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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Date: Wed Sep 23  GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. WEEKLY STATMAIL***  ISSUE 7: 21st Sept 1998 
2. REDitorial: "Were we City in disguise?" & "Undermining Murdoch"
3. Embarrassment in Highbury  by "Our Salford Lass"
4. Reflections on the Arsenal game
6. Murdoch United article from The Economist weekly, dated 18 September 1998
7. United on TV in the US


Daily RED Trivia  Wed 23rd September:

1933: United beat Burnley 5-2 at Old Trafford with goals from Neil Dewar 4
and James Brown. The Division 2 game was watched by 18,411. Team was: Hillam,
Jones, Silcock, Vose, McMillen, Manley, Brown, Frame, Dewar, Hine, Stewart.  

1989: Danny Wallace made his United debut at Manchester City. Wallace, a pacy
winger cost £1.3 Million from Southampton. He won an FA Cup Winners medal in
1990, and played 70 times between 1989-92, scoring 11 goals. He scored in his only
England appearance in 1986, and joined Birmingham City in October 1993.


Next 3 games: 
Result/Fixture Index:

Thu 24/9 Liverpool   (H) PL 
Wed 30/9 Bayern M    (A) CL
Sat 3/10 Southampton (A) PL

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


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142 

Last 2 weeks Survey RESULT 
Are you For or Against the proposed sale of Manchester United to BSkyB? 

For:          97 24% 
Against:     314 76% 
Total Votes: 411
Question closed: 20:00 EST 09/20/98 

Barry comment: As expected there is an overwhelming "NO" to the sale of Manchester United to RM.
76% voted against that's over 300 whilst only 97 voted for.
Remember this is an international vote so maybe the "yes" votes
are people around the world who cannot see "THE REDS"?

*** FIXTURES ON 24/09/98 ***
   Manchester United  v  Liverpool

*** FIXTURES ON 26/09/98 ***
         Aston Villa  v  Derby County
   Charlton Athletic  v  Coventry City
             Chelsea  v  Middlesbrough
             Everton  v  Blackburn Rovers
    Newcastle United  v  Nottingham Forest
 Sheffield Wednesday  v  Arsenal
   Tottenham Hotspur  v  Leeds United

