www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun 31 Oct 1999 12:49 GMT+00:00
1. UTD 3-1 VILLA - Carling match report
2. Teamtalk match report
3. FA should share flak in United Cup debacle
4. No keeping Keane now
5. Red rock Stam
6. Gregory: FERGIE SHOULD HAVE QUIT AFTER TREBLE
7. RIVALDO? I SAID NO AND DON'T REGRET IT - Edwards
8. NO PLAYER HAS HAD AS MUCH PRESSURE AS BECKHAM...NOT EVEN ME SAYS RYAN GIGGS
9. LESSON OF SIR MATT
Cool win at OT incl. a clean sheet! :)
Reda more in todays news
WEB NEWS - www.redissue.co.uk !NEW!
ECL Group D ** Manchester United **
Olympique de Marseille * NK Croatia Zagreb * SK Sturm Graz
Manchester United FC Champions League Squad List
1 Mark John Bosnich 2 Gary Alexander Neville 3 Dennis Joseph Irwin
4 David May 6 Jakob Stam 7 David Robert J Beckham
8 Nicholas Butt 9 Andrew Alex. Cole 10 Edward Sheringham
11 Ryan Joseph Giggs 12 Philip Neville 14 Johan Jordi Cruyff
15 Lars Jesper Blomqvist 16 Roy Keane 17 Raimond RJH Van der Gouw
18 Paul Scholes 19 Dwight Yorke 20 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
21 Henning Berg 23 Michael Jamie Clegg 25 Josť Quinton Fortune
26 Massimo Taibi 31 Nicholas James Culkin 33 Mark Antony Wilson
34 Jonathan Greening
Group D P W D L F A PTS
Manchester United FC 5 3 1 1 7 3 10
Olympique de Marseille 5 3 0 2 8 6 9
SK Sturm Graz 5 2 0 3 4 10 6
NK Croatia Zagreb 5 1 1 3 5 5 4
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
MANCHESTER UNITED STATS v ALL teams on the Web
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!
*** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 30/10/99 ***
Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle United 38,106
Derby County 3-1 Chelsea 28,614
Leeds United 1-0 West Ham United 40,190
Leicester City 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday 19,046
Manchester United 3-0 Aston Villa 55,211
Middlesbrough 2-1 Everton 33,916
Wimbledon 1-1 Southampton 15,754
*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 30/10/99 ***
Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Leeds United 13 5 1 1 11 5 4 1 1 15 11 10 29
2 Manchester United 13 5 2 0 22 6 3 1 2 9 13 12 27
3 Arsenal 13 5 1 1 13 5 3 1 2 7 7 8 26
4 Sunderland 12 4 2 0 8 2 3 1 2 13 8 11 24
5 Leicester City 13 5 2 0 14 6 2 0 4 9 11 6 23
6 Middlesbrough 13 4 0 3 8 8 3 0 3 10 9 1 21
7 Tottenham Hotspur 11 4 0 2 15 11 2 2 1 5 4 5 20
8 Chelsea 11 4 0 1 13 3 2 1 3 5 7 8 19
9 Everton 13 3 3 0 15 7 2 0 5 7 13 2 18
10 Liverpool 12 3 0 3 6 5 2 3 1 7 6 2 18
11 Aston Villa 13 3 3 0 8 3 2 0 5 5 12 -2 18
12 West Ham United 12 4 1 0 7 3 1 1 5 5 8 1 17
13 Coventry City 12 3 0 3 11 8 0 4 2 5 7 1 13
14 Southampton 12 2 2 2 10 10 1 2 3 9 13 -4 13
15 Wimbledon 13 1 4 2 10 11 1 3 2 9 16 -8 13
16 Derby County 13 2 0 5 6 13 1 3 2 7 9 -9 12
17 Newcastle United 13 3 1 2 16 7 0 1 6 7 20 -4 11
18 Bradford City 11 1 2 2 5 10 2 0 4 4 7 -8 11
19 Watford 12 2 0 4 6 9 1 0 5 2 9 -10 9
20 Sheffield Wednesday 13 1 1 4 7 9 0 1 6 1 21 -22 5
*** FIXTURES ON 31/10/99 ***
Coventry City v Watford
Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur
30-OCT-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Aston Villa (FA Premier League, HOME)
02-NOV-1999 [19:45] Manchester Utd. vs Sturm Graz (UEFA Champions League, HOME)
06-NOV-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Leicester C (FA Premier League, HOME)
20-NOV-1999 [15:00] Manchester Utd. vs Derby C (FA Premier League, AWAY)
*** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED -
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 - ?
