Newsletter #136

Plenty in this issue! First of all there’s another newspaper invention; apparently the whole team was up for sale but this has been refuted by AB. Secondly, and probably possessing some truth, a group of wealthy Blues have offered Frannie a £10m input providing that they get seats on the board, along with certain other unspecified measures! Lee is reportedly talking to them but I don’t really know what will come of it. Anyone with half an inkling of what goes on at Maine Road must be able to guess that the new boys will want to get rid of the aging tossers who hold shares, sit on the board and last put some money into the club in 1965. No names mentioned but most of us know who these anonymous and utterly useless (from the Club’s point of view) people are. I fear the offer will be rejected because these people will continue to hold onto power despite the fact that it would be clearly in the Club’s interest if they stood down. All speculation of course 8-).

We’ve also a neat Why Blue and a new style of article from Paul in which he lists his 10 favourite goals ‘seen’. If anyone else cares to make an offer along these lines, either Goals or Why Blues then please let me have them.

Lastly, a few of us will be meeting up in The Old Abbey near the Dental School from 1.15pm onwards before this Saturday’s game, if anyone can make it for a pint and a natter then you’re welcome.

This one goes out to 444

Next game, Leeds United at home, Saturday 21st October 1995.


GMR reported this morning (Tuesday) that several first team players are for sale. These include Niall Quinn, Terry Phelan, Richard Edghill and Peter Beagrie. Eike Immel is seeking assurances that he is still wanted; his contract is for 20 matches and he’s already played 11. With Tony Coton on his way back from injury, Immel wants to be sure that there’s still a place for him and is seeking an extension to his contract.

The Mole


There seems to have been a long running story that City (I expect in reality FHL) have been trying to reduce the number of first team players and thus the £5M wage bill. Knowing the chronic financial situation the club is in, it’s been decided that in order to strengthen the team, players must first be sold to raise capital to enable AB to enter the transfer market. In reality that seems quite a reasonable thing to do, but however it does seem strange that the latest plan as described in the Daily Star (British newspaper) suggests that upto 10 players could be up for sale, of which seven have been named, they are:

  • Niall Quinn, available for £500k (why didn’t they sell him to SportingLisbon for £1.5M during the summer, or was that too simple. Another classic City story!!!)
  • Terry Phelan, £1 Million
  • Alan Kernaghan, £500k
  • Peter Beagrie, £750k (weren’t Celtic reportedly after him in the summer for £1M+?
  • Richard Edghill, no price quoted
  • Michel Vonk, £500k
  • Andy Dibble, £250k

It’s been suggested that the selling of these players is to try to make sure that Rösler and Flipper are not sold to raise money. These are all experienced players, but if they all go who will be used in the case of injury? These 7 players might raise about £5 million, so how is AB going to strengthen the team? How many of the necessaey quality players can he buy for £5 Million? At the very maximum three, so that will still leaves a shortfall in the squad? Is this the right way to go about strengthening the squad, leaving the squad short of experienced cover? Would it be easier to replace 2 players?

Mind you as usual this is all newspaper speculation, so how much is true and how much is guesswork we don’t know.

Other news.

It appears as if Eike Immel was initially signed on a 20 match contract, so with 11 matches gone are City going to offer him a longer contract or discard him? He would like to stay for at least a season and longer if possible. We all knew Eike was going to be a stop-gap until TC recovered, but surely if Dibs is going to be released there’s no harm in keeping a very experienced goalie!

Martin Ford (


Ball has just announced that he’s put the whole squad on the transfer list, stating that they are useless, wants a new team and has no money in the kitty. What a fool – no one wants to buy players from the bottom team, it devalues the two who may bring in some money i.e. Rösler and Flipper, and it will of course knock the motivation/confidence of the team whilst we hang around for months waiting for clubs to sign them. Will they play any better under these circumstances? Come on Franny admit the horror and sack Ball.

Daniel Berger (


Teletext is now reporting that the entire first team squad is up for sale, in a bid to raise money. Is this ludicrous or what?

