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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Tues Nov 24  GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. The Riddle of the Missing Football Team 
2. We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.
3. Sheff Wed  Personal Report by Middleton RED
4. Disciplinary situation in European competitions
7. Murdoch, Manchester United, and Money
8. Nothing flash about this bright spark


Daily RED Trivia  Tues 24th November:

24/11/1913: Walter McMillen born in Belfast. McMillen made his debut at Brentford 
 in September 1933, and the Half-back made 29 appearances between 1933-36,
 scoring 2 goals. He won 4 caps for Northern Ireland, joining Chesterfield in
 December 1936. 

1979: United thrash Norwich City 5-0 at Old Trafford in a Division 1 game
 watched by 46,540. Joe Jordan 2, Steve Coppell, Lou Macari and Kevin Moran
 scored the goals. Team was: Bailey, Nicholl, Grimes, McIlroy, Moran, Buchan,
 Coppell, Wilkins, Jordan, Macari, Thomas.


Barry Daily Comment: 

United closer to van der Sar ęę 
Dutch giants Ajax have indicated they may be prepared to sell
'keeper Edwin van der Sar, a reported target of Manchester United.
Ajax, in fear of losing the player for nothing under the Bosman
ruling when his contract expires in 2000, have hinted they would
seek around £4m for his services.
The 28-year old Dutch international, has a wealth of top-flight
experience and has indicated he is willing to try his luck in the Premiership.
United manager Alex Ferguson has made no secret of his desire
to land a goalkeeper with sufficient top-flight experience in
order to fill the almighty void from Peter Schmeichel's impending departure.
van der Sar has a European Cup winners medal with Ajax,
the Dutch giants winning the competition in 1995.

Rest of 1998 games: 
Result/Fixture Index:

Wed 25/11 Barcelona     (A) CL 19.45
Sun 29/11 Leeds         (H) PL 14.00 Sky Sports
Wed  2/12 Tottenham     (A) (Worthington Cup 1/4 final) 19.45
Sat  5/12 Aston Villa   (A) PL 15.00
Wed  9/12 Bayern Munich (H) CL 19.45
Sat 12/12 Tottenham     (A) PL 15.00
Wed 16/12 Chelsea       (H) PL Sky Sports time 20.00
Sat 19/12 Middlesbrough (H) PL 15.00
Sat 26/12 Nottm Forest  (H) PL
Tue 29/12 Chelsea       (A) PL Sky Sports time 19.45 UK

UNITED Stats v Leeds:


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
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475

Prem Table 21/11:
Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Aston Villa          13  5  1  1  13   8   3  3  0   7   2   10   28
 2  Manchester United    13  5  2  0  18   6   2  2  2   9   8   13   25
 3  Arsenal              14  4  3  0  10   2   2  3  2   4   4    8   24
 4  Chelsea              12  4  2  0  10   3   2  3  1  11   9    9   23
 5  Leeds United         14  4  2  1  10   3   1  6  0  10   8    9   23
 6  Middlesbrough        14  3  4  0  12   5   2  3  2  11  11    7   22

Champions League:
**Nov  4 Barcelona 1-2 Bayern Munich 
**Nov  4 Man Utd   5-0 BrÝndby

Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Man United      4  2  2  0 16  7   8   
Bayern Munich   4  2  1  1  6  5   7  
Barcelona       4  1  1  2  6  6   4   
Brondby         4  1  0  3  4 14   3   

To be played:
 Nov 25 Barcelona        v  Man Utd
 Nov 25 Bayern Munich    v  BrÝndby
 Dec  9 BrÝndby          v  Barcelona   
 Dec  9 Man Utd          v  Bayern Munich



