Newsletter #145

Two match reports, news of two wins (?) as well as the usual articles, a Why Blue and another excellent contribution from our Platt Lane correspondent… please encourage him!

A point away from home and a good performance to boot! We got a glimpse of what it must be like for an away team at Maine Road sometimes, with an utterly silent home crowd. The Blues really got behind the team and I really felt that the performance had been enhanced by the support. To be honest, at the end of the game we were probably a tadge disappointed not to get 3 points but that said, I’d have been happy with one before the game. Wimbledon line up on Wednesday and we have to be more confident about them as they’re on a bad run.

MCIVTA has broken the 500 barrier! This is fairly amazing considering that when I was touting for sponsorship I had my ‘optimistic’ head on and was confidently predicting this level by Xmas. Growth carries on apace and we’ll perhaps get to around 700 by the end of the season.

Next game, Wimbledon at home, Wednesday 22nd November 1995.


Sheffield Wednesday vs. Manchester City, Saturday 18th November 1995

Around 5,000 Blues made the short trip over the Pennines to Sheffield to see if City could, like last season, win their first away point of the season at Hillsborough. An extra tier is currently being added to the South Stand, but with an attendance of only 24,422 and large areas of empty seats around the ground, maybe the money should have been spent on the team instead?

City lined up as follows:

           Brightwell  Symons  Curle  Edghill
         Summerbee  Flitcroft  Kinkladze  Lomas
                      Quinn  Rosler
Subs: Kernaghan, Creaney, Coton

City were on the offensive right from the start and nearly scored after only 3 minutes. Flitcroft put in a great cross from the right flank and Quinn glanced a header towards the far post but somehow Pressman managed to get a hand to it and pulled off a great save. This display of agility was not enough to prevent a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse regarding his waistline from many of the City supporters both in front of and behind me though. Occasionally they paused for breath or directed their anger at Edghill who admittedly was having trouble getting anything right.

Both sides clearly saw the game as a great opportunity to improve their league standing against poor opposition and the match developed into an end-to-end encounter. Wednesday nearly scored when a snapshot from Hirst struck the post but he wasn’t to be denied when the Owls were awarded a penalty in the 13th minute. Curle (I thought it was Edghill at the time – must have been the influence of those around me!) didn’t want to wait until the final whistle to exchange shirts with Degryse and not surprisingly the referee pointed to the spot. Hirst’s shot was right in the corner, giving Immel no chance.

The rest of the first half was quite even, with Wednesday slightly edging it. City’s best route to goal seemed to be down the flanks, with Summerbee playing well on the right and Edghill pushing forward on the left, where he could give the Wednesday defence problems instead of ours.

The second half was a different story, with City dominating virtually from start to finish. Flitcroft and Kinkladze controlled the midfield, with Flitcroft in particular tracking back well and making important tackles on the rare occasions Wednesday got forward. Kinky has now reached a fitness level where he can keep going throughout the 90 minutes and he set up a number of good moves which were ended by poor crosses, Lomas in particular slicing the ball into the Kop twice when in good positions.

City’s equaliser came in the 55th minute when City finally managed to get it right. Flitcroft poked the ball through the Owls’ back line at the edge of their area, Quinn raced after it and chipped an accurate cross over Pressman (stranded at his near post) to the unmarked Lomas, who scored with a header reminiscent of the one he scored against Spurs last season.

City continued to press forward, playing what was probably their best football of the season so far. The commitment from everybody was exceptional and even fans’ scapegoat Edghill had a good second period. Quinn had another good game, with nobody able to get near him when the ball was played into him. Summerbee regularly took on and beat his man (no, I wasn’t hallucinating). It was gratifying to hear the Wednesday fans get on their team’s backs; it really must lift the opposition – something that we should bear in mind ourselves, particularly at home.

Only in the last few minutes did Wednesday look like restoring their lead, and even then I reckon their fans were happier to hear the final whistle than we were. Their best chance came when Waddle sold Kinky a great dummy and made himself loads of space to get in a cross but fortunately the Georgian managed to obstruct him (earning himself a booking) before the ball could be delivered. My overall verdict: two points dropped rather than one gained against a poor Wednesday outfit.

Final score: 1-1 (third season in a row for this fixture)

Paul Howarth (


Sheffield Wednesday vs. Manchester City, Saturday 18th November 1995

I didn’t get to the Bolton game, so can report with relief that City looked like a completely different side to the 6-0 drubbing at Anfield. My general impression was that whilst confidence is still only average, team spirit was there in abundance; they all played for each other, supported the man in trouble etc. Quinn, Kinky, Flitcoft showed some great touches and imagination that I haven’t seen from City so far this season. Mistakes were made by the same players who seconds earlier excelled themselves (Quinn, Kinkladze, Brightwell) but rarely were these mistakes made in the dangerous positions in our own half. In fact it was good to see the ball shepherded into touch at the appropriate moment and even better to see some convincing build ups from defence and midfield.

