City pounds 26m in debt

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Manchester City have revealed that they are a staggering pounds 26m in debt. The Maine Road club lost pounds 3,168,073 last season, when they were relegated from the Premiership. Their debts rose from pounds 19m to pounds 26m, set against assets of pounds 31m. The previous year they had made a profit of pounds 203,759.

The City chairman, Francis Lee, remained positive. "Every club in the country, with the exception of two or three, report losses," he said. "What the balance sheet never takes on board is the value of players." City, who have already parted company with two managers this season, have been the subject of takeover speculation in recent months.

Across town at Old Trafford, Manchester United have given their chairman and chief executive, Martin Edwards, a 39 per-cent pay rise. His annual salary, including performance-related bonuses, rises to pounds 212,000.

The Italian Serie A club, Udinese, say they have rejected a bid of about pounds 13m from Manchester United for their German international striker, Oliver Bierhoff, with whom Blackburn have also been linked.

Ryan Giggs will make his United comeback on Saturday against Arsenal after recovering from a persistent calf injury.