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Compiled by
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!"

The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Fri Sep 11 21:28:57 EDT 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Cole has done better than most
2. Arsenal look set to join United in TV soccer's new world
3. United fans resigned to takeover
4. Six stars enter Hall of Fame
5. Man United TV goes on air

PT 2
1. BSkyB To Get Rejection? (TeamTalk)
2. Telegraph Report  Manchester United (2) 4 Charlton (1) 1
3. Never mind Edwards, lynch the bloody steward!
4. Munich Testimonial video review
5. Yorke (D.Mail) Yorke revels in the Theatre of Dreams


This digest is available Daily at:


1946: United beat Liverpool 5-0 at Maine Road in a Division 1 game watched by
41,657. Stan Pearson bagged a hat-trick, with additional goals from Charlie Mitten
and Jack Rowley. Team was: Crompton, Carey, McGlen, Warner, Chilton, Cockburn,
Delaney, Pearson, Hanlon, Rowley, Mitten. 

1974: United beat Charlton Athletic 5-1 at Old Trafford in the League Cup 2nd
Round watched by 21,616. Lou Macari 2, Sammy McIlroy, Stewart Houston and
Warman (og) scored for the Reds. Team was: Stepney, Forsyth (Young), Houston,
Martin, Holton, Buchan, Morgan, McIlroy, Macari, McCalliog, Daly.


Next 4 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
Sat 24/9 Liverpool (H) PL

VOTE NOW! on SkyB, this issue is IMPORTANT!

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

"Are you For or Against the BSkyB takeover? VOTE NOW!"

Subject: Cole has done better than most Friday, September 11, 1998 They call it the Theatre of Dreams. But for almost two decades Old Trafford has been more like the backdrop for Nightmare on Elm Street as striker after expensive striker suffered the stage fright that ruined their careers. Until Dwight Yorke came on the scene, that is. For as he displayed so brilliantly in his two-goal home debut against Charlton on Wednesday, the Trinidad and Tobago forward has exorcised the demons that have sent shivers up the backs of so many of his predecessors. Even Andy Cole, who has done far better than most, has always borne the look of a haunted man. His body language alone has never encouraged real confidence in his ability to repeat his amazing 70-goal feat at Newcastle. He was top scorer for United last season with 25 goals. Yet his strike rate fell dramatically after February, while his critics, perhaps unfairly, have also insisted that his ratio of strikes to chances still suggest a degree of under-achievement. Before him, ambitious arrivals like Alan Brazil, Peter Davenport, Garry Birtles and Terry Gibson walked into Old Trafford with reputations as predators but departed without justifying all the hype. Of course, there was Eric Cantona. But for all the vital goals he scored, he was always seen more as a creator rather than an out-and-out finisher. Brian McClair became in 1987-8 the first United striker to score 20 League goals in a season since George Best. Yet for all his usefulness and intelligence, he never touched such heights again. Mark Hughes was another who did not succumb to the red devils of Old Trafford although even he was more of a poacher-turned-gamekeeper following his return from Barcelona. But Yorke is different. When he finally moved from Aston Villa for a United transfer record of 12.6million, cynics declared that manager Alex Ferguson had bought another striker hardly born to put away chances, citing his record in the Midlands over nine years. Yorke, however, did not listen to the doubters. On the day he signed he wore that smile of his a mile wide. It was still in evidence on Wednesday after the most encouraging start by a new front man in two decades. Yorke welcomes the pressures that have been placed on his shoulders. After signing just before the Champions League deadline he said: 'I am not scared of this place. Old Trafford is my destiny. This is the moment I have waited for my whole life and I do not intend to waste the opportunity.' That statement might have sounded to some like the striker was trying to convince himself as much as anyone else that he could accept the mantle to a throne that has never truly been occupied since Denis Law, who remains United's top scorer in Europe with 14. Of the modern-day strikers, Cole is closest with six, three of which came in one game last season against Feyenoord. But in Yorke, even this early in his United career, can be seen the same Law-like arrogance and self-assurance which has never shown itself in Cole. After Wednesday's victory, in which Yorke struck up an instant rapport with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who also scored twice, the new striker could hardly wait to talk about his debut. He said: 'It was a pleasure and a joy. You thrive on confidence and on the players you have around you. I look at them and it is wonderful to feel you are on the same wavelength. If you can't go out there and enjoy yourself, then you should not be here.' Yet the words pleasure and enjoyment have for so long appeared to be alien to the role of being United's main striker. Cole, bless him, has tried so hard despite injury problems and a lack of communication with Cantona, but he has never made it look like fun. Yorke does - and while Cole has battled assiduously to develop other parts of his game, the former beach boy from the Caribbean, who learned his football in bare feet, has a carefree style that suggests he is loving every minute of his new life. Cole, meanwhile, could be in danger of being relegated to the same walk-on, walk-off part that so frustrated Solskjaer last season. The 7m man, who retains a heart-warming relationship with the fans, was given an important vote of confidence by Ferguson, who refused to use him as bait to secure Yorke's services. The manager promises that because of the intense physical demands forced on strikers, Cole will be given a fair crack of the whip. But if Yorke continues to carry that huge price tag with such a carefree attitude, it will be he who becomes the leading man in the Theatre of Dreams while Cole will have to suffer the indignity of becoming his understudy.
"Are you For or Against the BSkyB takeover? VOTE NOW!"

