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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
Theatre Of Dreams  Banner's  by Sam Hayward   Download the digest program here!
The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

Date: Sat Aug 08 10:33:35 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

Daily RED Trivia  8th August:

1970: United lose the Watney Cup Final 4-1 to Derby County at the Baseball Ground.
      George Best scored our consolation goal watched by 32,049. 
      Team was: Stepney, Edwards, Dunne, Crerand, Ure, Sadler, Morgan (Stiles), Law,                                                               (Fitzpatrick), Charlton, Kidd, Best.

1980: United win 2-1 at Gefle/Bryna (Sweden) with goals from Joe Jordan and
      Steve Coppell watched by 2,409.

July 25  Birmingham City  (A)     result: L 3-4
     27  Valerengen (A) (Oslo)    result: D 2-2
     31  Brondby (A) (Copenhagen) result: W 6-0
Aug   4  Brann Bergen (A)         result: W 4-0

Coming Matches
1998/9 Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm
Sun  9/8 N Arsenal Charity Shield at Wembley Sky Sports 13.00 k.off uk
Wed 12/8 H Widzew Lodz CL
Sat 15/8 H Leicester PL 
Tue 18/8 H Eric Cantona XI (H) - Munich testimonial
Sat 22/8 A West Ham PL

This Issue:
1. Shield Preview (T-Talk)
2. Cole's Time To Shine (D.Mail)
3. Arse vs United (ET)
4. Mark Robins news!!
5. MUFC awaits FIFA deadline (Reuters)
6. Giggs Interview -Independent
7. MUTV - Times Article


Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 13:00:07 +0800 Reply-To: Red Devil Marcus Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: Red Devil Marcus Subject: Shield Preview (T-Talk) Charity Shield Preview United will have a final training session on Saturday before leaving for Sunday's Charity Shield clash against Arsenal with question marks still hanging over Alex Ferguson's starting line-up for the Wembley showpiece. But with the boss deciding that he hopes to have five strikers on the books by the time the season gets underway, it would appear that Ferguson favours a surplus of players in every department. At present the glut is in defence. He will name Sunday's back four from Gary Neville, Henning Berg, Ronny Johnsen, David May, Jaap Stam, Phil Neville and Denis Irwin. On top of that, the United boss has a wealth of talent from the youth set-up all vying for a shirt, namely Wes Brown, John Curtis, Michael Clegg and Dan Higginbotham. Sunday's midfield, however, could be easier to preict. Roy Keane seems certain to play as he continues his build-up to match fitness. David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs could make up the quartet, but Phil Neville could edge one of those out if Denis Irwin starts in defence. Up front, Paul Scholes and Andy Cole look favourites, but Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jordi Cruyff are all waiting in the wings.
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Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 13:04:24 +0800 Reply-To: Red Devil Marcus Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: Red Devil Marcus Subject: Cole's Time To Shine (D.Mail) Brave Cole must fight ire with fire Saturday, August 8, 1998 Ken Lawrence reports on a conflict which could show who will be boss this season Andy Cole will tomorrow give the first true indication of how he has come through a summer of torture. As the curtain goes up on Manchester United's Wembley showpiece with Arsenal, fans who have loyally supported the striker will find out if the experiences of the past three months have made him more determined to become the true king of Old Trafford or whether his psyche has been seriously scarred. Cole finished last season deeply disappointed that he had not made England coach Glenn Hoddle's final 22 for France, despite the fact that he was the Premiership's top scorer. But worse was to follow and the £7million striker must have felt like a condemned man as United continued an increasingly public search for at least one new man and preferably two. When the club admitted that a £9m offer for Patrick Kluivert had been accepted, chairman Martin Edwards also owned up to the fact that they were still keen on Dwight Yorke. Now, while the Dutchman has let manager Alex Ferguson down, Trinidad and Tobago international Yorke has become even more important to United's ambitions. Cole at least had the bonus of knowing that Aston Villa manager John Gregory wanted him as part of the proposed £16m deal that was supposed to take Yorke to Old Trafford. He has since received an assurance from Ferguson that he is too important for that to happen. Proud Cole has never indicated that he would take the easy way out and head for the Midlands. Yet the summer of 98 continues to be depressing for him and in the two-and-a-half years since he was unveiled as United's then-record signing, Cole has had to endure constant criticism. At first It was claimed that Eric Cantona did not want to play with him. Then critics suggested that without Peter Beardsley's brainpower behind him he would never repeat the 55 goals in two seasons which made him so expensive while he was at Newcastle. Yet Cole has never been afraid to go in where it hurts and he remains brave, which is why the Old Trafford fans have consistently backed him. But once again Cole may have to prove himself. Forgive him if he appears to be constantly looking over his shoulder.