"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

Subject: ***WEEKLY STATMAIL*** ISSUE 7: 21st Sept 1998 *** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 20/09/98 *** Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United 38,142 *** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 19/09/98 *** Coventry City 1-5 Newcastle United 22,656 Derby County 2-0 Leicester City 26,738 Leeds United 0-0 Aston Villa 33,446 Liverpool 3-3 Charlton Athletic 44,526 Middlesbrough 2-2 Everton 34,563 Nottingham Forest 0-0 West Ham United 26,463 Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur 15,204 Wimbledon 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday 13,163 *** RESULTS AND ATTENDANCES ON 21/09/98 *** Blackburn Rovers 3-4 Chelsea 23,113 *** CONDENSED LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 21/09/98 *** Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts --------------------------------------------------------- 1 Aston Villa 6 4 2 0 7 1 6 14 2 Derby County 6 3 3 0 6 2 4 12 3 Liverpool 6 3 2 1 12 7 5 11 4 Wimbledon 6 3 2 1 10 8 2 11 5 Arsenal 6 2 4 0 6 2 4 10 6 Leeds United 6 2 4 0 5 1 4 10 7 Middlesbrough 6 2 3 1 8 6 2 9 8 West Ham United 6 2 3 1 6 5 1 9 9 Newcastle United 6 2 2 2 11 7 4 8 10 Manchester United 5 2 2 1 8 6 2 8 11 Chelsea 5 2 2 1 8 7 1 8 12 Nottingham Forest 6 2 1 3 5 7 -2 7 13 Tottenham Hotspur 6 2 1 3 5 11 -6 7 14 Sheffield Wednesday 6 2 0 4 7 5 2 6 15 Charlton Athletic 6 1 3 2 10 9 1 6 16 Everton 6 1 3 2 4 5 -1 6 17 Leicester City 6 1 2 3 5 7 -2 5 18 Blackburn Rovers 6 1 1 4 5 10 -5 4 19 Coventry City 6 1 1 4 3 11 -8 4 20 Southampton 6 0 1 5 3 17 -14 1 *** TEAM RESULTS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 20/09/98 *** Date Opposition Score Pos. Attend. -------------------------------------------------------------------- 15/08/98 Leicester City Home D 2-2 11 55,052 22/08/98 West Ham United Away D 0-0 11 26,039 09/09/98 Charlton Athletic Home W 4-1 9 55,147 12/09/98 Coventry City Home W 2-0 5 55,193 20/09/98 Arsenal Away L 0-3 10 38,142 *** TEAM RESULTS SUMMARY - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 20/09/98 *** P Won Drawn Lost For Against Points ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Home 3 2 (67%) 1 (33%) 0 (0%) 8 (2.7) 3 (1.0) 7 (2.3) Away 2 0 (0%) 1 (50%) 1 (50%) 0 (0.0) 3 (1.5) 1 (0.5) Total 5 2 (40%) 2 (40%) 1 (20%) 8 (1.6) 6 (1.2) 8 (1.6) Averages per game in (brackets) League position: 10th Form position: 5th (Index: 68%) Predicted position: 5th (The higher the form index, the higher the average league position of the recent opposition) *** TEAM STATISTICS - MANCHESTER UNITED - AS AT 20/09/98 *** AVERAGE HOME ATTENDANCE: 55,131 HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 12/09/98 - Coventry City (55,193) LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052) BEST WIN: 09/09/98 - Charlton Athletic (4-1) HEAVIEST DEFEAT: 20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3) Produced by: E-mail: statmail@iname.com ICQ UIN: 4358182 Homepage: http://www.graphite.demon.co.uk/ MUFC Hon. Executive CP Cheah Webmasters: Barry Leeming & Bill McArthur Graphics: Sam Hayward Stats: Paul Hinson Site Design Diana Low Webmaster Mail: barry@www.red11.org Url: http://www.red11.org World of Manchester United Football Club.
"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/index.htm Published: Sept 20 98 "Were we City in disguise?" & "Undermining Murdoch" Well, do we start worrying yet? For the second time this year United have been turned over by Arsenal to the tune of 3-0, and I have to say the team I watched lose to the Gunners this weekend bears little resemblance to the Manchester United I have been used to seeing for the past 5 years or so. There was so little confidence in this United performance. They looked like 11 men, later reduced to ten-but more of that later- who had been introduced to each other during the coin toss. There was no fluidity in that performance, a perceptible lack of understanding among the players. I must admit to considerable confusion and not a little disbelief at Alex Fergusonís starting 11, and even greater perplexity at his failure to introduce others into the game. I know when Fergie bought Jesper Blomqvist he talked about playing him on the left, thus freeing Ryan Giggs to a more central role. But I have to question the decision to experiment with the strategy against Arsenal at Highbury. I donít believe this was the time or team or place for the switch. With the combination of Yorke and Solksjaer having proved so effective already this season, why break it up against the team who took our title away last year? And when it became obvious the formation was not working, why were substitutions, yes plural, not made? As the first half ended with United having just gone two goals down, I felt the right move would have been to have Giggs revert to the left wing at the expense of Blomqvist, bringing on Ole to link up with Yorke, and replacing Nicky Butt with Paul Scholes. Each of those two can conjure a goal out of nothing, and if there was to be any way back for United they should have started the second half. Any chance of a revival died when Nicky Butt was sent off, wrongly I feel, by referee Graham Barber. The ref indicated the red card was shown for a tackle from behind, but I donít believe that was correct. It was more of a late tackle from the side, and a yellow card would have been the right decision. I hope the FA decides Butt has been punished enough and doesnít impose a further suspension. By the time Butt went off, United could, and should have been down to ten men anyway. I have defended David Beckham against all those who claim he ruined Englandís World Cup chances by his sending off against Argentina. In fact my very first "Devils Advocate" was devoted to the young manís defense. But had the referee or his assistant seen what Beckham did to Stephen Hughes and the United man been dispatched to an early bath he would have got what he deserved. We saw both sides of Beckhamís game against Arsenal. Those great free kicks which give goalkeepers fits, and that ugly side which prompts him to lash out in anger. In my view Beckham deliberately