Newsletter #94

There’s been some activity on the managerial front as well as in the transfer market, a slight problem is that none of this involves Manchester City Football Club! Nervousness amongst the masses begins to manifest itself as we wonder whether we’ll ever get a new manager or whether we’ll perhaps get one, but he’ll arrive 3 days before the new season and be given only £250 to improve the squad.

We’ve still got quite a bit of news, some opinion and another Why Blue, this time from New Zealand; at least it’s something to keep us happy while we wait!

I’m not in work tomorrow afternoon and have a pretty hectic morning so that’s why MCIVTA is appearing today, even though it’s not over-full. This means that the only way there will be an issue tomorrow is if City get a new manager and that it’s announced before 12.30pm (UK time). Here’s hoping…


John Foster dislocated his shoulder whilst in training with the England Under-21 squad on Tuesday and will therefore miss the European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Lavia on Wednesday at Turf Moor, Burnley.

Paul Howarth (
Catherine Yeo (


Today’s Electronic Telegraph reports that two Sporting Lisbon directors were believed to be in Manchester last night for talks about restarting Niall Quinn’s transfer.

Kevin Hopkins (K.Hopkins@Cs.Nott.AC.UK)


Speculation on a large scale today (Thursday) in the tabloids that City have formally asked the rags if they can talk to Brian Kidd. It is also understood that Franny has a short list of 3 names; Kidd, Graham and Rioch (in that order). I personally can’t make up my mind if he is the right man for the job or not. If it was me i’d be more inclined to go for one of the established big names rather than someone who has yet to prove himself (as a manager in his own right).

News also that big Niall could still be on his way to Portugal to join Bobby Robson’s FC Porto. Let’s hope it works out for him this time. He may be on the decline as far as his footballing talent goes, but he always ‘tried’ to do his best for us (during good and bad times). Come on City give him a break! Hopefully the management side of things will be sorted out soon so we can sign some players while there is still some of the closed season left? That’s of course assuming that the Geordies don’t buy them all first!

Dave Ward (


Steve Coppell is returning to the loving arms of Ron Noades, so we can at least breathe a sigh of relief on that side. Anyone fancy Danny Bergara? At least he would keep up Brian’s fine tradition of deranged post-match interviews.

Jeremy Poynton ( or


Steve Coppell is now firmly out of the running for Maine Road manager of the month as he has now returned to Crystal Palace to be ‘technical director’ or something.

When Brian Kidd finally does become City manager, will there be any decent players left for him to buy? Come on Kiddo, just tell the Rags to get lost and make the move to a team who are on the up and not the decline.

Andrew Conway (


Oasis lovers out there might like to know that they are playing an unannounced (bar their home page) pre-Glastonbury gig in Bath, on Thursday June 22nd – tickets are available (or were? I don’t know how long they will last) from their hotline, on 0800 614594. More info on their home page – URL

Unfortunately I am away, but have tickets for two happy sons, who will at least be pleased that they won’t have to be embarrassed by a grey haired old man going mental …

Jeremy Poynton ( or


Well, the latest today is that Bruce Rioch has taken the Arsenal job and Steve Coppell has returned to Crystal Palace as ‘technical director’ or some such thing. Meanwhile, Bobby Robson won’t be let free by his club and George Graham is too risky at the moment.

It’s looking increasingly like Kidd-o.

James Nash (


News just in is that Bruce Rioch has just signed as new manager… for Arsenal (yuk!). Don’t know the exact details of his contract but it’s on Reuters if anyone has access. Pleasing to see that all the big names, players and managers, are heading elsewhere while the Blues piss around mucking up simple transfer moves. When oh when will we get a new manager and who or what will it be? Still looking on the bright side at least we’re not as bad as the Japanese rugby team.

Roger Sharp – The Blue Kiwi (


As of a Press conference at Highbury at midday today, Bruce Rioch is now Arsenal manager!

Stevie Coppell is now back at Palace as a something or other which is basically a fancy term for manager as far as I can guess.

Inter Milan have been given permission to speak to Ince so it looks like he’s on his way.

Paul Thorp (


Andy Hill must think he’s a good chance of being bought soon; his house is up for sale!

Paul Howarth (


Bruce Rioch has been appointed the new Arsenal manager and Steve Coppell is the new Technical Director at Crystal Palace. Bolton are advertising their job and Colin Todd is staying, hoping to get it, though Rioch asked him to move South with him. Stewart Houston will be working with Rioch for the time being.

GMR are fuelling speculation that City are still interested in Brian Kidd.

Internazionale apparently value Paul Ince at over 9 million quid, which could explain why United are now listening to their offer. Rumour has it that Draper from Leicester is his heir apparent.

