Newsletter #158

This issue will be going out via the usual route and hopefully the problems will be over. At least we have now sorted out backup should we have to use manual mailing again. There’s a Leicester match report in here as well as news of potential transfers, both in and out and plenty of titbits!

As the list has virtually doubled since I last mentioned anything general about contributions, I thought I’d just say a little bit about MCIVTA for anyone new out there. What you see before you is basically contributed by the readership with just a few add-ons from me. It was always meant to be a joint effort but with the unbelievable (to me anyway) growth over the last 6 months, it’s quite possible that some of you out there are labouring under the misapprehension that only the ‘chosen’ ones submit articles. Clearly Ken does the Player of the Month and Neale sends in the news from the Platt Lane Correspondent but this is because they upped and did it/offered! If you have an opinion or want to write an article: match report, book review, video review, Why Blue etc, then it’s just a matter of doing it.

If you’re going to Spurs then remember that some MCIVTAers will be in the ‘Elbow Room’ … it’s on the corner of Bruce Grove and the High Road.

Remeber, the ‘News’ section is chronological, not in order of importance!

Next game, Tottenham Hotspur away, Saturday 13th January 1996.


LEICESTER CITY vs. MANCHESTER CITY, Saturday 6th January 1996

“There’s only one Paul Lake…”

The “sold out” signs were out at Filbert Street for the visit of Manchester’s “City”. Our initial allocation of 2,500 tickets was sold in two hours and a further allocation received later was also fully taken up. Unfortunately for the big crowd, both sides were affected by illness and the big question we were asking ourselves was “how will we manage without Kinkladze?” Not very well as it turned out.

Before the game we got the usual chants from the home fans: “You’re s**t and you know you are”, “Going down with the Bolton” etc. which sounded a bit strange coming from fans of an Endsleigh League club. I thought a response of “You’re staying down, unlike Derby” would be suitable (Leicester having only one club, any other team in the East Midlands counts as a local rival) but I really couldn’t be bothered. Neither, it seemed, could most of the other Blues present, who only got going just before kick-off when new Leicester manager Martin O’Neill (this was his first home game in charge of the club) appeared to a chorus of “City Reject!”

From the outset it seemed that the sides were very evenly matched, both trying to play a neat, passing game. However, as the game progressed, City began to rely more on hitting the ball in to Niall Quinn and getting a lay-off. Leicester employed their big man up front, Iwan Roberts, to good effect too; he won virtually every header he went for, and almost without exception the ball seemed to end up at the feet of former United striker (and Junior Blue!) Mark Robins. His sharp turns gave us a lot of worries but by the end of the game neither goalkeeper had had more than two or three decent shots to save.

Without Kinkladze, City offer very little in the way of creativity. Flitcroft seems to be so used to playing with the Georgian that when he wins the ball (which he did regularly to good effect), he just seems happy to give a short pass to the side and never tries to play a more incisive ball through the opposing defence. City’s passing in general was shocking, with the Leicester defenders intercepting virtually everything around the edge of their erea. Ekelund still doesn’t appear to be fit enough, which is understandable, but that doesn’t excuse poor passing. His only significant contribution to this game was to support Nicky Summerbee, who was playing in an old- fashioned wing-half role, a sort of combined full-back and winger. This he did very well, and appeared to be the only person in the side who was likely to create a goalscoring opportunity. It didn’t go unnoticed by the fans, who chanted his name during the second half. I couldn’t have imagined that happening after his early season form; he now looks the business, the player we knew from his time at Swindon.

Leicester’s most creative player was Scott Taylor, the best player on the field, particularly during the first half. He regularly found himself in acres of space and his ability on the ball caused us a lot of problems, particularly down our weak left side. I thought he might have followed former manager Mark “Judas” McGhee to Wolves actually but he now looks set to stay at Leicester.