30/10/99 Aston Villa Home W 3-0 2 55,211
2/11/99 Sturm Graz Home EC 19.45
6/11/99 Leicester City Home PL 15.00
20/11/99 Derby County Away PL 15.00
24/11/99 ? EC
27/11/99 Sheffield Wednesday Away PL 15.00
30/11/99 Tokyo Palmeiras WCC 20.00
4/12/99 Everton Home PL 15.00
8/12/99 ? EC
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 ? 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 Final
UTD 3-1 VILLA - Carling match report
Man United(2) 3 Aston Villa (0) 0 FT
England boss Kevin Keegan saw all he needed to know. He was an admiring
spectator at Old Trafford as Manchester United completed a week that
has seen them cruise back to form.
There's no crisis at Old Trafford and Keegan saw that David Beckham is
in the sort of form that can destroy the Scots next month.
Beckham created mayhem with a brilliant display
of wing craft on the right, as United gave Villa
a lesson in chance-taking with a 3-0 win in the
FA Carling Premiership.
Villa had their moments, but their lack of
killer punch in front of goal was cruelly
punished by the champions.
There were times when the invention and skills of Benito Carbone
threatened to unhinge United, but they produced a thoroughly convincing
display to end a run that had seen them take just five points from five
Beckham was just magic, and on this form he can be the one reservoir of
talent that could send Scotland spinning out of the Battle of Britain,
and England off to Euro 2000.
Back from Europe and with their Champions League future put right along
with their form, United set about getting the domestic stuff back on
the right tracks.
They restored Mikael Silvestre to defence in place of Henning Berg, and
for some while at the beginning of this clash, he looked anything but
Carbone produced early minutes of brilliance with backheels and
nutmegs, plus a 25-yard shot that clipped the frame of the goal as Villa found
far too much space in which to operate.
Dion Dublin was clean through on the left, but criminally wasted the
chance by driving his shot into the side-netting. George Boateng also
got into the box unmolested but drove a shot over the angle.
With Mark Bosnich getting all sorts of abuse from his former fans,
United were knocked out of their stride, as the chances were arriving with
regularity for Villa.
But the key to trying to wrestle points from Old Trafford is not to
waste your opportunities when you are on top, because you can be damned sure
they won't come round a second time.
Slowly United started to get their act together, or more accurately,
David Beckham started to play in the style that Keegan must have been
delighted to see with the games against the Scots just around the
Beckham's the best in Europe, maybe even the world, when he works his
right flank like this.
Villa, maybe dazzled by their own position on level terms, started to
forget the defensive part of the job.
Alan Thompson, who had been bottling up the space in front of full-back
Gareth Barry, started to go walkabout, and that's all the encouragement
Beckham needed to start to cruelly dismantle the England Under-21
The full range of crosses, dinks, chips and driven balls started to
come in from Beckham's flank and United could have had a couple before Paul
Scholes finally got his range.
Scholes had missed from inside the six yard box, and seen a poor first
touch - yes sometimes United stars are human - let him down when he was
momentarily all alone in the six yard box.
But that wasn't going to save Villa for long. After 24 minutes a
regulation Beckham cross reached open space in front of David James,
and Scholes raced in to power home the header.
You knew then that Villa's fleeting chance of glory was gone. Ryan
Giggs fired across goal, Dwight Yorke was equally wasteful, but in first half
injury time Beckham was again the architect of the second.
Denis Irwin got down the left and fired over a low cross that evaded
everyone, until Beckham picked it up as he came in off the right flank.
The England star went to the line and neatly laid the ball back for
Andy Cole to clinically drill home past a helpless James.
