Gill - Ferguson's free to spend

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David Gill has pledged that none of the £80million received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo will go towards tackling Manchester United's spiralling debt.

As interest continues to mount on loans taken out by the Glazer family to purchase the club four years ago, it is estimated that United are now more than £700million in the red.

But Gill said: "No. It does not have to go against the debt. You cannot be more clear than that. We did not budget for it and it is there to be used."

Under the circumstances, it must be tempting to use some of the world record windfall paid by Madrid to lure Ronaldo to the Bernabeu to pay a percentage off, especially as Sir Alex Ferguson does not feel there is sufficient value in the transfer market at present.

Long-time critics have insisted that is what will eventually happen. However, following up a statement from the Glazer family's person public relations chief, Gill has left no doubt that Ferguson has all the Ronaldo cash at his disposal should he want it.

Gill admitted he had mixed feelings as he checked to ensure the cash had been paid by wire transfer. On one hand, it was hard to believe anyone would pay such a staggering sum for a single player - yet, like Ferguson, Gill was also aware United were losing a supreme talent.

"It was a phenomenal amount. Totally unprecedented," he said. "But you don't get that sum of money for a run of the mill player.

"Ronaldo is one of the best in the world and there is a sadness he has left us. But he gave us six years' service, the last three of which were absolutely fantastic.

"He was professional about the way he went about his job and we wish him every success."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo

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