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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
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The Dennis Viollet Fund


www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Thu Sep 10 23:04:35 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Man United 4 v Charlton 1 FT Report  
2. WE FIGHT TO THE END, VOW FANS
3. HOW THE MATCH WAS MADE
4. UNITED - FROM RAGS TO RICHES
5. UNITED AGREE 623m DEAL WITH BSKYB
6. Not always so rosy for billion dollar United 
7. New York Times Article. 

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

FANS NOT BETRAYED, INSISTS UNITED CHAIRMAN
Martin Edwards has denied Manchester United have betrayed the fans over BSkyB`s 623.4million
takeover. United chairman Edwards is also joining the BSkyB board after concluding the deal which is reportedly set to bring him 85m.
Speaking at a press conference to confirm the acceptance of the deal, Edwards said: "I believe what we have done will strengthen Manchester United, not weaken us."

This digest is available Daily at:
http://www.red11.org/mufc/news/digest.htm

Daily RED Trivia  Thursday 10th September 98:

1892: Andrew Mitchell made his debut against Burnley. A determined Full-back,
Mitchell made 61 appearances between 1892-94, leaving for Burton Swifts when
Newton Heath were relegated in 1894.

1983: United beat Luton Town 2-0 at Old Trafford with goals from Arnold Muhren
and Arthur Albiston. The Division 1 game was watched by 41,013. Team was: 
Bailey, Gidman, Albiston, Wilkins, Moran, McQueen, Robson (Moses), Muhren,
Stapleton, Whiteside, Graham. 

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

Next 3 games: 
Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm

Sat 12/9 Coventry  (H) PL
Wed 16/9 Barcelona (H) CL 
Sat 20/9 Arsenal   (A) PL

The video of the Eric Cantona Testimonial game has been
released and will be on sale from today (Wed)
in the Superstore and Megastore at OT.  The price is 7.99

UNITED Stats v Barcelona are here:
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats/vsbarcelona.htm Url
http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats/vsbarcelona.xls Excel File

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

*** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 08/09/98 ***
        Leeds United   3-0   Southampton           30,637
   Nottingham Forest   0-2   Everton               25,610

*** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 09/09/98 ***
         Aston Villa   1-0   Newcastle United      39,241
             Chelsea   0-0   Arsenal               34,644
        Derby County   1-0   Sheffield Wednesday   26,209
      Leicester City   0-1   Middlesbrough         20,635
           Liverpool   2-0   Coventry City         41,771
   Manchester United   4-1   Charlton Athletic     55,147
   Tottenham Hotspur   2-1   Blackburn Rovers      28,338
     West Ham United   3-4   Wimbledon             25,311

*** FULL LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 09/09/98 ***

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

"The Deal is done!"

