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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Fri 17 Dec 1999 08:11 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. JOHNSEN DELIGHTED TO BE RUNNING AT LAST
2. JESPER RULED OUT UNTIL MARCH
3. New Beckham Ban Twist
4. Why Im a Red  by Brian
5. Alex & Edwards have the good of the club at heart
6. FA Cup opponents
7. Tom turns down Sir Matt
8. Kalum Mooniaruck
9. HUGHES CONFIRMED AS WALES BOSS

++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++

MANCHESTER UNITED DAILY NEWS  Fri 17th Dec 1999:

Webmaster comment:
At last a football match! Tomorrow REDS step out at the Hammers
for the first of their THREE games in December. 
Note this - when we get back from Brazil and start with Arsenal on 24th Jan 2000
this will start a match run of 28 games in 4 months thats 7 per month or 2 every week
assuming we go all the way to Paris EC Final 24th May 2000 - see you there!?

News for Oz fans:
ABC Shops in Australia have a video of the treble.
These can be brought online from www.abc.net.au

* If you have an article for this MUFC Daily News bulletin
   please mail it to  Thanks!

*** Remember our December Competition!
To enter first download 1 meg here
    http://www.red11.org/mickz/mufc_snow.exe
Lets see how far us REDS can get, I already made it to Level 2 
Proof here: http://www.red11.org/mickz/level2.jpg
The best 3 efforts will win a copy of the NEW book 
"European Glory" by RED NEWS edited by Barney Chilton
Eyewitness Accounts of United's 1968 & 1999 European Triumphs
A book celebrating the amazing events in the Nou Camp on May 26th - retails at £7,95
Enties to the competition must include an attched screen pic as proof of
your efforts  mail to barrylee@post3.tele.dk GOOD LUCK  Comp closes 24th Dec 1999

----------------------


Red Devils' Webstation  - danlim@mailexcite.com Danny Lim, Malacca, Malaysia.
URL:  
This is the place for rantings, ravings and reverence 
(well, mostly reverence) of the marvelous football institution known 
as Manchester United FC ! Man United's All-Time Greatest XI and the 
Red Devils' Hall of Fame ! Great Manchester United Line-ups in 
History The Manchester United Squad United in Transition 

Taken from The Worldwide Manchester United Fans Webring - 400+ RED sites!
 http://www.webring.org/cgi-bin/webring?ring=manufan;list

* UK TV info:  BBC TO COVER UNITED'S BRAZIL MISSION
The BBC will broadcast live coverage of Manchester United's World Team
Championship challenge in Brazil.

Champions League Url: http://www.red11.org/champ

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 Josť Quinton Fortune
26 Massimo Taibi         31 Nicholas James Culkin  33 Mark Antony Wilson
34 Jonathan Greening

1999/2000 UEFA Champions League Second Group-Match Stage - Group B 
Group B           P W D L  F A  Pts 
Fiorentina AC     2 1 1 0  2 0  4 
Manchester United 2 1 0 1  3 2  3 
Valencia CF       2 1 0 1  3 3  3 
Bordeaux          2 0 1 1  0 3  1 

Second stage Euro Draw  GROUP B
Manchester United Valencia Bordeaux Fiorentina
Tues Nov 23 Fiorentina v Manchester United  2-0 
            Valencia v Girondins Bordeaux   3-0
Wed Dec 8   Girondins Bordeaux v Fiorentina 0-0
            Manchester United v Valencia    3-0

Wed Mar 1 
Group B: Manchester United v Girondins Bordeaux 
Group B: Fiorentina v Valencia 
Tues Mar 7  
Group B: Girondins Bordeaux v Manchester United 
Group B: Valencia v Fiorentina 
Wed Mar 15 
Group B: Manchester United v Fiorentina 
Group B: Girondins Bordeaux v Valencia 
Tuesday, March 21 
Group B: Fiorentina v Girondins Bordeaux 
Group B: Valencia v Manchester United 

FINAL Group D          P W D L  F A  PTS
Manchester United FC   6 4 1 1  9  4  13 
Olympique de Marseille 6 3 1 2 10  8  10 
SK Sturm Graz          6 2 0 4  5 12   6 
NK Croatia Zagreb      6 1 2 3  7  7   5 

 *******************************

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

************************

99/2000 fixtures/match reports are at
 http://www.red11.org/mufc/992000.htm

Mark Bosnich's Personal Details 
http://www.red11.org/mufc/bosnich.htm

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

MANCHESTER UNITED STATS v ALL teams on the Web
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats.htm

