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Jan 31, 2010

Gill plays down United financial struggles

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has played down the club's reported financial problems and insisted the £80 million funds from Ronaldo's sale are available for Ferguson to spend in the transfer market should he so desire.

United fans have grown increasingly concerned by revelations about the club's financial situation and despite Sir Alex Ferguson dipping into the January transfer market to buy Fulham defender Chris Smalling, many are unconvinced that United's financial future is stable.

But Gill, who has worked closely with the Glazer family since they took control of the club in 2005, launched a defence of the Americans and mainatined that money is available should Fergsuon want to invest int he squad.

"We used £15 million to buy Antonio Valencia and we have well over £100m in the bank sitting there," Gill told BBC Radio Five Live.

"People look from the outside and say Alex has been under pressure. I think everyone who has dealt with Alex or seen him in the press knows he will not compromise what he wants to do for this club.

"If I went to (joint board chairman) Joel Glazer and said 'Alex wants a particular player, can we have the money?' The answer would be an unequivocal yes. They have demonstrated it (with France striker Karim Benzema last summer). We didn't get Benzema but we did offer 35m euros.''

Gill also alleviated fears that the Glazer family would sell Old Trafford or the club's Carrington training ground, or that they were not in it for the long haul.

"This is a long-term thing,'' he said. "They bought (American football team) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995 and 15 years later, they still own that - they are in it for the long term.

"All the actions they've taken, whether it be investing in the infrastructure, whether it be putting more money into looking at Carrington, into players... it strikes me it's all long-term views.''

On the possibility of Carrington being sold and leased back to the club, he added: "I am 100% convinced that will never happen under Glazer family ownership.

"The sale and leaseback opportunity within the bond document is done for financial and tax planning. Manchester United Limited continue to have complete control of Carrington.''

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