Subject: Arsenal look set to join United in TV soccer's new world By Mike Collett LONDON, Sept 10 - English soccer champions Arsenal on Thursday took the first step towards being taken over by a television company, just one day after arch-rivals Manchester United agreed to be swallowed up by a broadcasting concern. The takeover talks came amid plans for a European Super League and prospects of new television deals bringing in floods of new cash to Europe's glamour soccer teams. Arsenal confirmed it was talking to British media group Carlton Communications on a take-over bid, just 24 hours after Manchester United and the BSkyB television concern agreed a 623.4 million pounds ($1.0 billion) takeover deal. A deal could end up with the London-based Carlton broadcasting company acquiring the English league champions and F.A. Cup holders for at least 275 million pounds ($460 million.) While Manchester United and Arsenal have been rivals on the field for the best part of a century, BSkyB and Carlton have, in the more recent past, battled for supremacy in the emerging world of digital television and now seem set to continue their battles using the soccer clubs as their main battering rams. Both clubs have been involved in talks about the creation of a European Super League while both should earn substantial amounts of money in this season's already-established European Champions' League starting next week. The two clubs would also be perfectly positioned to take advantage of future profits from pay-per-view television which may generate tens of millions of pounds. Carlton Communications said on Thursday that preliminary talks between the company and Arsenal could lead to an offer being made for the Gunners. "These talks are too preliminary in nature to assess the probability of any outcome. One possible outcome could be an offer being made by Carlton for Arsenal," the company said in a statement. If Carlton take over the north London club with a reported bid of 275 million pounds ($460 million) two of Europe's biggest clubs would be controlled by broadcasting companies. Carlton's initiative is seen as the latest stage in its digital TV battle against BSkyB. BSkyB -- 40 percent-owned by Murdoch's News Corp -- plans to launch its 200-channel Sky Digital satellite service on October 1, ahead of Carlton and Granada's ONdigital, which aims to start up its 30-channel terrestrial service this autumn. An Arsenal alliance would also assure Carlton a seat at the table in future negotiations for English Premier League TV rights, which are currently owned by BSkyB but come up for grabs in 2001. Arsenal confirmed on Thursday they had opened talks with Carlton. "The Board of Arsenal FC confirm that it has held preliminary discussions with Carlton Communications concerning a range of ways in which the two companies might work together. "These discussions are at an early stage." Carlton revealed the talks with Arsenal, one of English soccer's "Big Five" clubs, to the London Stock Exchange. "As a media business Carlton has a close relationship with sports rights holders and regularly meets with them," it said in a brief statement. Arsenal are valued at up to 200 million pounds ($334.3 million). Unlike Manchester United, the north London club are not a publicly quoted company but their shares were priced at 2,900 pounds ($4,848) each on the Ofex market, a privately run exchange, on Wednesday. The shares rose to 3,100 pounds ($5,182) after the Carlton announcement. In order to take control Carlton need to buy 51 percent of Arsenal's 54,000 shares. Arsenal are one of the most financially successful clubs in the country, with turnover up nearly 50 percent at 40.4 million pounds in the year to May 31. This turned a pre-tax loss of 1.6 million pounds ($2.68 million) into a profit of 5.93 million pounds ($9.91 million). Arsenal have been regarded for years as England's establishment club run by the Hill-Wood family of merchant bankers. But the driving force behind the club's recent success has been vice-chairman David Dein who was instrumental in recruiting French coach Arsene Wenger and who has a 22 percent stake. Arsenal won the league and F.A. Cup double in Wenger's second season in charge in 1997-98. Arsenal have won the title 11 times and the F.A. Cup seven times. Arsenal have a comparatively small stadium at Highbury in north London, seating 38,500, and are keen to enlarge it. But opposition from the local council has led them to threaten to move to a larger stadium elsewhere. They will play their home European Champions' League matches at Wembley, England soccer's national stadium with a capacity almost double Highbury's. At one stage the club wanted to move to Wembley permanently. (US $1 =.5982 Pound)
"Are you For or Against the BSkyB takeover? VOTE NOW!"

Subject: United fans resigned to takeover By Jeremy Butler MANCHESTER, England, Sept 10 - Despite the fighting talk from several Manchester United supporters' groups, most fans seemed resigned on Thursday to BSkyB's takeover at Old Trafford. Season ticket holder Graham Shaw admitted he was disappointed but not surprised by the lack of a major protest against the controversial deal at last night's home game against Charlton, won by United 4-1. "I didn't see a thing last night apart from some shouting in the car parks but I didn't think I would," he said. "Old Trafford has become more and more commercialised in the past few years and the old atmosphere has gone. People have been conditioned into accepting things like this takeover without complaining because of the way the club has changed." Southampton-based United fan Steve Naylor also feels the battle to stop the takeover will prove impossible. "There appears to be little fans can do because for all the shouting and screaming United know they will always sell out games. I don't think the board are that worried that gates will drop. "From a personal point of view this move may even benefit me as I may be able to get to see all United's games on television sooner rather later."
"Are you For or Against the BSkyB takeover? VOTE NOW!"

Subject: Six stars enter Hall of Fame English football now has a "spiritual home", after the FA Premier League launched its own Hall of Fame. And the first six players to be immortalised have been unveiled by the FA. One star was chosen from each of the six seasons during which the Premier League has been in existence. The pioneering half-dozen to enter the Hall of Fame are: Peter Schmeichel 1992-93 Eric Cantona 1993-94 Alan Shearer 1994-95 Les Ferdinand 1995-96 Gianfranco Zola 1996-97 Dennis Bergkamp 1997-98 Les Ferdinand, who is now at Tottenham after earning his place in the Hall with a successful stint at Newcastle, said: "In any profession it is always a great honour to receive recognition for achievement, but to be part of such an elite group as the FA Premier League Hall of Fame, and to be picked from a league which boasts some of the most famous players in the world, is a really great feeling." The players were selected by a panel of 19 football experts, chaired by Sir Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero of England's 1966 World Cup victory. The Hall, which was inspired by its baseball equivalent in the US, is based in London's County Hall and opens in March. The six initial players will line up with six more who will be chosen by the public in a telephone poll. Hurst said: "The six players announced today have remarkable track records in the game and richly deserve their places in the Hall of Fame. "Nevertheless, singling out just one player per season was difficult." Runners-up in the panel vote included Jurgen Klinsmann, Tony Adams, Michael Owen, David Beckham, Ian Wright and Paul McGrath.
"Are you For or Against the BSkyB takeover? VOTE NOW!"

