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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July 2005, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Bad sign for United
Manchester United sign

Manchester United's difficult pre-season continues after jokers altered a huge sign at Old Trafford, turning it into a four-letter word.

The impressive neon construction - which sits at the top of the stadium, high above the statue of Sir Matt Busby - usually spells out the club's name.

But somehow pranksters managed to change it to reveal the obscenity.

United officials were alerted to the embarrassing situation by journalists at the Manchester Evening News and acted quickly to restore the sign to normal.

A club spokeswoman dismissed suggestions fans angry at the takeover by the Glazers were responsible.

She said: "We have had contractors in doing work on the stadium. It seems someone has messed with plugs at the back of the lights as a prank.

"We would like to apologise to anyone that took offence - the sign now proudly says Manchester United again."

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