sight of the referee and linesman. It naturally provoked huge reaction everywhere not least in the sheep pen to our left. We all thought it was immensely amusing - one of those United moments which bond a player with the supporters because any one of us might have done the same only probably worse. Trouble was it brought another round of awkward questions from the little person and my mind drifted back to Knutsford services. Luckily some goalmouth action followed shortly afterwards and I got away with it until, not content with the first gesture he then gave them the 'one finger' after they had responded with the usual taunts about his wife. No doubt 606 was inundated with irate calls for him to be banned forever for this disgusting slight on the great and good from Leeds, sensitive souls that they are. I looked down at Gina expecting more puzzled looks but fortunately the Malteesers had gained her attention and she'd missed the second offensive - phew!! So it stayed 0-0 at half time and in truth it seemed a fair score as the young Leeds team had performed well and are far too good a team to set before their supporters. We went below stairs to find that there is now no segregation between upper and lower East sections and even the toilets are new - whatever next. After bumping into several familiar faces I meet up with Linda at the top of the steps and we attempt to reinstall the magic in Gina. She said it had gone, but we did our best to restore her to her previous potent force and retook our seats for the second half when Raimond appeared at our end wearing his bright yellow jersey. "Why's he wearing yellow?" she said - what am I supposed to say to that? The action resumed with more of the same until United started to take control midway through the half. I don't know whether this had anything to do with the introduction of Nicky Butt and the tightening up of midfield which allowed the wide players more room or not, but something happened out there. Something has happened to Phil Nev too - his crossing has suddenly become awesome - what's going on? Maybe it was after Yip Jaap had gone on another Gordon McQueen type sortie up front and given the ball away to Radebe of all people who immediately set Kewell free and he smacked his shot against the post and broke down in tears right in front of us. Or it could have been the rain which opened the flood gates. Whatever it was I cared not, it just happened. It had originally started off a pleasant sunny afternoon but gradually the storm clouds rolled in and I had encouraged Gina to don her waterproof. She was reluctant at first - well what could I expect from a fashion conscious young lady of nine years old, but as the heavens opened she saw the sense and unpacked the offending garment. This more or less co-incided with the first goal when Phil Nev broke down the right wing and crossed for Yorkie to head home. We all leapt up and rejoiced sending showers of spray everywhere. Gina had missed the goal as she had been re-adjusting herself in an attempt to keep as dry as possible which ultimately turned out to be a useless exercise. So as I was celebrating she remained in her seat with a smile on her face. Lot's of Leeds bating followed by sheep noises and more questions: "why are you going baaa all the time and why are they making monkey noises?" I was so busy trying to answer all the bloody questions when the second goal went in and I completely missed it! She didn't of course and leapt up to celebrate while I was still in my seat. By this time the heavens had opened and we were no longer wet, we were soaked through. The waterproofs we were wearing were obviously woefully inadequate as the lightening struck and the thunder roared and when we also realised we were the only ones left on the front four rows of East Lower in our section we decided to retreat. We moved further back and stood with the rest of those who had resolved to see the game through to it's bitter end and celebrated singing "rain on, rain on van der Gouw" while the sheep broke into "who's that lying on the runway" - they couldn't resist it could they. It didn't last long though as we applauded them. We were one big soggy squelching mass bouncing up and down to try and shake off all the excess water. At the final whistle one man came over to applaud us - Becks. He stood there in front of us with a raised fist and then turned towards his friends from over the Pennines and smiled. We eventually got back to the car soaked to the skin, and took off our coats emptying the pockets. The fanzines were like bits of rag! The return journey on the M6 was punctuated by many hold ups due to accidents, one of them causing a nine mile tailback and thus our return journey took just a little longer than expected. But at least Watford kept us in high spirits after beating the scousers on their own patch - what joy!! But what is Frank Sinclair on? Is he going to even things up by scoring an own goal for us as well - it's only fair he should make an effort I think. We returned home still very damp, but there was a pizza in the oven and a dry pair of jeans waiting. Later on I asked Gina if she'd enjoyed it and she grabbed me round the neck, gave me a big hug and smiled. No complaints then!! Copyright RED KELLY 1999
