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Reds reveal drop in wages after player exodus

Manchester United's spending on employee benefits for the quarter ending September 30th fell by £3.5m, or 6.6 per cent, to £49.4m, "primarily to lower player wages", said the club in a statement.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward confirmed the fall in revenue was mainly due to the absence from Europe.

He said: "While we recognise that the 2014/15 fiscal year financial results will reflect our absence from the Champions League, we signed the largest kit sponsorship deal in the history of sport in the first quarter and, with that concluded, we are excited to focus our efforts on the meaningful growth opportunities in sponsorship, digital media and retail and merchandising."

The overall drop in wages is due to a combination of United not having to pay out bonuses for playing in the Champions League, as well as an exodus of highly-paid players from the wage bill including Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Danny Welbeck, Bebe, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa.

Even though new manager Louis van Gaal has made a number of high-profile signings, including Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, he has still kept the wage bill lower than the squad under predecessor David Moyes.

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More injury woes for Manchester United

Daley Blind Credit: PA

Manchester United appear to have been dealt another injury blow after Daley Blind suffered suspected torn knee ligaments while playing for Holland on Sunday night.

He hobbled out of the game in Amsterdam against Latvia, which Holland would go on to win 6-0, after 20 minutes following a fall in a challenge with Eduards Visnakovs.

Blind later said on his Instagram account: "I'm proud of my 25 games for the Dutch national team, but I'm so gutted with my injury... I'll stay positive en will come back stronger! Nevertheless a great win, 6-0!"

National coach Guus Hiddink suggested Blind could be facing up to six weeks of rehabilitation.

Former Manchester United player Ravel Morrison cleared of making threats

Morrison leaving court with his mother today. Credit: Manchester Evening News

Former Manchester United player Ravel Morrison has been cleared of threatening to have his ex-girlfriend "murdered for £10,000" .

The Wythenshawe-born Premier League star, 21, was accused of assaulting Rhea Mansoor and her mother Parveen Mansoor in July.

Mr Morrison was also accused of harassing Reah Mansoor by threatening to "throw acid in her face and to pay £10,000 to have her murdered" between January 1, 2010 and July 20 this year.

But, at a brief Manchester Crown Court hearing today, prosecutor Guy Mathieson revealed the charge of putting Rhea Mansoor in fear of violence by harassment was not being pursued, and a verdict of not guilty was formally recorded on the direction of Judge David Stockdale QC.

Mr Morrison, who was dressed in a black shirt and trousers, is still due to go on trial on January 26, facing charges of actual bodily harm and assault by beating against Rhea Mansoor, and assault by beating against her mother.

Morrison, from Wythenshawe, played for Manchester United between 2010 and 2012. Credit: Press Association.

Mr Morrison was arrested in the early hours of July 27 following reports that Rhea Mansoor, 19, had been assaulted outside a nightclub in Manchester city centre and at an address in Peel Green, Salford.

Her 39-year-old mother also claimed she had been attacked.

The midfielder has been capped at international level. He moved to West Ham from United in 2012.

He remains on the books of the east London club but is currently on loan to Championship side Cardiff City.

Judge Stockdale bailed Mr Morrison to an address in Cardiff on condition he does not contact directly or indirectly the two alleged victims.

He must not enter Greater Manchester except for court appearances or an official football match, and must return immediately after each match.

Louis van Gaal feels "lousy" after Manchester United's poor start to the season

Louis van Gaal says he feels "lousy" after Manchester United's poor start to the season.

Van Gaal's appointment was greeted with great fanfare at Old Trafford, but after 10 matches United are 10th in the Barclays Premier League.

"It's not good enough," the United boss said when asked to evaluate his team's start to the season.

"I feel lousy."

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City secure fourth derby win in a row

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates the only goal of the game. Credit: PA

Manchester City have won the 168th Manchester derby thanks to Sergio Aguero and his 12th goal of the season.

City underlined their status as kings of Manchester after Chris Smalling handed them three points on a plate with two moments of madness at the Etihad Stadium.

Sergio Aguero scored his 12th goal of the season to hand City a 1-0 victory over their bitter rivals Manchester United, but their task was made a lot easier thanks to Smalling's dismissal for two silly fouls.

The England defender earned his first booking on the half hour for blocking Joe Hart's attempted clearance from point-blank range and less than 10 minutes later he was shown yellow again for a reckless foul on James Milner.

The victory means City have now won four Manchester derbies on the bounce - something that had not been achieved for 44 years.

Chris Smalling shown the red card. Credit: PA
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