stamped on Hughesí upper leg after the Arsenal player went down under a challenge by Roy Keane. There is no excusing such an action and I am wondering if Beckham is ever going to learn to control that part of his nature. I am aware Becks took an elbow to the head a short time earlier, but the referee had booked Hughes, United had been given the free kick, and that is where it should have ended. It is going to be interesting to see what changes are made for the game against Liverpool. (If you are reading this toward the end of the week please note this was written the evening of Sunday 20th September.) REFUSING RUPERT. Last week I wrote of my opposition to the proposed sale of the club to Rupert Murdoch and what I believe to be the difference between Martin Edwardís attitude toward Manchester United F.C and the feelings of those who have supported the club all of their lives. To Edwards it is, first and foremost, a business, and the aim of any businessman is to make a profit. Those who support the club do so for life, and no amount of money can change their allegiance. While I must admit to having had mixed feelings when I first heard about the Sky takeover, I am now convinced it must not happen. By far the best comment I have heard on the current chairmanís role in all of this was from Andy Walsh, the head of the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association. I am sure most of you have already heard it, but for the few who might not have Walsh said "Martin Edwards knows the price for everything but the value of nothing". That is it in a nutshell. I am not going to repeat all I said at the end of last weekís column. Only that Edwards doesnít understand or appreciate how the "common" United fan feels about the club. Rich kids never do appreciate their toys as much as poorer kids do. If you havenít read the manifesto which came out of the meeting sponsored by Andy Walshís group last week, you should. Itís at a number of sites on the net and encapsulates the feelings of all true Reds fans. I am going to reproduce some of it here. I havenít asked permission from IMUSA yet and apologize for not doing so. Yet I am sure they wonít mind if it helps get the word out to any supporter who hasnít yet heard what United fans can do to show their displeasure with the sale of the club to the Murdoch business empire. The following is the introduction to the fans manifesto. Many supporters think the future of Manchester United is destined to be in the hands of one man - Rupert Murdoch. IT IS NOT. This club has been built on the loyalty of its supporters, and the efforts of Matt Busby, Alex Ferguson and great players past and present, But since the launch of the plc we have seen our club taken further and further away from its loyal support. This latest fiasco is a step too far. Decisions affecting the future of Manchester United will be taken on the other side of the world. Our club will no longer be independent. We will be owned and manipulated to further the business interests of the Murdoch empire. So when Alex Ferguson says: "We are United to the core", remember so are we and so are you. Show your support for the club as we know it and help to stop this takeover before it makes us into the club we don't know. I couldnít agree more. Too many clubs these days are in the hands of "businessmen" who have no feel or regard for the rich traditions and proud histories of their clubs. Take a look at White Hart Lane and Goodison Park if you need proof of what happens in such cases. If you agree with IMUSA then take note of this, the final paragraph of the manifesto: THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE. The heart has been ripped out of this football club in recent years, but its soul still exists within the supporters. We will never give in to the sale of our club to a man whose only interest is the money, manipulation and the power it can bring him. There is an alternative to Rupert Murdoch. This campaign requires money. Please send donations, however small to: National Westminster Bank Stretford Branch, 20a King Street, Stretford, Manchester M32 8AE. Account no. 32055595, sort code 01 08 52. Contact the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association (IMUSA) PO Box 69,Stretford, Manchester M32 0UZ. Shareholders United Against Murdoch (SUAM) - organizer Michael Crick - would welcome help from any United shareholders. SUAM can be contacted at1 Sumburgh Road, London SW12 8AJ. Tel: 0171223 5847. E-mail: protest@stopmurdoch.com I would like to add a couple of suggestions. As I said early on in this column businessmen do what they do for the profit. Money is all they understand. So letís hit them in the only place they have any feeling. The wallet. Donít buy meat from Martin Edwards company. Donít buy "The Times" or "The Sun" or any other Murdoch owned newspaper. Cancel your SKY subscription until the Murdoch takeover bid is withdrawn or rejected by the board. I donít know who most of the board members are or to what they owe their fat bank accounts. If anybody does, let me know. Iíll print their business names and we can boycott them too. If you truly love this club sacrifice your satellite channels and your Page 3 pin-up for a little while. We have to let this business bully know he isnít welcome at Old Trafford, and we will do whatever we can to stop him from making it his own. This club has almost gone under a couple of times since itís birth as Newton Heath and both times people who truly cared saved it. The better part of this team died on an icy runway 40 years ago, and the team was rebuilt by a man who, instead of giving up, fought back from his own plane crash injuries, to lead the club to European Cup greatness. Rupert Murdoch traded his national heritage for an American broadcasting license. To allow such a man to walk the same hallways once trod by Matt Busby would be a travesty, an insult to Sir Matt, and all those who played for him, and loved him. It can not be allowed to happen. ***************************************************************** Comments/Email to: The RED-Devils_Advocate
"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

