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Barry Leeming

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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun 28 Nov 1999 13:04 GMT
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Cruyff decides to quit Old Trafford
2. Ferguson ready to put world record straight
3. Jaap: No need to panic
4. Tino shaping up for clash - Official match preview
5. Keane - My months of of torment
9. Top 50 European Footballer of the Year to be announced 20th Dec
10. Ferguson set for United cash war ««
11. PREM: Form and prediction tables
12. ALL PREM Statistics  - BEST ATTACK (35 goals)- Manchester United


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

Barry Comment:
Headline news Jordi is leaving on a free transfer + plenty
more on Keano debate in todays bulletin. 
Roll on Tues 10am gmt! INTERENET COVERAGE ***
Match Tracker live text service.
At home or work, up to date with everything that happens.

*** Competition time!
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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
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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

Plenty more fun files are at



If I Die In The Stretford End - scoreboardpaddock@manutd.com
 Alex Hulme/Manchester/England 
Made by a Manc for Mancs "If I Die In The Stretford End" is for Match Going REDS. 

Taken from The Worldwide Manchester United Fans Webring - 400+ RED sites!

The BBC will broadcast live coverage of Manchester United's World Team
Championship challenge in Brazil.

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

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

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 
Group B: Girondins Bordeaux v Fiorentina 
Group B: Manchester United v Valencia 
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

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!


       Coventry City   0-1   Leicester City        22,021
             Everton   0-0   Aston Villa           34,750
       Middlesbrough   0-0   Wimbledon             31,400
             Watford   2-3   Sunderland            21,590
     West Ham United   1-0   Liverpool             26,043

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 27/11/99 ***

Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    15  6  2  0  24   6   4  1  2  11  14   15   33
 2  Leeds United         15  6  1  1  13   6   4  1  2  15  13    9   32
 3  Sunderland           16  5  2  1  10   5   4  2  2  17  11   11   31
 4  Arsenal              15  6  1  1  18   6   3  1  3   8   9   11   29
 5  Leicester City       16  6  2  0  16   7   3  0  5  10  13    6   29
 6  Liverpool            16  5  0  3  11   6   3  3  2   9   7    7   27
 7  Tottenham Hotspur    14  5  0  2  17  12   3  2  2   7   6    6   26
 8  West Ham United      15  6  1  0  12   6   1  2  5   5   8    3   24
 9  Middlesbrough        16  4  2  3   9   9   3  0  4  11  14   -3   23
10  Chelsea              13  4  1  1  13   3   2  2  3   6   8    8   21
11  Everton              16  3  5  0  16   8   2  1  5   8  14    2   21
12  Coventry City        16  5  0  4  17  10   0  5  2   6   8    5   20
13  Aston Villa          16  3  3  1   8   4   2  1  6   6  14   -4   19
14  Wimbledon            16  2  4  2  12  11   1  4  3  10  18   -7   17
15  Southampton          14  2  2  3  10  11   2  2  3  10  13   -4   16
16  Newcastle United     15  3  2  2  17   8   0  2  6   8  21   -4   13
17  Bradford City        14  1  3  2   6  11   2  0  6   6  12  -11   12
18  Derby County         15  2  0  6   7  15   1  3  3   7  11  -12   12
19  Watford              16  2  1  5   9  13   1  1  6   4  15  -15   11
20  Sheffield Wednesday  15  1  2  4   9  11   0  1  7   4  25  -23    6

*** FIXTURES TODAY 28/11/99 ***
             Arsenal  v  Derby County
             Chelsea  v  Bradford City
        Leeds United  v  Southampton
    Newcastle United  v  Tottenham Hotspur


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)
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)
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)

30-NOV-1999 [10:00] Manchester Utd. vs Palmeiras   (Inter Continental Cup, AWAY)
04-DEC-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Everton     (FA Premier League, HOME)
08-DEC-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Valencia    (UEFA Champions League, HOME)
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)

Current Injuries                       Possible return
 Jesper Blomqvist        ankle           early Dec 
 Ronny Johnsen           knee            January
 Wes Brown               knee            August


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

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

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

pp 27/11/99 ? Sheffield Wednesday  Away PL *No new date yet

30/11/99    Tokyo  Palmeiras         WCC       20.00
 4/12/99    Everton                  Home PL   15.00
 8/12/99    Valencia CF              Home EC   19.45
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
 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
22/01/2000  Arsenal                  Home PL   15.00
 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   15.00
 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



Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
Cruyff decides to quit Old Trafford Dutch international Jordi Cruyff, 25, has given up on his Manchester United dream. Cruyff, one of the Old Trafford elite earning £20,000-a-week, will leave next summer on a free transfer. He said: 'In four seasons here I've only made 48 appearances in the first team - 23 as substitute. During the past couple of seasons I've just not made enough progress and I can't see my situation changing. 'But I've gained tremendous experience here and I'll leave with happy memories
Click On pic - for all latest pics from OT
Ferguson ready to put world record straight Martin Samuel A carelessness bordering on recklessness was Sir Alex Ferguson's frank assessment of the failings of his team in international club competition this season. Yet for him to make history here on Tuesday, the problem must be quickly addressed. If Manchester United defeat the Brazilians of Palmeiras in the Intercontinental Cup this week they will become the first British club to wear what many regard as club football's world championship crown. Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Celtic and, of course, United themselves have all had the opportunity before without success. Indeed, since the competition was changed to make it a one-off match in Japan 20 years ago, the British travellers east have not managed a solitary goal, let alone a victory. It is that statistic which has clearly provided the spice for Ferguson and his players. Having re-schemed the record books in doing the Treble last season, the chance to place a glorious victory continues to fire players who are not yet sated by victory. Despite arriving six days later than their Sao Paulo-based opponents, bringing the barest squad - United have only 18 players here - and offending the hosts by arbitrarily delaying a press conference for three hours, Ferguson insisted he was taking the match seriously. He had watched three Palmeiras games on video, he said, and he was up on the past humiliations of English clubs here like a man with one eye on posterity. Ferguson said: "Bearing in mind an English team has never won this, the tournament is of huge importance to United. The South Americans traditionally regard it as the most significant match of their season, which could explain why results have been as they are. "Our club had its chance against Estudiantes of Argentina 30 years ago and we did not take it, so this is our opportunity to do something about that. It's a place in the record books, it's in many eyes the world championship - in the circumstances, it's in the nature of this club that we come to win it." That speech given before the start of the season would have been delivered with a bullish arrogance. Yet, with December approaching, United have not yet performed with consistency outside their domestic league in this campaign. The team which went through Europe unbeaten in winning the European Cup in May have tasted defeat twice already in defence of their title. Losing to Marseille was dismissed as an aberration, but their dismantling by Fiorentina this week represented United's heaviest defeat in European competition in five years. Certainly, there is little new to the side going forward when compared, for instance, to the changes made by Barcelona. United's failure to invest in forward and midfield players in the same way might have been seen as sticking with personnel who did the club proud, but it also means most opponents know what the team is about. And if they can stop United playing, the same nature which Ferguson wants to turn to his advantage in Tokyo can also lead to the one fatal error - or two, as were made against Fiorentina - which costs a tight game. "At times we have a carelessness bordering on recklessness," said Ferguson. "Fiorentina did not win that game, we lost it. They did not have a gameplan to beat us, they had a gameplan to stop us, but suddenly they got a break and from that position against a team with their ambition it was too difficult to get back. "To say we have lost something tactically is nonsense. The big thing that has changed is that now every team goes out trying to stop us, because we are champions of Europe." Little more ambition is expected of Palmeiras under the controversial Felipe 'Big Phil' Scolari. Although the club still revels in the 'Academia' nickname received for its status as a higher school of learning for young talent brought through to win titles in 1972 and 1973, Scolari has adopted a more bruising approach with a defence which takes few prisoners and a hard-working midfield. Scolari's Gremio stunned Ajax with their tackling in the 1995 final and there are fears United could be similarly shocked. "I've watched Palmeiras's games in the final of the Libertadores Cup against Deportivo Cali and I've seen no evidence of that," said Ferguson. "The matches were frenetic, yes, but nothing that worried me." The Brazilian Championship final with Corinthians might prove more illuminating - if disturbing, as a player is punched over the tunnel wall trying to escape a brawl which ended with the game called off as radio reporters interviewed warring players. A surreal experience, even in a country not short of such sights. The record books will document more unusual behaviour if United overturn more than three decades of British underachievement to lift this crown.
Click On pic - for latest interviews from OT