We started brightly, but Wednesday had started to come into the game by the time they were awarded the penalty on 14 minutes. It was the far end to the City fans so I didn’t see it too well, but it looked like some fairly tame tangling of arms between Curle and Degryse and hardly a penno. Hirst scored from the spot. The City crowd got right behind the team and soon after, the long hunt for the equalizer began in earnest. It came from patient build up with Flitcroft playing it to Quinn on the left of the penalty area, he took it to the by-line to cross for Lomas to nod it in from 6 yards. I was surprised it took so long to come, and that’s still got to be the big worry; City never gave up, but really we should have taken 3 points from this Wednesday side, who looked like relegation material! We had the chances; in the last few minutes Quinn charged down a Pressman attempted clearance and whilst it didn’t work out, it was encouraging because I don’t think I’ve seen City challenge a ‘keeper so far this season!

Couple of good saves early on, not much to do for most of game.
Still lacking confidence, but fought hard, got the foot in most times, and occasionally looked threatening down the left touchline.
Looked totally flatfooted and unbalanced on many occasions; but supported and got stuck in; was in the right place to score the goal!
Gave away the penalty unnecessarily; played some woeful balls whilst still giving the deceptive aura of being safe. Curly’s made too many wrong calls, deflections and errors at crucial moments this season for my liking, but I couldn’t suggest leaving him out, could I now?
Really showed his skill and potential greatness on Saturday, great turns and ball control, but was caught in possession regularly. People have said over the past couple of months that “he doesn’t have anybody to pass to”, but on Saturday, there was movement and unmarked men, but he was hanging on just too long…
Niall’s best game for ages; even though he did a few donkey things, he was an inspiration; some great touches, backheels, trapping the long ball etc. One great glancing header in the first half. Even Owls fans were giving him good press on the way out…
Looked a much more convincing controlling influence in the middle, well-timed tackles.
Can’t remember much about Ian’s game… that has to be good! Do remember him playing the ball into touch 3 times in succession in the 2nd half and thinking to myself “well-played”!
Super-safe, maybe caught once on the hop, and even got more involved up-front…
I’m a fan, Wednesday had him under control; I want to see him getting in shooting positions, coming inside more often…
Another low-key performance, had a couple of half chances, doesn’t seem to be first to the ball very often these days, but that’s good defending. Still shows every sign of being able to punish mistakes, but hardly anybody’s made any against City yet!

Subs: Creaney, Kernaghan, Coton – not needed!

I’ve written this from memory 2 days later, so it’s a bit general, and to generalise further, things are looking up, but we need 3 points from these ones! The City crowd were great and just before half time the Hillsborough stand seats (the old wooden toilet seat type) began to be utilised for thunderous percussion effects… Alan Ball’s Blue & White Army + 5000 drums! I think the Wednesday crowd sang for about 3 minutes in total throughout the match!

Garreth Ryan (


My first away game since the bad old days when I used to spend more time worrying about escaping a kicking after the game than what was going on on the pitch! Some nice moments and some to forget. The game was exciting and the crowd, at least the blue section really got going. Unfortunately, this meant some people had to use excessively foul language despite the presence of women and children! One of the highlights, as Garreth mentioned, was the Mexican wave using the wooden seats (banging them up and down that is!). Wednesday looked fairly sharp on the attack but are a team in trouble. City were entertaining but still desperately need someone to come good up front. Having said that, the ball is still not falling to strikers but to defenders.

Immel (8) A couple of excellent saves but my heart misses a beat when somebody passes back to him.

Edghill (7) Some woeful passing in the first half but looked like a different player in the 2nd; probably still had AB’s boot stuck up his backside! Continually found himself alone on the left wing and even tried being a winger a couple of times, successfully as well!

Brightwell (5) Some extremely woeful passing and lacked his usual commitment, Sinton always looked like he was going to get past but maybe I’m being unfair?

Symons (8) Usual standard, what a buy!

Curle (6) Gave away an unnecessary penalty, awry passes and off form.

Flipper (8) Good performance, ran and tackled the whole game including an excellent run back to cut out a very dangerous pass in the second half.

Kinky (8) Great skills including a nice dance over a stationary ball but will someone tell him to go for goal!

