Newsletter #90

The big news in this issue is the imminent if not completed(?) departure of Niall Quinn to Sporting Lisbon, a move which will hopefully revitalise his career. I guess many people will have mixed feelings on this development; in previous MCIVTAs we’ve seen him called a ‘donkey’ by some and a ‘class player’ by others. I don’t think his commitment to the club or his character could ever be faulted but I think that lately his mind has probably been elsewhere. It’s been claimed that he hasn’t been the same player since his injury but I remain unconvinced by that argument as he has put in one or two excellent performances. What is clear is that Rösler is always going to be preferred to him and the fact that the club is willing to let him go probably means that the new regime(?) don’t number him in their plans. Whatever the outcome, I personally wish him all the best and thank him for being a 100% Blue.

After the opinions on goalies, Paul is now soliciting your views on full backs, though not on all the players who’ve appeared in that position e.g. not John Foster who is really a central defender. So, let’s hear what you think of the them and help improve the WWW in the process.

We also have another Why Blue, this time from David Bradbury 2! as well as some interesting thoughts on the mysterious Mr X who haunts the manager’s office at Maine Road and advises Frannie on who, and who not to buy!


Bolton have just beaten Reading in the Division 1 play-off, 4-3 after extra time. The side showed some remarkably City-like qualities, emphasizing the suitability of Rioch and Todd as candidates for the City job: Bolton played very poorly in the first half, and with the aid of some sloppy defending, went 2-0 down after 12 minutes. Reading then missed a penalty after a reckless challenge by McAteer before half time. Strong words must have been spoken during the break as Bolton looked a different side, taking the game to Reading. They got back into the game on 75 minutes and scored the equaliser on the break with only 7 minutes to go. McAteer’s amazing fitness and stamina really showed in extra time, where he set up the 3rd Bolton goal with a great run. The fourth came in the last minute of extra time, after which Reading got their 3rd goal.

After the game, Bruce Rioch refused to comment on whether or not he would be at Bolton next season. I expect there will be an announcement next week.

Meanwhile, Niall Quinn has flown to Lisbon to discuss personal terms with Sporting Club. The clubs are believed to have agreed a fee of 1.5 million and the Portugese club are rumoured to have offered Quinn a deal worth 7,000 pounds per week.

Paul Howarth (
Stewart Lucas (


Quinn all but gone if we are to believe Teletext, Radio & papers; c1.5m, + a 7k a week deal on a 3 year contract for Niall. Guess that will set him up for life with his racehorses when he retires. I for one am very sorry to see him go; pleased that he has gone abroad, rather than to a Premiership rival, and wish him all the best for the future (especially if Sporting Lisbon are in next season’s UEFA Cup and come up against those people up the road). I am increasingly getting the impression that Niall wanted to leave Maine Road and that his solo lap of honour after the QPR match was his farewell to the fans.

Bruce Rioch hotly tipped to be going to Arsenal; he’s been very tight-lipped since yesterday’s brilliant play-off final but there have been further mutterings about his family’s desire to be back in Hertfordshire where the family home is. I’m keeping my fingers crossed but not with much hope. Why do we always come off second best? If I ever find that little b****** who is alleged to have changed Joe Royle’s mind about leaving Oldham for Maine Road, I’ll wring his bloody neck for him.

Jeremy Poynton ( or


In an interview on local Radio (I think), Lee has said that he hopes to be able to make an anouncement concerning the new manager by the end of the week.

Dave C. Bradbury (


According to today’s MEN Niall Quinn has signed for Sporting Lisbon for a reported £1.7 million. It was also stated in the same article that the transfer of Maurizio Gaudino would be completed this week for a fee of around £1 million. Sounds like good business to me. We get rid of donkey Quinn and get a classy midfielder in to boot. Some good news from the Academy at last.

Andrew Mitchell (A.G.Mitchell@ITI.Salford.AC.UK)


There is growing speculation today that George Graham is going to be the new manager of Manchester City. Apparently Franny has made a personal enquiry about Celtic midfielder John Collins. The word is that he was carrying out instructions from the new boss to be. With Bruce Rioch poised to join Arsenal (unfortunately) because he wants to be closer to his family who live only 3 miles away from the Gunners training ground, the rumours keep on coming. My guess is that a major announcement is imminent (possibly the end of this week).

Dave Ward (


There is heavy speculation today that Bruce Rioch will be the next Arsenal manager. He said yesterday that he is homesick after 3 years in the north; the family home is in Hertfordshire. Colin Todd, interviewed on Radio Five this morning, seemed to have no idea what Rioch’s plans were, although he said that they’d planned the pre-season together. My guess is that Rioch will join Arsenal and Todd will remain as Bolton manager.

Paul Howarth (
John Shearer (


Having followed MCIVTA since the first issue, I have compiled a number of interesting last words from the contributors to the mailing list. They are (comments are mine):

Come on you blues
(Make my day)
Here’s hoping
(We all did a lot of this through the season)
(The most common, though we do not have too much to cheer on the results front)
True Blues
(and so are our weekends – truly blue)
Up the Blues
(Also see ‘Here’s hoping’)

and the most appropriate for the season is, I think:

Be Blue
(aren’t we already? It could have been worse if we had been relegated)

I love being a Blue,

Nizam (


So Brian Horton’s gone… well whilst City look for a new manager, spare a thought for us Altrincham fans (GMVC)… our club is looking for a new buyer! Our chairman has done a runner and sold his majority shareholding and if we don’t get a new buyer before early June, the club will fold. I’ve heard that Peter Swales might be interested… after all, he rescued us in the early ’60s. I don’t care who it is as long as we’ve got a club next season!