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Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 13:08:14 +0800 Reply-To: Red Devil Marcus Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: Red Devil Marcus Subject: Arse vs United (ET) Arsenal's big guns are ready to repel United 'cavalry charge' AFTER days of plotting ways to enrich themselves, it is about time Arsenal and Manchester United got down to some charity work. The most important aspect of tomorrow's Charity Shield at Wembley will be the funds raised for various good causes, but the teams' moods may also prove significant in assessing the season ahead, writes Henry Winter. Charity Shields can be misleading with new signings settling in and closed-season rust still to be eradicated. But it will be interesting to see how Arsenal react to their phenomenal success since Christmas, which brought them from way behind United to the championship and then the FA Cup. Two of their players, Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira, also became champions of the world over the summer. United, in turn, will aim to show their desire, with their manager, Alex Ferguson, yesterday promising a "cavalry charge". Arsenal's players, who gathered in the sunshine at their elegant retreat yesterday, are confident but realistic about the months ahead. "I want to win everything," Petit said. "But I'm not a dreamer. I know it will be very hard. We've got so many players who were in the World Cup that it may be hard, not now but in six months. Mentally, we haven't got a big time to recover. We are playing the FA Cup, the Champions' League, the League and some of us are in national teams. We are playing every three days. "Manchester United last November were the most impressive team in Europe. In March, when they lost against Monaco, they were very tired. Why? Because we don't have time to recover physically. In the FA Cup, when you draw you have to replay. You play so many games in England compared to France or Italy. So it's very difficult for English clubs to win in Europe. Chelsea won in Europe but lost many games in the Premiership." A ball has yet to be kicked and already players are worried about over-playing. One partial remedy is expanding the squad. Arsenal's entourage has been augmented by two defenders, Nelson Vivas, of Argentina, and the young Frenchman David Grondin, yet the priority appears to be attack, particularly with Ian Wright departed. Intriguingly, Arsène Wenger, Arsenal's coach, refused to rule out the possibility of AC Milan's Patrick Kluivert arriving. "I don't want to break the wages structure," Wenger insisted. "I don't think you can win the Double and then bring in a player who gets more than the players you already have. We have to keep what makes the club strong and not do silly things. If Kluivert comes to this club it is because he accepts he has to integrate with our wages structure. If a guy does integrate, everything is possible." Wenger will stick with his current players for now and hope injury does not befall Nicolas Anelka or Dennis Bergkamp. "We have Christopher Wreh, Isaiah Rankin and Luis Boa Morte, whom I want to give a chance as a striker. And we want to get another one. The problem we also have is that Bergkamp cannot travel to some European games. So we need a good player. "I believe in Anelka. He will become a different player to Wright. He will score fewer goals and be more involved in the game. Ian Wright is unique. Anelka is a different type of player. He can prepare and score goals. Ian Wright's obsession was to score goals and he was so gifted at scoring goals that it is difficult to compare them." The centre-forward issue also fills Ferguson's thoughts. He tried for Kluivert but, like Wenger, was not prepared to break the club's wage policy. He also covets Dwight Yorke, of Aston Villa. As ever under Ferguson, United will seek goals from various sources. The arrival of the left-sided Jesper Blomqvist will allow Ryan Giggs to float through the middle. Roy Keane's return from injury will also give United an added competitive edge, possibly a pivotal one in the championship race. "Manchester United missed him last season," Petit said. A first midfield meeting between Petit and Keane could set the tone for the season. Now a world champion, Petit struggled when he arrived, unable to cope with the physical demands Keane so relishes. "When I first came to England, it was very difficult," Petit reflected. "Everything was different with the 'fighting' [competitiveness] on the pitch. "I remember being kicked on the knee at Southampton at the start of the season. I came back to Sopwell [his hotel] and said to my fiancee, 'I don't know whether I can be fit for the next game'. When things are going wrong, it's easy to say it's somebody else's fault or leave. It's more difficult to say I'll stay and work hard. But's in my mentality to stay and fight. I'm not a loser." He should get on with Keane. KEANE and his fired-up team-mates sound ready to challenge