Newsletter #93

The manager speculation continues apace but still no sign of anything concrete from the Academy! The longer this continues, the more worrying it becomes. Firstly, it fosters a sense of insecurity and a growing fear that we just can’t find a decent manager and secondly, as the close season passes by, decent players are bought up whilst we stand idly by. I really hope that something happens this week. If it’s really true that City are approaching another club then maybe the manager has already been identified but it now has to be made official? The name Brian Kidd springs to mind.

The Quinn transfer is now off, apparently. Several articles in this issue state that a loyalty bonus appears to have been the stumbling block; however, on BBC Prime teletext this morning it stated that the 300k owed to Quinn was due to a clause stipulating that City have to pay him this much if he is sold to a foreign club. If this is correct then no wonder City are hesitating as it would be just throwing money away, especially as other English clubs are reported to be interested at the same price.

We have another Why Blue, some more opinion on the full backs and a bit on Niall Quinn from me!


Sky News reported this morning (Tuesday 6th) that Sporting Lisbon have decided not to buy Niall Quinn due to ‘contractual differences’.

Andrew Conway (
Kevin Hopkins (K.Hopkins@Cs.Nott.AC.UK)
Darren Burke (


Sporting Lisbon have pulled out of the Quinn transfer deal, apparently because City are refusing to pay the 300,000 pounds loyalty bonus owed to Quinn under the terms of his contract (remember Quinn didn’t ask for a transfer).

Rumour has it that City have their sights set on a current Premiership manager and are due to approach his club for permission to speak to him today. If all goes well there should be an announcement on Friday, so the rumour goes.

Paul Howarth (


It now appears as though Quinn’s transfer to Sporting Lisbon has fallen through. And it appears as though the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of the Maine Road management!!

Quinn had agreed his personal terms, passed his medical and was about to finally put pen to paper, when he came against an immovable object called the management. As earlier reported, Quinn was owed some money; as to whether it was his signing on fee or a form of loyalty bonus that is in some doubt, and as it turned out this has been the stumbling block.

Sporting have faxed City telling them the deal had been nullified. Reports in the Portugese press state that the deal fell through because of contractual difficulties at City. It appears as though City were unwilling to give Niall a cut of the transfer fee, somewhere in the region of 300k, to act as his ‘loyalty bonus’. So City can now wave goodbye to at least 1.5 M coming into the club’s coffers. Who now puts up the money for any dealings on the transfer market? Why have the club been so reluctant to give money to Quinn which he was (legally?) due?

Martin Ford (


Ceefax has reported that Flitcroft is undecided as to whether to sign a new contract, because he wants to be sure that the Club’s ambition matches his own.

To match his ambition the club would have to reinstate Swales and then appoint Bernard Manning as first team coach and manager. For a player with average skills he certainly has a very big mouth. Maybe he should get together with Phelan to form a self appreciation society!!!

Adam Houghton (


I may just have the singular honour of being one of the last City fans to see Niall Quinn playing whilst still a Manchester City player. This is however, about the only honour which can realistically be attributed to Saturday’s game, an unbelievable 0-0 draw for Ireland in Liechtenstein. What can I say? Well, the backdrop was pretty impressive (Alps) but not much else. The ground was about Beazer Homes League standard and had an amusing hoarding telling fans what they couldn’t bring in! This included such workaday items as bicycle chains, one handed knives (presumable machetes were OK as they are two-handed?) and rocket launchers though it didn’t say whether these were of the hand-held or shoulder-launched variety.

The play was somewhat one-sided; in fact, I would say that this was the most one sided game I have ever witnessed or am likely to witness. Things started brightly with two shots hitting the bar, two very good saves from the pint-sized Lichtensteiner goalie and Quinny having a totally free header which he aimed straight at said goalie, all in the first 7 mins! I was of course primarily there to say goodbye to big Niall and maybe get a look at Alan Kernaghan should he have got a game. Quinn looked jaded, he frequently got beaten by the big centre half who man marked him and when he did win the ball his control was abysmal. He was substituted shortly after half time and was replaced by Cascarino who looked a whole class better, winning almost all balls put into him, controlling and laying off the ball smoothly. Despite a bombardment of proportions which current USAAF generals like to call ‘overwhelming force’, the ball never went in, except that is for one of the most blatant handballs of all time from Aldridge who double palmed the ball into the net in volleyball fashion!