CNN report that Sporting Lisbon hope to sign Brazilian midfielder Roberto Assis and Ivorian striker Ahmed Quattara from Swiss side Sion, on three- year contracts. Lopez says they will sign next week.

The Mole


Well I see that the Daily Mirror has left us with three candidates to fill the vacant manager’s position. We have Rioch, Graham and Kidd. As Rioch has gone to Arsenal we are left with Graham and Kidd and as Graham has yet to be cleared of dodgy dealings, we are left via a process of elimination, Brian Kidd. Now the paper claims that City have made a formal approach for Kidd; this was confirmed by an insider at old nafford. As this was one of the first candidates to be named then it seems more than likely that this is the man that Lee was after, and is likely to become the next manager of Manchester City Football Club.

Jim Walsh (


Is it me, or do you all feel as though City are on the verge of major collapse? After hearing about Quinn’s failure to sign on the dotted line and the non-payment to builders over the Kippax I must admit that I’m a little worried about the cash situation at Maine Road. For years we’ve seen the financial results in the MuEN, stating a ‘healthy’ profit since the demise of Allison & Co., and we don’t go out and spend millions on our players, so where are all the readies? How do we expect to pay compensation for ‘poaching’ a new manager, let alone build a new team? I hear a price increase in MCFC Hot Dogs is on the cards, but we’ll have to sell around 18 billion if we want to make a bid for Collymore, and a further 7 million meat pies to pay for Quinn’s ‘Loyalty’ bonus. Perhaps we should be providing the board with some ideas to raise the dough. Well I’m off to phone the clubcall again, 123rd time today (thanks to my employers), so at least I can say I contributed to Flipflops hair gel allowance.

In Blue (or should that be ‘in the red’?)

Tony Shaw (


See if you can get your head round this! It might shed a little light on the Arsenio Inglesias situation. Right here goes:

On Monday evenings, S4C (Welsh version of Channel four) have a football show, called Sgorio, which features Spanish and Italian matches from the previous days. Last night’s show featured the match between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruña, which as it turned out decided the Spanish championship. All the program was in Welsh, including the commentary, so all I could understand were the players names and ‘Gol’ (sp?). Once the game was finished it became quite surreal; both coaches were interviewed in Spanish and S4C had chosen to put welsh subtitles on (quite right as well, considering I’m an Englishman watching a Welsh TV programme), so I was none the wiser about what was happening (with me so far?).

Then the presenter mentioned the name John Toshack, so I expected another interview in Welsh, possibly regarding his opinions on the Spanish league. The content was right, but the language wrong; it was held in English, so I got to hear his views. Firstly the interviewer compared his Real team that last won the championship 5 years previously, with the one that had just managed it. Toshack thought his team was better as they won with 6 games of the season left and thought his players were far better!

The interviewer then asked about his reasons for joining Deportivo!! At which I listened in with more interest. He said he wanted a more committed team that stood a better chance of winning something and was looking forward to the challenge of European cup football again!!!

Knowing that most Spanish clubs use a manager instead of a coach, does that mean the Senor Inglesias is indeed unemployed and John Toshack has taken over the reins?

Have we got any Spanish or even Welsh speaking Blues who could shed some light on the post-match interview; was Inglesias announcing his resignation?

So could the story about Inglesias becoming City’s manager have more credit to it than some thought?

Martin Ford (


The following was given to me by Simon Moore and was told to him in Liechtenstein by Niall Quinn:

Apparently, Man City were sending their reserves up to the Faroe Islands for a practice match and Dibble turns up at the airport in shorts and shades. He was very puzzled to find that the temperature in the Faroes was about -2 instead of the +30C he was expecting in Faro, Portugal!



I thought MCIVTA subscribers might be interested in this passage from “Pollen”, the second novel from Manchester cult author Jeff Noon as featured in The Net on BBC2 last Monday.

“The two of us going through a taxi-dog’s personal belongings hoping for a trace, finding nothing but trivia, the collected fare-droppings of a lonely life: biscuits crumbling and model aeroplanes dancing and cold tea solidifying in a china cup. Cheap crime novels folded open beside the single bed. Manchester City Vurtball programmes piled up in neat files. An official supporters’ club diary lying open on the dresser…… turning to the latest pages, saw the name Boda there, shut the book tight.”

Anyone recognize themselves? Great book by the way. Loads of other City and Manchester references and locations. His first novel “Vurt” was set in a flat in Rusholme Gardens, on the corner of Platt Lane and Wilmslow Road and the film rights have apparently been picked up by David Cronenberg. City go to Hollywood? Boda for manager?