Subject: Embarrassment in Highbury by "Our Salford Lass" I would much rather draw a veil over everything that happened yesterday, but after not providing a match report for the Barcelona game, I thought I had better at least make an attempt to do some sort of report on this one. To be honest, going through it all again is not going to be a pleasant experience, but I suppose someone has to do it and why should those of you who didn't see the game go on in blissful ignorance? If I had to be miserable, then so do you! I actually felt quite cheerful as we headed off down the M6 in the sunshine. It was a straightforward journey and we arrived close to the ground before 3pm. After an interminable question-and-answer session between the bus driver and one of London's finest men-in-blue (he needed the bus company's name - written in 6ft high letters on the side of the bus!, its address, its telephone number, the bus registration number, the driver's girlfriend's bust measurement - it went on and on and on) we fell out of the bus in the heat and headed off up the road towards the away fan's entrance to the ground. For some reason, most other United fans seem to be setting off in the opposite direction, can't think why except that was the direction of the local pub. We settled for the delights of the stadium itself and were soon settling down to our chips and pints behind the stand. Once we were full, we went to find our seats - towards the back of the stand, close to the gooners in the other half of the Clock End but, thankfully, out of the throwing reach of the executive boxes above us. This was to prove a major plus factor later in the afternoon as, unlike last year, we were not treated to the site of all the Del Boy look-a-likes having seizures over their balconies. We watched the sprinklers cast rainbows across the pitch (poetic, ain't it?) and marvelled at the wonderful state of the pitch - the best I've ever seen. A short time later, Tim arrived and we spent the rest of the pre-match period having an argument about the future development of OT. The son-and-heir and I were all for tearing down North Stand and putting back the stadium as it used to be (remember that wonderful sweep of seats and roof?). The increased capacity could be achieved by simply taking out all the seats except in South Stand and going back to the good old days (except this time we'd have decent toilets etc behind the scenes - we'd bring back the tunnel behind the United Rd paddock though - do you remember the way the singing used to sound as we left down that tunnel?) Tim seemed to quite like the idea of two new stands and a big fancy new stadium - the poor boy has obviously not been brought up proper!! :)) Then the teams came out on the pitch and the enjoyment was over for another day! I'm not going to go into details about the game itself except to say that we were absolutely awful, we deserved everything we got, and we were very lucky it wasn't a hell of a lot worse. It was very unsettling and almost surreal. The lads were playing like they didn't have a clue and were half asleep. It just got worse and worse as the game wore on until, by half-way through the second half, 10 out of the 11 players had given up the ghost (Beckham being the only player on the pitch who seemed to care what was being meted out to us by the new Champions). In the crowd, we were mystified as to what was going on - no Cole even on the bench (what has the poor lad done - or more to the point, where is he going?), Ole warming his bum instead of carrying on developing what was looking like a good partnership between him and Yorke, Yorke left on his own upfront with Peter punting ball after ball down the pitch towards his head, Keane and Butt getting more and more niggly as the game went on (although Butt didn't deserve to be sent off - a yellow card yes, a red card - never). Berg was appalling, Stam looked good for most of the game - but should never had been out -jumped by ex-donkey Tony Adams. I can't go on anymore, it was awful. As the game wore on, we expected Fergie to make some changes but no, as the game moved towards its end, he and Kidd disappeared into the dug-out and stayed there. The son-and-heir sending someone round to see if there was anyone in! When the whistle blew it was heralded with relief in the United section and with ecstasy in the rest of the ground. If the players had no spirit for the fight, the crowd certainly did. From the start of the game, there was plenty of chanting. Being so close to the Arsenal fans, there was a lot of "banter" going back and forth - mostly about being Champions from their side and some new (and very naughty) Arsene Wenger chants from ours - sorry, there's no way I'm going to put anything into print! The police seemed to be having fun down at the front and a lot of lads came back to stand with us - it was like being back on a terrace again, with the aisles full of fans, especially when Butt got sent off and there was a surge leading to a number of us having serious doubts about their chances of surviving the game! Despite going two down in the first half, the atmosphere continued to be electric and we sang all the old favourites and included "One-Season Wonders" for our new gooner mates. We enjoyed standing in the middle of a mini mailing list meeting which included two visitors from over the pond - Sean Hennessy and Bryan Tucker. At the start of the second half, a number of boys in blue arrived to clear the aisles. They managed to send a number of lads back to their rightful seats (including Paul and Sean who scuttled away as soon as the nasty policeman gave them a dirty look :)) but Mick and Bryan were made of sterner stuff and stood their ground. (These days, you have to take your triumphs where you find them, small as they might be!) The policemen hadn't noticed that most rows had at least 6 more people than seats and within seconds of them disappearing down the steps, the aisle was again full of fans. As the second half wore on, the atmosphere deteriorated. Some of us were simply glum, others decided that it was a personal insult against them and decided to exact some retribution by threatening the Arsenal fans to our right. They, of course, were so busy celebrating that it didn't seem to bother them at all. Eventually, we were put out of our misery by the referee blowing the final whistle and we were allowed to leave to the accompaniment of "Cheerio, Cheerio, Cheerio" and "We're one season wonders" from the Arsenal fans. On the way out we saw a rather unsavoury incident as a very large United fan grabbed a much small steward by the scruff of the neck and headbutted him, seemingly for no other reason than he was pissed off at the result - nice man he was. It felt like a very long journey home. It was actually quite quick (back at OT by 10pm) but seemed to go on forever, as all I wanted to do was to get home. Funnily enough, I wasn't upset. I think I've gone past that now. Emotionally, I've shut off a bit in recent days - nothing surprises me any more and I've decided that football has much too big a slice of my life and I really ought to get out more! Copyright © 1998 by "Our Salford Lass". All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