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

*** FIXTURES ON 18/12/99 ***
             Arsenal  v  Wimbledon
         Aston Villa  v  Sheffield Wednesday
       Bradford City  v  Newcastle United
      Leicester City  v  Derby County
           Liverpool  v  Coventry City
       Middlesbrough  v  Tottenham Hotspur
          Sunderland  v  Southampton
             Watford  v  Everton
     West Ham United  v  Manchester United

*** FIXTURES ON 19/12/99 ***
             Chelsea  v  Leeds United

*** CONDENSED LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 06/12/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
---------------------------------------------------------
 1  Leeds United         17  12   2   3  30  19   11   38
 2  Manchester United    16  11   3   2  40  21   19   36
 3  Arsenal              17  11   2   4  31  16   15   35
 4  Sunderland           17  10   4   3  31  17   14   34
 5  Liverpool            17   9   3   5  24  14   10   30
 6  Leicester City       17   9   2   6  26  23    3   29
 7  Tottenham Hotspur    16   8   3   5  25  20    5   27
 8  West Ham United      16   7   4   5  17  14    3   25
 9  Chelsea              15   7   3   5  21  15    6   24
10  Middlesbrough        17   7   3   7  21  24   -3   24
11  Coventry City        17   5   6   6  23  18    5   21
12  Everton              17   5   6   6  25  27   -2   21
13  Wimbledon            17   4   8   5  27  29   -2   20
14  Newcastle United     17   5   4   8  28  30   -2   19
15  Aston Villa          17   5   4   8  14  19   -5   19
16  Southampton          16   4   5   7  20  25   -5   17
17  Bradford City        16   3   4   9  13  25  -12   13
18  Derby County         17   3   3  11  15  29  -14   12
19  Watford              17   3   2  12  13  33  -20   11
20  Sheffield Wednesday  16   1   3  12  14  40  -26    6


*** TEAM STATISTICS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 04/12/99 ***
AVERAGE HOME ATTENDANCE: 55,171
HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 25/09/99 - Southampton (55,249)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (54,941)
BEST WIN: 	     11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0)
     		     30/08/99 - Newcastle United (5-1)
     		     04/12/99 - Everton (5-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:     03/10/99 - Chelsea (0-5)
BEST HOME WIN:       11/08/99 - Sheffield Wednesday (4-0)
     		     30/08/99 - Newcastle United (5-1)
     		     04/12/99 - Everton (5-1)
BEST AWAY WIN:           22/08/99 - Arsenal (2-1)
     			25/08/99 - Coventry City (2-1)
     			11/09/99 - Liverpool (3-2)
     			20/11/99 - Derby County (2-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:   03/10/99 - Chelsea (0-5)

 NEXT MATCHES
---------------------------------------------------------------
18-DEC-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs West Ham  (FA Premier League, AWAY)
26-DEC-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Bradford C  (FA Premier League, HOME)
28-DEC-1999 [20:00] Manchester Utd. vs Sunderland  (FA Premier League, AWAY)
06-JAN-2000 [21:15] Manchester Utd. vs Necaxa  (World Club Championship, AWAY)
08-JAN-2000 [21:15] Manchester Utd. vs Vasco de Gama  (World Club Championship, AWAY)


*** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - 

UNITED Stats v All teams:
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats/
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 Testimonial     Home F   L  2-4  LEGENDS 54,842      
13/10/99    Aston Villa              Away WC3 L  0-3     -    33,815
16/10/99    Watford                  Home PL  W  4-1     2    55,188
19/10/99    Marseille                Away EC  L  0-1     -    57,745 
23/10/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     L  1-3     3    36,072
27/10/99    Croatia Zagreb           Away EC  W  2-1     -    30,000
30/10/99    Aston Villa              Home PL  W  3-0     2    55,211
 2/11/99    Sturm Graz               Home EC  W  2-1     -    53,745 
 6/11/99    Leicester City           Home PL  W  2-0     1    55,191
20/11/99    Derby County             Away     W  2-1     1    33,370
23/11/99    AC Fiorentina            Away EC  L  0-2     -    40,000
30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         N   WCC  W  1-0     -    53,372
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL  W  5-1     2    55,193
 8/12/99    Valencia CF              Home EC  W  3-0     -    54,606 