Villa went to the break knowing it could have been so different if they
hadn't blown it when they had a measure of equality.
But to their credit Villa didn't cave in after the break. Carbone was
again their inspiration, but the wastefulness was just as evident.
He got away behind United's defence and should have squared the ball to
unmarked colleagues Lee Hendrie or Dublin.
He opted to delay, looking for an angle himself,
and Jaap Stam produced a saving tackle of ferocious power.
But the little Italian wasn't put off, and was
soon through again on Bosnich, this time his
shot bouncing off the keeper and being cleared
first by Roy Keane, and eventually by Neville,amid all sorts of panic.
You just knew Villa would be punished again and it dutifully came after
65 minutes. Again Beckham supplied the initial ball from the right,
Scholes helped it back and Keane blitzed a thunderous low shot from 20
yards that went past James at the speed of light.
Barry got himself booked for hauling back Beckham a minute later, and
Villa were now finished.
Cole should have reacted quicker to a cross from substitute Solskjaer,
and when Giggs charged down a clearance from his Welsh squad colleague
Mark Delaney, before belting a good chance high over, you began to fear
``Outclassed by the champions,'' roared Old Trafford's fans, just as
arrogant as their team. But they were right.
Man United: Bosnich, Irwin, Stam, Silvestre, Neville, Beckham, Keane,
Scholes, Giggs (Cruyff, 79), Cole (Wilson, 79), Yorke (Solskjaer, 66).
Subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Berg.
Aston Villa: James, Delaney, Calderwood, Southgate, Barry, Boateng
(Stone, 55), Hendrie, Taylor, Thompson (Wright, 72), Dublin, Carbone
Subs not used: Watson, Enckelman.
|Click for the latest sound interviews from OT|
Teamtalk match report
MAN UTD 3 v 0 ASTON VILLA
Beckham shines as Reds sink Villa
Goals from Paul Scholes, Andy Cole and skipper Roy
Keane secured Manchester United a comfortable 3-0 win
over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
Benito Carbone came close to breaking the deadlock
after a bright, encouraging start from the visitors.
The diminutive Italian profited from Silvestre slipping
in front of goal before unleashing a venomous shot that
clipped the bar. George Boateng also shot wide in an
anxious opening phase for the treble-winners.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson recalled Mickael
Silvestre, ineligible for Croatia Zagreb, at the
expense of Henning Berg who was dropped to the bench,
while Mark Bosnich faced his old club.
David Beckham played his last game before serving a
one-match ban one in Europe and one domestic.
Aston Villa manager John Gregory again had to make do
with defender Ugo Ehiogu and striker Julian Joachim,
while Benito Carbone partnered Dion Dublin up front
Otherwise, Gregory named the same side that drew with
Wimbledon at Villa Park last weekend
United's first telling opportunity fell to Paul
Scholes, but the midfielder's control let him down in
front of goal and from the resulting break an unmarked
Dion Dublin squandered a golden opportunity to put
Villa in front, shooting wide from a good angle.
Scholes made amends for that earlier miss with a goal
on the half-hour mark after some delightful wing play
from David Beckham.
With time and space Beckham delivered a trademark cross
from the right and Scholes reacted before a somewhat
static Villa rearguard to touch home from close range.
Beckham was again the creator right on the stroke of
half-time as United deservedly doubled their lead
The England international cut to the byline before
squaring a ball back for the on-rushing Andy Cole who
calmly slotted home.
Carbone - evidently Villa's most inventive attacking
option - against tested Mark Bosnich after internal
with a clever overhead kick after 52 minutes.
He then took up space between Jaap Stam and Silvestre,
turned into space in the box and fired a low drive that
Bosnich held at full stretch.
But the Villa striker was clearly at fault deep into
the second-half when Villa should have halved the
He again found space in the United penalty area but,
with Lee Hendrie in space, delayed his pass long enough
for Stam to intervene and send the Italian crashing to
United effectively killed the match as a contest in the
65th minute when skipper Roy Keane slammed home the
David Beckham's inviting cross was met by Paul Scholes
whose clever cut-back was slammed home through a crowd
of players by the Republic of Ireland international.
|Click for the latest pics from OT|
FA should share flak in United Cup debacle
Sunday October 31, 1999
By the time the Football Association's deadline for Manchester United to
rejoin the FA Cup passed during the week, leaving the holders open to
accusations of selling their souls and our heritage for a sum not
unadjacent to £3.75m, it was easy to forget this was the same Football
Association who had precipitated the whole sorry episode by overstating the
importance of the World Club Championship and suggesting a way to lighten
the domestic fixture overload.
