Newsletter #52

There’s a minor rumpus developing between the club and Steve Lomas and I hope they sort it out soon. Steve is obviously going to be a good, if not a very good midfielder and is exactly the quality youngster we have to be looking to hang on to if we want success. After digesting the financial situation revealed by Francis Lee, we are certainly not in the market to buy people like Le Tissier so it becomes that much more important to make sure that talent isn’t lost from under our noses; witness John Beresford and Paul Warhurst.

I noticed in the latest edition of FourFourTwo that City’s turnover for the 92/93 season was 8.4m; in light of recent revelations one has to wonder how accurate this figure is. Of course turnover and profit are two different things so perhaps the turnover figure is real but the running expenses exceeded it by some margin. Assuming the figure is OK, this kind of turnover gives us a lower-middle ranking with several clubs around 10m and of course, you know who around 25m! There’s certainly room for improvement there, and I personally believe that success will take 5 years, necessitating a total overhaul of the way the club is run. One can already see tangible improvements but there’s a way to go yet before we can safely afford quality players without endangering the club itself. I think Swales came nearer than we’ll ever really know to sinking the club for good.

There is no team news this time around as I have to leave early before it’s due out. Martin will however, send it to Svenn so if you’re interested, it should be on the WWW.

Someone promised me a book review of ‘The Battle for…’ (I think), I’ve forgotten who it was; can you get in touch? We still need both this and the Joe Mercer biography reviewing; anybody prepared to undertake these? Also, if anyone has any older biographies/books such as Mike Doyle’s, reviews of these would also be appreciated.

This one goes out to 155 people.

Next game Newcastle United away, FAC 5th round, Sun 19th February 1995


Steve Lomas has been fined two weeks’ wages for telling the media about his contractual situation. You may recall that Eric Cantona was fined two weeks’ wages for attacking a spectator…

The Mole


According to the THFC Ticket information service, no date has been rearranged for the Man City game.

John Shearer (


I was looking forward to an Irish team containing Kernaghan, Phelan and Quinn really sticking it to a Cotonless England. Typical again, Eire are playing well, 1-0 up and the match is abandoned due to rioting England fans after only 20 minutes. The scenes looked pretty bad on TV, the top tier of England fans on one side of the ground ripping up seats, flooring, etc. and hurling them at the players, fans below them (reputed at the time to also be England fans) and anyone else near them, and the match is supposed to be a friendly! The scenes seemed to get more chaotic with Irish fans invading the pitch, luckily the English fans were in the top tier and so both sets of fans were separated. The scenes became even more chaotic with Jack Charlton attempting to calm things down but only blowing his top and making things worse and being forced himself to leave the pitch by the Irish police (of whom there seemed to be a surprisingly small number for such a potentially volatile game). Even the journalists were getting in on the act at this time with much pushing and shoving, etc. It seemed to take the police ages to exert any control on both the English and Irish fans (in fact the game got off to a bad start with both sets of fans loudly booing the national anthems). I wonder how this will affect the European Championships next year?; Terry Venables was interviewed after the match, and he looked visibly shaken and close to tears. It unfortunately looks as violence is back with us now big time.

I watched some of the Liverpool-Palace game afterwards, which was somewhat of an anti-climax coming so soon after the scenes in Dublin. The live coverage decimated the crowd, Anfield being about two thirds full at the very most and the match was crap. I think City will be kicking themselves after seeing the standard of this game, and I was glad I turned on the telly about 30 secs before Liverpool scored 2 mins. into injury time. The 2nd leg should be a better, high-scoring game. Let’s hope we’re celebrating a Blues victory on Sunday as well.

Ian Thompson (


It seems that quite a few City fans are more interested in the prospect of Steve Coppell becoming City manager than Big Fat Ron, but can anybody enlighten the rest of us as to why? What’s his record as a manager? What has he actually won?

While Horton may get something of a break now that Atkinson’s gone to Coventry, the physio is coming under increasing pressure. Almost everyone seems to know him as Doctor Death because he turns a minor knock into several weeks out. But the latest issue of KIng of the Kippax hints at why the players may be constantly injured in the first place.

Ged’s page reports news from a character called Main Stand Mike who always arrives so early to the games that he watches the team warming up. Apparently they do stretching exercises that are no longer approved of by the National Coaching Federation, because they “cause tears in the muscle fibre and when theses tears heal it leaves a residue of scar tissue rather than extended muscle.” He also points out that Rob Brightwell is involved in the training routines, when he retired from top quality athletics twenty years ago: a long time before the new NCF recommendations.

