LITESPORT FORMER Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards has expressed concern about the size of the clubs debt, claim- ing it is out of their control. Despite United winning a hat-trick of Premier League titles and reaching suc- cessive Champions League finals, the club remains handicapped by almost 700m of debt due to the enormous annual repayments on the money the Glazers borrowed to buy the club four years ago. It concerns me that the club are in so muchdebt,saidEdwards.Theclubare not in control; that family are in control of the debt. Edwards, himself no stranger to con- troversyduringhistimeatOldTrafford, resigned as chairman in 2002 but remains an honorary life president at the club, a non-executive role. The Glazers completed the takeover in 2005 amid much anger from supporters groups. They paid 828m, borrowing 556m, more than 70percent of which is secured against the clubs assets. I can understand where the fans are coming from with their concerns, said Edwards. The crunch time will come when they [the Glazers] exit. Will they saddle the club with the debt or just sell the club on for a profit because thats all they are interested in? Imnotgoingtomakeanyaccusations because up to now they have behaved fairlywell,supportingthemanager,and they havent disrupted the running of the club or the personnel. Edwards recommended a takeover bid from BSkyB, worth 623m, when he was at the Old Trafford helm. I thought Sky would have taken Man- chester United to a level where nobody could have got near us, he said in a new book by Andy Mitten, Glory, Glory! Man United in the 1990s. ThatswhyIrecommendedtheiroffer in 1998. When they approached us, we had gone 30 years without winning the EuropeanCup.Ifeltthattheycouldhave pushed us on to the next level. Edwards is also concerned about life after Sir Alex Ferguson who will be 68 in December and believes he will give it another two seasons after this one. Hes had one hell of a run, said Edwards.Ithinkhellthinkaboutmov- ing on when hes 70. The next appoint- ment is a huge decision and hopefully a manager will emerge to take over. EdwardstookFergusontoOldTrafford 46 Thursday, 8 October 2009 London Lite MAN UNITEDEdwards fears over debt and life after Ferguson by geoff teather Youll be mugged in Joburg... THE worlds top footballers will be having nightmares about going to South Africa next year, where they will be mercilessly mugged and beaten by... Wayne Rooney. So says Michael Carrick, Rooneys Manchester United team-mate and fellow England hopeful before Saturdays penultimate qualifier in the Ukraine. Carrick said: Defenders will be scared of coming up against Wayne. He is a big threat, and hopefully we can have him fit, firing and raring to go. We all know what Waynes about; he is world-class. The goals have been flying in for him, but he brings a lot more than that to any team. We saw him burst on to the stage in Euro 2004, and you look how he has progressed since then. It is all building towards him doing very well next summer, and I am sure he will. With both Portugals Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentinas Lionel Messi both still waiting to book their flights to Johannesburg, the focus on Rooney could be greater than ever and Carrick is convinced he will thrive. The former West Ham and Tottenham star continued: At the moment, you would have to put Wayne up there with the best players in the world. Ronaldo and Messi have been by neal collins England united: Rooney and Carrick prepare for the Ukraine Inbrief Solidity Granted at Portsmouth lPOMPEY owner Ali Al Faraj has vowed to bring stability to the Premier League club following the appointment of Avram Grant as director of football. Former Chelsea boss Grant yesterday signed a two-year deal with the south-coast club. Our aim is to put a stable foundation in place in all aspects of the business, beginning with the financial restructuring of the club, said Al Faraj. Pogba cleared to join United lPAUL POGBA is to become a Manchester United player after FIFA approved his transfer to the Premier League champions. The teenager has been caught up in a battle between United and Le Havre, which appeared to have similarities with the saga that has landed Chelsea transfer ban. And United were yesterday vindicated in their stance after a judge, appointed by FIFA to rule on the case, upheld Uniteds case. Owens England hopes still alive lMANCHESTER UNITED striker Michael Owen still has hopes of playing for England again despite not having spoken to coach Fabio Capello about his situation for some time. Owens last international appearance came as a substitute in a friendly against France in March 2008. Ive always been optimistic. I will always score goals and I have got the record to show that, he said. Kanu and Toure to help England lNWANKWO Kanu and Kolo Toure are among the foreign players who will help promote Englands 2018 World Cup bid, FA chairman Lord Triesman has announced. Portsmouth veteran Kanu and Manchester Citys former Arsenal defender Toure will joined by Roque Santa Cruz, Kenwyne Jones and others as ambassadors for the bid, described as lightweight by FIFA vice-president Jack Warner in London yesterday. Prince wont Kop huge debt lLIVERPOOL were today warned that prospective new major investor Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdulla would be unwilling to buy into the club if its debts are high. Barry Didato, for the Saudi princes investment vehicle F6, has indicated that Prince Faisal may consider buying out the shareholdings of co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks in full. He is reportedly only talking to Gillett currently. 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