Subject: Man United TV goes on air MUTV: No Premiership games Manchester United is launching its own TV channel on Thursday amid rising opposition to BSkyB's acquisition of the club. MUTV is the world's first TV channel dedicated to a single football club, broadcasting all things Manchester United for six hours a day - from 1800 until midnight. Chief Executive of MUTV, Paul Ridley, said: "The concept of MUTV is something that every United fan has dreamed of. "Now it is a reality and will give fans the most amazing access to Manchester United Football Club." The service, which is intially only available on Sky's new digital service, is a joint venture between the club, Sky and Granada Television. Aerobics and cookery MUTV will not, however, be showing any Premiership matches A monthly subscription of 4.99 gives fans access to live coverage of Manchester United's reserve and youth games, regular news broadcasts about the club and live coverage of manager Alex Ferguson's pre-match press conferences. The Old Trafford-based studios will also broadcast Manchester United cookery programmes, aerobics classes, football tips for children and classic matches. The launch of the new TV channel has been almost completely overshadowed by BSkyB's controversial 623.4m takeover bid for the club. The expected demonstrations by fans opposing the deal were quiet and largely limited to outside the Old Trafford stadium as United thrashed Premiership newcomers Charlton Athletic 4-1 in the club's first game since the takeover was agreed on Wednesday. On two occasions, sections of the crowd hurled abuse and accusations of greed at Manchester United's chief executive Martin Edwards, who stands to net 88m from the deal.
"Are you For or Against the BSkyB takeover? VOTE NOW!"

