Last updated : 24 January 2006 By Ed

"Manchester United will not implode by finishing third in the Premiership.

"Neither our internal business plan, nor the bank financing plan is based on first, first, first, cup, cup, cup.

"It is based on the sensible levels we were following as a PLC, which were fairly conservative and based around finishing fourth in the Premiership and getting into Europe. It is about the same now.

"There are two elements to the debt, the hedge funds and the senior debt.

"The hedge funds have no security over the club and no influence over it either. Yes, they have to be repaid but that is something the Glazers will do from their own resources or refinancing plans in time.

"Manchester United is supporting the senior debt, which is around £265million-£275million.

"People need to recognise the cost of servicing the interest on that debt is not in excess of the what we were previously paying in dividends and corporation tax as a publicly quoted company.

"The debt itself is serviceable because our cash generation will improve through the expansion of the stadium and other things.

"This is a new era.

"We didn't have any debt before and now we do but I am quite comfortable about that situation.

"There is potential for expansion in a number of areas, which will help service the debt but what we need to do is make sure we continue to be successful, which for us is being up there challenging for honours and getting beyond the group stage in Europe.

"Last year we finished third in the Premiership, lost to the eventual winners in the semi-final of the Carling Cup, got beaten in the FA Cup final and went out of Europe to the Champions League finalists.

"A lot of teams would say that is a great season. But I agree, Manchester United is not a lot of teams. We want to win trophies, that is the challenge. But in sport, no-one can guarantee that."