Petit and Arsenal, according to their manager. "The players are well focused," Ferguson said. "They were disappointed last season. They know they should have won the title, all be it that Arsenal came through with a great run, a fantastic run, and you have to hold your hands up at that. But we did throw it a wee bit. Injuries and games like away at Coventry, which was a give away. We battered Southampton but couldn't get the goal that would have won us the League. "Defeat brings certain things out in people. It certainly does in me and I know it's the same for the players. You can feel an edge around the club now. My desires are the same as the team's desires. Maybe we are bad losers. We certainly don't enjoy it. Now we want to do something about it. I think you can expect to see a cavalry charge from the start from us." Petit will be ready. His status as a world champion will not diminish his desire. "My life is still the same. Nothing has changed for me. People have changed towards me. I can't stand people changing their views. I've known people in Monaco for 14 years and there was one guy, a big Monaco fan, who came to see me and said, 'when you were at Monaco, I didn't like you. Now you are my hero'. I told him to **** off. I prefer to speak with honest people. "My relationship with the French people was not very good before. In France, so many papers gave me a bad reputation, like Eric Cantona. They called me wild. Now everything has changed. Aimé Jacquet said he would never forgive a newspaper that really criticised him. I'm not like that but I never forget." Petit embodies the determination among the Arsenal ranks, the refusal to be softened by acquaintance with success. He also retains his ready humour. Asked which of the big clubs had been in for him since his World Cup triumph, Petit replied: "Only one. Barnet." His coach was smiling too. Pursued by Japan, Wenger expects to sign a lucrative extension to his Arsenal contract soon, joking that he hoped it would break the club's wage structure. Yet it may turn out that he signs only until 2000 and then takes over the Japanese national side, giving him two years to prepare them for the World Cup they are co-hosting.
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Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 08:41:09 -0700 Subject: Mark Robins news!! Comments: To: manutd To: MUFC@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU Robins joins Panionios Copyright © 1998 Nando Media Copyright © 1998 Reuters ORENSE (Aug 7, 1998 - 9:06 EDT) - Mark Robins has left Spanish second division side Orense to join Greek Cup holders Panionios on a one-year contract. The 29-year-old former Manchester United striker had signed a two-year extension to his contract with Orense after an encouraging first season in Spain, during which he scored four goals in 18 starts. But the man often credited with saving Alex Ferguson's job at Manchester United in 1990 - his headed goal scraped United a third round FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest and set them on the way to their first trophy under the Scottish boss - instead opted to try to restart his career in Greece.
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Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 11:43:16 -0500 From: Mike Keeley Subject: MUFC awaits FIFA deadline (Reuters) CHAMPIONS' LEAGUE: Man United awaits FIFA deadline Copyright © 1998 Nando Media Copyright © 1998 Agence France-Presse MANCHESTER, England (Aug 7, 1998 - 12:30 EDT) - Manchester United will know at midnight on Friday if their Champions' League game against Polish side LKS Lodz will go ahead. That is the FIFA deadline set for the Polish Football Association to settle its internal row with its government. If no compromise deal is struck then the Polish national team and club sides could be suspended from European and international competitions. That would leave United without any opposition in their Champions' League qualifying tie with the first leg due to take place at Old Trafford on Wednesday. UEFA admits that any ban would seriously disrupt its competitions, but a spokeswoman claimed it would still follow FIFA's lead. "The deadline for any compromise is midnight tonight and the final decision will be taken by FIFA," said the UEFA spokeswoman. "If there is no compromise then UEFA will have to make a decision about the Polish sides in our competitions. "We are relying on what FIFA decide and if they decide to suspend the Polish association, then we will have to do likewise with the Polish clubs in our competitions. "We would then have to work out how to continue the competition because we would be left with some blanks." United may even be given a bye into the group stages, although UEFA claim nothing has been decided yet. FIFA are refusing to comment further on what might happen until after the midnight deadline. FIFA and UEFA became embroiled in the dispute after the Polish government suspended some officials from its national association.