Jaap: No need to panic Jaap Stam Pours Scorn On Critics And Insists 'There's No Panic At United' 365 Exclusive By Neil Rowlands MANCHESTER UNITED set off for their Inter Continental Cup date with Palmeiras in Tokyo on Tuesday spitting defiance at the critics who claimed that they no longer have the stomach for the big occasion. United swept the table last season, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and, most famously of all, the European Cup, but are struggling to hold onto that last trophy following an uncharacteristic 2-0 loss away to Fiorentina on Tuesday. Defeat against the Brazilians in Japan will only add to the feeling among pundits and that their own fans have expressed in 365's Mailbox that 'something is missing' from the Red Devils' mental make-up this season, but Dutch central defender Jaap Stam is having none of it. Stam told Football365: "The manager, the players, we all want the success to continue. The determination is there, the desire is there. It's a question of remaining strong, sticking together and working hard. People said the 5-0 Chelsea defeat was a disaster, but we are top of the league and we're in the second phase of Europe. Is that a disaster? If you lose a game, people are going to write you off. That's football. But, as I say, while we are still in every competition and are in a good position to challenge for honours, that criticism is nonsense and only motivates us to do better. "I don't think we are in a state of panic, the way people are making out. You have bad games, you can't play well in every match. I view the Fiorentina defeat as a game we should have won. It wasn't really a case of how good Fiorentina were, more a case of how bad we played. If you're going to make mistakes at this level, you're going to get punished. We did and now it's down to us to bounce back." United don't have a Premier League game this weekend because of their commitments in the Far East and can expect to return from Tokyo as something other than league leaders. Second-placed Leeds United, whose midweek European game in Moscow was called off because of the frozen pitch, can take over at the top with a home win over Southampton on Sunday. Win or lose against Palmeiras, Sir Alex Ferguson's men will arrive back in Britain knowing that they have their hands full domestically and in Europe - they face a must-win match against Valencia at Old Trafford on December 8 - and will want to put their house in order before jetting off to South America for the World Club Championship shortly after Christmas. "This club is used to winning things and that is the very reason why I joined United,'' Stam added. "I said at the end of last season that I was surprised by the success we had in my first season, but that hasn't stopped me wanting to win more. I've seen the players here this season, I've seen how hard they are working. There is no need to panic."
Click On pic - for latest pics from OT
Tino shaping up for clash - Official match preview 30-NOV-1999 [10:00] Manchester Utd. vs Palmeiras http://www.manutd.com/matches/match.sps?id=1637140 TINO SHAPING UP FOR CLASH History once again beckons for Manchester United No British club has ever won the Intercontinental Cup, the traditional match between the winners of the European Cup and South America's equivalent, the Copa Libertadores. The closest United came was back in 1968, just four months after winning Europe's grand prize. Then, the Reds faced Estudiantes of Argentina. That match has passed into folklore following scenes of remarkable violence. United lost the away leg 1-0, and drew the home tie 1-1. But it was the punching, kicking and shocking tackles which won all the headlines. The competition itself has gained the reputation of violence both on and off the pitch, and for this reason, the game was moved to Japan in 1980. It has remained in the East ever since. A large United squad, with no injury worries, fly out on Friday to give them time to acclimatise and familiarise themselves with their surroundings before the match, which kicks off at 10am GMT on Tuesday. This match will be the first time United have faced Palmeiras in competitive action, but it won't be the last occasion this season on which they come up against Brazilian opposition. The controversial World Team Tournament takes place in Brazil next January, and United have withdraw from the FA Cup in order to take part. There, they will meet Vasco da Gama, and possibly Corinthians. The match against Palmeiras should give the Reds some indication of what they can expect in the New Year. If reputations are anything to go by, they're in for a rough ride. Palmeiras have already been punished for a mass brawl on the pitch during their match against Corinthians, and their World Cup defender, Junior Baiano, was once banned for 10 Bundesliga games for punching an opponent. However, the troubles haven't stopped the Pigs, as Palmeiras are nicknamed, from winning the odd trophy. While United were out claiming the Premiership, FA and European Cups last season, Palmeiras were busy collecting the Brazilian and Mercosur Cups - beating Cruzeiro in both finals - and the Copa Libertadores, which was their ticket to Tokyo, and the showdown with United. The Brazilians' 1990s have shaped up remarkably similarly to those of United. The decade started slowly, as they finished fourth in the Paulista League. In 1992, however, things started to happen for the club. They reached the semi-finals of the Brazilian Cup, losing to eventual champions Internacional. They also went close to ending their 16-year barren spell in the League, finishing second. Does that sound familiar to any United fans? And just like United in 1993, Palmeiras