Lomas (7) Nice goal, wins balls and tackles hard but gives the ball away without rhyme or reason. Blasted the ball over from an excellent Kinky pass when we had 3 on 2.

Buzzer (8) Beat his man several times and they constantly had 2 marking him, looks a good player these days.

Quinn (7) Held the ball up well and made some decent layoffs but seems to have lost his goalscoring instinct.

Uwe (6) Laid balls off well but still looks to me like he needs a spell in the reserves. Will Ball dare do it?



City have agreed personal terms with Exeter winger Martin Phillips and he looks set to sign on Monday, pending a medical.

The Mole


Just thought I’d let anyone who is interested know that the City Supporters’ Club in Victoria, Australia have just won the UK Cup for the third time in four years, beating Chelsea in the final. Nice to know someone’s keeping the Blues in silverware.

Bill Chapman (


City won their legal battle with Brian Horton in court today. BH was claiming the full value of the remainder of his contract after he and City parted company but the court found in favour of City, who have paid the difference between what he would have earned with the Blues and what he’s currently earning with his new club, Huddersfield Town. BH has not yet decided whether or not to lodge an appeal.

The Mole


(Your training ground correspondent)


I was talking to Alan Ball after training on Friday morning (17th). He told me that Phillips would be signing at mid-day but the lad from Exeter was “one for the future.’ He plays on either wing but needs to be built up in the gym before facing Premiership full backs.


Alan Ball also said that he thought Vonk would eventually go to Oldham, once he had settled in for the one month loan period.


Francis Lee and Colin Barlow were down at the ground looking very much more relaxed than of late and talking to the dozen or so fans present. It was so cold that Uwe was wearing a blue and white balaclava to keep warm and appeared to be looking much sharper than of late.

Alan Ball himself appears to have regained his fitness after his recent minor knee operation and based on his 5-a-side performance could do worse than get his famous white boots out of the attic again.

The whole squad seemed happier and keener than of late which was generally put down, in equal measures, to having won a game and to having sold Terry Phelan.

Manchester City 6 – Crosby Marine 0

A beautiful Saturday morning saw the “B” team comprehensively beat Marine 6-0. Lookout for centre forward Greenacre, right back Callaghan and left wing Rowlands, all very bright prospects for the future. The youth team coach McNab has seen quite a lot of trouble recently with his personal discipline and has perhaps not given the lads the best example to follow, but he seems to know a thing or two about football and things look pretty promising for the youth cups this season.

Facts and figures:

During half time I managed a quick perusal of the City accounts for Year Ending 31st may 1995. Here are some of the bits I managed to scribble down.

Number of employees: 53
Wage bill: £5,226,000
Colin Barlow’s salary: between £70,000 and £75,000
Amount currently set aside for loyalty bonuses: £3,200,000
Trading profit for the year: £204,000

Debts of £18,500,000 comprising –
Overdraft to Co-op bank: £7,300,000
Loan Stock (F.H.L. consortium): £4,700,000
Interest on above loan stock: £228,000
Trade creditors: £2,000,000
Bank Loans: £800,000
Hire Purchase instalments: £1,000,000
Other Loans (supporters): £1,000,000
Accrued debts and sundries: £1,500,000

Outstanding loans are secured on the ground at Maine Road and the Platt Lane training complex.

Income for the year was made up of the following –
Gate receipts: £4,500,000
Commercial receipts: £4,600,000
Transfer fees: £2,300,000

I do not claim that the above is a proper representation of the accounts (debts – income does not equal the profit) but this was as much as I could glean at half time in the cold. Hope it is of interest and if any accountants are on the mailing list perhaps they could explain some of the finer points.

City in court:

The court case starts today between Brian Horton vs. Manchester City over money still owed to him following his sacking during the summer.


Pointers from Platt Lane (your training ground correspondent) is typed and edited by me (Neale Hayward-Shott) but is all the work of another person who is due any merit that is going for the content. As compiling the reports is time consuming I would be grateful for any feedback as to whether readers consider these reports interesting or a waste of the reporter’s (and my) time.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


I have spoken to two people who have seen the 19 year old ‘wonderkid’ Phillips play. The first, a Port Vale fan, said he was ‘nothing special’. The second, a Reading fan who lived in Exeter for a while, said that he really is a very good player indeed. Apparently he is a fine dribbler of the ball and quick, “very much like Juninho”(!, but is also small and easy to knock off the ball.

I read in this morning’s Independent that Leeds were hoping to loan out David White to Sheffield United, but were prevented from doing so as the Blades are in dire financial trouble. Perhaps a short spell back at Maine Road would be appropriate, especially as he has two qualities which City lack at the moment – pace and goalscoring ability. Why was he ever sold in the first place?