In the face of predictable and wholly justified public protest, the
guardians of the game whose name appears on English football's most famous
trophy have backtracked to the extent that David Davies is now saying the
FA have always wanted United to compete in Brazil and the FA Cup. That was
not the FA position at the start of this story, otherwise not even the Red
Devils would have been daring enough to ditch a last tilt at the twin
towers in favour of a money-spinner against South Melbourne.
United can hardly be blamed for wanting to cash in on their treble triumph
of last season, the cash-generating machine that is Old Trafford did not
achieve its present pre-eminence by turning its nose up at business
opportunities, but practically being handed the air tickets to Brazil in
the name of patriotic duty must have come as a surprise. The club would
almost certainly have settled for a lesser concession like a dispensation
to field a weakened side or play a round late, the sort of compromises the
FA were later urging Martin Edwards and company to accept, in fact, but the
way the FA told it at the time any obstacles placed in United's path might
trip up England's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup.
Funny how seldom this was mentioned last week, when Fifa's team of
inspectors was assessing England's merits. Great stadiums, everyone agreed.
Great passion too. Now don't forget to be at the World Club Championship or
we might have to ignore all this completely? Don't think so. England's 2006
hopes rest, as they always did, on Uefa's position regarding Germany and
the security situation in South Africa. The FA made themselves look
slightly ridiculous by ushering Manchester United out to Brazil for the
most transparently tawdry of reasons, and when the tittering stopped the
guffawing started at the damage done to the FA's own competition.
United were under no obligation to spare the FA's blushes by compromising
themselves, the one consideration that might have prompted a late rethink
was that as this season's FA Cup unfolds they will increasingly be
portrayed as the villains of the peace. They will have to live with that,
and maybe they deserve to, but the FA should not be allowed to reclaim the
moral high ground so easily. The fact that an asterisk will accompany the
1999-2000 FA Cup season in record books of the new millennium is bad
enough. It will be worse if it simply says Manchester United did not take
What it should explain - for as David Davies keeps saying there is a need
to be fair to everyone - is that this was the season Manchester United were
persuaded not taking part would be a good idea.
|Click for the latest sound interviews from OT|
No keeping Keane now
By Peter Fitton
EXCLUSIVE: Roy Keane will open talks in January over the move to Italy that
will make him a fortune. And Manchester United will not brandish the cheque
book to stop him.
Keane has rejected a £35,000-a-week offer to stay at Old Trafford and
United chief executive Martin Edwards warned last night: 'There will be no
new moves from us.'
That is the signal for the 28-year-old Irishman, who scored in United's 3-0
victory over Aston Villa yesterday, to take the momentous decision to
launch transfer negotiations with Italy's big three, Juventus, Inter Milan
They declared their interest in the Old Trafford skipper when he rejected
United's new contract at the start of the season. Since then European
football's heaviest investors have been poised for a multi-million pound
scramble over his signature.
Now Keane and his advisor, lawyer Michael Kennedy, have delivered the
verdict in a 61-day countdown to the date when the United star is free to
start negotiating over his future.
>From January 1 Keane can sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs,
while playing for United until next summer. And in June the man recognised
by manager Sir Alex Ferguson as football's most valuable midfield warrior
can leave for nothing under the Bosman ruling.
United's paymasters were expected to re-open talks to avoid the wrath of
shareholders and fans at the club's annual meeting on November 18. But last
night Edwards, who failed to manoeuvre a breakthrough in a series of
contract talks four months ago, said: 'I would rather have Roy under
contract here for the next four years or so at this stage.
'He knows he can still come in and talk to us about his contract at any
Keane is happy with family life in Manchester, reluctant to quit his
favourite team and accepts United made him a 'generous offer' when they
tried to secure him for life last summer.