finally came good after a lengthy wait. Under coach Wanderley Luxemburgo, now Brazil national coach, they won the Paulista League, The Rio-Sao Paolo tournament and the Brazilian Championship. There was no stopping them! That good form has continued throughout the decade, as they won both the Brazilian Championship and Paulista League in 1993 and 1994, before claiming the Copa Libertadores, South America's equivalent of the Champions League, last season. They won the two-legged final, against Deportivo Cali of Colombia, and won 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw. And so to Tokyo! Stories coming out of Brazil in recent weeks have varied from that on-pitch battle with Corinthians to the hijacking of star player Paulo Nunes' car, leaving the striker stranded on the streets of Sao Paolo! Any team boasting former Newcastle United star Faustino Asprilla is bound to be high on drama! On and off the pitch, it's been a testing season for the Greens. They currently trail runaway leaders Corinthians by 17 points in the Brazilian Championship, and failed to make the top eight, who qualify for the quarter-final play-offs, having won just eight out of 21 games so far this term. They have reached the semi-finals of the Mercusor Cup, but lost the first leg 1-0 to San Lorenzo on Thursday 18 November. They did hit the post in the last minute, though. Junior Baiano returned in that match, after missing most of the season with a knee injury. He is expected to line up against United. But with or without him, a colourful encounter is guaranteed between the Reds and the Greens, with the title of World Champions at stake. Until January, at least! Whether you're in the office or at home, you can keep bang up to date with the match using our exclusive Match Tracker service. One tip: If you're at work and United score, please refrain from shouting. The boss might just catch you! Probable teams: United: Bosnich; Irwin, Berg, Stam, G Neville; Giggs, Keane, Butt, Beckham; Yorke, Cole. Palmeiras: Marcos; Arce, Junior Baiano, Galeano, Junior; Tiago, Rogerio, Jackson, Zinho; Asprilla, Paulo Nunes. ----------------- INTERENET COVERAGE *** Match Tracker live text service. At home or work, up to date with everything that happens. RESERVES: Bookmark http://www.red11.org/reserves
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Keane - My months of of torment By Peter Fitton - Soccernet EXCLUSIVE: Roy Keane is still carrying a burden of global baggage. From Florence to Tokyo and back, it is weighing him down. Most of it is not to be seen on any airport carousel. It is locked in a mind filled with turmoil. Keane is loaded down by the ultimate career question: What do I do with the next four or five years of my football life? And, despite the past week's over-hasty conclusion that Manchester United's captain and most significant player will lead the Treble winners beyond the millennium, the definitive answer has yet to be delivered. 'People think it's easy when your contract is finishing,' he said. 'But it's not. It is pain, pain and more pain. The easiest thing for me to say is that the speculation has not affected me. 'I suppose I need all this like a hole in the head. According to some, I am going here, there and everywhere. Nobody knows. You know why? Because even I don't know yet. In the next three or four weeks, something will be sorted out. 'Then, and only then, will I know for certain what is going to happen.' Such words are the closest Keane will come to a proclamation of intent. At home and in far-off Tokyo as he arrives for the world club shoot-out against Palmeiras, he would love to swear a lasting oath of allegiance. But it is hope, rather than expectation, that precedes a final meeting in the next 72 hours between Keane's negotiator, lawyer Michael Kennedy, and United's lawyer, director Maurice Watkins. The offer to the player whom manager Sir Alex Ferguson appreciates above all others has not increased from the £35,000 a week the Irishman politely declined in the summer. In October, the Keane camp were informed the club had 'broken the bank' to secure his future. The bargaining was over. Now, unexpectedly, has come Watkins' late initiative. Keane, 28, will still follow professional advice and talk with the Italian, Spanish and other European clubs who can guarantee him riches beyond United's pay scale. A £5million signing fee and four years' wages close to £60,000 a week, after tax, are on offer. But such temptations have left Keane a difficult equation. 'It means so much to be at United,' he acknowledged. 'My heart is still in this club, so I'm hopeful something can happen this week. 'From United's point of view, maybe they want to put a last proposal to me. For me, it all needs to be sorted out one way or the other, too. And if nothing is resolved this time, I will speak to other clubs. That's what I'm legally entitled to do. So things are still up in the air. 'There are so many options to consider. I've been at United seven years. Do I need a new challenge? But is there a bigger challenge than continuing to play for United and maintaining their success in England and Europe? 'I have my kids to think about, too. For them, there is the opportunity to live in another country. And all the time people go on about the money. It's not important, you might say, but it is a principle with the club.' Keane was just back from his own guilt trip to Fiorentina, where he presented Gabriel Batistuta with a Champions League goal. He added: 'When you play well, people might think this stuff is not affecting you. But after the mistake the other night, they might start questioning your concentration. 