Newsletter #169

Probably one of the most difficult intros to MCIVTA that I’ve had to write. I was seething yesterday at the injustice of that game, not just the penalty but the way Keane in particular was allowed to get away with murder. If the guy hadn’t made it in football then he’d be banged up in prison now for doing someone serious damage; one of my Red workmates came straight over today and told me she thought he was a complete nutter and what’s more, that he does it every other game. As for the penalty, how can an infringement be deemed to have compromised a goal scoring opportunity when the ball was 10ft above Cantona’s head? Plenty later on this from other contributors…

Having said that, there is yet another down side to this game that many won’t have heard and that is the behaviour of a vocal minority of City fans. Their actions appear to be fuelled by an almost religious hatred of United which is getting out of hand; a sad report from Paul on this matter is included. When I left England for Switzerland 10 years ago the rivalry was intense; on arriving back I’ve been astounded by the sheer unadulterated hatred that many Blues have for United fans. I understand that we are all going to meet some arrogant jerk who thinks it incredibly funny to constantly take the p*** but this doesn’t mean that all Rags are detestable. It’s just mindless! Some of my best mates are Rags so why should I hate them because they happen to support United? Let’s hear what everyone has to say on this.

Hopefully, we’ll have more match reports next issue, from both perspectives.

Next game, Newcastle United at home, 24th February 1996



Being too lazy and skint to leave the Isle of Man, I don’t get to many matches and so haven’t written a report before. This time I’ve got to get the latest daylight robbery out of my system.

Strong coffee and ciggies at the ready, I tuned into BBC1. Even before kick-off I was sweating in nervous anticipation; a mixture of how many will they put past us this time, but if we could just beat them this once. At least Curle was fit, good news.

With 12 minutes gone, Kinkladze played a great through-ball on the turn to Rösler who’d timed his run to perfection. Uwe was through and he coolly chipped the advancing Schmeichel, the ball just brushing his fingertips on the way into the net: 1-0!

Well, you knew it wouldn’t last and a scum onslaught was now expected, but no: City’s midfield were running the show. Kinkladze and Clough were passing and running, Lomas was winning all his tackles. Every time the Rags left their own half they were surrounded and disarmed; the Swamp was booming to the sounds of the City choir. Unfortunately City didn’t get it into the box very often and when they did Rösler and Quinn had little support. But we were still one up.

After half an hour or so, the Rags were starting to get forward, winning some corners. Immel made a class save from a Keane header, giving them another corner. I checked the time: nearly half time and we were still one up. The ball came over the box and the whistle went, probably an offside or a foul on Immel. We’d survived another corner. Then the short*rse bald b*st*rd in black points to the spot. What! A ******* penalty. Un-*******-believeable. What for? Frontzeck had pushed sacred Eric. In 25+ years of watching football, I have never ever seen such a ludicrous penalty decision. Needless to say C*ntona with his (almost) first touch of the game sent Immel the wrong way to equalise. Jammy red bastards (sorry about my language but it still makes my blood boil). Alan Hansen called the penalty “a disgrace” and even Jimmy ‘the ref. is always right’ Hill admitted there would be ten penalties a game on the basis of that decision.

The second half was just depressing. Instead of closing in on them at the half way line, City let them play virtually up to the edge of the box, with the result that when we had the ball there was too much distance to cover to mount any sort of attack. Our strikers were exposed and outmanned. Too often Kinkladze and Clough received the ball in space, stood there as people made runs forward, but just passed back to defenders. As the Rags had corner after corner, another goal was inevitable. Fortunately Curle and Symons were in fine form making regular interceptions. I don’t remember that berk Cole even touching the ball once and Cantona did nothing. However, Giggs and Butt were playing well, making attacking runs into the box. City’s midfield decided to call it a day, apart from Lomas who ran his heart out. Clough and Kinkladze better learn quickly that to beat the likes of the scum takes more than effete passing, it takes guts, bottle and hard work.