So it was disappointing all round, a lacklustre Niall, no goals, and Aldridge failing to call the linesman a ‘***king cheating **nt’ in his melodious scouse accent! What I’ll remember this game chiefly for were the free programmes, the Birmingham City fan stood next to me who cursed throughout like a manic Jasper Carrott, and the hordes of good natured men in green.



Guardian this morning reports the following managerial chit-chat; basically it’s enough to make grown men weep … (and probably women too, although in my experience they are invariably tougher than us anyway).

  • Rioch has not applied for the ‘Maine Road hotseat’. (Sunspeak)
  • An approach has been made to Julio Iglesias, famed MOR singer, medallion man and current coach of Deportivo La Coruña.
  • Howard Kendall may be asked to return (now this is where my Monday morning really starts to fall to pieces … What will we be this time round? Still his mistress? Maybe his rent boy?)
  • Because of our 11.5m pound debts (Thanks Wiggy old pal), an internal panel will take over the managerial rôle, maybe consisting of Lee, Booky, Belly and Summerbee …

No. The above was not a bad dream …

Jeremy Poynton ( or


I see that the respectable broadsheet nespaper known as the Guardian has City left with 3 managerial possibilities…

  1. Howard Kendall – this is probably a joke made up by Mr ‘Judas’ himself.
  2. Lee, Bell, Summerbee partnership – Won’t work, Lee might be there because of his hands-on management style… but I think Bell would be better suited to the Youth Development side of the club… as for Summerbee (my selection as 3rd choice manager)
  3. Arsenal Inglesias (sp ๐Ÿ™‚ ) the present manager of Deportivo – now this is a good one… his abilty to produce a championship challenging team (and to sustain it) from a group of unknown players is well recorded…

I don’t know who’ll get it but why is there still no book open from the bookies? Come on City get it sorted out!

Jim Walsh (


According to The Guardian, Arsenio Iglesias, the coach of Deportivo La Coruña, has been offered the City job. La Coruña have just beeen pipped for the Spanish title for the last two years – first by Barcelona, then last Sunday by Real Madrid. The Guardian also reported that Howard Kendall was in the running (surely that’s a late April Fool?) as well as an all-star management squad of Bell, Summerbee and Book. Ray Ranson has taken over as Player manager of Northern Premier League side Witton Albion, so, that’s him out of the running.

Andrew Geddes (


Today’s Guardian reports that City will have a new manager by the end of the week, and will be one of the following:

Arsenio Iglesias
Coach of Deportivo (who have done well in the Spanish league and knocked Villa out of Europe a year or two ago)
Howard Kendall
According to the report he is the favoured choice of Lee’sconfidantes 8-((
A management team of Lee, Book, Bell and Summerbee.

If you ask me “Arsenio’s Blue and White Army” sounds like such a good chant and I don’t know how we can consider anyone else ๐Ÿ˜‰

David C Bradbury (


Depending upon which Sunday paper you read, there are now three major players vying for the manager’s position.

We’ve still got the old favourites of Rioch and Graham, being suggested in reports about them becoming the manager. However, another candidate has arisen, which could break the mould at Maine Road. The man being suggested is Arsenio Inglesias, current coach at Deportivo La Coruña. He’s turned Deportivo into a force in the Spanish league and they have finished runners-up to Real Madrid this season, ahead of Barcelona which is no mean feat. The reason he might be interested in the manager’s position at the Academy is that he’s fallen out with Deportivo’s owner. The article reported that he’s been to Maine Road and was impressed with the ground and training facilities! If he accepts the job, then one of my thoughts about Franny’s involvment might come true. Inglesias will be given command of team selection and tactics, whilst Franny will manage team affairs such as contract negoiations, so he’ll definitely be involed with the team somehow!!!