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Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 18:26:33 -0700 Subject: Giggs Interview -Independent Football - Giggs targets the cream of Europe Old Trafford's Welsh wonder is ready to take the Champions' League by storm, after a frustrating summer watching his mates show off in France. By Glenn Moore Like Mario Kempes, Paolo Rossi and Maradona before them, Zinedine Zidane and Marcel Desailly confirmed their niche in the game's history this summer, performing with distinction at the highest level of all. It is, George Best recently told his authorised biographer, a source of "enduring regret" that he never had the opportunity to do the same. One of the better pretenders to the Ulsterman's Old Trafford crown knows the feeling. While this weekend's resumption of hostilities, just 26 days since the French celebrated on the Champs-Elysees, may be too soon for some, Ryan Giggs cannot wait to start. The nearest Giggs came to the World Cup was some PR work for Reebok in Paris during the tournament. Promoting boots is not quite the same as using them but, at just 24, it already appears this will be as close as he will get to the game's premier tournament. Bobby Gould may claim he saw "fear" in his opposing managers' eyes when Wales were drawn with Denmark and Italy in qualifying for Euro 2000, but the reality is that the Principality is unlikely to reach a major tournament ever again. Like Best, Giggs will have to be content with showing his greatness on the club stage. "It is disappointing to miss out," said Giggs when we met. "Obviously every footballer wants to play in the World Cup and I'm no different. It is just something I have to come to terms with. It's going to be difficult for Wales. I hope that we get there some day, but with the seeding system as it is we always get two hard teams in the group." Giggs, who confirmed that despite playing for England schools he was never eligible for the England team, starts his season at Wembley in the Charity Shield tomorrow. Then, on Wednesday, Manchester United are due to open their Champions' League campaign. As it did with Best, Europe provides Giggs' main chance of making a permanent mark on the game. "I always look forward to playing in Europe," he said. "It does have similarities to playing for your country, you face opposition from different countries. It is odd having to qualify for the league stage, we are so used to being champions." Does it devalue the tournament? "If we get to the semi again, we won't be thinking about having had to qualify." This season offers extra motivation for Giggs with the arrival of Jesper Blomqvist from Milan. The Swedish international offers the first competition for Giggs' place on the left-wing since Lee Sharpe's best years. It has been mooted that Giggs will be given a different role to accommodate Blomqvist, but Giggs is in no mood to move. "My favourite position is still left wing," said Giggs. "My main asset is running at people and it gives me the opportunity to do that. You can get isolated, but at United we've always played 4-4-2 and given the wingers, whether me and Andrei [Kanchelskis] or me and Becks [David Beckham], plenty of service. "I do enjoy playing midfield as you do get more involved, and I can play up front. When I first came to United I'd always played left wing, then they played me up front and I played there most of the time in the youth team. Playing in different positions gives you an extra dimension, but I don't think I'll go as far as playing at the back. I wouldn't want to mark Duncan Ferguson." A third motivation for Giggs, and his team-mates, is the sour memory of their empty-handed season. Already something of an elder statesman at United, he is one of just three players [along with Peter Schmeichel and Denis Irwin] from 1991-92 when United lost the championship to Leeds. Alex Ferguson regards that disappointment as the making of the subsequent years of plenty and Giggs believes last season will have a similar effect - just as the barren 1994-95 season was followed by a second double. "The manager always says you need disappointments, it makes you a better player. It was certainly the case after Leeds. Some of the young lads in the team have never lost before and I think they'll come back stronger players. "We