'That's why what happened in Florence really annoyed me. I was hiding in the house I was so miserable. The fans know my position and the position of the club, too. 'They have given me a bit of breathing space in the hope I will stay at United. And the chances are very good. I'm quite positive.' The doubt is whether United will destroy their rigid pay structure, guarantee Keane in excess of £50,000 a week and risk a wages explosion from their other high-profile stars. The highest basic is around £22,000 a week, and the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and other England players are on substantially less. But when the haggling resumes, Keane will be preoccupied with the Brazilians of Palmeiras and Tuesday's match. 'I will be far away in Tokyo,' he smiled. 'I want to concentrate on this game. We want to be seen as the best team on earth.'
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BIG CLUBS MAY GO TO THE WALL by ANDY GRAY If reports that Roy Keane is getting 55,000 a week to stay at Manchester United are true then football is straying into very dangerous territory. I agree the top players should get a big wage, but the knock-on effect of paying this kind of money could be devastating. Arsene Wenger is right when he talks about keeping a rigid pay structure in place because if wages, which are already beyond the comprehension of most people, continue to spiral out of control I can see some clubs - and I am talking Premiership here - going to the wall. Even clubs like Manchester United will have problems. If Keano is getting 55,000 a week I can think of half a dozen other players at Old Trafford who will no doubt think they should get the same. Agents will be knocking on Sir Alex Ferguson's door saying: "Hold on - Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Jaap Stam and players like that deserve the same sort of money." Basically, they have set themselves a very risky precedent. This is not the way forward for football. All it does is move the financial goalposts for all the players in England. Agents know the ins and outs of every deal and they now know the ceiling they are dealing with, so they will taper all their deals in line with Roy Keane. What that means is a player who is earning, say, 5,000 a week will look at Keane's deal and say he is now worth 15,000 a week on the sliding scale backing up behind the United player. Managers like Arsene Wenger, George Graham and perhaps Peter Reid will stick to their pay structures but they will know that it could mean they lose out on some big players who will find a club to pay what they want. There are ways of loading a contract without breaking wage structures with such things as loyalty bonuses and, if possible, that is the way to avoid the wages problem. Big clubs in Italy and Spain are already paying massive amounts of money and I agree that if clubs here don't match wages in the 60,000-70,000 a week bracket then we are going to lose some of our superstars. It also means we won't attract players like Del Piero and Kluivert, who earn astronomical amounts - but I don't care if we don't get those players over here just because Premiership clubs refuse to meet 80,000-a-week wage demands. I genuinely believe we are very close to seeing clubs going to the wall in the next few years. I am not just talking about small clubs who are already struggling. Look at Sheffield Wednesday, who are already in debt despite all the money they will have earned from playing in the Premiership. The fact is that they cannot afford to pay big wages. Somebody has to make a stand because you cannot keep giving players more and more money. As an ex pro I am all for them earning what they can. I don't worry about the Keanes of this world, superstars who put something back into the game. It's the players who are earning a fortune and not putting anything back who will bankrupt clubs because they will think that 20,000 a week is normal for an average footballer. I am loath to suggest wage capping because that can be seen as restraint of trade. I just think clubs need to find a way of paying the superstars without starting a financial landslide with ordinary players scrambling for more than they deserve. I would love to see all the managing directors, chairmen and managers stand firm and refuse to break their wage structures, even if it means missing out on a player they really want. The more clubs that adopt the Wenger approach the better, in my view. They may lose out on some players in the short term, but in the long term the game will be healthier.
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FERGUSON FEARS TOYKO CLASH By David Anderson, PA Sport Sir Alex Ferguson fears the Toyota Cup could further jeopardise Manchester United's defence of their Champions' League crown. United arrived in Tokyo on Saturday for the showpiece game against South American champions Palmeiras on Tuesday. Ferguson's globetrotters will then jet back to Manchester to prepare for a Premiership match with Everton on Saturday followed by their next European date with Valencia at Old Trafford four days later. The Valencia match has taken on extra significance for United following their 2-0 defeat against Fiorentina in Florence, while the Spaniards top Group B after they beat Bordeaux 3-0. Ferguson is concerned what effect flying half way round the world for a football match against the Brazilians will have on his players. He said: "After Tokyo when we play Valencia, that will be