With 20 minutes to go Giggs put Neville through on the left; he swung the ball back behind the front line of attackers and defenders to Sharpe who struck a good shot that hit Immel on its way in.

City now had to wake up and do some work. Rösler had a couple of half chances and Quinn was replaced by Creaney. Is it just me who thinks that Creaney looks (and plays) like some duffer they pulled out of the nearest pub? Come back Walshy. Why take off an attacker when you’re losing in a cup tie with 15 minutes to go? Maybe it was because Quinn was on the verge of throttling Bruce having had no protection from the referee from Bruce’s “challenges”?

Creaney did naff all and the game was all but over, 2-1 to them. David ‘dance on yer pitch’ Pleat made that sad thug Bruce man of the match, presumably for battering the opposition off the pitch in his usual spoilt-child way.

Symons, Lomas, Curle and Immel all played well. I particularly like Immel, who looks as though nothing would phase him: Robert Mitchum meets Dennis the Menace. Frontzeck looked a bit clueless at times, but at least he tried to get forward which was more than Buzzer did. The rest need to get themselves into gear and start earning some points fast.

Jammy scum footnote: they’ve drawn Swindon or Southampton at home (even we could’ve beaten these and been in an FA Cup semi), meanwhile their rivals have all drawn each other: Leeds vs. Liverpool, Forest or Spurs vs. Villa.

Paul Newton (



I have a theory. The “K” Stand at the Den of the Evil Empire is inhabited by an evil spirit that takes over the minds and bodies of those who dwell within it. Consider the evidence: at most of the recent derby matches at the Swamp where there have been City fans in the paddock at the front and United fans in the stand behind them, a veritable torrent of coins and spit has flown in both directions. On Sunday we had the stand to ourselves and a large number of the Blues present were a total disgrace to the club.

If there was going to be any disruption of the minute’s silence for Bob Paisley, it would come from the United fans I thought. After all, he was the very successful manager of a club that most United fans claim to despise more than City. How wrong I was. Whilst I believe there was an isolated muttering of “Scouse b*****d” from their end (I didn’t hear it myself), there was a clearly audible “Well he was better than Busby” from one of us after about half a minute, which raised a chuckle from a great many others. This may well be true but that was hardly the time to bring it up. Far worse though was an even louder “Munich scum” which elicited a loud response from the Reds immediately and whosesale booing of us Blues after the minute was over.

What is it about derby matches that brings out the worst in us? We like to think of ourselves as “better” than the armchair-wielding, glory-hunting cockney stereotype United fans. We’re not. The Munich chants occurred regularly throughout the game and it wasn’t just an isolated minority either. What needs to happen before these sick morons get it into their heads that it isn’t funny or clever? Most of them weren’t even born when the crash occurred – they do it because they know it annoys and/or upsets the Reds. Many fans spent most of the match just taunting each other and not even watching the match!

During the second half a rousing chorus of the Dambusters theme started up. For some reason this now seems to be associated with the Munich jibes too (Leeds fans seem to like the tune as well) though I think it would make much better ammunition for other clubs’ fans to aim at us given that we have 3 Germans in the side. Not that it would mean anything to them of course. It was almost poetic justice that Lee Sharpe scored the winner within seconds of this chant starting. Do fans like this deserve a winning side?

The end of the game brought no respite. On the way out there were many City fans trying their hardest to break the seats. Some succeeded. Others took offence at the “Sharp” advertising placards and exit signs, hauling them off the wall and breaking them into pieces, fragments of which flew in all directions and could easily have blinded somebody. In the toilets, the plug-holes on the sinks were blocked and the taps left running. It will cost money to put all this right, which is probably the justification these vandals used to satisfy themselves that their actions were legitimate. It’s a drop in the ocean to United though. Suppose they invite the TV cameras in to show what we did to their ground, as City did when Leeds fans part-demolished the old Platt Lane Stand. The damage to our club is far greater than the damage to theirs.