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"

  pp 27/11/1999  Sheffield Wednesday    Away PL ?  *No new date yet
  pp  3/01/2000  Middlesborough         Home PL ?  *No new date yet
  pp 15/01/2000  Leeds                  Away PL ?  *No new date yet

****************************************************
 JAN 05-14  Brazil WTC [3-4 games]
----------------------------------------------------
06/01/2000  Necaxa (Mexico)          Neut WTC  16.00
08/01/2000  Vasco da Gama (Brazil)   Away WTC  16.00
11/01/2000  South Melbourne (Australia) N WTC  16.00
Final? 14/01/2000
****************************************************
  
24/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   20.00  "live on sky"
 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
 1/03/2000  FC Girondins de Bordeaux Home EC   19.45 
 4/03/2000  Liverpool                Home PL   11.30  "live on sky"
 7/03/2000  FC Girondins de Bordeaux Away EC   19.45 
11/03/2000  Derby County             Home PL   15.00
15/03/2000  AC Fiorentina            Home EC   19.45
18/03/2000  Leicester City           Away PL   15.00
21/03/2000  Valencia CF              Away EC   19.45 
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 Final

http://www.red11.org/mufc/match.htm
++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++


Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
JOHNSEN DELIGHTED TO BE RUNNING AT LAST Ronny Johnsen has begun his recovery from knee surgery and is back in training with the United squad. The Norwegian international took part in light work-outs on Monday and Tuesday, and was pleased with his progress: "It feels great to be back in training, but I donít see myself in match action for quite a while yet. First of all, I have to get rid of the pain, and I need plenty of practice. "Itís been a while since I last changed clothes in the Untied wardrobe, in fact, more than 6 months. On Monday I had my first practice with the team again, and it actually was quite an experience. "I trained both Monday and Tuesday, and it went just fine. I still feel pain in my knees, but the pain has become much less severe. Iím able to run normally, which is an achievement in its own. "I have no idea of when Iíll be back, after all, it has been six months since I last played football."
Click On pic - for all latest pics from OT
JESPER RULED OUT UNTIL MARCH Manchester United winger Jesper Blomqvist has been ruled out until March after undergoing a second knee operation. The 25-year-old Swedish international impressed on the pre-season tour of Australia but has not made a Premiership appearance this campaign. He had an operation in August but it was unsuccessful and last week he was in Sweden for more surgery. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Jesper is still feeling something with his knee. We just don't know what is causing the pain so he's gone back to Sweden and he'll have another op and hopefully they will be able to discover what the problem is. "Unfortunately it will mean another six weeks out for him and it may be around March before he is back in action."
Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
New Beckham Ban Twist Reports are now suggesting that David Beckham has had his driving licence returned. Earlier today, his appeal against an eight-month driving ban had been quashed, but the judge has now decided that there were "special circumstances" in the case, believed to be the fact that David was attempting to escape the attentions of a paparazzi photographer. The 800 pounds fine stands, but his licence has not had any points added to it.
Click On pic - for latest pics from OT
Why Im a Red by Brian Hi everyone I have been a red for about 25 years, I am 45 years old and as a lad I used to support B.ham City ( STOP LAUGHING) which is where I live , I started to take an interest in united after watching the 68 euro final but I continued to go to watch B.ham until about 73 when they lost to Fulham in a F.A.cup semi, enough was enough! A couple of lads in my local used to go to o.t. and suggested I go along with them, it was the year after we had came up from the old division 2 , and Tommy doc had got what I thought was a promising side playing good football. The first game I went to at o.t. was against B.ham! we drew 2-2, but from the minute I got close to o.t. and was surrounded by a seemingly endless sea of red and white scarves I knew this was where I would watch football from for the rest of my life!.I have tried for many years to put my finger on why but I just can`t explain it, its not just supporting a team its like belonging to an enormous family , I have suffered many taunts over the years about not supporting your local team even recently from some fellow reds, I have had many trials and tribulations in travelling to Manchester ( the notorious M .6!! ) but whatever happens when I am watching the reds nothing else matters, I think this is the root of it , its just a great escape and release that keeps bringing you back time after time ( and not like my wife says that I`m a sad old git ! ). Of course it helps to have success , but even in the lean years being a red was all that counted and I think everyone is the same (apart from glory hunters) once the bug bites its with you for life, and its hard to explain . Well hope I haven`t bored you too much, I could go on for hours !! Bye for now Brian brian@palms100.freeserve.co.uk Other www.red11.org Daily News readers that wish to write their story? please mail to barrylee@post3.tele.dk - thanks in advance!
Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