"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: BSkyB To Get Rejection? (TeamTalk) Major Shareholder May Reject Bskyb The biggest institutional shareholder in Manchester United has indicated it may reject BSkyB's bid to takeover the club. PDFM holds a 4 percent stake in the club and, if it was to oppose the deal, it would be a blow for those backing the takeover. An executive at the firm, who has not been named, said: "We felt (Manchester United) had a very strong future if it remained independent." This does not mean that the deal will not go through, but the decision of the such a group may influence other institution backers at the club to reject the offer. Share prices have been on the rise all day as speculation over possible takeovers mounts. Chelsea Village rose from 78.5p to 86.5p and Leeds Sporting went up to 19.5p from 16.75p. Another possible target, Aston Villa, saw their shares rise 20p to 652.5p.
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: Telegraph Report Manchester United (2) 4 Charlton (1) 1 Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 16:44:10 +0200 Yorke double chokes Charlton By Christopher Davies Manchester United (2) 4 Charlton (1) 1 TWO goals on his Manchester United home debut by Dwight Yorke - who cost four times as much as the entire Charlton team - helped the world's most expensive sports organisation give the south London upstarts a lesson in Premiership football. The visit to Old Trafford saw Charlton's first defeat in six months as well as United's first victory of the season. On the evidence of a sparkling display, Alex Ferguson's team will soon climb the table at roughly the same rate as their shares soared this week. Charlton could not compete with United in terms of individual players but the Londoners' team-work was first rate. They did the simple things well, passed accurately, tracked back and played with superb organisation. After only 42 seconds, Mark Kinsella's 20-yard shot almost took Peter Schmeichel by surprise and the Danish goalkeeper needed two attempts to save. On 12 minutes, Charlton had two opportunities to score after persistent work by Shaun Newton. Neil Redfearn mis-hit his shot and when the ball fell to Andy Hunt, he should have done better. United hit back through Paul Scholes who, after a good turn and lay-off by Yorke, shot wide. David Beckham had put over some testing crosses from the right and in the 24th minute his centre eluded the Charlton defence and reached Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the far post. The Norwegian's header struck Sasa Ilic in the Charlton goal and went out for a corner. Charlton had played some neat, attacking football going forward and their goal in the 26th minute was not entirely against the run of play. Redfearn's free-kick was held up by Clive Mendonca and when the ball was half-cleared it fell to Kinsella, whose first time shot from the edge of the penalty area seemed to be deflected past Schmeichel. But Charlton's lead lasted only nine minutes. Scholes made the chance for Solskjaer, chosen ahead of Andy Cole, and while his initial control was poor his 25-yard shot gave Ilic little chance. It was the first League goal Charlton had conceded in 11 games. Scholes then had a 30-yard shot tipped over before John Robinson fouled Beckham in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Beckham's curling free-kick from the right reached Yorke on the far post and the 12 million buy from Aston Villa scored with a far post header. It took Yorke just three minutes of the second half to score his second goal for his new club. Beckham again was the main instigator and his cross-field pass was put into the goalmouth by Solskjaer for Yorke to score with a close-range flick. United's class was slowly but surely beginning to tell and Solskjaer made it 4-1 in the 64th minute with a diving header from Henning Berg's right-wing cross.
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: Never mind Edwards, lynch the bloody steward! Match Report by "Our Salford Lass" Well, a bit of an anti-climax it might have been in terms of the proposed demonstation against Murdoch but it was good to get back to the football and to winning games again (it seems such a long time!). I arrived at the Nest to find that, apart from Dr Mark gloomily staring into his pint, most fans in the pub seemed to be in reasonably good spirits. Personally, after reading and thinking about nothing but the takeover for days, I was glad to at last get back to a real game and what feels like the "real" beginning of the season. We were soon joined by other list members and a lively debate ensued which, if not exactly cheering Mark up, at least gave him the opportunity to talk about his problems with some understanding friends! (Only joking Mark!) The debate continued as we walked to the ground and I suspect it will continue for some time to come. Arriving at OT we found a very familiar scene as fans filled the forecourt - reading the fanzines, eating chips and talking about the forthcoming game. There was very little sign of any demonstration, apart from a small group of United fans "performing" for the cameras to our right. Everyone seemed to be reasonably cheerful, although from snatches of conversation heard as I walked across to East Lower there was really only one topic of conversation. The son-and-heir had arrived early, so we chatted about anything but the takeover (he won't discuss it - sees no point as he believes it's inevitable anyway) and waited for kick-off. We looked up to our left and there was one big banner proclaiming "SOLD OUT", but that was it. No chants, no other banners that I could see, just the normal pre-match atmosphere in East Lower. When the players appeared on the pitch, the cheer was much louder than a game against Charlton warranted. It seemed that the crowd, whilst not supporting a full-scale protest against the takeover, were keen on showing their continuing support of the team itself. There was a defiant quality to the cheers and the chanting that said to Edwards and his new mates "you might not recognise the value of these lads, and of the traditions they are a part of, but we do" along with a sense of relief that we at last had a voice (after days of watching helplessly whilst it all unfolded). For a change, the three rows of day seats in front of us had been filled with mostly regular match-going Reds (in all the excitement, the PLC must have forgotten to ask for their class status on their applications) so the atmosphere was much livelier that usual in the front section of East Lower and the game started with most of the Scoredboard Paddock standing up. Of course, that wasn't allowed to last for long. Within a couple of minutes, the familiar sound of "Can you sit down mate?", "Come on mate, the kids behind you can't see" was heard coming down the steps towards me - I hear that bloody steward's voice in my nightmares! This led to the the best atmosphere of the night as the whole of East Stand rose to sing "Stand up if you love Man U", followed by fans in all other areas of the ground. Even large areas of South Stand were seen to be on their feet as the whole of OT sang out "The Red Flag". The rest of OT sat back down, but East Stand continued to stand as we declared our love for our dear Chairman - "Martin Edwards, you're a wanker, you're a wanker" and "One greedy bastard". Our friendly steward had obviously been given his orders to stamp out any potential trouble because he then proceeded to make an even bigger nuisance of himself than usual - parading up and down getting on everybody's nerves, picking on kids, arguing with anyone who protested (including the son-and-heir who got a round of applause from our neighbours when he asked him to move out of the way in a friendly manner, at least I thought "fuck off you bastard, I can't see" to be friendly enough!) and miming up to the control room - pointing to particular fans and miming row numbers. One lad, who was a bit worse for wear after obviously spending most of the afternoon in the pub, looked like he was going to get thrown out and we all girded our loins for action. To the disappointment of many, however, when the SPS gorilla turned up, he just had a word and left him alone. Personally, I think cracking down harder than normal on a day when the crowd is not exactly happy with the goings-on at the club could have been a mistake - and tempers were certainly flaring at the beginning of the game. But humour took over and instead of lynching the steward, the lads behind us decided to take the mickey instead. So we spent most of the first half giggling as he tried to play the nice, reasonable guy and for his pains, got mercilessly ridiculed and christened "Dennis the Menace's Dad", for some reason! One serious point, as usual he was asked why they didn't make us sit down for the Juventus game and this time he admitted that the club viewed that policy as a mistake - so watch out at the Barcelona game, there could be some fun! The other thing to watch out for is this steward at an away game - apparently he travels to all the away games, if I catch him standing up at Arsenal ......................... For the rest of the game, the pattern was the same. Most of East Lower stood up, the steward came and made most of us sit down. As soon as he had gone away, we all stood up again. It was all pretty good humoured but irritating! The atmosphere throughout the first half was pretty good for most of the time - certainly better than it would be expected to be against a club like Charlton. A lot of it was, however, in reaction to the Charlton fans' chants of "We're gonna win the league" after their first goal, and their booing of Becks - "You can stick your fucking England up your arse". The Charlton fans were noisy but, in the main, not as sad as many others we've seen at OT. They stuck to supporting their own club for most of the game and were the noisiest part of the ground. In the second half, the atmosphere died once we were 4 up. Chants from the Charlton fans of "Shit fans, no noise" were fully deserved and "We can see you creeping out", 10 minutes before the end, highlighted the embarrassing sight of half of OT leaving early, as usual. The game itself was a welcome relief after both the last few days and after a less than exciting start to the season. Charlton deserved their goal, indeed they could have easily been 3 or 4 up in the first 20 minutes as we looked out-of-sorts. When the Charlton fans went mental after Kinsella scored, they quite rightly were expecting a shock victory. Once Ole scored though, and went down on his knees in front of East Lower before running back down the pitch kissing his United badge, we gradually took control of the game and began to relax as we sang "Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole" and "You are my Solskjaer". Yorke's goal a few minutes later saw him jumping over the barrier and into the arms of United fans in the front couple of rows (for which he earned a telling-off from the referee) and sewed up the game. The rest was icing on the cake as we utilised the large amounts of space at the back. Yorke got another, Ole got another and Fergy spoilt the race for the match ball by bringing them both off and bringing on Cole and Sheringham (not that anyone was complaining, as both players got a standing ovation as they left the pitch). We sang "4-nil in your Cup Final" and enjoyed something we have not enjoyed for a while - relaxing for the last 10 minutes of a game! Oh yes, and there was a little matter of a (male) streaker running around the pitch half-way through the second half! There were some rumours that it might be the Sausage Man himself, but close inspection of the gentleman concerned proved that not to be the case. It was actually very funny - somehow this guy in North Lower managed to get all his clothes off without anyone noticing, scrambled over the barrier, and then spent a couple of minutes running around the famous turf, waving to the crowd and milking the applause, whilst the players stood and watched with smiles on their faces and about 20 fat SPS men made fools of themselves chasing him! He left the pitch in the arms of half-a-dozen gorillas in suits, to the largest round of applause of the night! And before you ask, Ethel, he had a all-over tan!! My man-of-the-match? Obvious candidates are Stam and Johnsen. They were both superb, once they had settled down after the first 20 minutes. Johnsen is very fast - easily outpacing Kinsella - and very skillful. Stam, on this sort of form, looks unbeatable and he's bloody hard! It takes a brave man to get past him. And his tackles - if he came at me like that, I'd scream and run the other way, and there were a couple of times last night when the Charlton forwards looked like that's what they would have liked to have done! I found myself closing my eyes just before he connected with the ball in one tackle about 5 minutes before the end of the game! Blomqvist was a little disappointing in the first half and looked nervy and unfit but he settled down and for the first game in ages we had a player who stayed out on the left and didn't leave that big gap that Giggs does when he drifts inside. His crossing is excellent and he showed some of the skills he showed in the reserves, but he tired in the last 10 minutes or so and first team football is very different to the reserves. He showed enough, however, to impress and we can expect a further improvement as he regains match fitness. Keane is back to his best, indeed I think he is better now because he seems to have a maturity which he lacked before. He is growing into his role as captain and was certainly one of the best players on the pitch. Ole and Yorke played well together - Ole is beginning to look sharp again, hopefully he will get a good run in the first team and Yorke was very impressive, I can see him just getting better and better. But the real man-of-the-match has to be the unknown streaker. I suppose he will get banned and the club won't see the funny side of it, but the lad brought smiles to everyone in the ground last night (except the SPS men chasing him!), even our miserable steward, and smiles haven't been too prevalent in OT recently. Travelling home on the train after the game, and chatting to other fans on Piccadilly station waiting for my connection, it was obvious that most fans were not exactly excited about the Murdoch takeover. Indeed, the most commonly held view was that he's untrustworthy, has no morals, knows nothing about football and should keep his hands off our club. Having said all that, no-one seemed to have a good word to say for Edwards either, nor for any of the others who are rumoured to be interested in competing with Murdoch for control of the club. The prevailing view seemed to be "I don't like it, in fact I hate it, but what can I do about it? What's the point of protesting? If it's not Murdoch, it will just be someone else and they could be even worse". There is indeed a almost weary inevitablity to this whole thing and its difficult to argue with the views expressed here. Its very, very sad. Our Salford Lass Copyright 1998. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: Munich Testimonial video review Hi folks, I've just spent an hour watching the Munich Testimonial video which I bought last night (I was supposed to be working, but you won't tell anyone, will you?). The video is called "Farewell to Legends" and is 7.99 from OT and from all official outlets. The following statements appear on the video: "Manchester United Football Club are donating all their proceeds from the sales of this video to the Munich Memorial Fund" and "VCI are also making a contribution to the Munich Memorial Fund from the sales of this video" VCI are all heart, aren't they? Anyway, to the contents of the video. When I bought it I was a little disappointed to discover that it is not the whole game, but is only 55 minutes long. It is actually the highlights programme which was on Granada on the evening of the game. The other disappointment is that they have left the commentary in place. I wonder why they do this? The only people who are going to buy this video are United fans. Those of us who were lucky enough to be there, would like to relive the experience, those who weren't there would like to feel what it was like to be present, wouldn't it be nice if, just for once, they edited out the commentary, turned up the volume of the crowd (which is very obviously turned down to allow the commentary to be heard) and allow us to just wallow in the atmosphere? These are my only complaints, however. The video begins with a short reminder of what the whole evening was about. Footage of Sir Bobby Charlton's contribution to the memorial service at Manchester Cathedral in February is shown. Sir Bobby talks about each of the players and staff killed at Munich and a photo of each of the victims is shown. This was a very moving moment in the service, as Sir Bobby obviously struggled to maintain his control and it loses none of its power in this setting. The video then goes on to the game itself, showing the minute's silence and highlights of the game. This is spoilt by the commentators wittering on (I love Lou Macari, but would have preferred him to have kept quiet on this occasion) but nevertheless, it brought back a lot of memories and is very enjoyable. But the highlight of the video is at the end of the game. In the highlights on TV, this bit was glossed over. They left out the singing of the Red Flag, messed about with Eric's final lap and wasted 5 minutes forcing us to listen to yet more wittering from the commentator and from Lou Macari. In this video, we get it all. The presentation to Eric, the Red Flag, Eric's speech and his lap of the pitch leading to the final sad moment when he disappeared down the tunnel for the last time. The video is worth buying just for this last 10 minutes alone. So whether you were there or not, buy this video. But make sure you have the tissues handy! Our Salford Lass
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: Yorke (D.Mail) Yorke revels in the Theatre of Dreams Thursday, September 10, 1998 Martin Edwards might have been forgiven for thinking he had sold off Manchester United too cheaply last night as Dwight Yorke produced the performance that suggested money can buy you love after all. The Old Trafford chairman and chief executive has this week born the demeanour of a hunted man caught in the controversy of the decision of he and his plc board to accept a 623 million offer to hand control of the world's most marketable club to Rupert Murdoch. Yet such was the performance of Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the United side, who staged their own takeover after Charlton had taken a precocious lead, that by the end the expected demonstration against Edwards was forgotten amidst the euphoria of supporters who believed that in Yorke they are going to get value for money. And while echoes of doubt over the biggest deal ever struck for a sports club occasionally rippled around the stadium - there was even a streaker trying to tell the naked truth about Murdoch - the sound of jubilation over Yorke's display triumphed. Yorke, at 12.6m, United's record purchase, and the last under the stewardship of Edwards, scored his first two goals for his new club on his debut at Old Trafford. When he arrived at the Theatre of Dreams he had vowed that he would not be intimidated by the same stresses that have so often crippled the ambition of his precedessors. And he stuck to his word. Yorke did not only score goals, he produced a performance of true self-belief. Here was a player who had always been convinced that he should play on the grand stage, and his display suggested that he was born to lead Manchester United. Of course, two strikes against Charlton, albeit a side which had not lost a game or conceded a goal on their entrance to the Premiership, does not prove that Yorke will be a long-term success or convince cynics who had suggested he was not a natural scorer. But it was a start. The kind of start so many, like Alan Brazil, Gary Birtles, and even Andy Cole wished they could have made. Yet the storm clouds which had hovered above Old Trafford all week threatened a downpour as Charlton forced themselves into the lead in the 32nd minute. Mark Kinsella, who had earlier missed a convertible opportunity, made up for that error as he strode forward to beat Peter Schmeichel with a fierce shot that took a slight deflection. The worry for United then was that the controversies connected with Rupert Murdoch's takeover had distracted Alex Ferguson's players. But Solskjaer, thanks to some help from Yorke, made the most of Charlton's failure to clear their lines, beating Sasa Ilic with a determined drive. Then, a few seconds before the interval, came the moment Yorke had waited for most of his life. David Beckham delivered one of his special, curling free kicks and as Alan Curbishley's side stood transfixed, Yorke was there at the far post to bullet home a header. Three minutes after the break, Yorke collected his second. Again Beckham was instrumental, collecting the ball from from Paul Scholes and chipping through another pass from wide on the right which struck Eddie Youds before falling at the striker's feet. He will rarely score a simpler goal during his Old Trafford career. Yorke, whose link play with his new team-mates was as impressive as it was often inspirational, then diligently worked the ball out to Henning Berg and his cross was met by Solskjaer to score his second with a diving header and send a message to Ferguson that he may have discovered a partnership made in heaven. United's new deadly double were then replaced by Cole and Teddy Sheringham. But the job was already done and both must be concerned that they will spend much longer than they would like acting as understudies. Solskjaer, having had a miserable time of it last season due to injury and loss of form, grasped his chance in determined fashion. Having turned down the opportunity of moving to Tottenham a fortnight ago, he must be convinced he made the right decision. Charlton gave United more than a few scary moments before Solskjaer and Yorke began taking them apart. Their confident, crisp passing often disturbed Jaap Stam and Ronny Johnsen. But, for the first time this season, their defence was indecisive. As manager Alan Curbishley said: 'I don't care whether Dwight Yorke cost 12m or 12,000. You can't give him a free header.'