Personally I think a continental manager would be good for the club, he’d bring a fresh and hopefully different approach to the team, and just think the style might bring a trophy!!!

Martin Ford (


Colin Barlow is now denying reports about City wanting to acquire Arsenio Inglesias as their manager. He is quoted as saying “I can promise you categorically that Senor Inglesias will not be on the payroll at Maine Road next season… in any capacity”

<Cynicism On> That sounds just like a vote of confidence from the board for a struggling manager!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ <Cynicism Off>

He has hinted though that City may announce their decision next weekend. He says that City have to approach the prospective manager’s club first to get permission to speak to him and thus avoid charges of poaching. They intend to do that in the next few days. So it sounds like City want an experienced Premiership manager, so that throws the whole issue wide open again.

I think you can count out the following: Rovers, Liverpool, Everton, Man U, Villa, QPR, Arsenal, Chelsea, M’boro along with Wednesday and City (currently managerless), so who does that leave the door open for?

Two names come back into the fray, Kinnear and Atkinson!!!!

What do you think? I just hope it gets settled soon, the whole thing is just getting more and more strung out.

Martin Ford (


It seems that the workman have stopped work on the new Kippax stand because FL owes tham quite a considerable amount of money. The rumoured amount is 600,000 pounds and that he is waiting for the money off Sky before he pays them.

Matthew McCurrie (


The ‘People’ newspaper today (4th June) said that Arsenio Iglesias was being lined up as our new manager. I posted a quuery on and received the following reply…


Well, Arsenio is an old time player who became a coach about twenty five years ago for Deportivo, sort of an emergency thing when they fired the previous one. I’m not sure how well he did, but I think Depor got a new coach the next season. After that, Arsenio became sort of the replacement coach for Deportivo every time they needed a replacement. I’m not sure if he ever coached other teams as well; he probably did, but maybe someone more knowledgeable can tell you for sure.

Anyway, in the 91/92 season in Spain, Deportivo had just been promoted to the first division and were coached by Marco Boronat. The season went pretty badly for them, despite having a fairly competitive team. Close to the end of the year, Boronat was fired and replaced with Arsenio. Deportivo entered the “promocion”, which is what teams in Spain do when they end up 17th or 18th in the 20 team league. It entails playing a two game series (like European cups) with the third or fourth placed team in the 2nd division, the winner going to first division and the loser to second division. Deportivo played against Betis, which was a fairly decent team at the time, and beat them, coached by Arsenio.

The following season, Deportivo kept Arsenio as the coach and signed players like Bebeto, Mauro Silva, Aldana and Nando, and had players like Fran and Djukic left over from the last season. Since then, Deportivo has competed with Madrid and Barcelona during the last three years for the league title.

Arsenio is a fairly defensive coach. He plays a 5-3-2 with two markers and a sweeper, two offensive full back-wingers, three midfielders and two forwards. Deportivo plays mainly counter attack, based on a good defense and skillful attacking players.

Recently, Arsenio has been criticized for playing excessively defensively, when he has one of the best teams in Spain (if not in Europe) at his disposal. I tend to think that this criticism is unfair. I would compare Arsenio’s style to coaches like Luis Aragones or John Toshack, who play defensively but without renouncing their teams’ attacking potential, like Javier Clemente does, for example.

Hope this helps. Arsenio is a very good coach, and I’m sure he’ll do great for Manchester City if he decides to take the job.

Mike Brierley (


As a Blue living in Glasgow I hardly ever get the chance to contribute to the pages of MCIVTA, due to the fact that I haven’t been to Maine Road in years, but I do get the chance to observe that unique game, Scottish Football, so I thought some of you may be interested in what’s happening North of the border, especially if there is a City connection.