Subject: Man United 4 v Charlton 1 FT Report Man United (2) 4 Charlton (1) 1 FT Solskjaer 38,63 Kinsella 32 Yorke 45,48 The day may have belonged to BSkyB and their 623.4million takeover of Manchester United, but the night was Dwight Yorke's. Much was expected of United's 12.6million record signing on his home debut and he did not disappoint as he produced a sparkling performance. He scored twice, including his 100th career goal, and was at the heart of nearly everything for United. Yorke was duly conferred with hero status by the United fans and he came off midway through the second half to a standing ovation from the home supporters. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ably supported Yorke on his first start of the season as the Norwegian also bagged a brace. The Old Trafford faithful were delighted by United's first league win of the season and they directed just the odd chant of abuse at chairman Martin Edwards over the takeover. The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association, though, has vowed to fight the takeover and has organised a rally for next Tuesday. That is of little concern to Charlton, who after making a bright start to life in the Premiership, were brought down to earth with a hefty bump. They had not conceded a goal in their first three matches as boss Alan Curbishley won the August Manager of the Month award, but Yorke and Solskjaer combined to make a substantial dent in their goals against column. The Addicks arrived at Old Trafford full of confidence and they gave United a scare after nine minutes when Andy Hunt got a touch to Neil Redfearn's shot, but he directed his effort past the post with Peter Schmeichel beaten. Paul Scholes then wasted a glorious opportunity to give United the lead after 11 minutes when Yorke played him through only for the England midfielder to shoot wide. United went close again when Yorke fed David Beckham on the right and he sent over a teasing cross to the back post where Sasa Ilic made a point-blank save from Solskjaer's header. Hunt then had a strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Paul Durkin when he went down in the box under a challenge from Jaap Stam. The impressive Yorke was just inches away from scoring when he slid in to knock Beckham's cross over the bar. Charlton then stunned United when they took the lead after 31 minutes thanks to a huge slice of luck. Captain Mark Kinsella's 25-yard shot took a deflection as it passed through a pack of players, wrong-footing Schmeichel before ending up in the back of the net. Their lead was shortlived and seven minutes later Solskjaer repaid manager Alex Ferguson for giving him his first start when he equalised with a terrific finish from just outside area. Scholes almost added a second with a 25-yard drive which Ilic touched away brilliantly for a corner. United were not to be denied and two minutes into stoppage time Yorke paid off the first instalment of his 12.6million transfer fee. Beckham curled in a tempting free-kick from the right and Yorke came in at the back post to head home his first goal for United. Yorke picked up where he left off after the interval and the second half was just three minutes old when Yorke sidefooted home his second and United's third. Scholes found Beckham on the right and Solskjaer missed his cross, but the Trinidad and Tobago international striker made no mistake to score from close range. Chris Powell denied Yorke a hat-trick opportunity when he headed debutant Jesper Blomqvist's cross away with the former Aston Villa man lurking. Charlton replaced Shaun Newton with Paul Mortimer, while United brought Henning Berg on for the injured Denis Irwin. A male streaker then ran onto the pitch after 58 minutes to provide an amusing interlude before he surrendered to the stewards. By now Charlton had also hoisted the white flag and Solskjaer stole in unmarked to head home his second of the night from Berg's right-wing cross on 62 minutes. From here on it was just a matter of how many United wanted to score, but in the final quarter they eased up as Teddy Sheringham came on for Yorke and Andy Cole for Solskjaer. Man United: Schmeichel, Irwin (Berg, 57), Johnsen, Stam, Beckham, Neville, Blomqvist, Keane, Scholes, Yorke (Sheringham, 68), Solskjaer (Cole, 68). Subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Wilson. Charlton: Ilic, Mills, Powell, Redfearn, Youds, Newton (Mortimer, 55), Kinsella (K. Jones, 75), Hunt, Mendonca (S. Jones, 71), Robinson, Brown. Subs not used: Petterson, Balmer. Attendance: 55,147. Referee: P Durkin (Portland).
"The Deal is done!"

Subject: WE FIGHT TO THE END, VOW FANS By David Anderson, PA Sport Manchester United fans have pledged to fight BSkyB's takeover of the club to the bitter end. The Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association have reacted with fury to the board's recommendation to shareholders that they accept the offer of 623.4million from the Rupert Murdoch-owned broadcasting company. IMUSA fear the deal could destroy the ethos of the club they love and will be bad for football in general. They are holding a rally at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Tuesday night and they are also writing to shareholders asking them to reject the takeover. IMUSA also expects fans to protest at tonight's match against Charlton at Old Trafford although they claim they are not coordinating any action. They also called on the government to block the deal. IMUSA spokesman Lee Hodgkiss said: "We are opposed to this move totally and we vow to oppose this takeover to the bitter end. "We would ask all shareholders to consider this takeover bid and reject it for the good of not just Manchester United, but the whole of the football world at large. "We would ask fans tonight to vent their feelings towards the board which I am sure they will." IMUSA chairman, Andy Walsh, claimed Murdoch would totally change the character of the club. "Rupert Murdoch needs Manchester United, but Manchester United do not need Rupert Murdoch. "He is not going to walk over Manchester United and we will stop this deal at all costs. "Otherwise this will be the end of Manchester United as an independent football club and it will just become part of his worldwide corporation." IMUSA are particularly upset with chairman and chief executive Martin Edwards, who they feel has betrayed the club and the fans. "Martin Edwards had shown his determination to get out of Manchester United and run away with the cash," he said. "He has done that on the back of supporters and on the Busby name and the other great players who have played with this club in the past." IMUSA are also working closely with a newly-formed protest group called the Shareholders United Against Murdoch (SUAM) SUAM intends to write to all shareholders asking them to oppose the deal. It is also asking sympathetic United shareholders to protest to the government. PA Sporting Life
"The Deal is done!"