But he is concerned over what could happen to the world's richest club when
Ferguson retires in 2002. Keane believes the time is right for a new and
highly rewarding career abroad.
In Serie A he could collect at least £60,000 a week tax-paid, with more on
offer from promotional deals. As well as the Italians, top clubs in
Germany, Spain and France have been monitoring developments and are primed
to make bids.
But if Keane decides to leave United next summer, Juventus and Inter remain
the favourites for his signature.
|Click to vote in this week's survey!|
Red rock Stam
By STUART MATHIESON
United stalwart Jaap Stam
JAAP Stam is playing through the pain barrier for Manchester United with
The big Dutchman is another of the Reds' who've had to grit their teeth and
play on during the Old Trafford casualty crisis this season.
Paul Scholes is soldiering on despite needing a hernia operation. Nicky
Butt suffered with the same complaint from the start of the season before
taking advantage of a three-match ban and having surgery 10 days ago.
Now ever-present Stam reveals the Achilles problem which surfaced towards
the end of his United debut campaign in last year's treble season is still
``The Achilles injury is still there,'' he says. ``It is a bit worse than
it was early on.
``I can play with it no problem but it is not pain free like the beginning
of the season. I have to take full advantage of rests whenever I can and
have treatment before every game on it.
``It's there in the background but if it stays like this then it will be
fine. I'm not doing any lasting damage to it.''
Stam missed two Premiership matches last spring with Achilles trouble. With
the Champions League final against Bayern Munich looming in May he was was
forced to pull out of United's championship clincher against Spurs and then
was kept under wraps in the FA Cup final before having a brief Wembley run
out as sub.
With David May already on Sir Alex Ferguson's team sheet for a senior
outing for the meaningless match against Sturm Graz at Old Trafford on
Tuesday the Reds' boss may offer Stam the chance of a break.
Meanwhile, United were today attempting not to slip further down the title
pecking order in the premiership against Aston Villa.
Heavy away defeats against Chelsea and Spurs have sent the one-time leaders
slipping to fourth ibut still only two points behind table toppers Leeds.
United have dropped ten points in the last five matches and Fergie is
anxious to stay in touch up to the New Year.
``The important thing is to to be in and around the top spot and within a
point or two of everyone else up to the end of December,'' he says.
``It doesn't matter of you are not top as long as you are in there in a
position to challenge. We always feel that in the second half of the season
we will do better. Historically that has been the case in the last eight or
nine years. We are geared to that.
``I hope the relief of getting through the European group will now show. It
hasn't been an easy group in the sense that there have been some surprises
and teams setting out their stall to stop us.''
|Click for the latest pics from OT|
Gregory: FERGIE SHOULD HAVE QUIT AFTER TREBLE
Gregory: "That is what I would have done"
SIR ALEX Ferguson was last night told he should have
quit as Manchester United boss after winning the Treble.
The blunt message to the multi-millionaire Old Trafford
supremo was delivered by Aston Villa manager John
Gregory, whose team face the title-holders at Old
Trafford today. Outspoken Gregory can expect a furious
backlash following his controversial statement, with Sir
Alex certain to want to stuff the words back down his
Gregory, who has already attracted attention this
season by waging a verbal war against referees,
declared: "I'm surprised Sir Alex did not walk away from
United during the summer - I would have done in his
"I expected Sir Alex to finish in June because it was
always going to be such a difficult task to repeat the
success United enjoyed by taking the championship,
the FA Cup and the European Cup.
"Eric Cantona quit after achieving the double with
United. Peter Schmeichel waved goodbye when that
fabulous Treble was in the bag. They probably reasoned
that there was nowhere else to go in soccer terms.
When you have swept the board, what else is there to
"I think Bob Geldof wrote a book after organising Live
Aid called 'Follow That', which meant 'what can I do
now, I can't top that' and it's similar with United. I bet a
few of their
players wished it had been their last season because it
can't get any better - except to win the Worthington
"That's why I thought Sir Alex, who has been the best
manager in the country for a number of years, would
Gregory emphasised: "Sir Alex and his side are still the
ones everybody in this country is attempting to emulate
and I would never wish to criticise what has happened at
"Sir Alex is the best manager in the country and
deserves every single accolade which comes his way.