Current rumour flying around town at the moment is that Celtic player John Collins may be going to Maine Road. I don’t know how true it is but in my opinion City could make the signing of the year. Collins is a supremly talented individual capable of flashes of footballing genius, who has been wasted at Parkhead. Watch this space.

The other item of interest is the imminent arrival of the Fat Geordie Boy at Ibrox. I wonder if Glasgow is ready for Gazza, as for the other way around, Gazza was quoted as saying that he has no worries about living near here, We shall see. I could just picture him on a Saturday night in some of our famous nightspots, with Minders et. al. He may have had some trouble in Newcastle but believe me, up here the locals take their ‘Fitba’ a tad more seriously. I’m sure that if he turns out to be a liability David Murray will manage to sell him on to a willing English club, just like Duncan Disorderly. Franny please don’t!

That’s all for now, but if anyone is interested (Ashley take note) I would be happy to write about the Scottish Scene when and if there is any interesting news, it gives me something to do at work.

Stefan Franczuk (


After their capture of Ruud Gullit, from Sampdoria, Chelsea have tabled a 7 million pound bid for Inter Milan’s unsettled striker, Denis Bergkamp. This move could end the Dutch star’s disastrous spell in Italy but one wonders whether Chelsea is a step up, or a step down in the ranks for Bergkamp (if Wise can be kept out of jail, then there is a chance that Bergkamp might get some decent ball to show us what he is really made of!!) Part of the story behind Guillit’s move to Chelsea is Glenn Hoddle’s promise to play him in his favourite rôle… as sweeper!!! This is the position that he seemingly started out in as a schoolboy; his first club decided to transform him into a centre forward (why can’t City find a manager to find someone like that!?!). He is reported to be on a £15,000-per-week wage, which Chelsea have agreed to maintain (there are conflicting views on this point!).

Shane Kelly (


As I used to live in Sale Moor, and got to know most of the ‘yoofs’ in the area, I befriended Tony Book’s son for obvious reasons and when speaking to TB junior on Friday (always a good source for gossip) he informed me that his ‘ol fella’ knows nowt about the vacant post at City. It sounds as though Frannie and the boys can’t decide who to put in charge since Rioch’s staying put along with a whole host of other hopefuls. Personally I don’t mind who we get, as long as his surname isn’t Who?

Tony Shaw (


Having now heard the confirmed news that Niall has gone to Sporting Lisbon for £1.5M, I thought I’d add my two-pennys worth to the numerous views that are likely to be expressed in MCIVTA. I, like many thousands(!) of City fans am one of those who was never quite sure if Niall was an asset or a liability to the club. On the positive side, he is a reasonably skilful footballer whose ‘Donkey’ tag was rarely warranted. True, he probably scored more goals with his head than either of his feet, but his touch on the deck and general all-round game were vastly underrated and were seen to improve during his time at Maine Road. However, it cannot be ignored that his presence in the team always lead to a certain style of play(!) which although sometimes effective, was hardly pretty to watch. Kendall, and more noteably Reid/Ellis seemed to base their entire playing strategy around Niall which although I’m sure flattered the big man, didn’t really help the long term team effort (i.e. we never looked like winning anything playing the long ball game).

It also seems more than a coincidence that this term’s mid-season decline occured almost exactly the same time as Niall’s return from injury and Brian’s subsequent team-tinkering. Uwe and Walshy had an excellent partnership up front which all seemed to go wrong when Brian brought Niall back into the team. I can appreciate that when you’ve only got three internationals in the squad it’s hard to leave one on the bench but at the same time there did seem a case for the old cliché of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

In summary, although I have a lot of respect for Niall Quinn, I do not see it as such a bad thing that he has gone. I would however ask the following questions (to which replies are warmly welcomed)…

  1. With Niall being sold in the close-season at a time when we are manager-less, who is calling the shots at Maine Road at the moment i.e. is Franny going to be the first (official) Chairman/Manager?
  2. Would the permanent signing of Dino (now rumoured to be imminent) be a worthwhile investment of Niall’s transfer fee (given the former’s indifferent form duirng his loan period at the Academy)?
  3. Will A Question of Sport ever be the same without Niall’s eloquent performances (or will the BBC fly him in especially for the shows)?