Subject: Reflections on the Arsenal game In the 20 plus years that I have been watching United regularly,I'm struggling to think of a more inept performance. I remember seeing us lose 6-0 against Bobby Robson's excellent Ipswich team in 1981 or 1982 I think,and 5-0 at Goodison Park against Everton in 1985 during their championship winning period in the mid-eighties,but the difference on both of these occasions was that we didn't have particularly good teams then. In more recent times,I saw us lose 5-0 against the barcodes in a crazy game that we actually played well in,so I won't include that result in the context of a poor performance. What concerned me more than anything yesterday was that it was obvious in the first 20 minutes that we were being outplayed tactically (in fact I had concerns as soon as I saw the starting line up).Yorke was getting absolutely no service,Giggs continually lost the ball and Blomquist couldn't beat anybody to save his life.Our game desperately called for Giggs to be out wide putting the ball across for two strikers to run on to,rather than him being picked off in the middle every single time by the Arsenal centrebacks. I was convinced that Fergie would change things around at half-time,but he did absolutely nothing.In fact,I don't even remember seeing him or Kidd on the touch line shouting out any form of instructions.It's almost as if Fergie had given up on the game as soon as we went one down.Mick had this theory after the match that it was some sort of protest by Fergie for all of the off-pitch stuff going on at the moment.I thought this was a bit of an extreme view at the time,but I'm not too sure now....What I do know is that if we don't get this sorted out before Thursday, we are in for a major arse-kicking from the scousers,and that WILL NOT do. By the way,am I the only one to wonder why we've actually bought Yorke ? So far he has scored 3 goals against 2 inferior teams,which is what we could have expected Cole to do as well.It appears to me that all we have done is spend 12 million to replace one striker with another,rather than them forming a potentially lethal partnership. >I was also disgusted by the policing at the game. United fans were getting >dragged out throughout the game for the heinous crime of standing up yet to >our right the Arsenal fans were standing continually yet were allowed to get >away with it. Like most police forces at football matches around the country,they are great at causing ill-feeling and trouble by being complete arseholes when there is absolutely no need for it,and when they are needed they are absolute masters at either getting their too late to deal with the problem or else they completely over-react.When we were walking back to the car yesterday,it started to kick off on the street leading to where the United coaches were parked.Instead of having a physical police presence on the road leading up to the coaches,there were instead about 30 police sat in 2 transit vans facing away in the opposite direction from the coaches,ie,not even looking towards where the United fans were walking to. Consequently, when it started to go off,the stupid bastards couldn't even see,let alone hear it,even though they were only 30 feet away at the time.It actually took members of the public to go to the police vans to point out what was going on !! And we pay our taxes to fund this bunch of amateurs !! On a sadder note,I bumped into a lad that I know quite well in the ground,who I was drinking with for a while when in Warsaw a couple of weeks back.I was also drinking with a mate of his that I know quite well,a good lad who's got his head screwed on OK and would never let himself or United down when on foreign travels.Unfortunately my suspicions that he was one of the 11 reds arrested the night before the game were confirmed.His crime was to be in a bar quietly drinking with some other reds when a gang of Polish hooligans burst in smashing windows,glasses and chairs.His mistake was to keep well away from the trouble and not to leave the pub after all of the commotion had ended.When the police came,he thought that it was to ensure the safety of those who were innocently caught up in it.Instead he was arrested, thrown into jail for two nights thus missing the game,and fined 180 pounds. Whoever said that the police are there to serve and protect ? -- Richard
"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