Paul Monaghan (


Although I think Niall has been one of the most committed players City have had in the past few years, how long can we hold on to him for? If what was reported in the last MCIVTA is true, we’ve probably lost any chance we had of a signing a class player for next season. The price was good, the timing was right but Franny appears to have shot himself in the foot by being stingy at the wrong moment. And who could say that Niall doesn’t deserve a loyalty bonus?

I can’t see where the money to buy anyone is going to come from if we don’t shed some dead wood. Any money that is in the coffers at the moment will surely be earmarked for the mysterious Mr X, especially if he’s going to be the big name we’re hoping for. But who will he have to manage? Hopefully in three years time we won’t have an excellent manager with a team of “former greats” (eg. Wobbly-knees Coton and Big Niall).

What’s even more worrying is the bad signals that are being sent out by the club. If we can’t settle contracts and transfers with dedicated long-term players (like Quinn) and current team members (Flitcroft et. al.) and even owe the builders money, who will want to come to City?

Sorry to be so depressing, but I for one am getting pretty bloody nervous. Hopefully I’m just paranoid and Franny has signed Brian Kidd, a couple of quality players and Niall is sitting in the Lisbon sun sipping Guiness.

Andrew Inman (


With Newcastle going in and spending 10 million on Barton and Ferdinand, how are we keeping up? By trying to sell Quinn! We cannot even complete the Dino signing! How are we ever going to win anything?

Chelsea showed the way forward by signing Gullit. This shows they have ambition whereas we don’t show any. Perhaps it is the lack of a manager that is the problem? This should have been sorted out by now as we are missing out on all the big summer transfers.

We were one of the few clubs not mentioned when Gazza was available and we are not being linked with any players. This shows that the club does not have any ambitions at the moment. Perhaps Flitcroft is right to question whether the club matches his ambition? It would be a pity to lose him but he has a right to want to win things and I would wish him all the best if he left for an ambitious club (e.g. Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Everton, Liverpool, Blackburn, … etc.)

Let’s get a manager sorted quickly and let him sign a few players, or at least bid!!!

David Lamb (


I first wrote about my True Blue experience during a twelve hour stopover in Bangkok airport. Twelve hours wasn’t long enough to head into town and go through the whole passport/visa bit, so I headed to the Transit Lounge to have a few Singer beers and read something called Electric Blue (I’m sure they didn’t have this the last time I was at Maine Road).

I was feeling good about myself. I was on the return leg of the Blue equivalent of a trip to Mecca. Living in New Zealand now, I am about as far from The Kippax as you could get. When my match-going buddy and brother-in-law told me that after the Chelsea game you wouldn t be able to stand in The Kippax any more, I was distraught. My first thought was, ‘They can’t do that’, closely followed by ‘It’s only 13,000 miles why don t you go?’.

The Kippax had been a major part of my life since I was four or five. I still don’t forgive my dad for my first two games being in the Main Stand and Platt Lane (Burnley 0-0 and Birmingham 2-0, thanks Colin Bell!). I made the trip – Wellington to Auckland to Sydney to Bangkok to Heathrow, rental car to Prestwich and my parents house.

Standing on The Kippax for The Last Stand against Chelsea was probably my most haunting memory of a City game. There was a steel band in the centre playing ‘If you hate Man Utd clap your hands…..’ and many older songs that stemmed from the good old days. There was the band of Chelsea fans who came and laid a wreath on the fence of The Kippax, there was an old school mate of mine chiseling bits of stand away and giving them away to the crowd (Thanks Bomber, mine is mounted and sitting on my desk at work). Chelsea were about to play United in the Cup Final, so we were joined (I can’t bring myself to say United) with a common goal (hating ManU). Francis Lee was the boss. The whole thing was awesome.

After this game I was on an emotional high and extended my stay to take in the derby (funny that that memory is a lot easier to fade) and then Sheff Wed. for the last game of the season.

Straight after this game I headed down the motorway to Heathrow. I was having a chat to the guy sitting next to me, a rugby fan from Auckland, as we passed over somewhere we couldn’t see. He talked about the passion the Kiwis have for their Rugby and how much the All Blacks meant to the nation. I smiled. I had just traveled 26,000 miles, spent NZ$15,000 and spent most of the time trying to recover from a bout of food poisoning, to watch a team who hadn’t won a thing for 18 years.

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

Howard Pheby (


Thanks to Howard, Martin, Paul (x3), Kevin, Catherine, Tony, Andrew (x2), Dave (x2), Jeremy, James, Roger, Jim & The Mole.

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 #94