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: RED SKY AT DWIGHT MEANS UNITED DELIGHT (Mirror) Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 16:44:01 +0200 RED SKY AT DWIGHT MEANS UNITED DELIGHT BUT FANS CAN'T BEAR RUPERT Rupert Murdoch may control half the world, but his obession with power hasn't yet extended to the weather. If it did, then you can be sure the sun would have embraced Manchester yesterday. As it was, it rained buckets from dark, angry skies offering their own verdict on the Old Trafford takeover. As metaphors go, it was perfect. All day it rained, the heavens crying for the final nail hammered into the coffin of football as a sport. It's big business now, and if we needed any confirmation of that, then Old Trafford at 7.45pm last night offered it. Outside, with the Manchester drizzle soaking through to chilled bones, the fans staged their protest. They arrived with banners, T-shirts, posters and red cards. The message was simple: We don't want you Rupert. Many turned up with T-shirts bearing the message 'MUFC: Murdoch Unwanted Fat Cat'. Others were more traditional. 'Busby, Charlton, Law, Best. You're raping our tradition' was the sentiment printed on the black away shirt. Inside, the fat cats were sipping their champagne, counting their money. Did we really think that they gave a monkey's about mere punters wearing rain-soaked shirts with messages on them? They were laughing at us, for God's sake. The joke is, the messages were printed on United shirts, and every single protest was another chime of the Old Trafford cash till. Only Manchester United could make money out of fans protesting at their greed. But then this is the bright new shiny world of Manchester United Television Club. As protests go, it has to be said, this was a rather muted one. Maybe it was the rain, or perhaps the sense of futility against Sky's ever-increasing control of everyday life, but it took some time before we discovered that Martin Edwards was a greedy b*****d, and even then the chants were forlorn, rather than aggressive. But hey, what do you expect? Sky now own the football club, the television station that broadcasts their matches, the newspapers that report on them the next day. If Rupert can determine the outcome of General Elections, then he sure can control the minds of a few disgruntled fans who are stupid enough to stand in the rain just to watch a football team. He wasn't here of course, and neither were any of his Sky cronies. You can hear them now, in their American accents crying out in disbelief. "What you say, sit outside in the freezing cold? In England? In the pouring rain? To watch a game for girls and High School kids? Are you mad?" But then again, maybe he was there. One fan said to me before the game that the only way Rupert Murdoch would get into the ground was if he was disguised in the Fred the Red costume. If Rupert had managed to sneak in, then he would have been asking questions about his investment after half an hour of this match. The whole point of this takeover was surely to corner the market. United are all-conquering, their money supposedly brushing aside the Charltons of this world. Here were Charlton, who cost a few hundred quid and a packet of wine gums, stuffing it up Manchester United's expensively assembled aristocrats. When Charlton scored, you almost expected 50,000 people to break out in spontaneous laughter, because, by God, it was funny. Instead, they simply chanted "stand up, if you love Man U". Everyone did, except in the directors' box. Significant? Maybe not, because they were - after all - weighed down rather by the large bundle of cash stuffed into their back pockets. Just before the interval, the scoreboard flashed up a long number, and we couldn't quite work out whether it was the attendance or the latest share price. Reality returned later in the game when United, thanks to their rather expensive new signing Dwight Yorke, showed that the size of your wad does count. It is something that Rupert knows all about. YORKE HAPPY TO FACE CAMERAS Dwight Yorke's huge grin put an acceptable face on Manchester United last night. The 12.6million striker must be one of the few at Old Trafford who was happy with the news of Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the once proud club. Because those headlines kept him off the front pages for a few days after his own movie exploits had sparked a sleaze storm of its own. But it was all smiles at Old Trafford for Yorke who was happy to pose for the cameras as he celebrated his first two goals for his new club - and certainly knew where the lens was this time as well. Yorke knows how to bury a chance and keep his cool just when the temperature is getting hot on this most demanding of stages. Yorke and two-goal strike partner Ole Gunnar Solskjaer belatedly launched United's bid for the championship. This, remember, was the first time the super power had managed to win a League game in a faltering and frustrating start disrupted by cancellations and European commitments. This was bread and butter stuff and Yorke wanted a slice of it. His sharpness cut Charlton deepest and put an edge on some enterprising United attacking. The first and second goals of what promises to be a profitable stay were equally straight forward but impressive in their execution for all that. A deadly header in first- half injury-time and a strike after the break were the marks of a striker who can handle the pressure at this level and live up to the price tag in a game and at a club that has gone money mad. The corner shop boys of Charlton had done their best to bring the Sky crashing down on football's Theatre of Dreams. Boss Alan Curbishley showed you don't need to be a millionaire to put a good team together and his collection of honest journeymen made life tough early on for United's current blue chip brigade. Men like Mark Kinsella and Neil Redfearn can just about afford a satellite dish, but they worked hard to tame Alex Ferguson's team which included all three of their summer signings at the cost of 27m. Japp Stam, who still looks over-priced, let Kinsella in for an early shot from 25 yards but Peter Schmeichel just kept it out. Shaun Newton then set up Andy Hunt for a chance he would have converted if it had not taken him by surprise. United's players found it hard to get going in an awkward atmosphere with the fans not quite sure how to react to the shattering news of Murdoch's bid. Ferguson's selection struggled to gel at the beginning, with Stam and Yorke joined by Jesper Blomqvist, who came in for the injured Ryan Giggs. But Yorke was looking bright and linked well with Solskjaer to give the Norwegian a sight of goal. Paul Scholes and David Beckham provided the home grown talent and seemed extra keen to please with a handful of shots and crosses that tried to lift the spirits. Scholes buzzed around in midfield while Beckham had his right-wing crosses picking out the strikers with radar accuracy. But an early goal would not come to ease their nerves and Yorke lobbed over from a great Beckham cross to bring back fleeting memories of Andy Cole at his worst. With United failing to find a breakthrough that even their prospective owners could not buy Charlton sneaked away to take a strike for the underdog. Skipper Kinsella got lucky 30 yards out and his thunderous shot deflected off a defender to leave Schmeichel beaten all ends up as he went the wrong way. Just as you wondered if Sky would show that one too often in slow motion United came roaring back to remind us that there's not much wrong with them that outsiders could improve. Solskjaer saw a fortunate break off Yorke's heel put him in and from 25 yards he swerved a shot past keeper Sasa Ilic. Charlton were stunned that the lead had not lasted and Hunt almost restored their confidence by beating Phil Neville and making Schmeichel save uncomfortably. But there was a devastating blow waiting in first half injury time as United went back to the basics of pure attacking football. Beckham's perfect free-kick picked out Yorke in the middle and he could hardly miss with a point blank header to put his new team ahead. It was a simple finish, but taken with style and an absolute certainty to join his bulging video collection at home. Solskjaer, who nearly left United recently, showed his value to the side by adding the fourth after 63 minutes. Beckham was again the provider as United made it four with another exquisite cross that Solskjaer headed home with ease. United could afford the luxury of taking off both Yorke and Solskjaer for Cole and Teddy Sheringham - another case for the Monopolies Commission surely.
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