Subject: HOW THE MATCH WAS MADE By Jackie Brown, PA Sport The board of Manchester United accepted an increased offer of 625 million for the club from Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB on Tuesday. Here is a timetable of events: News of a possible deal emerges last weekend when the Sunday Telegraph reports that Mr Murdoch has agreed a 575 million financial deal with the club's chief executive, Martin Edwards. The newspaper says talks about the deal, which was put together by the American investment bankers Goldman Sachs, began several months ago. BSkyB bosses initially describe the report as speculation - but later in the day confirm they are in negotiations to buy United. Sports Minister Tony Banks immediately raises doubts, saying a deal to combine BSkyB's financial clout with a club of Manchester United's standing could merit an inquiry by anti-monopoly watchdogs. Shares in the club soar from 159p to 214p on Monday morning. More than 123 million is added to United's stock market value after confirmation that talks are under way. Mr Edwards, who owns 14% of the shares, refuses to comment amid scuffles with the media when he arrives in London for a meeting on Monday afternoon. Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson promises that any formal bid would go to the Director General of Fair Trading and be examined "very completely and extremely searchingly", before being referred to his own office. Manchester United directors meet on Monday night to discuss a deal. Discussions continue into the early hours. Shareholders United Against Murdoch is formed by author Michael Crick, media consultant Richard Lander and advertising executives Richard Hytner and Ben Langdon. They say they hope to harness the support of individual shareholders who together own 23% of the club. The deal is secured on Tuesday afternoon - after Mr Murdoch is understood to have told United directors he would withdraw the offer at 5pm if it was not backed by the club. The board of Manchester United is reported to have eventually backed the deal unanimously. At least two directors had earlier held out for a higher price. The board is to formally announce the bid on the stock exchange on Wednesday and recommend it to shareholders. PA Sporting Life
"The Deal is done!"

Subject: UNITED - FROM RAGS TO RICHES By David Anderson, PA Sport The club which BSkyB are willing to pay 625million for could hardly have had more humble origins. Manchester United came into existence in 1878 as Newton Heath and the club's first ground was by the side of a clay pit. The pitch had no facilities and the players used to change in a nearby pub called the Three Crowns. The team had been formed by a group of workmen from the railway carriage making department of the Newton Heath works of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. In the 1890s the club joined the Football League, but by the turn of the century Newton Heath were in financial difficulties and the club was saved by a St Bernard dog. The club had organised a bazaar and captain Harry Stafford had tied a collection box around the neck of the animal. The dog wandered off and was found by a wealthy businessman, John Davies, who became the club's saviour. He became chairman, paid off the club's debts, changed the name to Manchester United, and introduced their famous red and white kit. Davies funded the building of Old Trafford at a cost of 60,000 and United moved to their new home in 1910. The club went into decline after Davies died in the 1920s and in the early 1930s the club nearly went out of business until it was rescued by local businessman James Gibson. At the end of the Second World War Matt Busby took over as manager and ushered in a truly golden era for the club. It was during Busby's reign that Louis Edwards, father of current chairman and chief executive Martin Edwards, bought the club. Edwards then became chairman when his father died of a heart attack in 1980. Robert Maxwell tried unsuccessfully to buy United 15 years ago before Michael Knighton almost succeeded with a 10million bid in 1989. How paltry that sum appears today and in 1991 the club was floated on the stock market for 47million. The club has grown enormously in the last four years and last year it reported record profits of 27.6million, which made it the biggest and richest club in the world. Gate receipts brought in 30million, merchandising 28.7million and television rights 12.6million as revenue topped 88million in 1996-97. And now Rupert Murdoch feels the club is worth 625million - not bad for a club which began life in a railway yard. PA Sporting Life
"The Deal is done!"