the biggest challenge for us because I don't know what affect going to Tokyo will have on the players. "I don't know what going there, playing the game and coming back will do to them." Ferguson is attempting to counter this problem by resting several players, who he can then use to freshen up his squad for the Everton and Valencia games. He has left behind Andy Cole, Raimond van der Gouw, Henning Berg, David May and Jordi Cruyff. "Hopefully I've got enough in my squad to freshen things up if we need to against Everton and Valencia," he said. The omission of Berg and May means rookies Danny Higginbotham and Ronnie Wallwork will be on the bench in Tokyo and Higginbotham is delighted to involved. "It's another trip and another country and it should be a great experience for me personally," he said. "I don't know that much about Palmeiras, but they are going to be a good team because they are the South American champions." Despite the exclusion of Cole and Berg, Ferguson has pledged to take the game seriously. He has promised to field a strong side against Palmeiras, who beat Deportivo Cali to win the Libertadores Cup, in the Olympic Stadium. Ferguson claims United will be motivated by the desire to succeed where Liverpool, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and even Matt Busby's 1968 European Cup winners failed by becoming the first English side to win the trophy. "An English team has never won it before and so this is an opportunity for us to correct that," he said. Despite this bravado, it remains to be seen just how hard United will try to win and they offered little resistance to Lazio in the UEFA Super Cup in August once the Serie A side scored. In Monaco Ferguson even took some of his key players off to rest them and he could well employ the same damage limitation exercise against Palmeiras, especially because their coach Luis Felipe Scolari has a win-at-all-costs attitude. The abrasive and unconventional Scolari, whose nickname is Big Phil, often orders his players to commit fouls. Scolari, who has been known to punch anyone who annoys him, has been caught on touchline microphones during matches screaming at his players to hack down their opponents. David Beckham and Ryan Giggs beware.
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ASPRILLA'S GUNNING FOR FERGIE Mirror SIR ALEX FERGUSON will face a familiar deadly weapon in Manchester United's Toyota Cup clash with Palmeiras - Faustino Asprilla. And as United arrived in Tokyo today, ex-Newcastle wildman Asprilla warned: "We'll give United a few lessons in skill." Striker Asprilla, 30, has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Brazilians' first team - but he is desperate to play against United. Asprilla spent a couple of memorable seasons on Tyneside when the Geordies were United's main rivals for the Premiership title. And he is ready to remind United and the rest of the Premiership of his outstanding talent in the World Club Championship in Brazil. Colombia international Asprilla claimed that when it comes to skill, talent and excitement, not even the likes of Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole or David Beckham can match the brilliance of the South American champions. As he prepared to haunt United in an exciting grudge clash, Asprilla could not resist a dig at the state of English football. "We have more skill and our football is much more entertaining," he said. "English football does not allow talented players to play. "I loved my time with Newcastle, but it was frustrating. Talented players could never express themselves fully. "That's why I want to play against United - we'll show them. English fans may not have heard of all of our players, but they're every bit as good as Beckham or Giggs. "We are confident we can beat United."
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Top 50 European Footballer of the Year to be announced 20th Dec Mirror David's in pole position to be king of Europe MORE than half the Manchester United team have been named among the 50 European Footballer Of The Year contenders, with David Beckham leading the way. Beckham joins goalscorers Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, and centre-half Jaap Stam in the red-hot 50, reflecting United's status as champions of Europe. And former Old Trafford keeper Peter Schmeichel, now with Sporting Lisbon, also makes the list after playing a key role in United's treble triumph. Chelsea's three foreign superstars Marcel Desailly, Gianfranco Zola and Gus Poyet are also included in the prestigious list, as well as Tottenham's David Ginola, England's player of the year last season. But it's Beckham, heading United's super six, who stands the best chance of pipping Barcelona's hotly-fancied Brazilian star Rivaldo for the European crown, as The Mirror predicted weeks ago. He would become the fourth Manchester United player to win the title following Denis Law, George Best and Sir Bobby Charlton. He would also be the first British winner since Kevin Keegan nearly 20 years ago. The European Footballer Of The Year will be announced on December 20, but that is unlikely to be the last of Beckham's accolades. He is also set to become the first British player to be crowned World Footballer Of The Year. Rivaldo appears to be his only rival. While the European Footballer Of The Year is judged by media experts, the world award is now an official FIFA prize with more than 120 coaches worldwide nominating their first three choices. If Beckham gets the global vote his transfer value will soar to around pounds 25million. Mirror's Sport's Harry Harris puts the top 50 candidates in the order he believes they will finish 1. David Beckham (Man United) England 2. Rivaldo (Barcelona) Brazil 3. Andrei Shevchenko (Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan) Ukraine. 