We all have to live up to his sky-high standards and that
is very hard. How hard, we might found out on
However, Gregory's warning that Sir Alex could find
himself playing with fire underlines one or two cracks
starting to appear at Old Trafford.
There are clearly tensions between Old Trafford
chairman Martin Edwards and his 58-year-old team
boss, who raked in pounds 1million from a recent
testimonial and is expected to bank a similar figure from
Edwards has hinted that Sir Alex may be denied his
ambition to move into the boardroom when his current
contract expires in 2002 and Gregory admitted: "He will
be such a hard act to follow for United's next boss."
|Click for the latest pics from OT|
RIVALDO I SAID NO AND DON'T REGRET IT - Edwards
Fergie was also overruled on Bati and Desailly
Piers Morgan's interview with Manchester United
Chairman Martin Edwards.
THE relationship between Edwards, and his
Treble-winning manager Sir Alex Ferguson was called
into question when Ferguson made a series of claims
that his transfer ambitions were being held back by the
club's financial strategy.
Here, Edwards spells out what he thinks of their
Q: By any yardstick you've had a fabulous and
successful period as chairman, and yet the view always
comes back that Alex is the football hero and it's all
down to him and you're the menacing figure in the
background. How much of that is true? How do you and
Alex get on?
A: It emanates from Alex's book. In it he says that he
always had trouble with me.
Now if you think about it, every manager wants great
players for a certain figure and the best deal for himself.
And as a proprietor of a business you're going to say
there's bound to be negotiation.
Alex's value of his own worth might be more than mine,
but when you negotiate with your boss you're always
going to think you're actually worth a little bit more than
you actually get. That's a fact of life.
Football managers aren't interested in public companies
really. They're interested in how much money there is to
go out and buy the next player so that you've got a good
strong side. I understand that, so I don't blame him for
But on the other hand I've got a job to do, and I am the
chairman of a major plc. So I also have to run the
business and be sensible and make sure it makes a
profit and also satisfy shareholders as well as
supporters and everybody else.
Q: If I wrote a book and was openly critical of my boss I
would expect to be fired. You just seem to openly
A: Well, what can I do?
Q: Does it annoy you though?
A: I would prefer that he hadn't written that, because
actually I think it won't do Alex Ferguson any good.
Q: How would you describe your relationship?
A: I would describe it as a professional working
Q: Do you socialise together?
A: No. But then I don't socialise with any other of my
executive directors. I don't socialise with the people I
work with as I don't think it's a good thing. I don't treat
Alex any differently from the others.
Q: Do you think he had a point when he said he ought
to be the highest paid Premiership manager?
A: Alex Ferguson WAS the highest paid Premiership
manager in '96, which is the period he refers to in the
Q: Do you think you've always personally valued him
A: Well we didn't agree when we tried to negotiate his
contract between us, so now I don't deal with Alex's
package. That's done between the chairman of the plc
and the remuneration committee, so I now don't have
that conflict with him.
Q: So you only have conflict about buying players?
Q: And how often does that arise as a conflict?
A: Not very often, because at the end of the day Alex
can ask for something and if the board say 'no' it's not
me that's saying 'no'. It's the board. I don't decide. I don't
have the authority to say 'yes' or 'no'.
Q: If you and Alex agreed though, it would happen,
A: Yes, it would some way, that's right.
Q: How often have you actually said 'no'?
A: Over 15 years, just four or five times.
Q: Have you ever regretted it?
Q: Who were they?
A. Rivaldo, Batistuta and Desailly were three I
Q: Was it about personal terms with these guys?
A: No, a combination. Rivaldo was a combination
because we're not going to get him for less than pounds
20million and then you add the personal terms of say
pounds 27million to whatever you pay and you end up
paying pounds 8million a year or something crazy.
Q: Does Alex just want to play and you guys sort it out?
A: I think that's fair. I mean Alex would argue that that's
his job, to make the team successful.
