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The posh wedding Friday, 9 July, 1999, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
United deny Beckham honeymoon recall
Ferguson says Beckham was "always due back on 12 July"
Manchester United have denied cutting short David Beckham's honeymoon because of a contractual obligation that says he must play during the club's tour to Australia and China.

The posh wedding
Manager Alex Ferguson rejected newspaper claims that Beckham was furious about being ordered back early, following a threat of legal action against the club if the star midfielder failed to appear.

Australian promoters Rivkin Entertainment said they will cut Manchester United's lucrative appearance fee if the player is absent from the tour.

United are currently negotiating a solution to the problem with Rivkin, having announced several weeks ago that Beckham will miss the trip.

A spokesman said: "I don't think there is an issue between us and the Australians which will not be resolved amicably and sensibly."

Alex Ferguson, Manchester United manager
Ferguson: "No bust up"
The problem has apparently been compounded by the likelihood that Ferguson himself will miss at least part of the trip so that he can collect the knighthood he received in the Queen's birthday honours list.

But Rivkin Entertainment says United are contractually bound to ensure Beckham plays in Australia.

Rivkin admits that the star is almost certain to miss Thursday's match in Melbourne, but insists that he must be available for the game in Sydney on 18 July.

Spokesman Bertie Mariani said that following a threat to withdraw half of Manchester's fee he was "80-90% sure" both Beckham and Ferguson would be there.

"We've received verbal assurances and are seeking confirmation in the next 24 hours," he said.

David Beckham celebrates scoring for Manchester
The promoters are "80-90% sure" Beckham will play
Rivkin Entertainment's Managing Director Dominic Galati was more direct, saying: "We've tried to be nice, but we've been forced to get tough.

"It's not the honeymoon any more, it's a two million Australian dollar penalty instead.

"We've forced United's hand. They are in a legal bind and the ball is in their court.

"They are being paid more by us than they've ever received for an overseas tour and we feel they should honour the contract."

Meanwhile, Ferguson rubbished a story in The Sun newspaper that said he and Beckham had rowed over the pre-season tour.

Lavish ceremony

"There has been no bust-up. David was always due back on 12 July and will report for training on Monday," he said.

Beckham married Spice Girl Victoria Adams at Luttrellstown Castle outside Dublin in a lavish ceremony shrouded in secrecy.

The exclusive Pacific island of Bora Bora has been mentioned as the most likely destination for the honeymoon.

The Sun reported that plans for a honeymoon to an island in the Indian Ocean were cancelled because of Beckham's tour commitments, forcing the couple to go to southern Europe "at the last minute".

See also:

05 Jul 99 | The posh wedding
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