The Mole
Dan Rigby (


Alan Ball is said to be “furious” about the reports circulating that the whole squad is up for sale. The situation is that the board are not able to make any new money available for transfers so he’ll have to sell before he can buy (nothing new there). Ball’s prepared to listen to any offers that come in, but he claims not to have received a single enquiry in the last two weeks. With Uwe signing his new contract last week, it seems that attention has switched to the rest of the squad and it’s pure speculation on the part of the press. “In any case”, said Ball, “the first person to hear about any enquiries will be the player; if they don’t want to go, that’s that.”

More details on Mark McNally: apparently he can play either full back or centre back.

The Mole
Dan Rigby (


GMR reports that a group of wealthy businessmen, all of whom are lifelong City fanatics and are led by somebody called Mike Peck, have offered to put upto £10 million into the club. They would want seats on the board (which would entail losing some of the existing board members) but have emphasised that it is not a takeover bid and they would want Francis Lee, thought to be doing “a superb job”, to remain as chairman.

No comment from Maine Road as yet.

The Mole
Tony ‘Salford Blue’ Farrar (


According to Ceefax, a consortium of City supporting businessmen, headed by one Michael Peck (anyone heard of him ?), wish to £10 million pounds into the club to buy players; they would require a stake in the club in return, but say that they support the fat man (that’s Mr. Lee to you and me)

Worth checking out next week’s Radio Times (i.e., Sat 21 onwards) for Alan Hansen’s column, which is devoted to City. He says many complimnetary things about the club, and will probably have pissed of any Rags who can read, as he refers to us as, I think (it’s not at hand), the big club in Manchester. Right on Alan, I say. Check it out.

Looking forward to seeing fellow Mcivta’ers at the Old Abbey on Saturday, to toast in advance our first victory of the season.

Jeremy Poynton (


Aha, have knights in shining armour at last come to help City out the situation they find themselves in?

According to the MEN a group of wealthy but ‘worried’ City supporters are trying to form a consortium that could inject upto £10M into the club; the objective is to try to oust a few club directors, who they (consortium) feel aren’t helping FHL out financially. The consortium is being assembled by businessmen Mike Peck and Michael Strul, head of a stock-clearance house. They also claim to have another two millionaire businessmen willing to back the project and are also confident they can persuade a ‘world famous multi millionaire rock star’ to join them.

The consortium want to help out FHL as they think he’s doing a good job, rather than replace him. However they do want to see the departure of directors who have not helped in the plight (not put their money on the table?). The promised money would be used by AB to buy the players he needs.

So will this come true or is it just another rumour? As for the world famous rock star who’s been a City fanatic since a kid, any suggestions? My guess Rick Wakeman, or what about the Gallagher boys from Oasis?

Martin Ford (


As seen on teletext: A group of wealthy Blues wish to buy a stake in the club. They stress that this is not a takeover bid, but wish to work with Franny. The consortium suggest that they have up to £10m avaliable for Ball to spend on new players.

All of which begs the question: Who would you spend that ammount of money on???

Dave C. Bradbury (


I was one of the 4,500 or so Blues who watched the derby on closed circuit TV at Maine Road on Saturday, and I must say I quite enjoyed it (apart from the result!). The screen was about 32′ x 24′ and was situated about three quarters of the way across the pitch from the Main Stand (where we were all sat) towards the Kippax. The pictures came from a BBC outside broadcast team who were covering the match for Match of the Day, and came complete with John Motson’s live commentary and action replays, though the volume could have been a bit higher.

The atmosphere was quite good, better in fact than some real matches! The pre-match entertainment consisted of showing the first half of last season’s review video. About ten minutes before kick-off it reached last season’s Old Trafford derby, which didn’t go down well at all. A few minutes later we switched over to the live feed from Old Trafford, showing the teams coming out and close-ups on the foreign players in both teams, the same pictures that were to appear on Match of the Day later. Not surprisingly, the United players were booed and the City players were cheered.

The match kicked off and within seconds we had the first misplaced pass. Much of the pre-match optimism disintegrated as the reality that this was going to be another typical City performance sunk in. With United’s first attack came their first corner. From the corner came the goal. The replay showed the ball heading straight at Immel until Curle did a “Tommy Hutch” and diverted the ball into the net. Another 5-0 could easily be on the cards if the heads went down – fortunately they didn’t.