Andrew Conway (


Martin said in his report of the derby that the last time we won a competitive derby before ’89 was courtesy of Denis Law’s backheel in ’74 at Old Trafford. Well, that was the last time we won there but we’ve won four home derbies since then.

The first was the 4-0 win in the League Cup on 12th November 1975, en route to lifting the trophy later that season. It was also the occasion of Colin Bell’s career-ending knee injury.

We also won league derbies 95 (10th September ’77, 3-1), 99 (10th November ’79, 2-0) and 102 (21st February ’81, 1-0). Stats courtesy of ‘The Pride of Manchester‘, which unfortunately we aren’t at the moment.

The facts might not have been quite right but the sentiment certainly was. I too am getting pretty sick of losing derbies and long for the day when we’ll all regard a draw as a bad result. If things carry on the way they are we won’t even be playing them next season :-(.

Adam mentioned in his piece on violence that there were an ‘immense’ number of reds in the City areas of the ground; I thought there were a lot less than usual! With the reduction in Maine Road’s capacity to well under 30,000, it was much easier to keep the tickets amongst City fans this season than it has been in previous seasons. However, significant numbers of reds still managed to get in. I don’t blame the United fans; if I was in the same position, I’d make strenuous efforts to get a ticket – any ticket – too. However, once inside the ‘home’ part of the ground, I’d be very careful about disclosing my allegiance; the number of people openly celebrating the first goal was incredible. Do these people have no regard for their own safety? I cannot condone violence at all but when you see people being led out of the Kippax wearing United shirts, you have to wonder about their common sense.

I don’t think that City fans selling their own tickets are the source of the problem though. Touts with sets of season tickets are much reduced in numbers these days too, since everybody has to show their ticket book as well as the appropriate voucher when entering the ground, although I don’t know how strictly this is enforced. The way I see it is that there simply aren’t enough people who can demonstrate to the club that they’re actually City fans, i.e. by going to matches. When the tickets first went on sale for the derby, there would have been ten to fifteen thousand available after taking into account season ticket holders. Offering them to people who’ve turned up at three previous home games and who would be willing to buy tickets for three games at a time ensured that several thousand more would be going to genuine City fans. However, there were still thousands left, so not wanting to (a) disappoint a lot of fans, and (b) lose a lot of revenue, they started to reduce the entry criteria.

First of all, members with three tickets stubs could buy tickets just for the derby; this requirement was later reduced to two stubs but still there were tickets left. The final concession, very poorly publicised too IMO, was that season ticket holders could buy an extra ticket. The club might think they can trust their season ticket holders but I bet that this was the main source of supply of tickets for reds. When I found out I could get an extra ticket, a week before the game, I asked a number of City fans at work if they wanted one. It was either too late (other commitments, having given up on getting a ticket already) or they’d already got a ticket. I couldn’t actually find anybody that wanted one! There was no way I’d get one for a United fan because I’d feel responsible for them and I wouldn’t be able to look after them if they were in a different stand. However, I suspect that many other season ticket holders had no such scruples and may even have sold their “spare” tickets at a profit. These are the people who should be ashamed of themselves.

Paul Howarth (


I’d just like to reply to Martin Ford’s comments re: our recent record against the rags. Our last victory was the 5-1 in 1989 but I have seen City beat United 3 times at Maine Road since 1974, and I wasn’t including the 1975 4-0 in the League Cup. My memory is a bit vague on the dates but I seem to remember a 3-1 stuffing in 1976-77 when, as a young and terrified boy, I was shielded from a hail of stones as we left the Kippax to be greeted by the United morons in the old car park (anyone remember that it used to be stone covered before they tarmac’ed it?). Then there was a 1-0 some time towards the end of the seventies, and a 2-0 (Mick Robinson scored one I distinctly remember). In this time of woe I would appreciate it if someone could fill in the information on these derby victories.

I’ve been to the swamp numerous times but alas have never seen the blues take home all the points. We came close in (198?) when we led 1-0 and then 2-1 and Denis Tueart almost scored at the Stretford end to make it 3-1 which would have probably made it safe (ho ho! – even 3-0 up at home to Bournemouth wasn’t safe!). Despite the lack of success at OT and the crappy scoreboard paddock that we used to be packed into it was one of the greatest feelings in the world to see City score at that end and experience the celebration whilst seeing the rest of the ground in silence. One day we’ll stuff ’em at the swamp and it will be sweet. Dream on!