4. Gabriel Batistuta (Fiorentina) Argentina 5. Marcel Deasailly (Chelsea) France 6 Christian Vieri (Lazio, Inter Milan) Italy 7. Roy Keane (Manchester United) Ireland 8. Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal) Holland 9 .Claudio Lopez (Valencia) Argentina 10. Stefan Effenberg (Bayern Munich) Germany 11. Luis Figo (Barcelona) Portugal 12. Fernando Morientes (Real Madrid) Spain 13. Josep Guardiola (Barcelona) Spain 14. Emmanuel Petit (Arsenal) France 15. Juan Sebastian Veron (Parma, Lazio) Argentina 16. Raul Gonzalez (Real Madrid) Spain 17. Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea) Italy 18. Elber (Bayern Munich) Brazil 19. Gustavo Poyet (Chelsea) Uruguay 20. Patrick Kluivert (Barcelona) Holland 21. Paolo Maldini (AC Milan) Italy 22. Sinisa Mihajlovic (Lazio) Yugoslavia 23. Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid) Brazil 24. Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus) Italy 25. Laurent Blanc (Marseille, Inter Milan) France 26. Lothar Matthaeus (Bayern Munich) Germany 27. Dwight Yorke (Man United) Trinidad and Tobago 29. Peter Schmeichel (Man United, Sporting Lisbon) Denmark 30. Mario Basler (Bayern Munich) Germany 31. Oliver Bierhoff (AC Milan) Germany 32. Gianluigi Buffon (Parma) Italy 33. Alexander Shovkovski (Dynamo Kiev) Ukraine 34. Andy Cole (Man United) England 35. Hernan Crespo (Parma) Argentina 36. Edgar Davids (Juventus) Netherlands 37. Frank de Boer (Ajax, Barcelona) Holland 38. Ryan Giggs (Man United) Wales 39. David Ginola (Tottenham) France 40. Jardel (Porto) Brazil 41. Nwankwo Kanu (Arsenal) Nigeria 42. Hidetoshi Nakata (Perugia) Japan 43. Pavel Nedved (Lazio) Czech Republic 44. Ronaldo (Inter Milan) Brazil 45. Marcelo Salas (Lazio) Chile 46. Jaap Stam (Manchester United) Holland 47. Lilain Thuram (Parma) France 48. Fabien Barthez (Monaco) France 49. Sylvain Wiltord (Girondins Bordeaux) France 50. Zlatko Zahovic (Porto, Olympiakos) Slovenia
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Ferguson set for United cash war «« Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is set for another battle with Old Trafford's money men over the club's 'crippling' wage structure. The treble-winning manager has revealed that he is seeking three World class players - but any move to break United's pay structure is likely to met with a big thumbs down from the United hierarchy. Ferguson is said to be furious that United refused to sanction his summer moves for Argentinean ace Gabriel Batistuta, who ironically opened the scoring for his club Fiorentina in the midweek Champions' League defeat. Ferguson, who is still attempting to hold onto Roy Keane, said: "If I can influence this club so we would be in a fighting position to buy Batistuta the next time he becomes available, I will. "You hope things will change in time and that lessons will be learnt. We cannot allow ourselves to go back down the pecking order of top clubs. We can't let all the hard work go to waste." Meanwhile, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted the club will not pay huge wages after reports that Manchester United may offer Roy Keane a massive new contract. Wenger said: "If Manchester United move up Keane they will have to move up the others as well. If they can afford to pay everybody that sort of money, why not? "It's very difficult. If they wanted to buy another player like Keane, they'd have to pay a lot of money. But at Arsenal we have kept a wage structure and we'll keep it at a level we think we have to."
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PREM: Form and prediction tables *** CURRENT HOME FORM TABLE AS AT 27/11/99 *** Pos Team W D L F A GD Pts Index Sequence ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Manchester United 3 0 0 9 1 8 9 58% WWW 2 Leicester City 3 0 0 7 2 5 9 25% WWW 3 Liverpool 3 0 0 6 1 5 9 33% WWW 4 Leeds United 3 0 0 5 1 4 9 25% WWW 5 Arsenal 2 1 0 9 2 7 7 57% WDW 6 Wimbledon 2 1 0 6 3 3 7 50% WDW 7 Newcastle United 2 1 0 5 2 3 7 43% WWD 8 West Ham United 2 1 0 6 4 2 7 58% DWW 9 Coventry City 2 0 1 6 2 4 6 45% WWL 10 Tottenham Hotspur 2 0 1 7 5 2 6 85% LWW 11 Sunderland 2 0 1 4 4 0 6 78% WWL 12 Sheffield Wednesday 1 2 0 7 3 4 5 27% WDD 13 Middlesbrough 1 2 0 3 2 1 5 62% WDD 14 Chelsea 1 1 1 7 3 4 4 78% WLD 15 Bradford City 1 1 1 4 6 -2 4 68% LWD 16 Everton 0 3 0 5 5 0 3 67% DDD 17 Derby County 1 0 2 4 4 0 3 75% LWL 18 Southampton 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2 48% DDL 19 Aston Villa 0 2 1 1 2 -1 2 37% DDL 20 Watford 0 1 2 4 7 -3 1 53% LDL (Based on last 3 games. The higher the index, the higher the average league position of the opposition) *** CURRENT AWAY FORM TABLE AS AT 27/11/99 *** Pos Team W D L F A GD Pts Index Sequence ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 0 1 3 2 1 6 50% WLW 2 Sunderland 1 2 0 5 4 1 5 47% DDW 3 Liverpool 1 1 1 3 2 1 4 60% DWL 4 Southampton 1 1 1 3 3 0 4 50% LDW 5 Leeds United 1 1 1 6 7 -1 4 45% WDL 6 Coventry City 0 3 0 2 2 0 3 32% DDD 7 Arsenal 1 0 2 5 6 -1 3 68% LWL 8 Middlesbrough 1 0 2 5 8 -3 3 40% LWL 9 Leicester City 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3 53% LLW 10 Manchester United 1 0 2 3 9 -6 3 55% LLW 11 Wimbledon 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2 67% DLD 12 Newcastle United 0 2 1 2 5 -3 2 47% LDD 13 West Ham United 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1 