The fans at Maine Road got behind the lads (shame they couldn’t hear us!) and the next major talking point came when Rösler, chasing a lost cause, sneaked between Gary Neville and Gary Pallister and seemed to be heading for goal. Neville mis-timed his tackle and Uwe was brought down. Having seen Michael Brown sent off at QPR for a much less serious offence, Neville can count himself lucky to only receive a yellow card. The Rags booed Uwe after that, presumably because they thought he’d dived. They didn’t have the benefit of action replays though.

The game was pretty even, so John Motson’s comment that United were worth their 1-0 lead was met with howls of derision. The next good chance for City came Niall Quinn’s way, and was probably the incident that cost us the game. Pallister failed to control a backpass and Quinn latched onto the loose ball. His first touch was good, we all rose from our seats to watch him fire the ball … inches wide. Heads fell into hands all around Maine Road, whilst “donkey” noises emanated from the Swamp. The fellow in front of me turned round and said “it’s all right him leading the line well, holding the ball up and laying it off well, but he’s paid to put the ball in the net and he just doesn’t do it.” Fair comment.

Just before half time Scholes completely missed the ball from just in front of the goal when it came across from another corner. That would have killed us off but we went into half-time feeling like we were still in the game, we’d created a few chances and United were far from at their best. Having said that, we’d conceded three second-half goals in the last three derbies, so the game could easily run away from us too.

The second half was again fairly even, virtually all of City’s play going through Kinkladze who, as usual, held the ball well but struggled with the lack of movement in front of him. It was Flitcroft who managed to find the incisive pass, again finding Quinn free inside the United area. This time the shot was on target but much too weak and too close to Schmeichel; it was more like a backpass. On the hour, Gary Neville came straight through the back of Beagrie whilst attempting to tackle him; Beagrie responded by kicking Neville. I fully expected a booking for each player (and hence Neville’s sending-off after his earlier booking) but the referee let both off with a talking-to. City could also have been down to ten men earlier when Phelan was caught out of position by Schmeichel’s very deep throw over his head to Giggs; he deliberately handled the ball but fortunately for us, was only yellow-carded.

Immediately after the Neville incident, Beagrie was replaced by Summerbee. This seemed to be a very strange decision as Beagrie had looked to be one of our more creative players. He clearly didn’t understand it either and didn’t look too pleased at all. Summerbee had one of his better games though and got in several good crosses. Also having one of his better games was Edghill. His passing still wasn’t up to scratch but he did a good job against Giggs most of the time.

With 15 minutes to go, Quinn was replaced by Creaney, who did little to enhance his reputation. This also coincided with United’s best spell of the game, with Giggs, Butt and particularly Cole missing several presentable chances. City never really looked like equalising after Quinn went off and the final score could have been as embarrassing as last season had it not been for an excellent performance by Eike Immel. In fact, there was little difference between the two games except that City created a few more chances and the rebounds didn’t fall straight to United players this season.

As for the experience of watching the game on closed circuit TV like this – I’d do it again if the circumstances were the same. However, the situation where we get no ticket allocation despite there being seats available which aren’t reserved for season-ticket holders (the front of the new North Stand) must be questioned. How do United get away with this? Newcastle have about the same capacity and could easily sell out their ground to their own fans but still find room for 1,800 away fans. Come on Premier League, sort them out!

It’s about time we got our own scoreboards installed too – I liked seeing the replays! We’ve been promised them for years and the area behind the family stand is crying out to be used for a scoreboard. Of course, the money could be better spent on players …

Paul Howarth (


Whilst watching Football Focus on Saturday (14/10/95), it was interesting to hear Gary Lineker’s comments on the England game during midweek. He stressed the lack of, and need for, a quality central defender who could move up into midfield to provide extra support in attacks.

I couldn’t help but think that this rôle would easily have been filled years ago by a certain Paul Lake. If he had not fallen victim to such terrible injuries, I have no doubt that he would have occupied a regular England place – let’s face it, Pallister wouldn’t have got a sniff!!

Already a member of the original 40 squad for the 1990 World Cup Finals, Lakey is the best player I have personally had the pleasure of watching in a City shirt. Without injury I also believe that Italy and the Serie A millions would have beckoned. I say this as apparently scouts from both Sampdoria and Inter Milan were watching his progress during the ill-fated match against Villa in 1990 – in which he marked David Platt out of the game.

