Manchester United will announce their profits for the year ending 30 June 2012 shortly and according to unaudited estimates disclosed to potential investors, United will present a fall in revenue of approximately £15m after they failed to advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Even so United posted a revenue of £320m that will place them as the third highest-earning football team behind Real Madrid and Barcelona.
In the lead-up to Wednesday’s Champions League game against Galatasaray, Ryan Giggs has spoken of his experiences in a 1993 game between the two sides when United were welcomed ‘to hell’. Giggs recalls the raucous atmosphere of the game where a policeman hit Bryan Robson with a truncheon and the game finished a disappointing goalless draw. The second leg at Old Trafford saw a 3-3 draw take Galatasaray through into the next round on away goals.
And Galatasaray coach Fatih Tehim says his team will not fear Manchester United. He believes his team can replicate the feats of the aforementioned 1993 team by getting a result at United.
New Galatasaray central defender Cris is anticipating a tough battle with United forward Robin Van Persie but is excited about the challenge. Cris joined from Lyon this past summer and made his debut in Galatasaray’s 4-0 win over Antalyaspor on the weekend but believes the United game will be a tougher affair. And Brazilian Cris had encouraging words for compatriots Rafael and Anderson who he regards as ‘two quality players who are important to Alex Ferguson’s plans’.
Anders Lindegaard feels he and fellow goalkeeper David De Gea share the no. 1 spot at United after starting the last two league games. De Gea started the season as the team’s goalkeeper but was dropped following a poor performance against Fulham and Lindegaard is of the opinion that Sir Alex Ferguson will continue to give chances to both to claim the goalkeeping jersey outright. And Lindegaard has called for United to improve upon their performance in the Champions League last season and not underestimate their group opponents.
Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez are expected to shake hands when Liverpool face United on Sunday in efforts to commemorate the 96 who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. The two clubs have been in dialogue to strategise how they might defuse potential troubles between the two sets of supporters and Liverpool, especially, do not want last season’s race row to detract from the momentous occasion following last week’s findings that absolved Liverpool supporters of blame.
Manchester United are reportedly interested in Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. The 19-year-old joined Madrid from Lens last season and with United short of options at central defence due to injuries, and with Rio Ferdinand towards the end of his career, Sir Alex Ferguson will look to Varane as an option. The Frenchman is yet to make an impact at Madrid and could seek a move to United to further his development.
United full-back Rafael believes Fabio’s loan move to QPR will help both players mature. The twins have spent their whole careers at the same club having joined Manchester United from Fluminense and Fabio’s move to London will be their first season apart. 22-year-old Rafael recognises that he and Fabio will have to be independently stronger this season but hopes the experience will make him more mature.
image: © katabasis