"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: The Riddle of the Missing Football Team Personal report by "Our Salford Lass" Personally, and at work, its been a bad week for me. By yesterday morning I was beginning to feel like a punch-bag waiting for the next blow to strike. So you'd think that losing 3-1 at Hillsborough would be painful . But it wasn't! Apart from the 45 minutes that started around 4pm, I actually had a pretty good day! Now I know that's going to get me thrown out of the "United must win or my life is ruined" club and I'm probably going to get a sackload of shocked emails from Tony (just kidding Tony!), but it's the truth. Watching United regularly, we bring with us a whole load of baggage - some days we are happy and become even more so when United do well, sometimes the game spoils what was turning out to be a good weekend, sometimes we couldn't care less what happens in the game (heresy I know, but sometimes there are more important things than football going on in our lives and in the world in general) and sometimes, like for me yesterday, we just enjoy the experience of being there - of taking ourselves out of our real lives for a couple of hours and being out in the fresh air, having a sing and watching our beloved Reds play football. As I now live close to the Manchester-Sheffield line, getting into Sheffield on the train is almost as easy as getting into Manchester, so it was a strange start to an "away day". Instead of hopping on a bus at OT, it was much more like heading off for a home game. 11am found me waiting for the train on the platform of our little station in the company of a small group of local lads also going to the game. The 25 minutes I had to wait (the trains on this line are about 50 years old - so are often late) was enlivened by the banter going on between the lads and hearing all about their night out the night before in our little town's only nightclub. The arrival of the train brought more sophisticated company as it was full of Mancs. As we passed through some of the most beautiful countryside in the North West, gazing out of the windows at the high hills and the bleak moors, the comments of the lads on the train kept me entertained. "It's wank 're, nothing but bloody sheep!" Getting off the train in Sheffield I started to shiver - it was bloody freezing! At least 5 degrees colder than in Manchester and with a freezing wind coming straight from Eastern Russia! After a short, but very pleasant visit with Nick and Claire, I set off for Leppings Lane on the Super Tram in the company of a couple of hundred Sheffield Wednesday fans. I spent the journey listening in to the conversations around me and marvelling at how two towns so close together can be so different - would I have felt so relaxed travelling to Elland Rd? Within 20 minutes I was eating a hotdog in front of the West Stand waiting for the official coaches to arrive bearing the son-and-heir. After 15 minutes I gave up freezing to death and went inside to wait where it was at least out of the wind. Eventually, the inhabitants of coach no.3 turned up and we then spent the time before kick-off chatting to Tony and Tim about Tim's lucky escape at Derby - he had almost had to sit next to Tony!! Luckily we were able to avoid this yesterday as the ticket office had heard my pleas (after the Everton game) and put Tony as far away from us as possible in the away end! (Only kidding again, Tony!!) We went up to our seats 10 minutes before kick-off and tried to spot Pete and Hal in the uncovered corner but without success - at least it didn't rain this year chaps! Once the teams came out we gave Andy Cole a rousing welcome which he acknowledged. I have to report that our brilliant Captain - the indomitable and frankly scary Roy Keane, is going soft!! We sang our usual chorus of "Keano's f**kin magic", which he usually ignores (that's our Roy - hard he is!) and he clapped us! Must be a first. The first half wasn't too bad. We weren't exactly awe-inspiring but we looked like we might at least be settling into the game when the big daft Dane decided to drop a simple catch. Just dropping it wasn't good enough, of course, he then had to bundle it over the line and score them a goal as well! As we muttered darkly, he kicked the post with some passion! Wednesday were all over us every time we got the ball. Harrying, tackling - our lads just couldn't get enough time and space on the ball to do anything worthwhile. But unlike in the past, they were actually playing some good football as well with some excellent sweeping moves upfield, going through Carbonne. When they had the ball we were standing off them and giving them the room. We were soon back in it though with a brilliant goal from Andy. Cole laid the ball back to Yorke and Yorke chipped it back to Andy. Without breaking his stride, Andy moved to exactly where he wanted to be and put the ball into the back of the net with a great finish. A chorus of "Oh Andy Cole" was rapidly followed by "You can stick your f**king England up your arse". This seemed to calm both players and fans and from then until the whistle, we could have had another two or three goals. As they went in for their half-time cuppa, we were confident that we would be going home with three points and the news from other grounds was good. Some time during the half-time break, Fergie had obviously decided that he didn't like the way we had been playing and had subbed all the United players for the team we have been seeing a lot in the last couple of seasons - you know the ones, they couldn't beat a Manchester City team on a bad day! They look like our usual players but they're not - they can't be! Even Keano was having a bad hair day and got subbed. Scholes was superb in the midfield, tackling and