Q: How annoyed does he get when he can't get the
players he wants?
A: Oh, he's okay. I think he realises you can't have
Q: Alex's book fuelled fire that you're obsessed with
money. Clearly you've made yourself very wealthy from
the club, so do you think his comments were beneficial
to the way you are perceived?
A: I'm sure they probably haven't, because at the end of
the day Alex is making money out of football, too.
Q: Do you ever think you'd better be careful with
A: Well I don't think I do anything improper, you see.
Whatever personal gain I've had in football has never
been damaging to the club. The fact that the shares
have gone up is incidental to me running the business,
isn't it? It's a very nice bonus for the hard work and effort
that's gone in. But if I didn't benefit, that money would
be going to the institutions.
Q: But you've tried to sell the club three times - to
Robert Maxwell, Michael Knighton and Rupert Murdoch.
A: That's not true. I never ever tried to sell the club.
Under the right circumstances of course I would,
because that is my responsibility to the club.
But people have actively come to me. I never came
close to selling the club to Robert Maxwell. I arranged to
meet him as you would do with anybody just to hear
what he had to say. We never came close to selling.
Robert Maxwell approached me. As for Michael
Knighton, the only reason I considered him was
because at the time we hadn't got any money in the
bank and we knew we had to build a new stand that was
going to cost pounds 10 million. The deal with Knighton
made it clear that he had to build the stand - I thought
that if he did, that was the right thing for the club.
Q: What about Sky?
A: I still believe the Sky thing would have been the
answer to a lot of the current supporters' grievances,
because I believe with Sky's backing Man U would have
gone onto another planet. We could buy people like
Rivaldo with loose change.
Q: So you believe you have to be prepared to sell
Manchester United if it's in the best interests of the
A: Yes. But what I've done is relinquish some shares
because I never want to be in that position again. Now
nobody's going to approach me direct because I'm not in
that position anymore of holding a huge stake. In fact, at
the end of the day it's not what Martin Edwards says
now - it's what the board accept. So if the board thought
any approach was the right deal they would recommend
it. And if they didn't they wouldn't.
Q: When you hear people saying you are greedy, how
do you feel?
A: Well, there's nothing I can do about it.
NO PLAYER HAS HAD AS MUCH PRESSURE AS BECKHAM...NOT EVEN ME SAYS RYAN GIGGS
TALK to Manchester United's players about pressure,
and they will simply shrug and say it goes with the
Mention David Beckham, though, and you will get an
impression of a dodgy plumber looking at your central
heating - sharp intake of breath, long shake of the head,
roll of the eyes, all that sort of thing. Beckham, now that
is different, they say.
Ryan Giggs knows a thing or two about pressure. The
United winger has been there, done it, and his club's
financial people have sold the T-shirt.
Giggs was the biggest thing since George Best - a
dashing winger with dark, brooding looks and an
incredible skill to match. And, like Best, there were a
string of celebrity girlfriends and glamorous parties.
Yet mention Beckham to him, and he will give you that
"I don't think any player anywhere has had the pressure
that Becks has had - he has been under so much lately,
it's frightening," said Giggs.
"I know a thing or two about it. I was under the spotlight
when I came into the United side, but I think Becks has
had far more pressure than I had.
"He's had that World Cup escapade, and then last
season going to every away game and getting all that
hate - he's a target wherever we play.
"And people seem to want to know all about his private
life, too. He's been under a hell of a lot of scrutiny lately.
Even the FA had a chat with him."
If anyone knows what Beckham is going through, then it
is his team-mate Giggs. They are probably the two most
glamorous footballers in Britain at the moment, pin-ups
for a million pubescent girls and spotty young boys.
And yet amid all this adulation and hate, they have a job
to do. They must play football, blank their minds and put
their bodies on the line everyweek. When Giggs talks
about the pressure, he has a a serious point to make. It
is not whingeing, it is not making excuses for his
team-mate - it is merely illustrating his point.
The Welshman was speaking after United had qualified
for the next phase of the Champions League, taking on
a hostile Zagreb crowd and silencing them with an
impressive controlled display.