had injuries last year but just didn't win enough games. Arsenal's run at the end of the season was exceptional, I would watch their games on television and think 'they'll slip up this time' but they never did." One of the crucial injuries was the hamstring problem suffered by Giggs against Derby just before the European semi. The irony was that it ended his first season of full fitness in several years and he was in rampant form. "I was flying," he recalled, "it was so disappointing to get injured at such an important stage." Giggs' end-of-season mood was not helped by various tabloid allegations about his personal life which have continued during the summer, though he is currently in a settled relationship. Such is football's profile, this intrusive attention now goes with the territory, and Giggs has reluctantly learned to live with it. "It doesn't affect my life now, but at 18 it was difficult to come to terms with. The thing I found difficult was people writing stuff about your love life and family. You wonder why, but you get used to it. I know where to go now, where you get hassled, where not. Several of Giggs' partners have been high profile themselves, like Danni Behr. Other examples are Beckham's relationship with "Posh Spice", Victoria Adams, and Jamie Redknapp's marriage to another pop singer, Louise. Other young stars, like Owen and Paul Scholes, are with former schoolfriends who knew them before they were famous. "It's about trust," said Giggs. "It is difficult to meet partners and you can see why sometimes girlfriends are also famous. You know they are not after you for anything and you are both used to the attention. So many girls out there are just money-grabbers, so you've got to be careful. "My friends are people who I used to go to school with, people I've known since I was nine or 10. It helps that I've grown up in the area. I've never moved [his new house is in north Manchester, near his mother, rather than in the traditional Cheshire footballer belt] or changed my lifestyle." His contentment, and the rise of the Premiership, means a move abroad is unlikely. "You don't need to now. A few years ago Italy was the place to go, but now there are teams in the Premiership quite capable of winning European trophies. I'm at a big club with lots of good young players, why move?" United's own attempt to strengthen the side has - Blomqvist apart - foundered. This is perceived as being partly through Ferguson's reluctance to break the wage structure. Would Giggs have wanted parity if a Batistuta, Kluivert or Salas had come in on huge wages. "I'm not bothered what anybody else is earning, as long as you are happy, that's it. Besides, a lot of stuff in the papers is exaggerated." This may well be true. Giggs has a number of endorsements but retains an agent of the old school and a level head. He can be a challenging interviewee because he's done it so often and, not being garrulous by nature, gives little away. But after a while he does relax, laughing self-consciously at the suggestion that he might have done the restoration of his new house himself and more wryly when asked if, had he failed as a footballer, he would really be a flower seller on the Cardiff bypass, as his boots' adverts suggest. While on the subject [the interview has, after all, been set up by Reebok, which is the only way you get 30 minutes with a star as high in the football firmament as Giggs these days] he stresses the right boots do make a difference though they will not, he adds with a pitying look, turn a bad player into a good one. His biggest weakness, he says, is his finishing, which few would disagree with. As a person it is that he gets bored easily though, with age, he has 'become more patient and take things in my stride more than I used to.'" His strengths on the field are obvious - quick feet, good balance and pace. There is another, equally important facet. "Look at his work-rate," notes Terry Venables. "With his talent he could be one of those players who just stands around, but he knows that way he will not win things. The work he puts in is fantastic. What a great example to young players." And so to this season. Said Giggs: "Arsenal will be our main challengers and Chelsea have made some good signings - but we know if we play to our capabilities we could win it easily."