Mark Leibling (


What is going on at Maine Road these days? For years we’ve all been p***ed off with Swales’ lack of ambition and pussy-footing around, but i don’t really think too much has changed. We know success doesn’t come overnight and getting Franny in was a step in the right direction but there still seems to be this laid back attitude. By rights City should have had the Gaudino deal completed, the manager installed, the Quinn deal sorted out (which incidentally was yet another farce because City didn’t get their arses into gear) and we should also be putting in bids for the top players like Bergkamp, Collymore etc. etc. Flitty isn’t too happy either and with him publicly announcing his discontent, it leads me to believe that he is not the only player that feels this way.

If Franny isn’t careful then his dream could well come crashing down, and we could well end up playing the likes of Birmingham. After a heavy night on the ale it would please me to wake up (just once) and read some good, ambitious news about the Blues. Now what a great cure for a hangover eh!!!

Dave Ward (


I was 10 years old and had just arrived in Manchester from Brazil. My father told me that we were going to watch a very special match between two great teams from Manchester and that this game was like the Fla x Flu (Flamengo vs. Fluminense) one, Brazil’s most important and best known game, a real classic. Everybody told me that I should support U… , because they were the best team and all that kind of stuff, but my identification with City was immediate, and the final result was 4-1 to City. Since then I’ve been Blue!!!!!!

Best wishes for all Blues fans

Alberto Blois (


Andy Hill
His commitment in a game can never be questioned but his skill definitelycan. Arrived at the club as a bargain basement buy and was part of afairly effective defence in the Reid and Ellis days. He has never been anattacking full back but this is due to his lack of pace. However, in recentseasons he has missed the majority of games due to injury, and it now looksas though his Premiership days are numbered!!
Terry “Pit Bull” Phelan
I remember when Reid signed him Johan Cruyff described him as the bestattacking full back in Europe. On that point I was not disappointed, buthe is definitely not the best defending full back in Europe. Some of hisruns down the park have been memorable (such as the Spurs game) but moreoften then not he makes runs down the wing and loses the ball, at which pointthe opposition takes full advantage of the space made by the absence ofPhelan. Phelan also seems to have illusions of grandeur, expecting Cityto give him whatever contract he wants, and when they didn’t he went on thetransfer list expecting all the big clubs to be screaming for him… wellhe’s still there!!!!
Richard Edghill
A good prospect for the future, but definitely needs more experience and alittle bit more strength. A fairly solid, if sometimes unremarkable,defender he sometimes has problems distributing the ball around the park,especially when crossing. However, since his comeback from injury it hasbeen noticable that he is getting better and hopefully this will continue.It seems he is capable of playing at both left and right back and for thisreason is a good player to have in the squad, but at the moment not thefirst team.
Ian Brightwell (I just wellied it!)
I doubt very much whether Brightwell is a full back at all, and having seenhim in action in this position I’m positive that he’s not a full back. Heseems to have got himself into a rut where every manager uses him as a stopgap for other injured players. I’m sure that he would serve the team muchbetter as an anchor man in midfield.
Rae Ingram
I can’t say I’ve seen much of him, but when I’ve seen him playing he hasbeen steady but not much else.

In conclusion I think one of the biggest gaps in the City team this season has been the full back positions, and on occasions I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Tony Book putting his boots on. In my opinion the new manager (if we ever get one) needs to seriously look at filling both of these positions with quality, experienced players.

Adam Houghton (


Thanks to Alberto, Tony, Mark, Shane, Mike, Macca, Jeremy, Stefan, Jim, Andrew (x2), David (x2), Martin, Adam, Paul, Kevin & Darren.

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 #93