David Sweeting (


Whilst I was watching Apollo 13 something struck me. There were these 3 astronauts in deep, deep trouble, battery power was low, the carbon dioxide filter was clogged these men were going to die. It reminded me of Manchester City, doomed for relegation, lost without a hope, praying for a miracle. The commander at Houston was up against incredible odds, but he vowed to bring those men back alive; he drew on the resources he had available, the experts, the engineers, other astronauts. They all worked as hard as they could, totally focused within strict time constraints and with a fair smacking of good luck the astronauts returned alive.

Man. City look doomed, it looks like Franny Lee has given up, but I’m sure it’s possible for us to avoid the drop. What can we do? How about bringing in a sports psychologist who could help the players with their confidence? How about improving training? I heard this programme on Radio 5 Live yesterday about the advanced training techniques used in Scandanavia. Where there’s a will there’s a way; if we want to stay up enough we will; if we accept that life in the Endsleigh league wouldn’t be such a bad thing then we’ll be relegated. Which is easier? Staying up or accepting going down? If I was Alan Ball I’d be explaining that relegation is not an option and that from now until we are safe, every member of the staff will spend every hour and every minute working towards this. No rest days; when the players need a physical break then get them in the classroom studying tactics (and English!!), watching videos or get them on the pitch practicing corners, free kicks, throw-ins. Get in external experts to help, specialist coaches, tactical experts. If we need help we should accept this and not be frightened to ask.

Relegation is not an option.

Tim Stairns


Martin Ford received the following message from David Bowl. If anyone else has had a similar problem can they either mail Martin or Paul or Svenn and they’ll pass the message on to me. If it looks like a general problem then I can contact U-Net and ask them what’s going on. I know these things do occasionally happen as when I was in Zürich I had an Oz subscriber who just couldn’t mail me but could mail another account on a different machine at the same node!

The first thing I’d suggest to anyone experiencing problems mailing me is to mail and ask them for help; postmasters are usually helpful people but not always!

Several times since the mailing list address changed I have sent the same message to both Svenn and Ashley ( On each occasion the message to Svenn is fine but the message to Ashley gets bounced!

As I cannot therefore mail Ashley myself, could you please ask him on my behalf if he has any idea why my messages are failing to get through or if anyone else is having the same problem.

David Bowl (


Hi All, It’s good to join the ranks… Could some of you guys tell me some stuff about yourselves? Is anybody interested in free tickets for the game vs. Wimbledon… exciting game I know, edge of the seat nail-biting entertaining game that it is… just thought I would ask… I can get loads free…

Let me know…

Keep The Blues at Maine Road, and may Lee rule forever..

Gareth Foster (


Does anyone have any affinity with other foreign clubs? Who and why? I know Torino support City, but I’m not exactly sure why. When they played Arsenal 2 years ago, Highbury was decked with City banners. A mate told me that it was something to do with the Juventus air crash, Is this true? I’m quite keen to adopt another foreign club (not Scottish, cos my brother is a Dumbarton fan and he’d kill me), Has anyone got any suggestions?

Nick Cavanagh (


Reproduced without permission from “Computing” 16/11/95

Spy Camera Surveillance Sparks Privacy Concerns

A super-spy camera which uses computerised imaging technology and is capable of seeing through clothing and walls, may soon be deployed on UK streets. Peter Warren reports on the latest development in computer snooping.

The camera, manufactured by Millitech, can detect concealed weapons or drugs hidden on people from a distance of around 30 metres, and provide clear pictures of people inside buildings.

The potential of current generation systems has already been demonstrated by MCFC, which helped local police arrest and convict two football hooligans after installing so-called ‘intelligent’ surveillance cameras at its Maine Road ground. The cameras were able to search for convicted or suspected holligans and alert the police about their presence.

A club spokesman confirmed that the system, the first of its kind in the UK, was in operation. He said that the characteristics of suspected hooligans, including their approximate height, build, hair colour, and even their regional accent, could be programmed into the system alongside a photograph.

Tim Galloway, football liaison manager at the club, said, “This has added a powerful weapon to help police football matches. It wil let us home in on potential trouble-makers and monitor them throughout the game.”

The system is now being considered for use by police in Northumbria to monitor games in Newcastle, and by other forces with a history of football disturbance.

Antony Sou (

How can a camera see through walls?



Christmas morning 1974. A small boy was about to wake up and encounter a present which would have a profound effect on the rest of his life. At the end of the bed, inside a thin blue and white cardboard box decorated with the Umbro logo, lay a football strip. My nan had given me a City kit.