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Subject: Cost of keeping United Jon Henderson Sunday August 15, 1999 Television companies will have to throw themselves on the mercy of their bank managers as they seek to raise well over 1 billion to stop Manchester United at least threatening to defect from the Premier League once the present TV contract ends. This is the view of the head of one football marketing company who says that unless there is a massive increase in revenue - and television is the only realistic source - 'there is no way United are going back into this Premier League lark when they have the chance to get out in two years' time'. United have already demonstrated the fragility of their loyalty to English football by opting out of the FA Cup, an appalling dereliction of their responsibilities which the new Minister for Sport, Kate Hoey, is seeking to reverse. Now, as a result of last month's decision by the Restrictive Practices Court to block a move that would have allowed clubs to negotiate their own TV packages, United's allegiance is again going to be sorely tested by a collective television deal for Premiership matches after 2000-01 that will be hard pressed to meet the Old Trafford club's own valuation of their worth. Next Thursday's meeting of the Premiership chairmen in London will probably mark the start of formulating that deal. Publicly, United have always stood by the principle of collective bargaining, but their acceptance of the RPC's decision fooled no one that being set free from having to negotiate television money in concert with the Southamptons and Coventrys would have suited them fine. Under the present four-year, 743 million contract between the 20 Premiership clubs and the broadcasters BSkyB and the BBC, who show, respectively, live and highlights coverage, United have only just broken through the 10 million-per-season barrier, while Spanish club Barcelona recently completed a domestic deal worth 254 million over five years - or more than 50 million a year. 'There does appear to be a discrepancy between English clubs and those abroad,' one United official said. 'We will have to work hard to get the figures up next time.' Hard work it will definitely be. While United know that they could attract a massive television audience for each one of their 38 League matches without affecting their gates, most of the other clubs have to take account of the damaging effects of overexposure. Reconciling these two positions will be desperately difficult. Although the core package of Premiership matches shown live will certainly increase from the present 60 out of 380 - the Office of Fair Trading's case that they took to the RPC was predicated on the 320 matches that are withheld from live TV - it is unlikely to do so substantially. A Premier League source told me: 'There was something very genuine about what the clubs were saying during the course of the OFT case, which is that they are concerned about saturating the marketplace. 'They don't want too much of the product simply being on TV, particularly at a time when every other competition is shown exclusively as well. We didn't fight for four and a half years with the OFT just to go off and do what they wanted.' Television's importance as a major financial provider can be gauged from the fact that the Premiership clubs receive less than 1 million a season from Carling, the League sponsors, and Sharp are paying a mere 1.25 million this season to use the United shirts as billboards. It is why Old Trafford will be expecting so much from the next round of TV negotiations. Or else.
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Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 00:22:31 +0100 Subject: Roy Keane by Armann Hinrik I surely hope that he stay. Roy Keane has been the heart of the MU team lately. I will will never forget how he made us the champions of Europe with his play in the game versus Juventus. The final was great. 1-0 down after few min. and having to wait a life long 85 min. for a goal is a very special. but I think that the victory in the semi final versus Juventus was the game that won us the Cup. 2-0 down and Keane with a yellow card. He started to win every battle he went in. On that night Keano was the best player of the world. First in attract last in defense. We have seen this before but never like this........but lives goes on. June July and August and Keane has as good as turn down the offer of a new contract, but how can we blame him, we would to it do. I have done it with my job and I don't say no to the extra cash.. I got a e-mail today about giving 1 pound away for Keane. 52 pounds for the year, no trouble I have the cash and could pay it now. But I don't want to do it. as I think that it does not matter as I don't think that Keane is just after money. He will get enough money to last live if he sign his new one for us. He choose us instead of the looser team Blackburn (Superstar has got medal than S......tupid.) Keane was able to get better pay from Blackburn. If he will leave us for Juve or Inter or the bastards of Real Madrid he will always have a place in my heart. Number 16 is the man every one should follow on the football field. I sincerely hope that he will stay, and that Edward's will brake is rule of paying. But with team full of players who would ask and desire some money I can't see it happen. I have to agree with Peter Hargreaves that I like what Edward's has done for Manchester United. He has change the club from being "was" club to "now" club. Look at Liverpool of this world and where they are now. Most of the Italian clubs have some rich gay paying all there cost so they don't have to think about the day after today. There are always some pockets to dig into. But MU is a firm who we all love and it will never fit into the stock market as football is not just about making some money. It's about pride and life style that not everyone understand. Icelandic MUSC branch member of Iceland number 16 Armann Hinrik PS If anyone of you have a spare lapel badge/pin of Man Utd you want to sell or exchange contact me as I'm always looking to add to my collection.