Paul Burton (


Well I can’t say I’m heartbroken that big Niall is moving away from Maine Road. I think that ever since his injury last season he hasn’t really played that well. His lack of pace is frightening and occasionally he doesn’t seem to care what happens. When we played Everton away this season he didn’t chase any balls at all and you really had to question his commitment. He has been a good servant to the club over the last 5 years but I think that it’s time he moved on.

James Fleming (


Judging by all the speculation and transfer comings and goings it looks as if the identity of the next manager of City is known to the board and a blackout has been introduced in order to make the move as smooth as possible. What’s the evidence for this:

  1. The bookies are not taking bets, and haven’t been ever since BH was shownthe door. Given that this is an industry which usually leaps at the chance ofmaking money, this seems an odd thing to do.
  2. If, as promised, the new man (let’s call him Mr X) is a big name then surelyhe would not tolerate the boardroom interference which is the permanentsigning of Dino 😎 and the sale of Quinn 8-(. This would suggest that Mr X isalready in charge, albeit unofficially.
  3. Mr X is currently with another club involved either with the playoffs, oris manager of an overseas club whose season has yet to finish. If Mr X isalready at the club or on the dole then why delay the announcement?

Looks logical all this doesn’t it? Watch the reality turn out to be completely different…

Dave C. Bradbury (


On the transfer front, it was mentioned in the press last week that Adie Mike and Andy Hill have rejected new contracts. It has also been suggested that Fitzroy Simpson, Martyn Margetson and Ian Brightwell will reject new contract offers. Good riddance to bad rubbish methinks. With the money these transfers will bring in (it will obviously not be much) and a bit extra from our generous benefactor Mr Lee (maybe not) how about the purchase of these players to strenghen our squad:

Lee Clark (Newcastle)
Looked impressive when I saw him play atMaine Road last season. If we lose Flitcroft to Blackburn andCo. as is expected, he would make a worthy replacement. He hasrejected a new contract offer from Newcastle so should beavailable for around £2 million.
Nigel Martyn (Crystal Palace)
Surely a candidate for anEngland place? He almost managed to keep Palace up on hisown last season much like Coton did for us the season before.We obviously need a new goalie with Coton’s dodgy Knees & back.Martyn will almost definitely be on his way during the summer toremain in the top flight. There will be a host of big clubsafter him so the asking price will probably be in excess of£2 million if Palace decide to sell him.
Lee Dixon (Arsenal)
A massive City fan, Dixon used to be aseason ticket holder. Arsenal probably wouldn’t sell him butit’s worth a try (and we can always dream); value £2.5 million?

So assuming we get £2 million for the rubbish we clear out in the summer (this is perhaps optimistic) and the £700,000 left from Quinn’s sale after we have bought Gaudino, Franny would only have to stump up around £3 million. The bloke’s minted, he can surely afford that? He could sell a few of his racehorses or something.

Andrew Mitchell (A.G.Mitchell@ITI.Salford.AC.UK)


As a 22 year old I obviously can’t recall City having any real success; until last season I’d known no other chairman than Swales! So as you can guess, it was family tradition and the fact that I was born in Didsbury, South M/Cr that meant I was a Blue from day one. Shamefully, I can’t remember the first game I went to; for some reason I do remember vividly the walk across Platt Fields with my dad but not the game. I would have been about 7 or 8. I still walk to Maine Road across the park, it’s one of my favourite parts of match day. There’s something really special about that approach to the ground, everyone walking together with the noise of the tannoy and crowd in the distance.

The first great game I remember wasn’t all that long ago, the 5-1 promotion clincher against Charlton Athletic. I was with my dad and my brother in the North Stand. I remember a bit of a pitch invasion and sulking because my dad wouldn’t let me go down. I never saw that many games as a kid because my dad was never that bothered about going and we moved to Matlock in Derbyshire in 1979.

My childhood heroes were Paul Power and Joe Corrigan, plus Trevor Francis while he was there. After a few years in the wilderness I have now been watching City for the last three years. I was always a devout Kippaxer but this season had a season ticket in the North Stand block N, which has been alright. I get to a few away matches but don’t make the best of choices, i.e. Cardiff, Barnet, Crystal Palace, all a bastard to get to and really bad games. I’ve been to the odd good one though, I enjoy the atmosphere at the swamp even if the scoreline is a letdown.

As for the future, well let’s hope for the best, with Franny in charge things could be a lot worse. I’ll leave you with a good quote I read about the Blues; it’s from the Guardian and was recalled by the editor of ‘Electric Blue’ fanzine:

“Has there ever been a club quite like Manchester City? Managers and players come and go, styles change and tactics alter, but they remain true to a tradition of eccentricity that has endeared, infuriated and baffled in turn.”

I think that pretty much sums it up,

Dave Bradbury (


After quite a few responses to the request for opinions on goalies, it’s now time to move on to the defence (I’ll try to get the WWW updated for the goalies in the next week or two). Since there are a lot of defenders currently on the club’s books, I think it’s best to go for just the full backs first. So, your opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of Andy Hill, Terry Phelan, Richard Edghill, Ian Brightwell and Rae Ingram please (I know there are other players who can play full-back; we’ll get to them later!).

Paul Howarth (

Please send opinions to me first for inclusion in MCIVTA



Thanks to Dave (x3), James, Nizam, Paul (x2), Jeremy, John, Stewart & Andrew.

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 #90