Alex & Edwards have the good of the club at heart Soccernet Friday, December 17, 12:05am London Time New claims add fuel to old United feud By Ken Lawrence The miracle of it all is that they have lasted so long together, this irascible product of the Govan shipyards and the plummy, middle class boy from Cheshire who inherited the keys to the kingdom of Old Trafford. But as the mud- slinging between them continues, the next miracle will be for them to last until the end of Sir Alex Ferguson's contract. The Manchester United manager must now confront the alleged character slur that his chairman Martin Edwards had so little trust in the Scot that he kept secret the fact that BSkyB were preparing a £623million takeover bid last year. They call Old Trafford the Theatre of Dreams. Like many theatres, it is also a nest of vipers as the principal actors indulge in vitriol and venomous intrigue, back-biting and back-stabbing as they scramble for the most advantageous position. For public performances, Ferguson and Edwards paint their faces in the style of partners who may disagree on certain matters but in the end always have the good of the club at heart. In private, the masks are torn away. They are now further apart than ever and the United manager is sure to be appalled that Edwards, it is claimed in a new book Manchester Unlimited, would not trust Ferguson as far as he would clearly sometimes like to throw him. The more it becomes clear that relations between the pair have soured so much since Edwards flew to Aberdeen in 1986 to secure his services, the less certain it must be that Ferguson will actually see out the remaining two-and-a-half years of his contract. Today's book - in which Edwards is reported to have been aghast at the thought of telling Ferguson about BSkyB's bid, saying: 'If you tell him, he'll leak everything' - will hurt the Scotsman's famous pride so much that he will either immediately find his position untenable or be just one more explosive episode away from storming out. He has, after all, threatened once before to walk out because he believed he was being short- changed over his salary before a deal was reached in 1996. Ferguson might even have been forced out had Edwards listened to the fans before the manager claimed his first trophy, the 1990 FA Cup. In those dark days, the chairman really stood by his man. But Edwards, it is claimed, considered a swap between United and the Football Association - Ferguson for then-England coach Terry Venables - during extremely antagonistic contract discussions between the Scot Initially, Ferguson was said to have been interested in the job of FA technical director but according to former Lancaster Gate chief executive Graham Kelly, Ferguson liked the idea of taking over from Venables, who was to become a free agent after Euro 96. Since then, Edwards has confirmed that, despite Ferguson's history-making trophy haul, there will be no place for him either on the board or elsewhere at United when his current contract, worth £1.6m a year, expires in 2002. Last summer, Ferguson touched all the raw nerves that had been exposed by the escalating problems between the pair, usually over money. When that subject was mentioned, Ferguson wrote, 'then you had a problem with Martin Edwards.' In his autobiography, Managing My Life, Ferguson stressed that much of the serious strains in their relationship in recent years had been over money and added that United's move into the stock market almost a decade ago had further hampered communication between them. On the other side of the coin, Ferguson has insisted on several occasions that he appreciated the support in the transfer market he has received from the chairman but it is only since last season that he feels he has been given the personal rewards he deserved. But any praise from the manager for his chairman has usually been overshadowed by differences of opinion such as that over Dwight Yorke, John Hartson and the role Brian Kidd played as Ferguson and Edwards waged war 18 months ago over which of the two strikers they should buy. Edwards had agreed with Ferguson's former aide Kidd that Hartson should be the new centre forward. According to Manchester Unlimited, Ferguson returned from holiday and confronted Edwards and plc chairman Sir Roland Smith, enraged over what he believed was collusion between Edwards and Kidd and furious over the club's reluctance to rush through what is now the final contract of his Old Trafford career. Again, such were the problems between Ferguson and Edwards that the manager considered withdrawing his P45. He won this battle. He got his new deal, though he considered the way United haggled over the figures was 'pathetic', and he got Yorke. He later got back at Kidd. He used his book to prove to Edwards and the Old Trafford power-brokers that he was prepared to reveal details of some of the day-to-day dramas within the club by suggesting that his former No. 2 had gone behind his back to the chairman and claiming Kidd did not have what it takes to succeed him as manager. Ferguson, it was once assumed, would one day be allowed to become involved in either grooming or nominating his successor. That, now, is highly unlikely to be the case. Indeed, Edwards' reported comments may turn a dysfunctional relationship into one that is completely fractured. As well as the claims over the BSkyB deal, Edwards is also reported to have accused Ferguson of being less than proficient with money and suggests the manager went out of his way to block Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's proposed £5.5m move to Tottenham last year after the chairmen of both clubs had agreed the deal. The claims will make extremely unpalatable reading for the most successful club manager in British football history. Ferguson, humiliated and perhaps even undermined by the chairman's alleged comments in the new book, must be experiencing a sense of betrayal today. And this time, there seems no way Old Trafford's Odd Couple will ever again be able to sit comfortably together in the same room.