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Subject: Welcome back Mike! by OUR SALFORD LASS From Fergie's bit in yesterday's match programme: "I am delighted to welcome Mike Phelan back to the club to join our coaching staff and look after the young professionals in a role filled until recently by Jimmy Ryan. As you know, Jimmy took over as first team coach immediately after the departure of Brian Kidd to Blackburn Rovers, and he stayed on the senior scene to help our new coach, Steve McClaren settle into his new job. Jimmy is now going to stay with the first team squad which I am now extending from 16 players to 24 in order to cope with the kind of demands we expect this season. This is a lot of players for one coach to handle so Jimmy Ryan will take the people who are perhaps not directly involved in the team in a particular week. Mike Phelan will work alongside David Williams and Neil Bailey on a coaching staff which I believe as second to none. My 13 years as manager of Manchester United have served to strengthen my view that the best policy is to have a substantial input of players you have produced yourself, youngsters who have grown up against your own team background. That is why I put great emphasis on the structure and quality of the training staff. Mike, who has been with Stockport County, will fit easily into our framework. I have always felt when he was a player here that his forte would be coaching. As honest as the day is long, there was always an enthusiasm and drive about his game. He was versatile too, playing right back in the FA Cup Final of 1990 and then wide right the following season in the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup. Now he has yet another role, and I know he will fill it with the same commitment."
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Subject: KEANE DEFENDS SUMMER DECISION Roy Keane has defended his decision to wait until the summer before either quitting or staying with Manchester United. After weeks of frenzied speculation concerning the Old Trafford skipper, he made the anti-climatic announcement that he would not make his mind up until May. In political terms it is a fudge any Government would be proud of and poses many more questions that it answers. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and chairman Martin Edwards claimed they were pleased and even held a press conference to say so. Strange treatment for a contract rebel, especially bearing in mind that Tottenham boss George Graham has transfer-listed Darren Anderton for refusing to sign a new agreement in similar circumstances. United fans have been left bemused by Keane's decision and it has done nothing to alleviate their fears that he will leave on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling when his current deal expires next summer. Despite all this, Keane insists he is within his rights to defer a decision until the end of the campaign. "There's nothing wrong with sitting on it until the end of the season and then deciding it again," he said on ClubCall. "I'm sure everyone is sick to death of it like myself of all the speculation about what I'm going to do. "It's been hard and I won't deny that. I've had to take a lot into consideration and I'm sure people know that."
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Subject: FERGUSON WAGE-CAP PLEA Sir Alex Ferguson has called for wage-capping in the wake of Roy Keane's contract wrangle. The Manchester United midfielder has deferred a decision over his future at Old Trafford until the end of the season. Ferguson claims Keane's hesitancy to sign a new contract is not down to money, but warned that even some of Europe's biggest clubs are on course for financial disaster unless they get tough with their top earners. "A lot of clubs are taking big risks with their wage structures and some of those clubs are not so small," he said. "Wages have to be capped or the game will not be able to cope - something will break. "Football has to start thinking about tomorrow rather than what it can do today. I'm all for progress and I believe top players should be given top wages, but I also believe there has to be a system of wage-capping before things get too far out of control. "There has to be some structure in order for clubs to look forward to the future with any certainty. I know some clubs are on the brink and with each season the situation only worsens. It cannot continue like that." Ferguson told the News of the World: "If nothing is done then the future of this game will not fill you with great hope." He added: "The most important thing is that the richer clubs who help dictate the pace for the rest of the game start talking. If they don't, I can see some of the big clubs in Europe collapsing under the strain of maintaining their sky-high wages. "The transfer market will always remain but when you see someone like Christian Vieri move to Inter Milan for 28million you immediately ask yourself: How long can this go on?" Ferguson