Subject: UNITED AGREE 623m DEAL WITH BSKYB By Simon Watkins, PA News The board of Manchester United and BSkyB have agreed to a 623.4million takeover deal, it was announced on the Stock Market today. In a statement issued to the market at 7.59am, the two boards outlined details of the deal. The offer is in cash and shares. BSkyB will offer 120p plus 0.2537 BSkyB shares for each Manchester United share. The deal values each Manchester United share at about 240p. BSkyB's proposed takeover, which would make United the world's biggest club, will now be scrutinised by the Office of Fair Trading. Martin Edwards denied Manchester United had betrayed the fans over BSkyB's takeover. Edwards is also joining the BSkyB board after concluding the deal which is reportedly set to bring him 85m. Speaking at a press conference to confirm the acceptance of the deal, Edwards said: "I believe what we have done will strengthen Manchester United, not weaken us. "We have not betrayed Manchester United's fans we have given them a brighter future." Edwards also denied that the deal had been personally agreed with media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. "I never met Rupert Murdoch before or after the deal. He (Murdoch) has a 40% stake in Sky and he is one of 17 directors." Sky chief executive Mark Booth described the United management as "superb" and he said: "When you take the best board of directors and the best football club and put them together that is the magical combination." Booth fended off questions regarding Murdoch's previous interest in football and United as "irrelevant." But Edwards pledged that he would not do anything to harm a club he has followed for 40 years. Booth pledged that the broadcasters would not give preferential treatment to Manchester United games if its 623m offer to buy the club went ahead. Booth also made three pledges. Firstly, BSkyB would keep broadcasting the same number of games in the Premier league as usual. Secondly, BSkyB would choose which games to broadcast on the same criteria as now. Manchester United games would not be given preferential treatment because they are owned by the station. Thirdly, the pay-per-view rights to Manchester United games would still be run by the Premier League. "Our interests are 100% the same as those of the fans," said Booth. It also emerged that talks over the deal had been going on since June and that Booth had initiated the discussions. Answering claims that most fans were opposed to the deal Booth said: "The response we have had at Sky has been very positive." He said he did not expect the Office of Fair Trading to block the deal. "When you strip aside some of the things that have been said, it is very hard to see why this deal will not go through. It does not raise serious competition issues," Booth said. Former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty admitted he was "very disappointed" but not surprised by the news that the board had accepted BSkyB's offer. "I think Mr (Rupert) Murdoch has got Manchester United very, very cheaply," he said. "There's an old saying that when Dick Turpin took your money he wore a mask and I think this is dreadful news for the true supporters of Manchester United and football in general." Furious Docherty accused chairman Martin Edwards of "ignoring the supporters' wishes by rushing through the deal". "As a supporter of the club I feel like most supporters do - that Martin Edwards has sold out for the money. They were talking 48 hours ago that he would consider the supporters' feelings before he came to any decision. Obviously he has not done that at all." Docherty blasted United's prospective new owners for their lack of a football background. "This (takeover) is bad for football. The people who are taking over the club are not football orientated - they don't know anything about football and they don't care about football. I don't think any of them has ever been to Old Trafford to see a football match." Docherty warned Edwards and his fellow board members to expect a backlash from fans who are strongly opposed to the takeover. "This is a good deal for Rupert Murdoch and good luck to him. It is a bad thing in my opinion for the supporters of Manchester. I think we could see a big drop in attendances." Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said: "They (Sky) have done a fantastic job but some consideration must be given to those people in hospital and those who cannot afford it. "Sky have created a profile for players. In the sixties it was Albert Finney, Richard Burton and Tom Courtney who were idols of the screen but they have been replaced by footballers." United shareholders' campaigner Michael Crick said he is unhappy by news of the BSkyB deal even though he can expect a 2,000 windfall. "My problem is Rupert Murdoch isn't a Manchester United supporter," he said. "He's never shown any interest in soccer. "Perhaps I'm rather old-fashioned but I feel that football clubs should be run by people who support the team. "It's the shareholders who are going to get the money. It's not as if it's going to be spent on players or facilities. "The people who are going to benefit are the financial institutions and Martin Edwards, who stands to gain 85million." "It's very difficult for ordinary shareholders to do anything about this. "I stand to make 2,000 but I don't want that. I want the club to remain in the hands of the people who support it," Crick told BBC Radio Five. PA Sporting Life
"The Deal is done!"