It would be a crying shame if he never played for City again – he was a joy to watch and made me feel proud to be a Blue. If he does return and only plays to 50% of his ability and potential, then we’ve still got a £5million defender at Maine Road ready to take Pallister’s place in the England team.

J. Walsh (


Regretfully I will no longer have email access from tomorrow, so I must ask you to unsubscribe me from the list. Perhaps some time in the future I will be able to rejoin. Until then I thank you for the fine service you provide. I wish you and my fellow Manchester City fans all the best, and hope that when I re-subscribe things are looking up for us!

Thanks for everything,

Bob Jacobs (

Apologies to Bob but I couldn’t resist it with the previous message and Bob’s wanting to pass on his best to all Blues



If you think we (City fans) feel bad , how must the team we took the point from feel!!!!

Steve McDonald (


Just two small observations.

  1. Whenever Kinky or another midfielder got the ball, did they play forward?No, they turned and returned the ball backwards (a “support pass”), thusgiving the rags time to organize themselves in defence.
  2. Whenever Kinky got close to the box, did he play a brilliant through ballto Quinn, Rösler or whoever elese were present? No, because all the othernitwits were standing completely still to see what would happen next. InNorway we say about players that they are good without the ball, i.e. theyare able to make room for themselves, and more important, for others.Watching Kinky come to a full stop and then point to the other player thedirection to run made me wonder if these lads know anything about the gameat all.

I have a mate who is a devoted Preston North End fan. I am currently betting that City will be the first team to reach the first division.

Jon Magnussen (


I’ve seen three games this season, three shocking games at that. It’s time to own up to our mistakes, take what’s owed to us and beg for forgiveness. Ball may be a winner, a bit part winner at that. As a player he wasn’t Best, Marsh and Bell rolled into one, he wasn’t fit to lick their boots (and they weren’t white). As a manager, he’s had three teams relegated, coached third and fourth division sides into oblivion and he’s about to do it to us. He’s stated in the press that the fans need success, and if they want it, get off the team’s backs. Well he’s had 10 games now, won 1, drawn 1 and lost 8. With the new one up, one down situation as of next season, City are surely doomed. Am I the only Blue who is shitting themselves? Who’s going to stop us from being the next Wolves, Burnley and alike? Not Ball! We’re all gonna sit here, boo at the end of each game and hope that next week is better. Well I’ve had enough. Even if we start winning the odd game, the chances of us staying up are very slim. Ball wants to spend and rebuild without a wallet, so he’s now decided to put the whole team up for sale, now there’s confidence for you. So City are crap, but it’s nearly the same squad that demolished, Blackburn, Liverpool and Newcastle last season. So what’s changed? Ball I hear you cry, but not only is it his playing style, it’s his constant whinging about the team, how shit they are. He’s the guilty one in all this, but he hasn’t got OJ’s defence, so send him down for life, without remission and get someone who knows about City, someone who understands what we need, someone who can develop the young players and not turn out constant crap like Edghill and Adie Mike. It’s time for a change and the sooner we put this dog down, the sooner we can go to the pet shop to get a retriever.

Anthony Shaw – Two bottles of Becks and a bag a crisps please(


As a Hearts season ticket holder I have seen McNally play a few times against us. He is complete bollocks! This would be another bad move for City. If this is the kind of player Alan Ball has his sights on then he should be sacked immediately. If this guy can be torn apart by the likes of John Robertson and Ally McCoist in Scotland what hope is there against the likes of Ferdinand, Yeboah, etc?

Are there no good fringe players on the books at City that could do a job in the Premiership?

Also, Ex Man City favourite Neil Pointon was signed by Hearts last week from Oldham. He played a full game in Hearts’ 4-2 win over Raith Rovers on Sat. and played very well. He is still as composed as ever!

Tats (Graham Robertson,


People are generally unconvinced about AB, and rightly so. One thing that would make me more convinced if we stop playing this outdated 4-4-2. To me, 3 5 2 would be better tactically and would suit the individual players’ strengths and weaknesses. Let me explain.