attacking opponents with abandon but his passing was poor. Cole and Yorke barely got a sniff at the ball and the defence!! I suppose the press will make a lot of Peter's mistake for their first goal, but he wasn't at fault for either of the other two. He was left completely exposed and did very well parrying the ball at first attempt. Also, a save late on the game was a classic Schmeichel save and more than made up for the first goal - keeping the score from being even more embarrassing. We were turned down for a perfectly legitimate penalty but I really don't believe that if we had got it, it would have made any difference to the final score, apart from making it look more respectable than it actually deserved. Wednesday deserved their win - they played well and with intelligence - we were crap and didn't deserve anything, it was as simple as that. It's just a shame that Cole's excellent goal will be lost forever in such a sea of crap football. Despite all this doom and gloom, as I said earlier, I actually quite enjoyed the day! The bloody Wednesday band were as irritating as usual, as were their fans who, of course, only decided to start singing their "one song" once they were in the lead. Up until then, we had outsung the home crowd without too much difficulty. And it was fun to see all the Reds in the home section as usual. It was very funny when Becks went over to the corner and to get his obligatory boos, that there were as many fans in the home section cheering him as there was booing him! Despite the football, the atmosphere was good in Leppings Lane. The roof of the stand makes the acoustics wonderful and we sang through most of the game - all the oldies and songs just for the occasion such as "Come to see United" and "Where are you when we're not here?" Half-way through the second half, the atmosphere deteriorated a bit. But about 5 minutes from the end, whilst the Wednesday fans were celebrating their cup final, those of us who hadn't crept away early had a good sing-song of all the best United songs - "We love United", "Forever and Ever", the Calypso. So it was goodbye to the son-and-heir and back to the station on a bus full of Mancs (I kept forgetting I wasn't on a football special going down Chester Rd!). No-one seemed too depressed - most seemed to be more interested in finding out from the few Wednesday fans on the bus where the best pub was in the centre of town - and the results had gone right for us elsewhere. I admit though, I did spare a sympathetic thought for the poor person who had been sitting in front of Tony, and indeed - for Tony himself. I sincerely hope that you have both recovered somewhat today! My man-of-the-match? Split between Becks and Stam. Becks was, as usual, everywhere on the pitch - you have to admire the lad's work rate and general refusal to give up, even when he's not playing particularly well. But Stam was probably the best United player on the pitch. Apart from going absent for their third goal (I think it was the third one) he was, as Fergie said later, the only player to "perform to the standards of Manchester United." One of my most lasting memories of the game will be the sight of Stam heading off down the pitch at a high rate of knots, with Wednesday players falling to both sides like a bow wave. He must be a terrifying sight coming towards you at speed and deserved a goal yesterday. We simply have to get a decent chant going for him though - at least something better than "Dinna, dinna, dinna, dinna - Jaap Stam!" Copyright © 1998 by Our Salford Lass. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun. Personal Report by RED KELLY We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun. If you're wondering what that's got to do with the game yesterday in Sheffield - not a lot. It wasn't joyous, funny or sunny. There was a lot of scaremongering all last week about traffic around Sheffield, but the five of us who piled into the seven seater I'd be given as a courtesy car while mine was having it's body repaired after some twat had barged into it, decided to take the direct route anyway. Typical United - take no notice of anyone and go our own way, but it worked and as we parked up no more than ten minutes walk from the ground we felt pretty smug. Not so when we actually set foot outside the vehicle though - it was bitterly cold. Every spare item of clothing was donned and we headed off to find a pub. When there's a sniff of beer in the air Richard's pace quickens from fast to extremely fast til the rest of us were practically having to run to keep up with him. We were greeted by queues outside the first pub so we diverted to another and found ourselves in amongst a hoard of blue and white stripes. At first they didn't notice any difference as we wandered in - our faces were blue with cold, but the place was so packed you could hardly move your arm to direct the glass to mouth let alone get into any trouble with the scowling locals. A couple of pints later and we were outside again on our way to the ground, past police cordons galore and into the Leppings Lane entrance. I made my way high up in the stand and to the corner of the pitch. A perfect view for what I thought would be a fairly easy game given that Wednesday hadn't won for ages. Vast areas of our stand had decided to sit probably due to the cold, but our lot were all standing and without interference from stewards or police. The game started and United seemed to be away off in Catalonia already, dreaming of sunnier climes and European glory no doubt. Meanwhile if Wednesday had been anything like a decent team and not the unco-ordinated mess they are, they would have been able to take advantage of the Red reverie. Eventually they did of course, but only due to Peter's Owler rather than due to any