Subject: 7 PA Articles FERGIE OPENS THE DOORS FERGIE OPENS THE DOORS Alex Ferguson is set to give an insight into his professional and private life in a fly-on-the-wall documentary to be screened on ITV on September 15. The Manchester United boss has stayed out of the spotlight recently while Old Trafford chief executive Martin Edwards announced details of Sky's #623.4million deal to take over the club. And Ferguson admits he was reluctant to allow the cameras to follow his home and work life. "One of the difficulties for me was to get closely involved with it. But in fairness it's about what other people are saying about me.'' Ferguson's love of racing - he is a regular at meetings and is part owner of two winning horses - helps him relax away from football. He said: "If you are 25 years in this bloody job, you have to have a release or you just end up playing cards like the men in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'' PA Sporting Life WE FIGHT TO THE END, VOW FANS By David Anderson, PA Sport Manchester United fans claim their fight against the BSkyB takeover is only just beginning after there were only minor protests at last night's game against Charlton. Supporters had been expected to vent their fury at Old Trafford over the deal, but there was just the odd chant directed against chairman Martin Edwards. A streaker ran on to the pitch with a message on his back, while fans also unfurled a protest banner. The Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA) which is spearheading the campaign against the takeover claims the majority of fans it has talked to are against the deal and that the real protests have yet to come. It had said before last night's match that any protests would be a spontaneous reaction by fans and would not be co-ordinated. IMUSA are not planning any organised protest for Saturday's home match against Coventry and instead plans a rally for fans at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Tuesday night. IMUSA spokesman Lee Hodgkiss said: "It's fair to say that the fans did protest last night in a small way. "We also conducted a straw poll outside the ground before the match and people were massively opposed to the takeover. "And for me the moment when the whole crowd rose to sing 'stand up if you love Man U' said enough for me. "Our main concern is the rally on Tuesday night which will give fans the opportunity to voice their feelings about the takeover. "It is worth remembering that we have had only four days to put everything together. As far as we're concerned nothing has changed and I can assure everyone that we're only just starting to fight this takeover." 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 CITY EYES NEW TARGETS Liverpool, Newcastle and Chelsea could be the next clubs snapped up by big business. This follows BSkyB's swoop for Manchester United and Carlton Communications' interest in Arsenal. William Davies, football analyst at stockbroker Albert E Sharp, said: "After yesterday's Manchester United deal, the big clubs are realising it is better to pick your partner and be one of the first in, rather than hang around." While Carlton is not as big as Rupert Murdoch's media empire, it has the television franchise for London as well as a number of others across the UK. Davies believes this could only benefit Arsenal and raise its profile. With its ownership of the Central TV franchise, it was thought Carlton might want to buy Aston Villa. But today's talks make that unlikely. The City now expects Liverpool, Newcastle and possibly Chelsea to be targets for takeovers. Granada, which owns TV franchises in both the Liverpool and Newcastle area, is in the frame as a potential bidder. But analysts said if a Carlton/Arsenal deal takes place, Granada may be restricted in its purchases by the fact that it owns the other half of ON Digital. Davies said: "The watchdogs may take a dim view of ON Digital owning two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League." PA Sporting Life MUTV HITS THE TARGET By David Anderson, PA Sport Manchester United's television station MUTV was due to go on air tonight with managing director Paul Ridley promising an exclusive a day for seven days. Ridley likened United to a soap opera and intends to take viewers behind the scenes of the world's biggest club. MUTV will broadcast for six hours each day, seven days a week on digital and later on cable. Ridley said: "We've lined up a series of exclusives with one a day for seven days. "Alex Ferguson and the players have been great in helping us. It's all about providing access to the club, players, manager and his staff on a daily basis as well as going behind the scenes and meeting some of the unsung heroes. "Manchester United is a soap and we are just carrying the day-to-day action of their characters." United have launched MUTV along with Granada and BSkyB, who are in the process of buying the club for 623.8million. MUTV is the first national daily football channel and Ridley is targeting the four million United fans across the British Isles. "There are four million United fans in the UK and we want to get as many of them as we can to switch on," he said. "We don't have a target figure for our audience because with three different ways of receiving MUTV it becomes very difficult to assess figures." In time MUTV hope to broadcast to other United fans around the world. MUTV is available to viewers in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland on the new Sky Digital service for a monthly subscription of 4.99 and will also be available on cable services and ON digital. PA Sporting Life THE PRICE IS DWIGHT By David Anderson, PA Sport As Dwight Yorke breezed into the media theatre at Old Trafford he did not look like a man carrying the burden of being Manchester United's most expensive signing. The toothpaste-ad smile was even wider as usual as Yorke basked in the glory of a successful home debut. Other big-name strikers have come to United and struggled to make an impact on one of football's greatest stages. Yorke, though, claims he does not feel any pressure and for him scoring two goals and winning the man-of-the-match award were all in a day's work. True to his Caribbean roots, Yorke is totally relaxed about the game and for him football is something to be enjoyed above all. He claims he does not feel any burden about living up to his 12.6million price tag. "I'm under no pressure to go out and score in every game and I know that is not going to happen anyway," smiled the Trinidad and Tobago international. "Instead I'm just trying to be consistent in my performances. "In football if you can't go out and express yourself and enjoy yourself, then you should not be playing. "I thoroughly enjoy playing and that's what I'm happy doing. I knew there were going to be 55,000 people here at every home game and I would not have come here if I did not think I could deal with that. "For me it's a challenge, something to look forward to and I intend to enjoy every minute of it." Yorke, 26, had every reason to smile after his two goals helped United to a 4-1 victory over Charlton and their first league win of the season. The former Aston Villa striker also claimed playing in such a good team was a delight for him. "It's just such a pleasure to go out and play with everyone here," he said. "I really enjoy the way we play and on top of that I want to win things and those are the reasons why I came here. "It's been fantastic so far. The whole thing is great - the other players, fans, manager and staff around the place." If Yorke can continue to play like he did against Charlton, then he will not be the only one at Old Trafford with a huge smile on his face. PA Sporting Life NEVILLES WON'T THROW BOOK AT HODDLE By David Anderson, PA Sport Gary and Phil Neville are the latest England players to publish a book - but for once Glenn Hoddle can rest easy. The England coach was criticised by Tony Adams in his book after Hoddle himself had taken a swipe at several people, including Paul Gascoigne, in his own World Cup diary. Hoddle is spared in the Neville brothers' book 'For Club and Country' even though he left Phil out of his World Cup squad. Phil admits he was upset when he was omitted, but unlike some other players he does not hold a grudge against Hoddle. "When I came out of his room and back to mine after he told me I was not in the squad I was distraught," he said. "But there was no need to have a go at him now in the book. Glenn picked the 22 players he wanted to go to France and if you had asked everybody in England they would have come up with a different 22 each time. "At the end of the day only one man can make those decisions and I have no problem with that. "Anyway what else could I have done? It's like when a ref makes a decision, he won't change his mind and I knew there was nothing I could do that would make Glenn Hoddle change his mind. "Instead you have got to show some dignity and that's what I did. Phil insisted he had not kept anything back and he claims if he had something controversial to say he would have said it in the book. "There was no pressure to make it spicy and really there's nothing really controversial that has happened in our lives," he said. The Manchester United duo remain firmly behind Hoddle despite his highly-controversial book and dismissed claims that the players had lost faith in the coach. "To be honest with you I would not say that and I have read the book," said Phil. England captain Alan Shearer blamed the Euro 2000 qualifier defeat against Sweden on the various book rows, but Phil claimed the atmosphere in the camp had been unaffected. "The atmosphere for the Sweden game was the same it had been for Le Tournoi the year before and the build-up games," he said. "It was no different and the England camp was a happy camp. "It's like a club atmosphere now because all the lads have been together for a few years. We're all the best of friends." Gary agreed with his younger brother and felt the players had not let the furore over the books affect them. "Footballers don't tend to let things like this affect them," he said. "We don't talk about such things in the dressing room or the training pitch and instead we just get on the with business of playing football." 'For Club and Country' is published on September 17 (14.99). PA Sporting Life FERDIE: CLUBS WILL TOTTER IN TAKEOVERS By Neil Silver, PA Sport Les Ferdinand has warned that Premiership clubs will struggle to keep up with Manchester United and Arsenal if they are taken over. United are currently the subject of a 623million takeover by Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB, while it was announced today that Carlton Communications are talking to Arsenal about a bid to buy the Double winners. City analysts are predicting Liverpool, Newcastle and Chelsea could be next in line for takeovers. Tottenham striker Ferdinand fears these proposed big buy-outs will lead to the Premiership's smaller clubs - including his own White Hart Lane club - being left behind. "It is going to be difficult to keep up with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal," said Ferdinand. "When Sky took over the Premier League we talked about smaller clubs in the First and Second Divisions struggling to keep afloat. "We could now find with these companies coming into the Premier League that teams who are not as big as Manchester United and Arsenal are going to struggle to keep up with them," he said. Ferdinand believes the only way clubs like his own will keep up is if they - like United and Arsenal - are successful on the pitch. He said: "People will expect a club like Spurs to be up there, but you can only be up there if you are successful out on the pitch. "That is the only way to generate interest from big companies - by being successful out on the pitch. It will also enable you to attract better players. "Manchester United and Arsenal have been successful and people have seen a way that they can be even more successful, and that is why they are willing to put up their money." Ferdinand was speaking at the launch of the FA Premier League Hall of Fame. He is one of the first six players to have earned a place there, along with Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Alan Shearer, Gianfranco Zola and Dennis Bergkamp. Ferdinand was nominated for the 1995-96 season, when he scored 29 goals for Newcastle. He is the Premier League's second highest goalscorer behind Shearer, with 108 goals so far. PA Sporting Life
"Dwight scores 2 on his debut at OT!"

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