Chances were few and far between for both sides. Uwe had our best efforts, notably in the first half with one cleared off the line and another into the side netting. Our best chance of the game was probably his second half header when he got on the end of a Lomas punt but headed over the bar. Chief culprit for Leicester was Iwan Roberts, particularly in the second half during a period near the end where they had City on the rack. Immel saved one point-blank effort (the goalkeeper played well, catching instead of punching and holding everything that came his way – his kicking was poor again though) but there’s no excuse for the sitter Roberts missed with 15 minutes to go. The ball came across the edge of the 6-yard box and with the goal yawning open in front of him, he spooned it over the bar.

With City looking less and less likely to win the game, the thoughts of the fans turned elsewhere. A brief chant of “There’s only one Paul Lake” will hopefully be heard again when he gets his well-deserved testimonial. A loud cheer greeted the news that Sunderland were leading at Old Trafford and the Alan Ball/Wonderwall song was aired once again. Not the best performance from the travelling fans but still streets ahead of the morgue-like atmosphere at Maine Road for the West Ham match.

My overall impression was that City are fortunate to still be in the competition but I expect us to win the replay, particularly if Gio is back to inspire us. Mind you, I expected us to beat Leicester at Maine Road last season too.

Final Score: 0-0

Paul Howarth (


Southend chairman Vic Jobson has confirmed that City are showing interest in 26-year old left back Chris Powell. He joined Southend on a free transfer from Crystal Palace in 1990 and has been a regular ever since, graduating to the position of club captain. Jobson has denied rumours that the Blues have already tabled a £750,000 offer but there’s definitely the makings of a deal in the pipeline.

City are also being linked with Norwich’s out-of-contract defender Rob Ullathorne.

The Mole


Birmingham City manager Barry Fry has enquired about taking either Andy Dibble or Tony Coton on loan for a month or two. Hopefully he’ll take Dibble and buy him at the end of the loan period, which would be another big wage off our books, but since TC isn’t apparently content on the bench and is also a lifelong Blues fan, he’ll probably fancy it himself. Mind you, Dibble allegedly has other talents which would fit in well with chairman David Sullivan’s other businesses 😉

The Mole


According to Skytext, Tony Coton has asked for a transfer.

City are still holding discussions with Southend to try to secure the signature of Chris Powell. A possible player-exchange deal has been suggested, with Alan Kernaghan moving South. However, it seems more likely that Gerry Creaney would be the one to go as he hasn’t settled at City. Meanwhile, Wimbldeon have also expressed an interest in Powell.

The Mole


Teletext reports that City are now prepared to let TC go after an increased £500,000 bid from Sunderland. They originally offered £250,000 earlier in the season. AB is reported as saying that TC is unhappy and that they will not stand in his way even though he considers it a bargain price (sounds like another top wage earner). What next, Flipper for £250K?

Teletext also reports that City’s official bid for the Southend left back and skipper Chris Powell is £500,000 plus another £250,000 based on appearances. Southend are holding out for £1 million. AB says the bid is final and that it needs to be sorted out by Friday noon in order for him to play at Spurs on Saturday.

Ken Foster (
The Mole


The postponed away game at Southampton has been rearranged for Wednesday 31st January. How convenient. Not.

City have received an offer of £250k from Sunderland for Tony Coton and have treated it with the comtempt it deserves.

The Mole


Peter Reid’s Sunderland appear to be the first club to take an interest in Tony Coton, with an offer in the region of half to one million pounds in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, the Chris Powell deal was on hold yesterday whilst Francis Lee had minor surgery on an old football injury. The transfer is expected to go through today (Wednesday).

The Mole


Our lunchtime local has all the major tabloids, and they all carried stories today that:

Coton is set to leave Maine Road. Ball is quoted as saying that he’ll not stand in TC’s way if the right offer comes along. Peter Reid’s Sunderland is considered a strong candidate to be TC’s new club.

It’s also reported that MCFC are likely to table a £750,000 bid for Sheffield Wednesday’s John Sheridan. He’s apparently long admired, and wants a move after only 6 starts this season. This is however not the first time he’s been linked to us over the last few years.

We’re also putting together a bid for some lad from the lower divisions which will eventually total £3/4m, but the deal is off for the moment because of an injury to Frannie Lee!