real merit. Down at the other end Peter seemed to have the unspectacular shot covered when he had a lapse of concentration of Jim Leighton proportions and the ball dropped through his hands and into the net. A very unseemly start for the world's best goalkeeper! Perhaps he was getting his blunder out of the way before the game against Barca remembering the Munich madness. Whatever is going on seems to be a recurring theme of late and is a worry. It served to wake the Wednesdayites up and for a couple of minutes they forgot they were at a football match and made a helluva noise. The band played and they sang 'the blues'. They soon quietened down again long before Andy stepped centre stage to grab an equaliser with a deft flick into the net after a superb United move. That was it I thought, we'd now go on to win handsomely. United had begun to play at last. Another excellent move ended with Scholes putting the ball in the net. The move had obviously been appreciated from on high because as Scholsey went into the box and the ball came over, there came a shaft of light out of the gloomy Sheffield air which embraced him. It was a religious experience of Maradona proportions which encouraged him into the 'hand of god' routine. David Ellery showed his lack of religious conviction and booked him. Mr Ellery was not our favourite person yesterday. He contrived to lose his contact lenses at the very moment Dennis was tripped in the box, running away with his hands behind his back like a scottish dancer adjusting his kilt. It was one of the most blatant penalties I've ever seen and it happened right in front of me. It was one of those decisions that can turn a game and most definitely turned this one. Half time came not long after and as Ellery trudged off the pitch an irate Fergie had to be restrained by Kiddo, not once but twice. It's like watching a comedy double act with Fergie remonstrating and Kiddo thinking he's got hold of him only to find he's done a deft body swerve and escaped making a beeline for Ellery. Oh shit thinks Kiddo and runs after him to catch him just before he gives Ellery the old Glasgow kiss. I mean he was only doing what most of us would have done wasn't he? At the back of the stand it was a crush of monumental proportions, the areas just too narrow to hold the amount of people United take to away games such as these. Given the history of that place it was a weird experience made worse by a flash of trouble. I'd just stopped for a chat when I noticed a ruck developing in front of us. A bloke had been hit in the face with a pie and I've no idea why. He swallowed the pie which caught his fly and barged past us to escape his tormentors. His passing revealed a sea of angry faces intent on catching up with their prey. Just at that moment a young lad, who was no more than waist high wandered past me totally oblivious to the trouble. The mob advanced unaware of the lad, and he was merely pre-occupied with balancing his precious load - three pies, a drink and a chocolate bar. I grabbed hold of his collar just in time and dragged him back as the mob passed. They only had eyes for pie-face. I only had eyes for the pies and the lad went on his way with his cargo in tact and I returned to my perch high in the stand reflecting on one of the most bizarre half time incidents. The second half was already underway and for the first ten minutes it was obvious United were going to walk it. The football was flowing and it was only a matter of time before they scored the second goal. How wrong can you be. Wednesday proceeded to score twice down in front of us. Twice they were allowed so much space you were left wondering whether Fergie had only sent out nine men for the second period. The defence was chaotic on both occasions and while the Wednesday fans went mad there was nothing left for us to cheer. The afternoon air got colder and colder as supporters left and by the final whistle our end must have looked as patchwork as the OT pitch did last weekend. So it was a sad and disillusioned bunch who wandered back to the van. The hope was that the performance in Spain would be a whole lot more committed or we would again be embarrassed. It was a fairly silent journey back down the M1 mainly due to a radio which refused to pick up any station other than Classic FM and Radio 2. We debated whether this was a good thing or not as at least we didn't have to listen to Mellor on 606 crowing on about his beloved Fulham (sorry - Chelsea) and the demise of "Manch United". Trouble was one or two of our number got bored - bored enough to start singing some old chart toppers. I won't tell you who they were, but not only did they know the tunes, they also knew the words to the likes of Bobby Goldsboro's "We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun!" There were many more, too many to mention - thank god for that I hear you say. Thank god you weren't there you should be saying! A few miles down the road we pulled into the service area just north of Nottingham. It was crawling with Leeds fans. This service area is like a mini city, with a variety of shops, restaurants etc. The sweater shop had attracted a lot of Leeds fans who were bleating their satisfaction at the sight of the soft woollen garments. It took their wild-eyed attention away from us anyway, we couldn't be doing with their aeroplane impressions at that time. As we neared home the radio suddenly burst into life just in time for the end of Baker and Kelly on Talk Radio. Apparently one of them had been with some Dutch friends who had been telling him how amusing it was for them to listen to English football because of the Dutch translation of some football players' names. They then went through a number of names, but best was left til last as Jamie Redknapp is