Subject: Not always so rosy for billion dollar United By Mitch Phillips LONDON, Sept 9 - Manchester United plc is revelling in its 625 million pounds ($1.02 billion) buy-out. But it has not always been so rosy for the Reds. Even before Tuesday's BSkyB takeover, United were the richest soccer club in the world and seen as an example to all on how to wring every available penny from a brand name. Delegations from Italy, Spain and Germany now visit Old Trafford to see how the United Megastore is run and to learn how a million pounds a season is raised from programme sales. Chief executive Martin Edwards sits shoulder to shoulder with some of the most important businessmen in the world and tells how his personal 80 million pounds-plus profit is good for the club and good for the game. And as the capacity of Old Trafford continues to grow, so does the waiting list for season tickets. It was all so different in the summer of 1991 when United followed Tottenham Hotspur's lead and took the plunge into the stock market. In what seem ludicrously small figures now, the club sought to raise just 10 million pounds ($16.60 million), mainly to finance ground improvements. And what's more, the float was a disastrous flop as private investors bought less than half the available shares. There were fewer than 10,000 applications for the 1.2 million shares, leaving 54 percent with the underwriters. The first day of trading, June 10 1991, saw an 18.5 percent drop in share price and dire warnings about the financial future of the game. An analyst speaking at the time said: "United will have to prove themselves to be a solid prospect within the next year. The market will not give them a second chance." The fans decided the shares were too expensive, leaving the City institutions to take command. Some of those same fans, and their offspring, are planning a mass demonstration against the BSkyB takeover, but there was little dissent when the first City money came rolling in seven years ago. And Edwards, who in 1991 urged investors to "hang on" promising there was "scope for an upward move," could easily have been out of the picture by then. Two years earlier in 1989 he agreed to sell control of the club to businessman Michael Knighton, only for Knighton to fail to come up with the cash. While Edwards now wonders what to do with his fortune, Knighton ammuses himself with a dual role of chairman and team manager at Carlisle -- third from bottom of England's third division. The clubs are light years apart now, with United crowned champions of England four times in the last six years and a fixture in the Champions' League. But in 1991 they were just another first division club struggling in the shadow of Liverpool. A month before the float United had finished the season in sixth place - sandwiched between cross-town rivals Manchester City and Wimbledon. They had won the European Cup Winners' Cup but the continuing failure to win the league championship - last lifted in 1967 - was an open sore at Old Trafford. United spent millions - not always wisely - in a vain attempt to regain the title but had to look on jealously as eight other sides took turns to beat them to it during what turned out to be 26 barren championship years. During that time they were relegated to the second division, were involved in off-field scandals and became the scourge of Europe only in terms of their supporters, whose reputation for violence in the 70s was second to none. No-one wanted to touch them then and even their own fans turned their back in 1991. They are complaining now but they had their chance seven years ago, deciding instead to sell their soccer soul for a new roof on the Stretford End.
"The Deal is done!"