72% LLD 14 Chelsea 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1 37% LLD 15 Derby County 0 1 2 3 7 -4 1 42% DLL 16 Everton 0 1 2 3 7 -4 1 52% LLD 17 Aston Villa 0 1 2 1 5 -4 1 63% LLD 18 Watford 0 1 2 3 10 -7 1 47% LLD 19 Bradford City 0 0 3 4 8 -4 0 58% LLL 20 Sheffield Wednesday 0 0 3 3 9 -6 0 75% LLL (Based on last 3 games. The higher the index, the higher the average league position of the opposition) *** CURRENT COMBINED FORM TABLE AS AT 27/11/99 *** Pos Team W D L F A GD Pts Index Sequence ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Liverpool 4 1 1 9 3 6 13 47% DWWWWL 2 Leeds United 4 1 1 11 8 3 13 35% WWDWLW 3 Tottenham Hotspur 4 0 2 10 7 3 12 68% LWWLWW 4 Manchester United 4 0 2 12 10 2 12 57% LWLWWW 5 Leicester City 4 0 2 9 7 2 12 39% WLWLWW 6 Coventry City 3 2 1 11 4 7 11 28% WDWDWL 7 Middlesbrough 3 2 1 9 8 1 11 59% WWWDLD 8 Sunderland 3 2 1 9 8 1 11 62% WDWDLW 9 Arsenal 3 1 2 14 8 6 10 62% LWWDLW 10 Wimbledon 2 3 1 8 6 2 9 58% WDDWLD 11 Newcastle United 2 3 1 7 7 0 9 45% WLWDDD 12 West Ham United 2 2 2 6 6 0 8 65% DLLDWW 13 Southampton 1 3 2 7 8 -1 6 49% DLDDWL 14 Chelsea 1 2 3 9 8 1 5 58% WLLLDD 15 Sheffield Wednesday 1 2 3 10 12 -2 5 51% WLDLDL 16 Everton 0 4 2 8 12 -4 4 59% LDLDDD 17 Derby County 1 1 4 7 11 -4 4 58% DLLWLL 18 Bradford City 1 1 4 8 14 -6 4 63% LLWLDL 19 Aston Villa 0 2 4 3 9 -6 2 58% LDLLLD 20 Watford 0 2 4 7 17 -10 2 50% LLLDDL (Based on last 6 games. The higher the index, the higher the average league position of the opposition) *** CURRENT PREDICTION TABLE AS AT 27/11/99 *** Pos Team W D L F A GD Pts ----------------------------------------------------- 1 Leeds United 25 6 7 70 50 20 81 2 Manchester United 25 3 10 81 58 23 78 3 Liverpool 23 7 8 53 24 29 76 4 Tottenham Hotspur 24 2 12 64 46 18 74 5 Leicester City 24 2 12 59 46 13 74 6 Sunderland 20 11 7 60 45 15 71 7 Arsenal 20 6 12 80 46 34 66 8 Middlesbrough 18 9 11 53 52 1 63 9 Coventry City 16 12 10 63 33 30 60 10 West Ham United 14 11 13 40 37 3 53 11 Wimbledon 10 19 9 51 51 0 49 12 Newcastle United 10 16 12 52 56 -4 46 13 Chelsea 10 11 17 57 44 13 41 14 Southampton 8 16 14 48 56 -8 40 15 Everton 5 21 12 53 66 -13 36 16 Derby County 7 7 24 41 68 -27 28 17 Bradford City 7 7 24 44 79 -35 28 18 Aston Villa 5 11 22 25 51 -26 26 19 Sheffield Wednesday 5 11 22 51 82 -31 26 20 Watford 3 9 26 39 90 -51 18 (Based on last 6 games) ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++ ALL PREM Statistics - BEST ATTACK (35 goals)- Manchester United *** GENERAL STATISTICS AS AT 27/11/99 *** SEQUENCES -------- LONGEST RUN OF WINS: Current (3 games) - Manchester United Record (6 games) - Leeds United Manchester United LONGEST RUN OF DRAWS: Current (3 games) - Everton Newcastle United Record (3 games) - Everton Newcastle United Wimbledon LONGEST RUN OF DEFEATS: Current (2 games) - Derby County Record (6 games) - Sheffield Wednesday LONGEST RUN WITHOUT WIN: Current (8 games) - Aston Villa Watford Record (9 games) - Sheffield Wednesday Wimbledon LONGEST RUN WITHOUT DRAW: Current (8 games) - Leicester City Record (13 games) - Middlesbrough Watford LONGEST RUN WITHOUT DEFEAT: Current (4 games) - Newcastle United Record (10 games) - Sunderland LONGEST RUN OF HOME WINS: Current (5 games) - Leeds United Record (5 games) - Leeds United LONGEST RUN OF HOME DRAWS: Current (4 games) - Everton Record (4 games) - Everton LONGEST RUN OF HOME DEFEATS: Current (1 game) - Aston Villa Coventry City Derby County Southampton Sunderland Watford Record (4 games) - Sheffield Wednesday LONGEST RUN WITHOUT HOME WIN: Current (4 games) - Everton Southampton Watford Record (5 games) - Wimbledon LONGEST RUN WITHOUT HOME DRAW: Current (9 games) - Coventry City Record (9 games) - Coventry City LONGEST RUN WITHOUT HOME DEFEAT: Current (8 games) - Everton Leicester City Manchester United Record (8 games) - Everton Leicester City Manchester United LONGEST RUN OF AWAY WINS: Current (1 game) - Leicester City Manchester United Southampton Sunderland Tottenham Hotspur Record (3 games) - Leeds United Manchester United Sunderland LONGEST RUN OF AWAY DRAWS: Current (3 games) - Coventry City Record (3 games) - Coventry City Liverpool LONGEST RUN OF AWAY DEFEATS: Current (6 games) - Sheffield Wednesday Record (6 games) - Newcastle United Sheffield Wednesday LONGEST RUN WITHOUT AWAY WIN: Current (8 games) - Newcastle United Sheffield Wednesday Record (8 games) - Newcastle United Sheffield Wednesday LONGEST RUN WITHOUT AWAY DRAW: Current (8 games) - Bradford City Leicester City Record (8 games) - Aston Villa Bradford City Leicester City LONGEST RUN WITHOUT AWAY DEFEAT: Current (6 games) - Sunderland Record (6 games) - Sunderland ATTACK/DEFENCE STATISTICS ------------------------- BEST ATTACK (35 goals): Manchester United WORST ATTACK (12 goals): Bradford City BEST DEFENCE (11 goals): Chelsea WORST DEFENCE (36 goals): Sheffield Wednesday BEST HOME ATTACK (24 goals): Manchester United WORST HOME ATTACK (6 goals): Bradford City BEST HOME DEFENCE (3 goals): Chelsea WORST HOME DEFENCE (15 goals): Derby County BEST AWAY ATTACK (17 goals): Sunderland WORST AWAY ATTACK (4 goals): Sheffield Wednesday Watford BEST AWAY DEFENCE (6 goals): Tottenham Hotspur WORST AWAY DEFENCE (25 goals): Sheffield Wednesday ATTENDANCE STATISTICS --------------------- HIGHEST ATTENDANCE (55,249): Manchester United LOWEST ATTENDANCE (10,029): Wimbledon HIGHEST AVERAGE ATTENDANCE (55,168): Manchester United LOWEST AVERAGE ATTENDANCE (14,820): Wimbledon ++++++=========+++++++========+++++++++========++++++++

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