Newsletter #62

Not much has happened since Friday but we do have quite an interesting mix of Opinions, Snippets and a Why Blue. I already have another Why Blue for the next issue and if anyone wants to try their hand, don’t hesitate. The Chelsea list drew a blank with a Match Report but I’m hoping for better things with the Everton list, we actually have two Evertonians on this list; maybe one of them will also be going?

To date, a total of four of the London & SE subscribers have arranged to meet for the forthcoming Wimbledon game. If anyone else fancies joining them, then the man to contact is John Shearer (

Next game Everton away, Wednesday 15th March 1995.


Alex Ferguson has announced that he intends to retire from football when his contract at Old Trafford runs out in two years’ time. He says he wants to quit while he’s at the top. However, if United haven’t won the European Cup by then, the rumour is that he’ll stay. The local rags reckon that this announcement is paving the way for Bryan Robson to return to OT in a managerial capacity.

Paul Howarth (


City reserves won 2-0 at Huddersfield last night (9.3.95) but could still struggle to gain promotion. The Pontins Central League is to be expanded to 51 teams in 3 divisions. At least I won’t have to travel far when we play Rochdale!

Roger Haigh (


The Saturday edition of the Liverpool Echo led with a story on the forthcoming City v Liverpool game at Maine Road. The game will coincide with the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster and a disagreement has developed between City and Liverpool/families of the Hillsborough victims. Apparently Liverpool first asked City to move the game to a 3.15 kick off – to which City agreed. This time would ensure that the match wouldn’t be being played at 3.06 when a ceremony at Anfield will be beginning a minutes silence. Liverpool subsequently asked City to move the kick off again – this time to 11.30. This request was to enable their players and supporters to return from Maine Road to take part in the Anfield ceremony. City refused this request. Bernard Halford was quoted and he claimed that we have a lot of fans from all over the country and the earlier time would inconvenience them. The Echo reported that this had left relatives of the dead angry with City at their disregard for their feelings and of being more interested in financial concerns.

What do City fans out there thing of this? I can certainly see the Hillsborough relatives’ point. I am sure that Bernard Halford wouldn’t give a damn about our travelling fans if Sky asked for the game to be played at the ridiculously inconvenient time of 8:00 on a Monday night. However, in defence of City it seems that Liverpool were themselves unaware of the strength of feeling on the matter as they didn’t call for a morning kick off in the first place.

So what can be done? Hopefully some compromise can be made. It would surely be a nice touch if there were a ceremony at Maine Road coinciding with the one at Anfield. This would allow all Liverpool supporters the chance to pay their respects and allow City fans to join in too.

Sean O’Connell (


Reading the last edition of MCIVTA I saw the suggestion of Trevor Francis as a potential next manager.

Please please please no!!!!!!!!

For the last year I have been working in Sheffield and have yet to meet a Wednesday fan who wants Francis to stay at the club. Rumours are that he is hated by most members of the squad, and the impression I get is that Wednesday fans look forward to Arsenal so that they can see some attractive football. In the same piece Mike Maddox states that there have been a lot of managers who were in the right place at the right time. I think you could probably include Francis in that group, after having inherited a useful side built by Atkinson.

Still on the issue of managers I have just obtained a copy of “My favourite Year”, a book which looks at football through the eyes of the fans. In this book there is a nice paragraph about Horton from an Oxford United fan:

“…….The man in nominal charge was Brian Horton, a classic frightened man of football, with the hangdog expression to match. He looked like a man on the fast track to ulcers and the country pub. In a club with ambition he would have been removed long since and most of the crowd wanted to see him go- but a vocal minority, perhaps won over by his obdurate refusal to give way, supported him with the blind, courageous loyalty of Great War soldiers.”

I think this says it all about the state of the club at the moment. We are not, at present, an ambitous club and until the financial side has been sorted we will never be able to afford the class players needed to win the championship. At present I think the board will be happy to see Premier League survival for the next few years, and if this is their intention we may as well stick with what we’ve got.

As I’ve said before it’s going to take time, money and a lot of patience to make Manchester City great again. That still doesn’t make us City fans any happier but think what might have happened if Swales was still Chairman. Would there still be a Manchester City????????????