translated as Jamie Sore Penis! I suppose that explains why he's shacked up with Loo Ease then. Copyright RED KELLY 1998 ****************** Guardian Report Schmeichel's latest howler lifts Owls By Ian Whittell Saturday November 21, 1998 The question marks over Manchester United's defence and goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel that have lingered around the team all season were again brought to the fore on an afternoon which left the Premiership title race wide open. Chronically at fault for Wednesday's opening first-half goal, Schmeichel could only watch in frustration as his team-mates conspired to hand Wednesday two second-half goals en route to their first league defeat since the three-goal surrender at Highbury two months ago. Early after the restart, slack defending allowed Rudi and Sonner to link and permit Niclas Alexandersson, scorer of the opening goal, to play in Booth, whose initial strike was blocked by Schmeichel. Dutchman Wim Jonk drove in the rebound. And more poor defending on 72 minutes enabled Alexandersson to round Schmeichel and roll in the third. The two most talked about Old Trafford individuals of the past fortnight had stamped their signatures on the first half, one presenting Wednesday with an opening goal, the other producing the equaliser with a trademark clinical touch. If Peter Schmeichel's supporters had bemoaned the goalkeeper's announcement that he will retire from English football at the end of the season, they may have changed their view in the 14th minute as the Dane, with one of those errors in judgment that have become worringly prevalent this season, gifted the home team the lead. There appeared little danger as Alexandersson launched a hopeful 25-yard half-volley directly at Schmeichel. But, having removed any sting there was from the shot with a two-handed parry, he could only watch in dismay - and a fair degree of disgust - as the ball wormed out of his grasp, looped over his head and squeezed between body and post. It was a highly embarrassing moment for a player who is10 clean sheets short of Alex Stepney's club career record of 175. But this, and other recent lapses, suggest the only obstacle to that record may be the goalkeeper himself. At least at the other end of the field, United's championship aspirations are in the capable hands of strikers of the calibre of Yorke and Cole and it was the latter, fresh from a week of controversy involving his treatment by Glenn Hoddle, who scored the 28th-minute equaliser. It was the sort of goal that is featuring all too regularly in the nightmares of Premiership defenders this season. Cole collected the return from a neat pass and go with Yorke and found the precise gap required between keeper and far post. The rights and wrongs of Cole's declarations may have polarised opinions in the football community but if Hoddle currently has that many strikers playing with greater sharpness and confidence in the Premiership, he is a fortunate manager. The equaliser was deserved. Blomqvist had collected a brilliant early pass from Keane, checked his defender and curled a shot over; Cole headed a Blomqvist cross just wide; Irwin had a strong penalty appeal denied, and Stam's strong run drew a diving block from Srnicek. But otherwise it was a strangely muted performance from United with far too many routine passes going badly astray, particularly early on. There was also an unattractive piece of gamesmanship from Scholes on the first-half whistle as he punched Stam's header into the Wednesday goal - a booking, rather than a goal, was his reward. But just as United appeared to have asserted their authority and taken control of the game, Wednesday's dogged resistance paid off as the Dutchman Wim Jonk chose an opportune moment to score his first goal for the club. Rudi and Sonner worked the ball across the top of the United area, the latter playing in Alexandersson, whose well-timed pass played in Booth, whose first-time strike was well saved by Schmeichel. But this was clearly not the Danish keeper's day. The ball ricocheted conveniently for Jonk who drove it convincingly into the back of the net. The timing of the goal was important for Wednesday, who had weathered an energetic start to the second half by United and had Jonk booked seven minutes in for a clumsy trip on Scholes. There was worse to follow for United in the 72nd minute as Beckham and Stam carelessly played around with the ball on the edge of the United area and the latter's poor header fell for Alexandersson to round Schmeichel and roll in his second.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: Sheff Wed Personal Report by Middleton RED Just a few highlights of this day as I don't have time to write a full report. I actually left South London at 7.15am - I thought it was cold then, but at least that was frost! Upon arriving in Sheffield at 11am however it was absolutely arctic, so much so that we all had to seek refuge in a city centre pub!!! Bangers and mash with peas, a few games of pool and several beers later and we took a fleet of taxi's to the ground. I then froze for the 2nd time that day whilst I waited to pick up another Barcelona ticket before getting into at least a semi-warm ground. However, going onto the terraces, it was bitter as we didn't even have a roof over our section (thanks to Micks cheapskate ticket!) and so I spent most of the game shivering and biting my jacket around my mouth. Erm, there wasn't many highlights in the game apart from Andy's goal because we were utter shite. Paul Scholes should have gone home early, Keane looked as if he was still away in Yugoslavia and Beckham was pants too (sorry Linda - you must've seen something I didn't as it was his fault for the 3rd goal and he did nothing significant through the