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Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 23:09:17 -0700 Reply-To: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)" From: Dave Menashe Subject: MUTV - Times Article What's on MUTV PETER SCHMEICHEL avoids Old Trafford. There is no disaffection on the Manchester United goalkeeper's part, just a recognition of the personal journey times that govern a footballer's life. The distance from car park to main door at the stadium is a a few hundred yards, but Schmeichel measures it as a great passage of time. "I could be there for an hour signing autographs," he said. "When I first came to the club, I used to go to Old Trafford every day and say hello to the girls in the office. That has been made virtually impossible now." There is nothing curmudgeonly about Schmeichel's decision and he claims still to be glad to meet the supporters who always gather at The Cliff, United's training ground. None the less, a celebrated player realises that the merest errand can easily turn into an impromptu public engagement and he must make his plans accordingly. People have never been more eager for contact with their football heroes and that insatiable interest makes men such as Schmeichel seek seclusion. It is only seven years since he signed for United and in that period society's infatuation with the game has ensured that Old Trafford can no longer be a workplace where an employee may saunter freely. The club's annual turnover reached £88 million last year and United have to find a means of dealing with an audience that is as vast as the wealth it creates. In the process, a further profit may be turned. By entering into a joint venture with BSkyB and Granada Media Group, United is to become the first football club in the world with its own daily television channel. This subscription service will begin broadcasting next month. The sardonic response from followers of other teams is anticipated. With allegations of fawning coverage, they will claim that United already have television stations at their disposal. Beyond the bandying of insults, however, there are common interests that unite clubs. Manchester United Television (MUTV) is an experiment whose outcome will be studied by Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle United and all those who might be able to sustain channels of their own. If MUTV cannot succeed, then no other club need waste its time on this type of project. "Few of us would sign up for a Real Madrid channel or an Ajax channel," Darren Fletcher, the MUTV news editor, said, "but people in other countries will take a great interest in United." Companies in the Far East, the Middle East, Scandinavia and South Africa have already enquired about buying the new station's programmes. "United have a fan-base of something like four million in the UK alone, with probably another eight million worldwide," Paul Ridley, the MUTV chief executive who used to be sports editor of The Sun, said. Heavy investment on equipment, recruitment of a staff of 60 and the building of a studio at Old Trafford is clearly not an exercise in altruism and the channel, broadcasting from 6pm until midnight each day, could be the precursor of a highly lucrative operation. When the existing contract between the Premier League and BSkyB runs out in 2001, clubs may seek to sell the rights to their own games individually. One can readily envisage all of United's fixtures being shown on MUTV. The advent of digital television, which creates hundreds of channels, makes such developments possible. "Everything is negotiable and I am sure that the United directors have taken all this into account in their long-term planning," Ridley said. For devotees of the club, existence can now acquire a decidely red hue. "United are working to the theory of the complete plc," Ridley said. "They have a great side, a great stadium, a museum, a megastore, a Red Cafe, a radio company and now their own television station." The strategy may look remorseless, but no individual strand is sure of success and MUTV will have to entice subscribers. Although game shows, lifestyle coverage and the archive footage that Ridley refers to as "the baggy shorts department" all have some appeal, MUTV can only prosper if it takes viewers into the midst of life at the club. Since they do not own the rights to coverage of the games themselves at the moment, MUTV must depend heavily on its ability to bring supporters fresh news. "United is a soap," Ridley said. If so, the man on the armchair in his replica shirt will expect full access to the personalities and the histrionics. Cooperation from the staff of the club is assured since Alex Ferguson, the United manager, is so enthusiastic a proponent of MUTV that he has even come up with programme ideas. "Alex has a certain opinion about the media," Ridley explained carefully, "and he sees that MUTV will help him get his views across on signings and other matters. He feels that, if it is on MUTV and if it is an uncut interview, then people will see precisely what it was that he said." The relationship between the channel and the club which partly owns it is bound to incite scepticism. MUTV, for example, might well be given the extended interview with David Beckham that other journalists merely crave, but will they be granted it only if they dodge controversy and promise to fawn? Schmeichel concedes that MUTV will be a useful way for his team-mates to market themselves. "I am sure that loads of our young players will be only too pleased to co-operate," he said in amusement. The goalkeeper, however, knows that there will be limits to the cosiness. "MUTV cannot be wholly uncritical," he said, "because then no one would watch it." It is a consideration that weighs heavily on Ridley. "We will not be stopped from asking questions," he said. "Our subscribers deserve explanations." Editorial independence is a commercial necessity. If it is servile to the club, MUTV cannot serve its viewers.
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