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Villa take a 1-0 lead into their Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn on Wednesday – Gavin Beech gives you his top tip and all the best odds.

Debts at the parent company of Manchester United have increased to £716.5m, according to its latest accounts.

The company, called Red Football Joint Venture, is owned by the Glazer family and secures its debts against the football club.

The accounts, for the year to June 2009, show United’s debts passing £700m for the first time. More than £68m was paid in interest alone.

Despite the debts, the club turned a profit of £6.4m for the year – an improvement on the £47m loss reported at the end of the 2007/08 season.

The profit was almost entirely due to the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in the summer for £80m. Red Football Joint Venture’s accounts record an £80.7m profit on “disposal of players” compared to a £21million profit in 2008.

A spokesman for the Glazer family insisted that the debt did not have a bearing on the operation of the club.

He said: “The club has a £50m surplus to work with once the interest payments have been made.”

Last week, the Glazer family, which has controlled Manchester United since 2005, announced plans for a £500m bond issue designed to reduce debt repayments.

Villa take a 1-0 lead into their Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Blackburn on Wednesday – Gavin Beech gives you his top tip and all the best odds.

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