Subject: New York Times Article. By ALAN COWELL LONDON -- Fresh from acquisitive forays into U.S. sports, Rupert Murdoch is aiming at the richest stratum of British soccer with a reported $950 million bid for the fabled Manchester United club that would tighten his grip on televised sports in this country. B Sky B PLC, Murdoch's British satellite broadcasting unit, confirmed in a statement Monday that it was "in discussions which may or may not lead to an offer being made for Manchester United." The team is the wealthiest British soccer club, with profits last year approaching $45 million from merchandising, gate receipts and broadcast fees. The maneuver seemed to reflect acquisitions in the United States, where Fox TV, controlled by Murdoch's News Corp., purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in March and has a stake in the New York Knicks, in addition to options on stakes in the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings, an ice hockey team. News of the bid brought angry roars from some of Manchester United's estimated 3 million fans and raised a possibility of government regulators scrutinizing the deal. None of that worried investors: Manchester United stock, listed since 1991, leaped more than one-third in early trading on the London Stock Exchange, adding some $240 million in value. At one point, the gains put the share price just below B Sky B's reported offer of 225 pence a share; the shares fell back to around 207 pence, a 30 percent gain on the day. Other leading soccer teams listed on the stock exchange notched up gains of around 12 percent in anticipation of interest from other entertainment companies. B Sky B's negotiation also set loose a likely bidding war with Enic PLC, the British leisure group that already has a stake in several other European soccer clubs and which has a joint venture with Time Warner in restaurants and retail trade. Enic executives withheld comment on widespread news reports that the company was planning a rival bid, hoping to benefit from the unpopularity of Murdoch's move among supporters of the team. Murdoch once called televised sports the "battering ram" of pay TV. The Evening Standard newspaper said, "In Manchester United, he could not have chosen a bigger weapon." But the bid also raised hackles: Murdoch's B Sky B already has a monopoly in broadcasting games played by British soccer's mass-audience Premier League, in which Manchester United is a star attraction among the 20 teams. Ownership of the club could give him an edge in renegotiating exclusive broadcast rights when the current four-year Premier League arrangement, valued at some $1.1 billion, expires in 2001. "He wants to be around the negotiating table with the Premier League clubs," said Vinay Bedi, a soccer industry analyst with the brokerage firm Wise Speake in Newcastle in northeastern England. It would also provide a hedge if British regulators end the rules permitting exclusive broadcasting rights to the entire Premier League. B Sky B has a stake in Manchester United's own television station, MUTV, putting it in a strong position if British sports television goes the way of Spain and Italy, permitting individual clubs to control broadcast rights to their games. Not only that, Murdoch's control of Fox TV in the United States and his Star TV in Asia offer the possibility of turning Manchester United into a global attraction for paying viewers and advertisers alike, analysts said. "It shouldn't be seen as a stand-alone event but as part of the broad strategy, which is to become the dominant global force in the media and entertainment sphere," Eric Betts, an analyst with Nomura Australia, told Reuters. Murdoch's bid to acquire Manchester United has inspired worries that his control of British sports is becoming all but unassailable. Radio talk shows in the north of England, where Manchester United has its core following, were deluged with hostile calls. And Peter Mandelson, the trade and industry secretary, said regulators would look at a bid by Murdoch for Manchester United "very searchingly indeed." Murdoch has been a prime force behind the transformation of British televised sports into a lucrative industry. Apart from B Sky B's control of the Premier League in soccer, the venture also has a lock on many major rugby and cricket tournaments. But Murdoch has trailed other European media concerns in moving into the ownership of the clubs themselves. Enic, the leisure company thought to be preparing a rival bid, owns soccer teams in Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic and a one-quarter stake in the Glasgow Rangers team in Scotland. One question that lingers unanswered is why Manchester United is offering itself for sale. Both the advent of pay-per-view television sports and the talk of a possible European super league were major attractions for B Sky B, Bedi, the soccer analyst, said. "But," he added, "one wonders why Manchester United would be interested in selling when these pots of gold are waiting for them." Manchester United - The Legend - http://manunited.net
"The Deal is done!"

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