Outlook: BSkyB/ManU

BSKYB HAS issued the following statement in response to inaccurate, mischievous, fanciful and downright misleading press reports in the anti- Murdoch press.

"According to these articles, we have been in secret discussions to sign Ernest Saunders and Bernie Ecclestone to the board of Manchester United. The story is completely untrue.

"The facts are these. Would we really be so stupid as to dictate to Manchester United who it should hire and not hire when we are still facing a Monopolies and Mergers Commission investigation into the bid?

"Of course not. That bit comes after we've gained clearance. Then we can do what we want."