Curle has pace and organisation – an ideal spare man, sweeper and his distribution isn’t that bad either. Symons has international experience and would be good as a man-marker, and maybe Kernaghan or this McNally feller from Celtic if he’s any good. Three central defenders for you.

Phelan and Edghill (anyone better than Edghill?) are much better going forward at pace, and they seem more suited to me as wing-backs, rather than old-fashioned full-backs. If they were pushing forward a bit more into midfield more often, this ought to give Kinky, Lomas and especially Flipper a bit more licence to get forward and support the front two. Admittedly, this means that Beagrie and Summerbee may be surplus to requirements but the time may well come when 3-4-3 is more useful.

Front two pick themselves as there now isn’t anybody else (can someone explain why we sold our best player of last year before this season began?)

If the Scousers can do it, and they look bloody good when they get it right (famous last words – come on Brondby.:) ), I think we can get a formation together to keep us up this season.

Any takers on Ball to go before Easter? And his replacement?

Chris Egerton (


Following on from Martin Reynolds’ comment about Ian Brightwell’s great goal against Leeds a few seasons ago, I thought it might be interesting to hear about people’s favourite goals. So, with apologies to Electric Blue, here’s my Ten of the Best, in chronological order:

1. Jim Melrose, Notts County (H), 8 December 1984, Won 2-0
Jim volleyed the ball over the ‘keeper from more than 40 yards out. Anybody who was at the game will confirm that this is not an exaggeration! The rest of the match was mind-bogglingly dull.
2. Trevor Morley, Barnsley (A), 29 September 1988, Won 2-1
A great lob from the edge of the area which led to Trevor being nicknamed “Zico” from then on. For some reason this goal is not on the season’s review video :-((
3. Trevor Morley, Bradford City (A), 13 May 1989, Drew 1-1
Cooper to Gleghorn to Moulden to White to Morley – Goal!!!! This one came four minutes from the end of the season and secured promotion. Bradford had taken the lead midway through the first half and the next 60 minutes were probably the most tense hour I’ve ever spent in my life.
4. Andy Hinchcliffe, Manchester United (H), 23 September 1989, Won 5-1
A rocket of a header to round off a fabulous day’s work. Good work by Bishop in the centre circle, lovely ball out to White on the wing, first time cross, chance at the far post … Hinchcliffe! Don’t know what he was doing there but I’m glad he was.
5. Clive Allen, Chelsea (A), 28 October 1989, Drew 1-1
After being outplayed for most of the match, the ball was punted upfield to the halfway line where somebody flicked the ball on and the Chelsea players all appealed for a foul. Clive played to the whistle, turned sharply and hit a cracking shot from 25 yards over Beasant and in off the bar. Cue massed celebrations far behind the goal where all of us away fans were huddled.
6. Ian Brightwell, Manchester United (A), 3 February 1990, Drew 1-1
Bob latched onto a loose ball just outside the box and “wellied” it into the top corner. I remember this one clearly as I was directly in line with the flight of the ball from my position just behind the goal in the Scoreboard Paddock and I could tell from the moment he hit it that it was going in and there was nothing slippery Jim could do about it!
7. Peter Reid, Aston Villa (A), 1 April 1990, Won 2-1
This one wasn’t a particularly spectacular goal but it secured us our first away win for over 12 months, started our run clear of the relegation zone and just about ended Villa’s title chances. It was live on TV too! Reid was presented with a open goal after David White’s shot came back off the post. Just one of many fond memories of Villa Park.
8. Steve Redmond, Luton Town (A), 17 November 1990, Drew 2-2
Definite rarity value here. Not only a spectacular goal from Reddo but from a set piece too! We had a free kick about 25 yards out, took it short and allowed the Luton wall to move forward in an attempt to charge down a shot, then passed it about 15 yards to the left where Reddo hammered it into the net.
9. David White, Everton (A), 31 October 1992, Won 3-1
Whitey picked up the ball close to the halfway line on the left wing, ran down the wing, cut inside and looped a superb shot over Southall and into the net. Best goal he ever scored IMO.
10. Ian Brightwell, Leeds United (H), 7 November 1992, Won 4-0
This is the one Martin referred to. Bob started and ended the move himself, with some neat passing involving two or three other players as he made his way down the inside right channel from just outside our own penalty area. He finished like an expert, stroking the ball in at the near post.