Beckham was a target for the crowd, even Croatia
apparently grasping the cult of the blond boy with the
muscular good looks, and jeering his every touch.
There was hate spilling down from the terraces in Zagreb
on Wednesday, yet Beckham not only handled it, but
scored a fine free-kick to silence it.
And that was the point Giggs was making. No matter
how much bile is produced, how much hate is directed
his way, Beckham can produce the goods on the pitch.
"It is frightening the attention he gets from opposition
fans, but it doesn't bother Becks one bit," said Giggs.
"Last season, he responded by playing the best football
of his life, and he has been magnificent again this
season. The way he responds is incredible. He's the
best in the world at what he does. And he seems to
thrive on the hassle.
"If he keeps getting hassle like he does, I'm sure he will
continue to react the same way and let his football do
"Nothing bothers him. He handles it so well, because he
is the kind of character who is strong and determined,
and he is so confident in his footballing ability. He gets
on with it. He gets all the hate and he just lets his ability
answer all the questions.
"Against Zagreb it was just another game for him. He
has scored another goal and made it look easy.
"But it was a hell of a goal - it's his speciality, and yet
he can make it look ordinary."
Beckham has had his scrapes this season, the FA
calling him to Lancaster Gate just to remind him that,
as a target for every opposition fan the length and
breadth of Europe, he has to be very careful with his
Again, it is confirmation that Beckham is different from
other footballers. Even the sport's governing body
recognises the phenomenon, and is keen to throw in
At United, the midfielder's team-mates have just one
piece of advice: keep doing what you do best. That
sentiment was expressed not only by Giggs after
Wednesday night, but by big, brash Jaap Stam.
The towering Dutch centre-half is hardly the sentimental
or sympathetic type. Ask him about pressure, and he
says you shouldn't be at Manchester United if you can't
But even Stam accepts that Beckham is different.
"Everyone at Old Trafford can perform under pressure -
that's why we're all here. But David gets more than the
rest of us," he said.
"Wherever he goes, people yell at him, and do stupid
things towards him, having a go all the time. But he
copes so incredibly well with that.
"We know just how strong a character he is, and we
admire how well he does under the pressure. Unless
you see it like we do, it is hard to imagine just how bad
it is. But it doesn't bother him.
"He knows it, he expects it, and he handles it. Not only
against Zagreb, but all season - and all last season - he
has proved himself. And he will continue to be himself."
Every United player knows Beckham will thrive on the
pressure. But what they can't understand is why he
inspires so much hate from the fans on the terraces.
It was there in Zagreb, and it will be there this afternoon
when Aston Villa visit Old Trafford, the visiting fans no
doubt booing every time he goes near the ball.
It goes with the territory, of course, but there is a feeling
among Beckham's team-mates at Old Trafford that he
should be appreciated just a little more.
Dwight Yorke knows all about Beckham's talents. And
he is at a loss to explain why they inspire so much
"You would think that with the quality Becks has,
people would back him a little more," said Yorke.
"I know that some fans just want to bring you down
when you are successful. But given what he does for
English football, people should treat him better.
"You can bet that the same people who boo him will be
cheering if he scores for England against Scotland.
They should back his quality more."
In a way they do, of course, because every boo, every
insult, is a testimony to the fear that Beckham
generates in opposition fans - a bizarre tribute to his fine
LESSON OF SIR MATT
SIR ALEX Ferguson has admitted that he will be glad to
shed the burden of managing Manchester United, and
that he will not add to the troubles of the next boss.
"In Sir Matt Busby's era the pressure of the media was
nothing like it is today," said Ferguson in United fanzine
"In two years' time I'll be glad to get rid of that pressure.
When Sir Matt was made general manager, he was a
thorn for the forthcoming managers.
"I would hope to stay here in a capacity that would not
interfere with the next manager, because I don't want to
"There are some things I'm in control of, but that is not
one of them.
"Nobody has ever said to me that there is a job here
after you've finished.
"Nobody's ever promised me that. I've got no
"My hope is that there is a role away from the pressure.
"There's no way I'll go on to manage another club."
The full interview with Ferguson can be found on
www.redissue.co.uk or in the new Red Issue.
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