Neil.Adshead (


MCIVTA 50 mentioned a couple of times that before the 5-1 the last time City won a derby was the Law-backheel game in ’74. I’m sure this isn’t the case; I remember a 3-1 home win in the 77-78 season, Brian Kidd scored a couple for us, and I also remember a 2-0 home win in the 79-80 season (?) when Mike Robinson got one of the goals for us. I think we also beat them 2-0 in a pre-season friendly a couple of seasons ago when both teams fielded 1st 11’s.

According to the papers today, City and Sheff. Utd. are both showing interest in an attacking midielder from Crewe, whose name eludes me. 500k I think was the figure mentioned.

P.S. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that somewhere along the line we are going to knock the rags out of the cup – we’ll get a better picture after this Sunday!

Ian Thompson (


The recent fears over a possible return of football violence in England voiced by several MCIVTA subscribers seems to have been confirmed by the riot that ended the Eire v England ‘friendly’ last night. However, a careful examination of the events reveals something quite different.

TV pictures have shown large groups of England ‘supporters’ being herded away from the ground chanting “No surrender to the IRA.” Quite an unusual football chant, you might think. Yes, I’m afraid it’s those bastards from the the British National Party again. “No Surrender” has been the slogan of Ulster Loyalists for several centuries now, and it’s no secret that fascist groups like the BNP have been organizing in Northern Ireland for many years. Indeed, these brownshirts seem to represent the only hardcore body of opinion in England still opposed to the Peace Process outside of the hard right of the Tory Party. No surprise really, as many of the hard right Tory MPs used to be National Front candidates in the 70s, before Thatcher came along and stole most of their policies.

It’s quite obvious that what happened at Lansdowne Road was not a sudden outbreak of football violence but a carefully organized political demo by the BNP to protest against the Peace Process in Ireland.

Andrew Conway (


Katie mentioned the nickname “BEAKS” in connection with Peter Beagrie. Are you sure it wasn’t “BEAGS”, a simple derivative of his name?

Phil said that a recent Observer report mistakenly referred to Ian Brightwell as “Bob(by)”. I don’t think it was a mistake – this nickname has been around at least as long as the Old Trafford derby on 3rd February 1990 when Bob scored that tremendous goal (“I just wellied it”). That was the first time I can remember this nickname being used, though it must have pre-dated that too.

Some “new” ones:
Adrian Heath – Inchy (heightist reference)
Neil McNab – McBan (less than impressive disciplinary record)

Paul Howarth (


Re: the match on Sunday –

Is there anyone out there who could give us some directions to St James’s Park, please? We’ll get on the train from Durham into Newcastle town centre, so what we basically want to know is if it’s cheapest to cab it or to get on the metro; whatever’s easiest really! Thanks a lot,

Becky Moon (

If anyone can help, please mail Becky directly today, Friday. [Ashley]


I think I have to apologize for giving Kåre Ingebrigtsen the honour of being side-commentator in Saturday’s match. It was in fact Karl Petter Loken who commented the game, and did not remember the players names, naturally….

Svenn Hanssen (


Feb 13, 1995   West_Ham - Everton          2 - 2

Total Feb 13, 1995

Blackburn       28    19   5   4    60  -  25    62
Manchester_U    28    18   6   4    51  -  21    60
Liverpool       27    13   9   5    46  -  22    48
Newcastle       27    13   9   5    45  -  30    48
Nottingham      28    13   7   8    41  -  31    46
Tottenham       27    12   7   8    45  -  38    43
Leeds           26    10   9   7    34  -  28    39
Sheffield_W     28    10   9   9    37  -  35    39
Wimbledon       27    10   6  11    32  -  47    36
Norwich         27     9   8  10    27  -  31    35
Aston_Villa     28     8  10  10    39  -  37    34
Arsenal         28     8  10  10    31  -  32    34
Chelsea         27     8   9  10    35  -  38    33
Manchester_C    27     8   8  11    35  -  44    32
Southampton     27     6  13   8    39  -  44    31
Queen's_PR      26     8   7  11    39  -  45    31
Everton         27     7  10  10    29  -  36    31
Coventry        28     7  10  11    27  -  45    31
Crystal_Palace  28     7   9  12    21  -  28    30
West_Ham        27     8   5  14    26  -  35    29
Ipswich         27     5   5  17    29  -  55    20
Leicester       27     4   7  16    25  -  46    19

Coca-Cola Cup – Semi-finals

Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
First leg 15/02: Liverpool 1 – 0 Palace

Swindon vs Bolton
First leg 12/02: Swindon 2 – 1 Bolton

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Paul, The Mole, John, Andrew, Becky, Svenn, Neil & Ian.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #52