Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 13th 2014 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, February 13, 2014
PARIS---The French football league
has docked Nantes three points for
fielding an illegible player in a 2-
0 victory over Bastia on the opening
day of the season and has instead
given the win to the Corsican side.
The 19-year-old midfielder
Abdoulaye Traore came on as a sec-
But he was serving a one-game
suspension at the time, and Bastia
lodged a formal complaint with the
LFP after the match.
After reviewing the case for several
months, the LFP s Competitions
Committee gave three points to Bas-
tia on Wednesday---with no goals
scored---and annulled the two goals
scored by Nantes.
Bastia moves up from 10th to
eighth place with 36 points, while
Nantes sees its tally decrease from
33 to 30 and drops from ninth to
12th place. (AP)
LONDON---After conceding Man-
chester United was enduring a "dis-
appointing" season, vice chairman Ed
Woodward indicated yesterday that a
significant overhaul of the struggling
squad will come in the summer.
Champions of the English Premier
League last season, United is seventh
in the standings, nine points from the
crucial fourth Champions League place
during a difficult first season since Alex
Ferguson s retirement.
But Woodward said the club was
already looking at offloading players in
the summer transfer window and
strengthening David Moyes side.
"We are not afraid of moving in the
market in a way we haven t seen in
recent years," Woodward said on the
earnings call as the club released its
latest set of positive financial results.
"Historically we have had three sales
and three purchases each year and it
is possible we will do more than that
... building a competitive squad that
challenges for trophies."
Despite wages leaping 17 per cent to
51.6 million pounds ($85 million) in the
quarter, the team is 16 points adrift of
the Premier League leaders despite win-
ning the title by 11 points in May.
By spending on new talent, Wood-
ward wants to "make sure we are com-
peting at the top level, which is what
we should be doing."
The cash balance on December 31
was up to 72.1 million pounds ($119
million) before Spain midfielder Juan
Mata joined from Chelsea for a club-
record 37.1 million pounds (then $61
Nantes docked points
for fielding illegible player
million) last month.
Woodward is expecting the cost
of players will stop rising so rapidly
as clubs are forced to abide by
UEFA Financial Fair Play rules as
a condition for playing in Europe.
Neighbor Manchester City faces a
tough task complying, having lost
149.5 million pounds ($248 million)
from 2011 to 2013, but there is
uncertainty if UEFA will sanction
the big-spending Abu Dhabi-
After being asked by market
analysts about City, Woodward
said he expects "we ll see how FFP
is going to bite" this year, while
deliberately not naming United s
"There are a number of clubs
being looked at more closely by
UEFA," Woodward said. "How
UEFA deals with those clubs that
have breached the rules or are close
to breaching the rules is going to
be important here to see how FFP
will impact on the industry."
United is well placed to comply
with FFP, with the success
achieved during Ferguson s 26 tro-
phy-filled years ensuring the New
York-listed club continues to rake
In the last three months of 2013,
commercial revenue soared 19 per
cent to 42.3 million pounds ($70
million) as six global sponsorship
deals kicked in. Overall turnover
rose by 19 per cent to a record
221.4 million pounds ($364 million)
during the last six months of 2013,
but the bottom line showed that
adjusted profit rose 20 per cent to
22 million pounds ($36 million)
over that period.
"We once again achieved a
record revenue quarter with strong
contributions from our commercial
and broadcasting businesses
despite the current league position,
which everyone from the team
manager down has acknowledged
is disappointing," Woodward said.
Failing to qualify for the lucrative
Champions League next season
would be a big blow to the club s
prestige. However, Woodward is
downplaying the consequences
and made an apparent reference
to Liverpool, which hasn t won the
English title since 1990 or played
in the Champions League since
"It takes a long time to build a
huge fan base...I think that will
not go away for a long time,"
"Some of our competitors have
not won the league for a long time
and but still sell a huge number
of shirts out there globally---some
just down the road from us."
What continues to irritate some
fans is the debt that didn t exist
before the Glazer family bought
the club in 2005. The debt dropped
three per cent in 2013 to reach
356.6 million pounds ($590 mil-
lion)---far down from a high of
716.5 million pounds (then $1.1 bil-
lion) in 2008-09.
Man United plans significant squad changes
Manchester United's new signing Juan Mata, right, displays his shirt alongside
manager David Moyes. AP PHOTO
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