If only:
Hottiger, the Swiss international full-back, is going from Newcastle to Everton for £700,000. This seems like a bargain and, IMHO, is the kind of deal we could really do with. Obviously he may well have not been interested in coming to City, but did we even try?

Dan Rigby (


The latest news on this front is that the deal is stalled as Southend want a million and City are (quite rightly) not prepared to go this high. The feeling is that the deal will still go through when Southend see that City are not going to be pushed. City really wanted it through by mid-Friday as Brightwell is banned for Saturday’s game.



I am talking about our beloved Kinkladze. I have been told by a person involved in international football, that City signed Kinkladze for £250.000!!!!! My source is certain about that, as he tried to convince the club he is working for to sign him. I have read in an earlier edition of MCIVTA that a director at Maine Road was supposed to have said approximately the same as the guy I was in touch with. So it must be true.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


In case anyone hasn’t noticed the warnings in City’s recent programmes, there are major roadworks just north of Tottenham’s ground. As a nearby resident I can confirm that it’s been pretty bad recently. The roadworks are on the A10 in Enfield as well on the North Circular Road. Anyone using these routes on Saturday would be best advised to leave plenty of time to get to the game.

See you in ‘The Elbow Room’.

Julian Cooke (


See Bally in a new light! There’s a new and interesting picture of Alan Ball in the ‘pictures’ directory on the WWW homepage. It’s called ball-twist.gif and is worth a visit!

Thanks to Jeremy Poynton for scanning it in from “Alan Ball’s International Soccer Annual” – 1969.



There was a nice piece about Kinky in the Independent just before Christmas – spoof Hello! article with him and his mum both looking tiny in enormous armchairs, “somewhere in Cheshire”. Apparently she arrived at the airport speaking three words of English (“City”, “Football”, “Mother”, surprisingly), only to find that the promised reception party from MCFC er.. wasn’t there. Good old City, eh?

Roly Allen (


Being an exiled Wythenshawe Blue now living in California, I look forward to receiving the newsletter and at last I hope I can make some kind of contribution.

Last night I was flicking through the 70 or so TV channels when I happened across a Mexican league match, just as the referee was getting out his yellow card. To my surprise one of the names flashed across the screen was none other than Maurizio Gaudino. Although I was unable to understand the Spanish commentator I had to watch the rest of the game. Maurizio is now playing for a team called America, the game was against Atlas and was played in the famous although half empty Azteca stadium in Mexico City. Maurizio opened the scoring with a soft header which I thought the goalie should have had. He played as a roving striker and was constantly involved in most of his team’s scoring opportunities and was instrumental in the build up to the second goal of a 2-0 win. Maurizio showed a lot of good touches on the ball in a game that was played at a much slower pace than a typical English Premier game. All in all he showed what a skilful player he is but was never seen winning too many tackles and would perhaps be a luxury if he was still at City.

Keep up the good work, I especially enjoy the news from the Platt Lane correspondant and I also enjoyed the “Chantelle” episodes. Where can I find that on the Internet?

One more thing, please let all overseas Blues know that the City-Spurs game will be shown live via satellite this Saturday. So I’ll be there in spirit at 7 in the morning here on the west coast of the USA.

Martin Dodd (


Hi fellas just got the great news. City’s game vs. Spurs this Saturday is the International game to be shown live throughout North America on satellite (if you paid for the decoder) and I believe it will be shown throughout Europe. Hope I gave you this info in time to use in mcivta before the weekend? Any Blues near Jacksonville Florida you are more than welcome to come to my house for the weekend and watch the game as I subscribed for the live games and watch a game every week on satellite (usually it’s the Rags). This country is so bloody big though the nearest Blue that I know of is in the Carolinas,about 7 hours away!

Anyway let’s hope the team does us proud in front of the world, I know the fans will. Check out the discussion page on CarlingNet; I left a cool message for all the Blues out there!

Paul Whittaker (


Contrary to Ken Foster’s experience, I had no difficulty organising my Euro’96 holiday this Summer, which will include 13 matches including the final. As somebody who went to Germany for the European Championships in 1988 (and therefore having bought tickets from the FA before), I was mailed an application form for the tickets in the Spring of 1994. Of course nobody knew who would actually be playing in any of the matches back then, except that England would play all of their group games at Wembley. However, being a fan of football in general and not just wanting to see any particular team, I applied for and was allocated tickets for all the matches I wanted to see, which include games at all eight Euro’96 venues.