Click On pic - for all player stats from OT
FA Cup opponents To throw another spanner in the works - if United were in the third round draw we would have been assigned ball no. 22 instead given to Middlesborough so we would not have played Villa but would have played Wrexham. Some points to ponder: 1. Boro would obviously not have been beaten by Wrexham and Robbo's job may be a little more secure (assuming that they had not been beaten by their alternative which is pretty far fetched judging their current form) 2. Darren Ferguson may still have scored but then again do you seriously think that our defence would have opened up so easily? Hypothecation and complete and utter bollox but one thing is for certain no matter who we had played there would have been a full house - witness some of the crowds on Saturday and you just know that they only go to see United. We weren't in the cup yet we still got the backpage headlines. Andy Message text written by "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" >Escape From Old Trafford? If you believe that Aston Villa would have been drawn against Manchester United in the FA Cup 3rd round, rather than lucky loser Darlington, the logical conclusion is that United would have won, so we would have been bound for Old Trafford in round 4. Aston Villa is tough enough, but at least we might be allowed to win there (although Dion Bloody Dublin will probably score another two goals), whereas we know from our bitter experience of 96 that however well we play Saints would not be allowed to beat (or even score against) United in the cup.<
Click On pic - for the history of MUFC 1892-1976
Tom turns down Sir Matt Singing superstar Tom Jones has turned down the chance to play Sir Matt Busby in a new musical. Jones had been lined up to play the legendary manager in "Theatre of Dreams", a stage production based on the history of Manchester United. But his spokesperson said, "It's not right for him at the moment." The search continues!
Click On pic - vote now in our MUFC WEEKLY SURVEY
Kalum Mooniaruck Manchester United can continue to play their teenage prospect, Kalum Mooniaruck, in their academy team despite the fact that he lives in Bishop's Stortford. The Premier League have checked into the 15-year-old's background and confirmed that he was attached to United before they imposed the rule that such players should live within 90 minutes' driving distance of their club. In future the Premier League will stop players signing for distant teams before they are old enough to leave school, but it is expected that the richer clubs will try to get round it by moving their families into the area. United have a second 15-year-old, Kieron Richardson, who travels from Essex to play for them. He, too, was signed before the deadline.
Click On pic - for an MUFC interactive QUIZ!
HUGHES CONFIRMED AS WALES BOSS By Paul Walker, PA Sport Mark Hughes was officially appointed as the new Wales manager on Thursday. The Southampton star's installation as Bobby Gould's successor was confirmed by the FA of Wales at a full council meeting in Llangollen. The 36-year-old midfielder will now start a four-and-a-half-year contract, the first 18 months of which will be part-time as he completes this season with the Saints and another year's deal he has been offered at The Dell. Thursday marks the end of a lengthy process as the FAW have searched for a replacement for Gould, who quit the night Wales lost 4-0 in Italy last June. Hughes and Neville Southall were put in charge for one match before Hughes was appointed caretaker boss in August. He was not the first choice of the specially appointed selection committee, who initially recommended Terry Venables for the post. But that move was blocked by the full council, and since then Hughes has taken temporary control while he discussed a contract with the FAW. Those negotiations were completed last month, although managerial appointments have to be ratified by all the council members - and but for two abstentions today Hughes got the backing he wanted. Now the former Manchester United star will start appointing a backroom team, including a new coach because another of his old clubs Chelsea will not allow Eddie Niedzwiecki to continue in that role despite giving him permission to work with Hughes for two matches. Eric Harrison will now be officially confirmed as assistant manager, with Jimmy Shoulder and Mark Bowen to run the under-21s. Hughes' first match in control will be a friendly in February, possibly against Germany in Cardiff, with two more friendlies and a likely four-team competition in Luxembourg during June. He will then have to confront a difficult World Cup qualifying group against Armenia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Norway starting next autumn. Hughes did not attend the meeting but said later: "I realise that it has dragged on a bit. I think everybody has got a little fed up with waiting and wondering what exactly the situation was. "Now it has been confirmed I am obviously delighted and am able to get on with the job." © PA Sporting Life
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