whole game). I thought Blomquivst looked good until Fergie decided to put Nicky Butt on the left wing instead - am I tactically naive or was it not after that when we really deteriorated??? Jaap Stam played very well and that is it!! I left with the hordes when the clock reached 90 mins as it was embarrassing watching our excuse for football. The journey back into Sheffield on the tram was the most exciting part. There was a sole woman selling tickets whilst everyone walked past her except for Kerry who has either gone soft or stupid and bought a ticket!! The tram back was heaving with United and there was just loads of singing....some great stuff like "The City Family" to the 'Adams family' tune and others which were having everybody, including the very few Wednesday fans cracking up. I don't know where I got off but I couldn't find the previous pub so I walked to a chippy for some good old Northern chips and gravy (you appreciate the simple Northern delights more when living in London as they don't have gravy or Meat and Potato pies down here). After that I spent half an hour walking up and down the hills of Central Sheffield, freezing cold, looking for the bloody pub I eventually met up with the others and we stayed here and drank until 7.15 before getting the train back to London. It was quite bizarre on the train as the hordes of reds got on the train from Leeds to London at Sheffield. Totally unaware who these hundreds of people were, 2 Leeds fans walked down the carriage shout "We are Leeds, We are Leeds". I think someone told them to shut up and a remark was made about Munich as 2 seconds later one of them was lying on the floor with the conductor around him and the other was being chased off the train. After the little bit of excitement I went to get beers for the journey back only to get back to my seat to find Kerry comotosed - and that's the way he stayed for the remainder of the journey. He even missed the further excitement of the mobile disco as the train lights went off and on at regular intervals thus starting everyone singing when it went dark. I think though after a day spent out in the freezing cold watching that poor excuse for football I deserve a trip to Barcelona........
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: Disciplinary situation in European competitions To: MUFC@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU Disciplinary situation in European competitions GENEVA, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Disciplinary situation facing players in this week's European club cup competitions: European Champions' League Group D Bayern Munich v Brondby Bayern: Suspended: Stefan Effenberg (first of 1-match ban) Yellow cards: Thorsten Fink, Thomas Helmer, Oliver Kahn, Markus Babbel, Samuel Kuffour, Bixente Lizarazu, Lothar Matthaeus, Michael Tarnat Brondby: Suspended: none Yellow cards: Ebbe Sand, Brian Jensen Barcelona v Manchester United Barcelona: Suspended: Philip Cocu (first of 1-match ban) Yellow cards: Luis Figo, Ruud Hesp, Oscar, Albert Celades Manchester United: Suspended: none Yellow cards: Jordi Cruyff, Teddy Sheringham Bill McArthur "There's only ONE United, Manchester United."
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: NO IFS - BUTT IS BACK Manchester United fly to Barcelona on Tuesday with no new injury problems but Alex Ferguson is pondering changes after Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. The United boss will be anxious to block out any threat from the Spaniards and looks likely to bring in Nicky Butt to strengthen midfield. Teddy Sheringham and Ronny Johnsen will to be added to the squad after spending the weekend in full training. Sheringham has played only two full games all season, both in the Champions' League, while Johnsen played in the opening six games before being sidelined with damaged ankle ligaments.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: INJURED JORDI STANDS UNITED By David Anderson, PA Sport Injured Manchester United forward Jordi Cruyff will be cheering on his team-mates from the stands in Wednesday's Champions' League clash against his former club Barcelona. Cruyff, who joined United from the Spanish champions in 1996, is unavailable for the Group D clash in the Nou Camp because of a pulled hamstring. Normally injured players do not travel on European trips, but the Dutchman has persuaded manager Alex Ferguson to let him fly out tomorrow with the rest of the United party. Cruyff played against United on their last visit to the Nou Camp four years ago when they were demolished 4-0 by a Romario-inspired Barca. Only four survivors from the United side that played that night - Denis Irwin, Nicky Butt, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes - are in the squad this time round. Barcelona's campaign has gone off the rails since their stirring 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in September and they are unlikely to qualify for the quarter-finals. But coach Louis van Gaal believes they can still reach the last eight as one of the two best runners-up if they win their last two games. "I think we still have a chance of qualifying," he said. "Not as winners, but in second place as one of the best runners-up." Van Gaal, though, has major problems in defence to sort out. Abelardo Fernandez and Miguel Angel Nadal are injured, while Mauricio Pellegrino is suspended. The versatile Luis Enrique, who played in the backline at Old Trafford, is injured, while midfielder Phillip Cocu, who can play in defence is suspended. Michael Reiziger, who missed yesterday's 1-0 defeat to Majorca because of a knee injury, is doubtful but is expected to play. Up front Emmanuel Amunike is injured, while Patrick Kluivert is ineligible.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