Tuesday 22 September 1998 Subject: STAPLETON'S WARNING TO HOT-HEADED BECKHAM David Beckham must learn to control his temper if he wants to become a truly great player, according to former United star Frank Stapleton. The Manchester United midfielder revealed the dark side to his character once again at Highbury when he was fortunate not to be sent off for stamping on Arsenal midfielder Stephen Hughes. Beckham had decided to exact his own revenge, just like he did on Argentina's Diego Simeone when he was red-carded in the World Cup, after Hughes was booked for hitting him in the face with his elbow . The United star escaped without even a yellow card, but his behaviour will not have impressed watching England coach Glenn Hoddle, who hoped he had tamed the petulant side to his character. Former United and Arsenal striker Stapleton believes Beckham must curb his hot-headed instincts. "He just has to realise that he is going to be a target for the opposing fans and players, who when they play against him want to prove they are better than him," he said. "That's what happens with great players and they have to overcome these things. "He's still a young player and he can go on to become a truly great player if he can keep his temperament in check. "You can't take the law into you own hands and I thought Roy Keane and him were fortunate not to be sent off. "You can't be a great player if you keep letting yourself down." Beckham has already been booked twice this season and at Old Trafford the Saturday before last he was cautioned for fouling David Burrows, again in retribution for a rash tackle from the Coventry defender. His first booking came in Poland for a needless and reckless challenge on Tomasz Kos of LKS Lodz in the Champions' League qualifier.
"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