believes United are now paying the price for failing to pay attention to Keane's demands at an earlier date. "In the case of Roy Keane we, in many ways, became the victim of our own success. With that success came the demand for our players and demand on our time when we should have been talking. "Last season we knew Roy's contract situation needed to be looked at, but we were also approaching a run of vital games. Those game were getting bigger and bigger from January until the end of the season, so the Keane thing drifted away from us. "That success meant that we were not in contact with Roy's lawyers, we were more concerned with the vital and hectic workload." The United boss also fears that sooner or later the Treble winners could face similar problems from other top players if they do not act quickly. "I realise other players may pose the same problem as Keane. Up until now I would renegotiate a player's contract when he had about a year left on his current deal but that will probably have to be done earlier and earlier. "I am trying to mould United's future so we can cope with these problems." PA Sporting Life
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Subject: UNITED RELY ON YORKE'S GOAL HUNGER Manchester United 2 Leeds United 0: Premiership: Uncertainty remains over future of treble-winners' captain but Leeds cannot capitalise on distraction "ROY KEANE is not irreplaceable. Nobody is. Everybody felt Best, Law and Charlton were irreplaceable, everybody felt Eric Cantona was irreplaceable. It would be a sad day if Roy left Manchester United, but life goes on. Great players have left before and the club has always gone on, it rebuilds." These were the words of Martin Edwards, the Manchester United chairman, as he stood in the directors' box at Old Trafford on Saturday after releasing the news that Keane was neither definitely staying nor definitely leaving, just yet. In black and white, Edwards' words look more dismissive than they sounded. This was not an "up yours Roy, we don't need you" message; it was an assessment of football reality. If Keane does leave there is always Edgar Davids, or Clarence Seedorf, or Juan Veron, or some unknown Lithuanian. Nicky Butt might even fulfil his potential. Keane would be a loss and would be difficult to replace but, for all his undoubted qualities, Manchester United are not a one-man team. This was partially proven in the European Cup final when Manchester United won without Keane, even though his ability to win the ball and distribute it accurately was clearly missed. It was proved again on Saturday when they won despite Keane producing a distracted performance which enabled Leeds to seize the midfield. Keane's mind was clearly on the contract situation - he did produce one or two cameo flourishes, notably a tackle on Danny Mills, but was otherwise overshadowed by David Batty. His most notable impact was on the terraces, where the home supporters' first chant of "Keano" was greeted with the away fans chorusing: "One greedy bastard". The Red Army replied with: "Where's your Jimmy gone?" in a reference to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's departure from Elland Road, but were ultimately trumped by the Leeds choir's rendition of "Keano for Juve". Juventus, along with Internazionale, remain Keane's most likely suitors should he decide to leave. Yet though his situation mirrors that of Steve McManaman's at Liverpool last season, it is not as certain that he will go. Unlike McManaman, he has a young family and no long-held desire to play abroad. He is interested in the challenge - he has told United it is that, rather than money, which is the nub of his indecision - but not obsessed by it. Should he leave at the end of the season United would lose about pounds 10m (his probable worth as a 28-year-old with one year on his contract). But they could gain that through the success which Keane could help bring them this year - in competitions at home, on the Continent, and from Japan to Brazil. The club thus seems sanguine about the situation, with Alex Ferguson relatively pleased. However, one does wonder how the constant speculation - for this will not, despite Keane and the club's hopes, be the end of the matter - will affect both parties. There is bound to be contact with interested parties before the season's end, for both Keane and United will want the issue settled by June. In one respect Keane is playing a dangerous game. Should he suffer a serious injury this season he could end it unemployed and unemployable. Injury is the spectre for every professional footballer, particularly one who plays like the Irishman. As Edwards said with brutal realism: "Under normal circumstances we may have begun negotiations earlier but Roy had done his cruciate ligament. We had to wait and see whether he would recover from that. Some players don't recover from injuries and he may have broken down again last season." Once Keane had proved his fitness United approached him