From: Jon Leigh Subject: Murdoch, Manchester United, and Money Comments: To: linda@eccles.u-net.com, BarrowAJ@CENV.CANON.NL To: MUFC@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU Dear Mr. Barrow First of all let me lay down my credentials, because you seem to think that those opposed to the BSkyB bid represent a small minority of extreme lefty radicals who have no idea what business is about. 1. I have forgotten more about business and commerce than you will ever know (judging by some of your comments). 2. My political beliefs are certainly none of your business, but you can rest assured that I ainít no Ďlefty radicalí. I have had the pleasure of meeting many successful businessmen in my time, including many football club directors and one or two ex-current Manchester United directors. Without exception, the unmistakable impression they gave not only me but several business colleagues who have also met them was that they wouldnít last 5 minutes in a proper business where there is no such thing as undying life-long customer loyalty. So, now that you know a little bit about me, let me do as you requested and put forward far more than Ďone solid, undeniable piece of evidenceí as to why this deal is bad for Manchester United Football Club. I have also added a few comments to your original text, which I have re-produced below. Just a few of the reasons why I am horrified by this deal are:- 1. MONEY. You seem to know all about money, and think itís important. So do I - it is the best way of translating the value of our support into quality players on the field, and a decent stadium. You will know, then, that Rupert Murdoch (I take it you have no arguments that this man is behind the bid) has recently borrowed £300 million at 7% to finance half of the acquisition and is using existing facilities (at the same interest rate) for the rest. Quick as a flash, you will no doubt have calculated that his annual interest payments will be £43.75 million. Any businessman, having invested £625 million, would want a return on that money that would at least pay off your interest so you could make a profit. So heíll want AT LEAST £43.75 million back OUT OF THE CLUB every year. To put that in perspective, itís:- ** 150% of the current profit of the club, GOING OUT OF THE CLUB, EVERY YEAR (currently about 15% goes out in shareholder dividends). OR ** ALL the gate RECEIPTS, for a whole season, EVERY season ** PLUS ** ALL the TV money, for a whole season, EVERY season GOING OUT OF THE CLUB, AND STRAIGHT TO A BANK, to pay the INTEREST on Murdochís loan. INSTEAD of staying IN the club. Thatís OUR (the fansí) money. And do you really think heíll not want more of OUR money out of the club if he can get it? Dream on. Even forgetting the figures (surely pretty good evidence?) jsut ask yourself one question: "Is Rupert Murdoch taking over Manchester United to make money out of us?". 2. EMOTION. Just one word, but without it football as a spectator sport ceases to exist. All real fans make some sort of contribution to the club - either when they buy their match tickets or when they buy the shirt or other merchandise or whatever. They do it because every time they watch their team that is just what they are doing - watching THEIR team. The team THEY have helped to pay for, playing in the stadium THEY have helped to pay for. The quality of players bought, the state of the stadium, it ALL reflects the extent of THEIR support for the club. If BSKyB take over United, ALL the money supporters put into the club will, in financial accounting terms (with which Iím sure youíre familiar), quite literally pass straight through the club and into BSkyB. What comes back will NOT reflect what has been put in. Instead, if will reflect what BSkyB (and/or Rupert Murdoch but probably the latter) think will give the best return in terms of VIEWING FIGURES for the outlay. Or, even worse, if the Murdoch empire has a cashflow problem nothing at all might come back. After all, this is BUSINESS isnít it? Youíre the expert, so Iím sure youíll agree. Now call me old-fashioned, but when I go to watch United I want to watch OUR lads in OUR stadium. I donít want to stop supporting Manchester United and have to start supporting BSkyB United (thatís what it will be in all but name) whose only purpose in life will be to give the best return on investment in terms of viewing figures. "Spoilt bastard", I hear you say, "So if Murdoch spends £100 million on new players you arenít interested". Well, sorry, no Iím not. Because watching Murdoch spend money on his new toy purely to maximise his viewing figures return will hold no REAL meaning. If we win the European Cup every year because RUPERT MURDOCH has more money than everybody else and RUPERT MURDOCH thinks itís a good return on his investment then, frankly, what the fuck will that mean? Nothing! Not to mention the fact that itís pretty hard luck on the other clubs. If you donít understand this then you donít understand why REAL United fans (the ones who built the club and get behind them at games - creating Ďatmosphereí) follow the club and the team. 3. BRITISH FOOTBALL. Football fans in this country follow the sport because of its unpredictability. You may not be aware of this, but there are FOUR major leagues comprising over 90 teams. Each of those 90 clubs has their own, committed, supporters. Is it really healthy for the biggest pay TV company (which already has a monopoly over the coverage of Premier League matches) to own the biggest football club? What do you think will happen to those other 90-odd clubs? It doesnít bear thinking about. 4. RUPERT MURDOCH. Would YOU let him take care of YOUR family? Let me help you:- Business and politics are his only two passions: art, music, hobbies, poetry, theatre, fiction, even sport (sailing may be an exception) have no interest for him. He is fascinated by the politics for its own sake - but also because politics affects the business environment in which he operates. Source: Andrew Neil, Full Disclosure "I played with him as a boy ... I know him. He cannot be trusted. It's always the same. Everybody thinks that this time he'll behave. But it will never work." Source: Ranald MacDonald, cousin & rival Australian newspaper publisher, quoted in Thomas Kiernan, Citizen Murdoch, Dodd, Mead, 1986, p.16 So, yes, you are right this IS a fight against Murdoch. But let me tell you that I would be dead against ANY takeover of our club - the fact that it is this man just intensifies my determination that he must not succeed. I hope that I have conveyed some of my feelings of horror at the thought of our club being owned by somebody who will ONLY be interested in how much money he can make out of us, and will only put into our club if he thinks he can take MORE back OUT. I donít wish to sound racist or arrogant, but your e-mail address suggests that you are not British. I would not be surprised if you didnít understand some of my arguments. Is ĎNLí New Zealand? If it is, how would YOU like ME to tell YOU how to run Rugby Union in YOUR country? Thought not. Please read my comments on your particular view below. Some of them may come across as pretty blunt - I hope you will absorb the FACTS rather than the tone. To finish (before you read my comments on your e-mail) let me as k YOU some questions: How long have YOU supported United? How much of YOUR money has gone into the club? Had you heard of us even 10 years ago? I would be very interested to hear your reply. Yours Jon Leigh. Manchester United Shareholder and Supporter of over 30 years.
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