I’ve only included goals scored by City players in matches I’ve attended, which precludes the inclusion of Steve MacKenzie’s goal in the 1981 Cup Final replay (I wasn’t there) and Rod Wallace’s goal for Leeds against Spurs which won the BBC Goal of the Season a couple of years ago (I was there!).

According to When Saturday Comes, Electric Blue may be having to change its name for legal reasons. Anybody know anything about this?

Why don’t we score great goals any more?
Why don’t we score any goals any more?!?!?

Paul Howarth (


OK, I admit it. I did. Didn’t everybody?

When I was a kid I supported Liverpool

I was allowed to. I had all the requirements. I lived in the south. I’d never even been to Liverpool. But I had the shirt, and I could name all the players. Back then I’d hardly heard of Manchester City. They were just another of the clubs that my team beat every week.

Then it happened.

I live in Dorset (south coast of England). My girlfriend’s father lives just outside Manchester. For her 18th birthday, my girlfriend decided to take a group of us up to her dad’s for a party. So we arrived on the Friday evening. The party was going to be on the Saturday evening. What would we do during Saturday?


“But where?”

“Get a paper”

“Man Utd are away. Stockport are away. Man City are at home to Villa”

“OK let’s go”

“Does anyone know where the ground is?”


Anyway, we got there, paid our 8 quid, and stood on the Kippax.

You hear of how born-again Christians suddenly find God. That afternoon, I suddenly found Man City. Everything seemed right. I couldn’t see the pitch, I missed our equalising goal, and paid a quid for a pie that resembled dog food (still in the tin). But it felt right.

Since then, I’ve returned as often as I can afford. I’ve even chosen to study at a University in the north, just so that travelling to the Academy will be cheaper. I managed 3 games in about 10 days last season. I went to the Leicester game at home, midweek, in the pouring rain. I knew that there was no way I could catch a train back to university after the game. I knew I was going to have to sleep overnight on Preston station. I wasn’t really worried about that. But it still felt right.

Then the forces combined and the country was buried under several feet of snow, delaying my train by 2 hours. I did get home that night, and British Rail game me a lollipop as compensation for the delay.

And I’ll be back again as soon as the bank will extend my student overdraft. And somehow things will combine to ensure that everything turns out right. We could avoid relegation, or win a cup, or both. If we go down, we could bounce back up stronger.

It will be alright.

Writing this has made me think. If my girlfriend hadn’t been born a week overdue, we would have been in Manchester the week before, when City were playing away, and U****d were at home. After all, I was qualified, I was from the south, I’d never been to Manchester before, I’d had experience of supprting a quality team through their glory years, and I had an old Liverpool shirt hiding at the back of my wardrobe.

Kevin Mutch (


Monday, October 16 1995

WIMBLEDON             0-1    WEST HAM UNITED         9,411

Tue 17 Oct

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United       9      8    0    1     20     6        24
Manchester United      9      6    2    1     17    10        20
Arsenal                9      5    3    1     13     5        18
Middlesbrough          9      5    3    1     10     4        18
Liverpool              9      5    2    2     15     7        17
Nottingham Forest      9      4    5    0     15     9        17
Aston Villa            9      5    2    2     12     6        17
Leeds United           9      5    1    3     14    12        16
Chelsea                9      4    3    2     10     7        15
Tottenham Hotspur      9      4    2    3     14    12        14
Blackburn Rovers       9      3    1    5     12    14        10
Wimbledon              9      3    1    5     13    17        10
West Ham United        9      2    3    4      8    11         9
Queens Park Rangers    9      3    0    6      9    15         9
Everton                9      2    2    5     11    14         8
Sheffield Wednesday    9      2    2    5      8    12         8
Coventry City          9      1    4    4      7    17         7
Southampton            9      1    3    5      8    16         6
Bolton Wanderers       9      1    2    6      9    19         5
Manchester City        9      0    1    8      3    15         1

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Paul, Jon, The Mole, Martin, Daniel, Dan, Tony, Tats, Kevin, Chris, Jeremy, Tony, David & Steve.

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 #136