Adam Houghton (


Does anyone know whether Francis Lee is prepared to put money into the club? Does he have any? Rumour has it that he has committed all the cash he has available towards his purchase of shares from Swales. This is simply not good enough; we might as well have kept Swales. Is FHL serious about MCFC or not? I know he’s no Jack Walker or John Hall but he should have made his position clear at the outset. OTOH it may well be that all the cash is being sucked into the new Kippax stand. We need to bolster the midfield with quality players and I fear it is too late with the transfer deadline looming. Where are the survival points coming from? Everton were nothing special today versus Newcastle but Ferguson does not start his suspension until after our game and it looks like Curly Keith might have a problem or two. By the way how do we spell Endsleigh?

Alan Lingard (


I read Ian Thompson’s article in MCIVTA 61 and thought I’d comment/answer on a few of the points.

A centenary match against Rangers would be a great idea. I suspect the majority of City fans would chose Rangers as their Scottish ‘club’ so there would be a pulling power to see them. The Rangers fans showed their dislike for United at a pre-season tournament held at Ibrox. They continually abused the fans and players alike (couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch ;-))))) ) Ferguson was moaning about the treatment United got but it was only to be expected when United have such close links with Rangers’ old enemy Celtic.

Here’s some info on the Inter-Toto cup. It’s going to be a European summer tournament, run between early June and mid August. It would have four(?) divisions each with three teams and the clubs would play each other on a home and away basis. The winners of each group would then progress to straight knock-out competition and ultimately the final. UEFA have realised there’s more money to be had out of the fans and TV networks so they’re creating a market. The real carrot being hung in front of the teams, besides the money is that the four semi-finalists will automatically be entered for the UEFA Cup. The FA have been offered four places in the Cup and seem likely to accept the offer. However it’s my understanding that those teams that miss out on direct entry into the UEFA cup (finish just outside the top six?), will be offered the chance to enter the InterToto Cup. City were keen on entering the competition but that was prior to the slide down the table. So, the only way City might qualify is to stay up and hope that all the teams above them decline the invitation. But with the chance of a UEFA cup spot begging how many would turn it down?

Finally I see that Ian’s got the video of City’s greatest Cup victories. Was that next to City’s greatest Cup defeats, which includes the likes of Halifax, Brentford, Cardiff and Shrewsbury. ;-))))))))))) you have to laugh.

Martin Ford (


Well, quite a nice weekend (apart from the obvious) with City not playing! No need to bite my nails all afternoon, plus I got a new KK & When Saturday Comes through the post. Good article in KK on City’s training methods, albeit somewhat alarming; guy went to observe City and the Rags, and – surprise, surprise, noted enormous differences between the methods employed by the two clubs, with City’s approach sounding amateur compared with the Rags.

Also – missed hearing it but Pat (my wife) caught a City fan in deep despair calling into “Jim & the Doc” yesterday; James H noted that he had heard in “semi-confidence” that City’s financial plight is even worse than anyone realised. No details, but given that it is a month or so since Franny talked about the problem in the MEN this is even more alarming, although not – to me – at all surprising. His line, apparently, was that if we get relegated, then so be it, and we just have to use it as a time to regroup -as Forest did. I’m inclined to agree with him I must say.

Jeremy Poynton (


There seems to be a large market for serious football mags with the likes of the traditional ones, 90 minutes and Shoot! to name a few. However there is the funny side to the market now. I bought a magazine called ‘The Onion Bag’ and it basically takes the mick out of most teams. I thought I’d copy the mentions City got (we can laugh at out own team):

This first one appeared under a section called, ‘well I never did’ (subtitled a collection of inside stories, rumours and downright lies)

For the traditional mid season break, Manchester City players were offered the chance to go anywhere in the world. This year, however, they turned down America, the Far East and the Seychelles in favour of Blackpool. Apparently they want to know what it’s like to go on an open top bus. :-)))))

The second piece was part of an article about celebrations. They gave a run down of the 10 best British celebrations and Beagrie’s back flip came second, just behind Aylesbury’s duck walk. Here’s the text:

The “Gymnastically Exellent But Potentially Fatal Back-Flip”
Example of a player that does this: Peter Beagrie
Description: Beagrie beats two defenders, cuts in from the left, jinks right, cuts back in from the left, jinks right again, drops his shoulder, picks it up, sways left, swivels his hips and slides the ball past the advancing keeper. He trots away from the penalty area and does a no-handed back-flip. Known in gymnastic circles as a ‘single flick-flack’, but this sounds more like a piece of syrupy oatcake.
Appearance: A member of a weird-for-weirds sake French-Canadian dance troupe who are performing a piece about a football team called ‘Goalalalaloo’ and have chosen to do it in Man City’s colours, not because any of them support City but because sky blue is the colour of ‘human expression in it’s palest form’.
Deserves to be in the top ten because: You bloody try it!