This was a bit strange because, at the time, our family lived in Reading, and my nan in North London. Our family were all Londoners with no obvious connection to the North. This mattered very little to me as I proudly put the kit on (what a fabulous colour!), shirt, shorts, socks-and-all. It mattered very little to my nan that she had condemned her youngest grandson, who had previously shown no interest in City (I remember briefly liking Leeds), to a lifetime of supporting the most frustrating, under-achieving, accident-prone football team in the country. Later I found out that she had lived in Manchester for a while – perhaps she was a closet City fan who had admired the breathtaking feats of the team in the late sixties and early seventies, and thought with City I could not go wrong. I’ll never know.

The first game I clearly remember was the League Cup Final of 1976. I remember being on the verge of tears when my dad said I could not watch the game that night on Match of the Day (after my bedtime) but had to wait until The Big Match the next day. I was pleased that Peter Barnes scored. He was my favourite player at the time. By the time my mum deemed I was old enough to go to games, City were poor. Away at QPR in 1987 (with Barnes back in the side) City huffed and puffed and lost 1-0. This game was only memorable because Robert Maxwell had threatened to amalgamate QPR with Fulham and the QPR fans staged a pitch demonstration (on their plastic pitch) to show their disgust. The next season, I contrived to get a place at Manchester Polytechnic. My first visit to Maine Road was an enormous success – we thumped Forest 3-0 in the League Cup. My stay in Manchester didn’t last long though, and before long I was back in Reading, having dropped out of college, and thus away from the Academy of Comedy. The most memorable game so far I have seen City play was again at QPR, this time in the FA Cup in 1993. Typical City – we should have been two down inside ten minutes but won 2-1 with goals from White (a cracker) and Vonk.

For me, supporting City has been a lonely experience. At school, there were plenty of Arsenal, Spurs and QPR fans because of Reading’s proximity to London, and plenty of Liverpool and U****d fans because of glory hunting. I was the only City fan. Another kid had a Man. City bag, but he said it was bought for him and he didn’t like football anyway. Being a Southern Blue is quite painful, and I’ll write about it soon in MCIVTA. Now, my girlfriend comes with me occasionally to see City (she fancies Curle) and she actually has been something of a lucky charm, only seeing City lose once. I still don’t know any City fans who would go to games with me, so the ‘pub before the game’ sounds like a good idea.

David Sweeting (


Can anyone out there tell me whatever became of my boyhood hero, City and England defender Dave Watson?

Thanks from Dave Brown in Seattle

Dave Brown (


Nov 18, 1995   Aston_Villa     - Newcastle        1 - 1
               Blackburn       - Nottingham       7 - 0
               Bolton          - West_Ham         0 - 3
               Leeds           - Chelsea          1 - 0
               Liverpool       - Everton          1 - 2
               Manchester_U    - Southampton      4 - 1
               Sheffield_W     - Manchester_C     1 - 1
               Tottenham       - Arsenal          2 - 1
               Wimbledon       - Middlesbrough    0 - 0
Nov 19, 1995   Queen's_PR      - Coventry         1 - 1

Total Nov 19, 1995

 1. Newcastle       14    11   2   1    31  -  10    35
 2. Manchester_U    13     9   2   2    27  -  13    29
 3. Arsenal         13     7   3   3    17  -   8    24
 4. Aston_Villa     13     7   3   3    18  -  10    24
 5. Leeds           13     7   3   3    19  -  14    24
 6. Nottingham      13     6   6   1    23  -  20    24
 7. Liverpool       13     7   2   4    26  -  12    23
 8. Middlesbrough   13     6   5   2    12  -   7    23
 9. Tottenham       13     6   4   3    21  -  17    22
10. Blackburn       14     5   2   7    23  -  17    17
11. West_Ham        13     4   4   5    14  -  16    16
12. Chelsea         13     4   4   5    11  -  15    16
13. Everton         13     4   3   6    15  -  17    15
14. Sheffield_W     13     3   4   6    10  -  14    13
15. Southampton     13     3   3   7    14  -  24    12
16. Queen's_PR      13     3   2   8    11  -  20    11
17. Wimbledon       13     3   2   8    16  -  29    11
18. Bolton          13     2   2   9    12  -  26     8
19. Coventry        13     1   5   7    11  -  25     8
20. Manchester_C    13     1   3   9     5  -  22     6

With thanks to Riku Soininen



Thanks to David (x4), Tim, Gareth, The Mole, Nick, Bill, Antony, Neale, Paul, The Mole, Garreth.

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 #145