Celebrity debt match
Manchester United's clash with Liverpool tomorrow will have the dubious distinction of being the first £1bn debt derby.
The massive financial cloud is due to the financial decisions of their respective American owners. The Glazer family have overseen United's debt climb to £716.5m, with that figure expected to rise when accounts are published for the year ending June 30, 2010.
Liverpool's predicament is even more perilous, with co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett due to repay loans, said to be in excess of £280m, to the Royal Bank of Scotland within the next month.
Supporters of both clubs have launched campaigns against their owners. United fans are planning an 'old-shirt' protest tomorrow when they will wear shirts pre-dating the 2005 Glazer takeover. They hope to deny publicity to shirt sponsors Aon, whose £80m contract has helped alleviate pressure on the Glazers.