And the moral of the story is … some mailing lists are well worth being on!

Paul Howarth (


After that pitiful performance against Leicester and the 4th round draw away to Coventry it didn’t exactly fill me with glee for a long Cup run, or even a decent League performance (mind you I would have even said that after the West Ham game). It appears as though the team have got themselves into a rut again and are playing badly. What could inspire the team to the great heights of our Novemeber run again, an inspirational manager, the realisation by the players that they need to play better, activity on the transfer market? Well I very much doubt we’ve got one (manager) (no matter what the fans sing), the players well that’s upto them. Activity on the transfer market, well that might be the catalyst needed, bring in some new talent to make the present players compete. However, as we all know transfers need to be carefully planned and executed to get the right man (and at the right price knowing City’s current financial state), but the latest moves don’t exactly fill me with optimism.

Firstly there’s the news that City are after Southend’s Chris Powell to fill the troublesome left-back position, good on the whole. However, when City start to haggle over the price and are only willing to pay in instalments it fills me with dread. How many other clubs are going to accept City’s financial proposals? Currently Exeter and Southend are having to accept instalments for players. If a really decent player becomes the target of several clubs, just how many will choose City’s drip payments method instead of a lump sum? Are we ever going to get into the situation where City can compete evenly in the transfer market?

Also on the transfer front, we could very well be seeing a departure of another experienced player. Peter Reid is trying to put together a bid that will take Tony Coton to Roker Park. He’s already had a bid of £250K refused, but the club might accept £500K. If TC goes it leaves Immel with the cover of Dibs and Margetson, reasonable keepers, but good enough? In fairness to Eike I don’t think Ball could justify dropping him just to appease TC.

It gets depressing; if this is the situation we’re left in, how does anyone expect things to get better?

Also I read that Ken Foster mentioned about the ticket situation for the forthcoming Euro’96 championships. I’d have to agree that ticket details weren’t exactly forthcoming, however details were available. The grounds being used for the Championships have been known for at least 12 months, so fans have had a choice of buying tickets (I was under the impression that the clubs involved were taking bookings, however that must be wrong), however they wouldn’t know who was playing!

Also as a member of the England Travel Club I was given first refusal for tickets for England games at Wembley. Each member was allowed to buy upto 4 tickets per game, I ordered 12 tickets in total and had to shell out something like £320, even now I’m not sure that I’m going to get my full allocation (notification will come around April/May)! My money is currently sitting in an FA bank account earning them money. I assume that if I don’t get my ticket I’ll just get my original money back. If you think the opening round ticket situation is bad them those for the following stages are pretty poor. If memory serves me right, those 12 tickets (my full allocation for all England’s opening games) give me the right to buy 4 qtr final ticket, anything less than 12 and you can’t get 4 qtr final tickets. The 4 qtr final tickets allow my 2 semi tickets, these in turn justify me 1 final ticket. In each case to buy a ticket for the following round, you must have bought all available ticket to the previous rounds game, so even England travel club members aren’t given a preference. The pricing policy goes up in stages as well; the opening game England vs. Switzerland cost me £30 per ticket, the next games were £25. The qtr final was something like £35, semi £40 and the final £50 and these were the 2nd cheapest tickets available. For the final fans could be paying anywhere upto £150 (if not more) for a ticket!

It sounds like those involved with the organisation haven’t fully thought out the situation.

Martin Ford (


After that classic cup display a thought came to me…

Three guys sat around philosophising, they eventually get around to discussing a glass half filled with water, on the table.

The optimist sees a cup half full

The pessimist sees a cup half empty

The City fan sees no Cup ;-))

Martin Ford (


No midweek fictures this week (of interest!).



Thanks to The Mole, Jeremy, Paul (x2), Julian, Roly, Dan, Martin (x2), Ken & Tor-Kristian.

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 #158