and his advisor, Michael Kennedy, but the pair wanted to wait until the season was over, which is why the issue has dragged on. Now everyone waits - although one imagines Kennedy has ensured Keane's personal injury insurance is paid up. The uncertainty surrounding Keane offered Saturday's visitors hope, and Leeds began adventurously with a three-man forward line and a desire to use it. They created five opportunities in the opening 20 minutes but were then forced to re-shape when Michael Bridges limped off. While this further strengthened their midfield it reduced their potency, as Harry Kewell had to take up a more advanced position. The match became one of good football but few chances. The best in the first half fell to Manchester United, a 31st-minute treble chance in which Nigel Martyn saved brilliantly from Paul Scholes, Ian Harte blocked David Beckham's follow-up, and Denis Irwin finally blazed over. The Old Trafford side gradually asserted themselves in the second period but should have gone behind after 66 minutes when Kewell, released by Lucas Radebe's pass, hit the post. Ten minutes later Beckham and Phil Neville combined on the right and Yorke got ahead of Michael Duberry to neatly head the latter's cross inside the far post. Three minutes on, with Leeds visibly deflated, Yorke beat Martin Hiden to Beckham's free-kick and the game was won: Yorke 2, Yorkshire pride 0. It was the Tobagan's fifth goal in four games this season, a statistic which underlines his development as a goal-poacher - especially as Radebe, Duberry and Jonathon Woodgate had previously kept he and Andy Cole quiet with misleading ease. So Leeds left Old Trafford having won admirers but no points. Martyn, Radebe and Batty provide a solid spine while the quick, young forwards will trouble most teams. However, the finishing was poor; only Bridges has scored for them this season and the need to replace Hasselbaink is obvious. Since they also lack height in attack the speculation over Tore Andre Flo and Teddy Sheringham is understandable, even though neither completely fits David O'Leary's preference for young, English players. But then, as United are finding with Keane, football management is full of compromises. Goals: Yorke (76) 1-0; Yorke (79) 2-0. Manchester United (4-4-2): Bosnich (Van der Gouw, 21); P Neville, Stam, Berg, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Scholes (Butt, 69), Giggs; Cole, Yorke (Sheringham, 82). Substitutes not used: Curtis, Solskjaer. Leeds United (3-4-3): Martyn; Duberry, Woodgate, Radebe; Mills, Batty, Bowyer, Harte (Hiden, 75); Huckerby, Bridges (Hopkin, 19), Kewell (Bakke, 84). Substitutes not used: Haaland, Robinson (gk). Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe). Bookings: Manchester United: Yorke, Giggs. Man of the match: Batty. Attendance: 55,187.
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Subject: FERGUSON ADVOCATES NEW OFFER TO KEANE SIR ALEX Ferguson has told his chief executive, Martin Edwards, to break Manchester United's pay structure in an attempt to keep Roy Keane - and sign Rivaldo. Edwards' final offer of pounds 30,000 a week to the United captain was rejected, but Ferguson told Edwards his pay pact with the club's leading players has to be torn up. Edwards runs a scheme where the top players are on "comparable terms" for the next three seasons, but Ferguson would be happy to see Keane go on to pounds 50,000 a week, almost twice as much as any other player at the club. Ferguson then hopes to move for Barcelona's Brazilian. He is in contact with Rivaldo's agents and more talks went on at the weekend. Keane defended his decision yesterday. "There's nothing wrong with sitting on it until the end of the season," he said. "I'm sure everyone is sick to death of it. I have not made a decision and at least this gives me a year to see what develops. I've still got a year left on my contract and I want to honour that. The most important thing is that I'm happy at United." Despite his desire to pay Keane what he wants, Ferguson yesterday called for wage-capping. "A lot of clubs are taking big risks with their wage structures and some of those clubs are not so small," he said. "Wages have to be capped or the game will not be able to cope - something will break. Football has to start thinking about tomorrow rather than what it can do today. I know some clubs are on the brink and with each season the situation only worsens." Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, defended David Beckham after the United player was seen aiming a V-sign towards abusive Leeds fans on Saturday. Beckham's action went unseen by the referee or police. "When people are chanting disgusting things about your wife, you can't blame them for reacting," said Taylor. "Clubs should set an example to try to alter the behaviour of their fans." United keeper Mark Bosnich, who was taken off on Saturday with a hamstring injury, is likely to be out for a month.
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