Subject: Murdoch United article from The Economist weekly, dated 18 September 1998 Murdoch United Even if the whole of Britain hates the idea, Rupert Murdoch should be allowed to buy Manchester United. To many football fans, the union between Rupert Murdoch and Manchester United is a case of beauty marrying the beast. Mr. Murdoch has long been a hate figure in Britain, blamed for everything from the fall of the miners to the rise of the topless model in the tabloids. Man U, with 18% of fans, is the most popular football team in a football-crazy country. The news that the club had agreed to a GBP625m ($1billion) takeover bid from Mr. Murdochís British Sky Broadcasting has been greeted by a blast of protests from his competitors in the press, but also by genuine hostility among fans (see page 64). Supporters deplore Mr. Murdochís commercial motives. But this is childish. The only reason to stop the deal would be if it were likely to give the tycoon an unfair hold over either football or television; and it is the square box, not the round ball, that raises the bigger issues. ďWe intend to use sport as a battering-ram in all our pay-television operationsĒ said Mr. Murdoch a couple of years ago. In America, the rights to the National Football League helped establish Fox as the fourth national network., In Britain, the rights to Premier League football turns BSkyB from a deadweight that nearly sank the Murdoch empire into the worldís most profitable satellite-television operator, and the dominant power in the pay-television business in Britain. But now that dominance is threatened. Digital technology is bringing uncertainty. Sky faces competition, from Ondigital, a joint venture of two big commercial television operators, and from the cable industry. This puts the Premier League in a more powerful position: there are now three real bidders for the rights it has to sell. And the chances are, when the rights come up for sale in 2001, they will not go in one lump, but will be parceled out (as in America,) between free-to-air broadcasters and pay-television operators. Football is slipping from Mr. Murdochís grasp; and that explains his grab for Manchester United. By owning the countryís richest football club, he will be able to profit from pay-per-view televised matches, which are expected to become a gold-mine. Fine - but might he also use Man U to bias the Premier League in favour of selling its rights to Sky and thus extend his dominance over pay-television into the digital age. If owning Manchester United really was going to give Murdoch control over Premier League football rights, that would be reason enough for stopping this takeover. But it wonít. Even if a Murdoch-owner Man U wanted the rights to go to BskyB, the other 19 clubs in the Premier League need not go along. And if the Premier League is broken up on the grounds tnhat it is a cartel 0- an issue to be decided next January - then there is no problem, because clubs will sell their rights separately and competing television operators will be free to buy a club (or rights to its games) of their own. Mr. Murdoch must be watched - and stopped if reason, not emotion, dicates. On this, there is not reason enough.
"Are you Against the BSkyB takeover? Please Read! Click on image!"

Subject: United on TV in the US Upcoming United games on the TV (USA) are as follows: FOX Sports Americas and FOX Sports World Fri Sep 25 02:00PM Pacific Fri Sep 25 03:00PM Mountain Fri Sep 25 04:00PM Central Fri Sep 25 05:00PM Eastern Length: 2 hr FOX Sports World English Premier League Manchester United vs Liverpool ******************************************************************* ESPN2 espn2 Champions League telecast rescheduled espn2 has MOVED the scheduled telecast of the Bayern Munich vs Manchester United match from Match Day 2 of the UEFA Champions League to Thursday October 1 at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific due to a potential conflict with Major League Baseball playoffs on September 30. Wed Sep 23 11:30AM Pacific Wed Sep 23 12:30PM Mountain Wed Sep 23 01:30PM Central Wed Sep 23 02:30PM Eastern Length: 2 hr ************************************************************** ESPN2 Wed Sep 23 11:30AM Pacific Wed Sep 23 12:30PM Mountain Wed Sep 23 01:30PM Central Wed Sep 23 02:30PM Eastern Length: 2 hr D-9/16 espn2 UEFA Champions League Match Day 1 Manchester United (England) vs Barcelona (Spain) DA
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