I think it just about sums up the celebration nicely!!

The last item appears on the letter page and I think it’s brilliant, not all of it but just a reference about Olympus sports. I assume it’s a genuine letter.

After reading ‘Sexiest Corner’ in issue 6, I feel compelled to write. I am a female Man City supporter and have never worn a track or shell suit to a football match and I have never uttered the words ‘it’s only a game’. Naturally, I have opinions on other teams’ players and one of my proudest moments was when I was ‘ejected’ from Olympus Sports in Manchester for calling Ryan Giggs a useless piece of shit to his face. But, for all this I am still human. I would die for Niall Quinn and the highlight of my life was being snogged by Ian Brightwell on my 19th birthday. So, if you don’t mind watching the only decent team to come from Manchester, or going shopping while I go and watch my beloved blues, feel free to become a major part in my life.

That must rank as one of the best lines ever, calling Giggs to his face :-))))) I would have loved to have been there.

I hope these have brought a smile to your face.

Martin Ford (


I had my first season ticket in the season 1987/88 – and I am now eighteen. In thinking of the question `Why Blue?’ now, I suppose that I could have been either a United or City fan.

I’ve lived in a United household all my life – with my dad and brother supporting United – and my mum not particularly interested in football. Where did I get the Blues from then?

Well, I suppose it must have been from my grandad – who sadly passed away in 1988. I remember my dad telling me stories of the last day of the season in 1968. To my knowledge, to win the title, City had to beat Newcastle away and Utd had to lose at home against Sunderland (I think). He was at the Utd game. Utd lost something like 4-1 at home and City won 3-2 away (again I think). My dad told me that grandad was dancing within himself when he heard the results – obviously not wanting to cheer.

That must have been where it came from. The first ever City game I saw ‘live’ was in 1984/85 against Fulham when we were in the second division. I don’t know, but even at the tender age of eight, something attracted me to Maine Road, and you can’t call me a part-timer as we were crap then (mind you, we are now!).

I remember when we came down in 1987. I was at home watching Grandstand and when the vidi-printer result came through, I was close to tears; as that was the first awful thing that had happened to me as a City fan. I remember my grandad coming in, patting me on the head and saying how frustrating City are and how they will come back stronger.

Due to the Utd household, I suppose I could have ended up following the Reds. I remember in the season 88/89, I went to loads of games at Old Trafford when City were away. Although I did enjoy watching United, I just couldn’t raise the same enthusiasm as going to City.

My proudest moment? In the terraces at Valley Parade in 1989. We had missed countless chances. But then to my right I saw Whitey charging through, good cross, Morley was there! Oh my word, I went absolutely bananas – that would have been a bit of a cliché then, eh?!

My worst moment? Lots to choose from. However, I still see it now. The Munich singing at Maine Road – it really breaks my heart at times to think that people are actually laughing about people who died. I just don’t understand them.

Don’t worry City fans, we’ll be back.

David Whitwell (


I got the following request together with commiserations re the Chelsea game. Can anyone at least give him the address of the manufacturers or maybe it’s just enterprising individuals? [Ashley]

I’m a Liverpool supporter from Finland and would like to enquire about the availability of the T-shirt with the text “I met Cantona” with the foot traces (language?) on the chest. Surely someone on the ManC mailing list has information about this, and I would not only be willing to pay generously but I need more than one shirt. I would be most grateful if you could forward this message to your mailing list.

Marko Melolinna (


I received this mailing from a United supporter and thought I should share it [Ashley]

First off let me congratulate you on an excellent WWW page. I am a season ticket holding United fan but greatly enjoy reading your newsletters and blue memories. I find your homepage very informative for my many ‘discussions’ with my City supporting friends, and have a great deal of empathy with the trials and tribulations of being a City fan as I experienced similar feelings as a red in the 70s.

