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Volume 6 No. 212


Police data shows that ManU is "adding as many as 24,000 fans on to crowd attendances compared with the actual number of people watching games at Old Trafford," according to Daniel Taylor of the London GUARDIAN. Police said that ManU Manager Alex Ferguson's team has "not had a single crowd over 70,000 for a league match," not taking in Monday's game against Manchester City. The club, in contrast, "recorded attendances in excess of 75,000 every time." Instead, Greater Manchester police's figures claim that "the average crowd for league matches, excluding City, is 10,000 below" what the club says. The police records state that "it is 65,601 rather than the official figure of 75,527." In all competitions "it is 61,739 rather than the club's 73,653." United is "still the best-supported club in England by some distance." The disparity is because United, in common with other clubs, releases "the number of people who bought tickets, whether or not they attend." The police "keep their own record of actual match-goers for safety purposes and have released the data to the Redsaway fans' website under the Freedom of Information Act" (GUARDIAN, 4/12).

Scottish Third Division side Rangers will "conduct an independent investigation into the takeover and management of the club" by CEO Charles Green and Commercial Dir Imran Ahmad, according to Tom English of the SCOTSMAN. After an Ibrox board meeting at Murray Park Saturday, it was announced that Rangers "would set up a commission to examine the recent allegations linking former owner, the disgraced Craig Whyte, to Green." Rangers said in a statement, "The decision to commission the examination was taken unanimously by those in attendance at today’s meeting." Exec and non-exec directors "were present at the meeting." There is "no indication of who might sit on the commission or when it will sit." Green will also "play no part in it." In recent weeks and months, a drip feed of recorded telephone conversations and leaked documents from Whyte to the media "has cast considerable doubt over Green’s claim that Whyte played no part in his purchasing of the club" (SCOTSMAN, 4/14). In Glasgow, Alexander & Silvester reported Green's job as Rangers CEO "remained in the balance." Green was "questioned for more than three hours at an emergency meeting" (DAILY RECORD, 4/14).

CASTING DOUBT: In London, Walker & Campbell reported Rangers Manager Ally McCoist "welcomed the decision." McCoist: "Having said for many weeks I hoped for clarity and honesty, I’m obviously delighted. The board have said they are appointing an independent commission to look into matters, which is the least our fans deserve." Green's "growing isolation at Ibrox was perhaps emphasized" by Rangers statement saying that he will face the Scottish FA charges "without the club’s support." The statement added, "Mr. Green will deal with the pending SFA charge on this matter on a personal basis." Green has denied agreeing to act as a front for Whyte before he took charge at Ibrox, insisting that "he only told Whyte what he wanted to hear so he could get his shares" (SUNDAY TIMES, 4/14).

Premiership rugby side London Welsh's majority shareholder Kelvin Byron "has confirmed that he will pull out his financial support at the end of the season," according to the London GUARDIAN. Byron, who helped save the club from liquidation in '09, "slammed the Rugby Football Union and Premier Rugby for not giving the club enough funding" during its first campaign in the Premiership and then hitting it with a five-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player in Tyson Keats. He also questioned what was the point in continuing to support the club when "there's hardly a Welshman in the side." Byron said, "I'm pulling out, that's absolutely definite, and I've had enough of the RFU and PRL. I've had 20 years with London Welsh, one of the great rugby brands, but everything's been done to get us back out of the division" (GUARDIAN, 4/14).