Subject: Nothing flash about this bright spark NOTHING FLASH ABOUT THIS BRIGHT SPARK NICKY BUTT is a man of few words who lives his life happily away from the razzmatazz that is the constant companion of his pal David Beckham. Butt is a tough, no-nonsense Manchester lad with no desire to see his mugshot plastered all over billboards or newspaper showbiz columns. And blowing his own trumpet is not on his agenda either. If you're lucky enough to get him to agree to an interview you soon learn he's shy at coming forward. Butt lets others do the talking while he's content to stay the silent but deadly type. If you are an opponent, his introduction is usually short and not so sweet. A thudding block tackle is his way of saying hello. But there's no doubting he's hard but fair. Butt gives it and takes it in his stride, and he never moans. It's that mentality that has endeared Butt to manager Alex Ferguson, who shares the same passion and fighting qualities. That is why Ferguson is delighted to have Butt back after the frustrations of suspensions and injuries, and the England midfielder will be his linchpin at Sheffield Wednesday today. The dark days seem over with his England display against the Czech Republic a just reward for his dogged scrapping spirit. Butt is Fergie's little red bull - and he needs him raging today and next week in the Champions League against Barcelona in the Nou Camp. Said Ferguson: "I was very pleased for Nicky this week. The lad has had two raw deals with his sendings-off this season. Those decisions have really disrupted his progress. I thought he was really hard done by after handling on the line against Barcelona. "Conceding the penalty was punishment enough in those circumstances. Then only four days later at Arsenal he got a red card for a tackle when TV clearly showed he wasn't the last man. "But the referee refused to change his decision and Nicky found himself banned again. But to be fair to the lad he's stuck at it and come through well with his fine performance for England. "Because we have such a strong squad it's easy for people to get the impression that a player has disappeared when he's off the scene for a while. But Nicky remains a very important player for me." Butt is delighted, too, to be back in business. He said: "I haven't been doing myself justice at United recently. Hopefully this game for England will help me to turn things around and I'll start playing like I know I can. "My priority is to get into United's starting line-up as regularly as possible. Injuries and suspensions mean that I haven't had a consistent run, so the England call came as a nice surprise." But while Ferguson claps his hands at Butt's comeback, he's resigned to losing Ryan Giggs for the trip to the Nou Camp. There were hopes that Giggs would have recovered from a cracked bone in his foot to make the trip for the Champions League clash. But Ferguson has now officially ruled him out after a final check on his fitness. The race is now on to get Giggs ready for the last Champions League game against Bayern Munich on December 9 - a match that is likely to decide United's qualification fate. Giggs is back in training after missing the last six games. He was crocked first in a tackle with Liverpool's Jason McAteer back in September, and the injury struck him down again at Derby a month later. Now the depressing news for United is that he won't be on the plane for Tuesday's flight to Spain. Said Ferguson: "Giggs is running strongly, but he definitely won't be playing in Barcelona. I am concentrating on having him fit for the Bayern Munich match." Here's to a win on wednesday (Not Sheffield though :)
"Peter Schmeichel's last season at OT" Click on image for more!"

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