I was born and lived in the US ’til the age of eight when my parents returned to their home town of Manchester in 1972. I attended primary school at Acacias in Burnage where virtually everyone was a blue. It was a bit of a culture shock coming from a school where everyone was a Miami Dolphins fan to one where you were either a blue or a red and the playground was full of chants such as “Georgie Best, superstar, wears woman’s knickers and a frilly bra”! The first match I ever went to was in ’73 to watch City. The only thing I can remember from the game was the sight of Rodney Marsh with his stylish sideburns. How I became a red is a bit of a mystery, as besides being surrounded by blues in Burnage and City being the better team at the time, my Dad was an armchair blue as well – I think it must have been sheer perversity on my part. The second game I ever went to was also a City game, but this time at Old Trafford in the ’74 league cup encounter when United were in the 2nd division and by now I was a committed red.

I started going to every home game from then on and greatly enjoyed United’s push for the title in 75-76 but I remember an experience many City fans can probably relate to. About two-thirds into the season United were playing West Ham at OT with a win being vital to keep up in the title chase and it was duly gained in a superb 4-0 win. I remember getting the bus home eagerly anticipating reading the Pink and Sunday papers only to find our thunder totally stolen by City winning the League Cup – hardly a mention of United anywhere. From then on things got worse; despite winning the FA Cup in 77, City increasingly became the dominant team with all the flash players while we were stuck with Dave Sexton’s boring lot. City’s attendences were catching up with United’s and with the success of the Junior Blues many predicted that City would end up with more supporters in a number of years. I recall coming home from school in ’78 wishing that I was a City fan instead of a red but of course once you start supporting a team there’s no way out as I’m sure you’ve found. At that time City were the brave new face of football with United living on past Busby memories. It’s suprising that the chairman at the time when City seemed to be the most forward-thinking club was none other than Swales. Things started to change at the start of the eighties and I won’t remind you of Allison’s single-handed destruction of the club with Swales’ compliance.

I seem to have rambled on far more than I intended but the point is that United have been in a similar position as yourselves and I’m sure that City are a big enough club that your day in the sun is bound to come and although you might not like to hear it I do have a fair amount of sympathy for you blues. Though I’m sure as soon as you start to provide a bit more opposition in derby games those feelings will quickly disappear! Can we also have less of these “You don’t come from Manchester” chants as well, as I’m sure most blues must realise (from the ribbings they get at work if nothing else) that there are as many red Mancunians as blue and that a healthy rivalry within a city is much better than supporting a team in a one-horse town such as Newcastle or Leeds. Anyway, keep up your good work on the Internet and I hope you stay up this season.

Mike McDonagh


6th round (quarter-final) results

Man Utd          (1) 2 - 0 (0)  QPR
Everton          (0) 1 - 0 (0)  Newcastle
Liverpool        (1) 1 - 2 (1)  Tottenham
Crystal Palace   (0) 1 - 1 (0)  Wolves


Mar 11, 1995   Chelsea         - Leeds            0 - 3
               Coventry        - Blackburn        1 - 1
               Leicester       - Nottingham       2 - 4
               West_Ham        - Norwich          2 - 2
               Sheffield_W     - Wimbledon        0 - 1

Total Mar 11, 1995

Blackburn       33    22   7   4    68  -  28    73
Manchester_U    32    21   6   5    63  -  22    69
Newcastle       32    17   9   6    54  -  33    60
Liverpool       29    15   9   5    50  -  23    54
Nottingham      33    15   9   9    50  -  38    54
Tottenham       30    13   8   9    51  -  42    47
Leeds           30    12  10   8    38  -  29    46
Sheffield_W     33    11  10  12    40  -  41    43
Wimbledon       32    12   6  14    37  -  54    42
Arsenal         32    10  10  12    36  -  36    40
Chelsea         31    10  10  11    39  -  43    40
Coventry        33     9  13  11    34  -  48    40
Aston_Villa     33     9  12  12    46  -  46    39
Norwich         32     9  12  11    30  -  36    39
Queen's_PR      29    10   8  11    45  -  47    38
Manchester_C    31     9  10  12    39  -  47    37
Everton         32     8  11  13    33  -  43    35
West_Ham        32     9   6  17    30  -  43    33
Southampton     29     6  14   9    40  -  46    32
Crystal_Palace  30     7  10  13    21  -  31    31
Ipswich         32     6   5  21    31  -  72    23
Leicester       32     4   9  19    35  -  62    21

With thanks to Riku Soininen


Thanks to Paul, David, Mike, Roger, Adam, Alan, Martin, Jeremy & Sean.

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 #62