We Blues used to have a good reputation. Whilst the country was still recovering from the Heysel and Hillsborough disasters and two decades of hooliganism, City fans embraced the Manchester music scene, started to enjoy themselves and make football a fun thing. We started the inflatables craze, had fancy dress parties at away grounds and were generally thought of as being a good bunch of people. This is certainly not the case now. At work I am in contact with lots of people supporting different teams from all over the country and many of them regard us as “animals”; a visit to Maine Road is not something they look forward to as many of them have horror stories to tell from the not too distant past. At times on Sunday I was ashamed to be a City fan. I don’t like that feeling. I certainly don’t “like” the Reds but there has developed a total mutual hatred between some groups of Blues and Reds and it’s not healthy. We could end up hating each other without really knowing why, having some half-baked historical justification like they do in Glasgow. We must avoid that.

With well over 600 people on this mailing list, I’m sure that some of the type of people that I’ve mentioned will be reading this. Perhaps they’d care to explain themselves?

Paul Howarth (


What an absolute disgrace that ref was. It’s difficult to know where to start on him he was so bad, bribery pops up in my mind when I see decisions like that. I’ve watched the game twice now, and watched the major incidents over and over again; the referee gets worse the more I watch. First minute, C*ntona flies in on young Brown, nothing happens. Keane then gets rightly booked for a foul on Gio. Then Brown and Butt get into it on the sidelines, next Keane (the situation has ***k all to do with him) comes flying over in 19 year old Brown’s face, Quinny comes flying over and pushes Keane away, Cantona pushes Quinn away along with Panickster, Bruce, Neville. A few yards away Curle and Cole are going at it. Everything seems to die down when Keane starts mouthing off to Quinny again, Quinny goes for Keane again but too many players are between them. Keane should have been sent off (the commentator also saying he should be off); the referee was a shit bag though, if a City player had done the same he’d have been off. It’s a good thing I don’t live there anymore as I’d find that little bastard Keane and break his neck. He’s an evil little bastard that needs his arse kicked, he’s a thug, the kid at school who was a bully. He was going after Gio all afternoon, and on top of that he smacked Curle near the end of the game.

City settled well and passed it around nicely. Then it happened, immediately following the fracas Gio put a lovely ball through to Rösler who chipped Schmeichel. It seemed to take forever to reach the net. The City fans go wild, wild is too mild a word to call it, they went absolutely crazy. City carried on playing well, patient, confident triangle passes until an opening appeared. The Rags saw plenty of the ball but we looked fast and dangerous on the break, mainly Gio leading the way, Lomas right with him. Clough was very quiet. Rösler had a half chance after a good move but shot at Schmeichel. The Rags had a corner, Immel saved well, out for another corner. Ball is hit deep over everyone’s head, rolling out of the area to safety, whistle blows, ball out maybe? No, a penalty? A What? Not a single appeal by a player or by a fan, complete bullshit call in front of the Stretford end. Players appeal to no avail, the cockneys realize they are back in the game from the help of the referee. If a penalty was awarded every time contact like that happens then there would be 10 penalties a game. Paddy ‘red nose’ Crerand said it wasn’t a penalty as did everyone on the BBC. It was clearly the turning point of the whole game. The City fans went quiet(er, the players’ heads went down, and the cockneys got behind their team, right on half time. The Rags completely dominated the 2nd half and you sensed their 2nd goal was coming. If City were still 1-0 up in the second half then the Rags would have been pressing harder for an equaliser, committing more players forward thus leaving more space for City on the break, like most of the first half.

Giggs kicks Lomas, nothing. Irwin fouls Clough, play goes on ’til he realizes “oh I best blow the whistle” and books Irwin. Bruce clatters Quinn, ref waves play on. Brown goes past Rag player on edge of their area, goes down, play on. Rag player does exactly the same move on edge of City’s are, foul! The City fans started taking the piss at the end and cheering if we got a decision, or shouting penalty if a Rag player went down. City looked tired and not likely to equalize. Symmons is a brilliant player, Lomas ran himself into the ground and had a good game. We definitely missed Flipper. Creaney came on for Quinn and did nothing. The Rags just sat back after their 2nd goal. I just hope the players don’t get too down about it all and let it affect their remaining games. Staying up is the goal now and Bally has to get them fired up and focussed for the remainder of the season. The City fans were fantastic, easily outsinging the Rags. We didn’t get beat by the Rags on Sunday but by the ref. I didn’t think I could hate them anymore than I do, but I’ve suprised myself, they are nothing but a bunch of thugs! The Rags’ best player?… he was wearing black!

P.S. I have a question: Was it really the City fans that made all the noise during the minute’s silence as we are getting slagged off all over the the footie pages I’ve looked up, in the reports etc? Our kid said a Rag shouted “you scouse bastard” or something to that effect, and a City fan replied “better than ***king Busby”.

Paul Whittaker (


I was deeply moved, as obviously everyone reading this was, by the derby. However, I’ll leave the ranting to someone else and briefly identify a few points to be proud of.

  1. The first half was perhaps the best City have played all season;Lomas, Kinkladze, Immel, Rösler, Clough, Brown & Symons were alloutstanding and the rest of the team were pretty good too.
  2. Tactically, it was dead on, and the shape we held obviously pissedthe reds off no end.
  3. Immel’s save, which led to That Corner, was amazing, and wouldhave (IMHO) in any other match been the catalyst for a killer counter-attack. Generally he was excellent.
  4. The world was shown that City, despite intense provocation andheavy fouling, are perfect gents, and the Rags are a dangerous thugs.
  5. Motson’s commentary (did the satellite people have to put up withit?) demonstrated his peculiar bias vividly and humorously (e.g. “Buthere’s Cantona!!!! What can he conjure here??” as he sliced a “pass”away for a goal kick).
  6. French bugger mentioned above shown to be nowt more than areliable penalty kicker with a penchant for heading empty air (whichhe did 6 or 7 times to my great amusement). Andy Who? anonymous to afault.
  7. Let’s face it, we do need to concentrate on the league.
  8. Our Boys never let their heads drop and it took a very good goalindeed to beat them.
  9. With the team we played, plus Phillips and Flitcroft, midfieldshould now be pretty good every match. Brown has really come on, Iknow I’ve slagged him before but he is coming good and I apologise.Sorry, Michael.
  10. The Maine Road Derby could well be the one… Third time lucky?
  11. Er… that’s it.

Roly Allen (



It’s Valentines day and me being a cool dude promised Lynne a meal followed by live theatre. So off we went down Rusholme for a Chicken Massala and on to the Acadamy. I was astounded by the number of fans outside the ground queuing up and then thought to myself, this is going to be a big night and therefore City will get stuffed.

The first 15 minutes did nothing to make me change my mind with Gordon, git where’s your zimmer-frame, hang up your boots, Strachan, controlling the game in midfield and having a good battle with Michael Brown who I thought throughout the game was City’s best player. Slowly but surely City came into the game and Quinn should have scored when he was put through but failed to hit the target. Kinky was continually putting the shits up Coventry by running at them from midfield but again City seemed not to have that cutting edge. This was in part because Summerbee was unable to get forward because of the threat of Salako.

City went into halftime 1-0 up when Clough hit a Quinn downward header into the net from a Summerbee corner. Straight after the break the Blues went 2-0 up as Quinn neatly slotted the ball past Ogrizovic. From there it should have been plain sailing but true to form, City tried to be cocky and lost the ball on numerous occasions around their own penalty area. Keith Curle won the ball superbly in defence and as he went past 1, 2, 3 Coventry players, looked up for someone to give the ball to. Not one City player gave him any help. The worst culprit was Rösler who was stationary when Curle went by. Finally when he was tackled, Curle was the most forward City player. As he hobbled off the field City rearranged their formation with Flitcroft, who started the game in a central defensive rôle (and doing it well), taking Curle’s place!!! Oh No Niall, you’re kicking the wrong way, we’re attacking the Umbro stand.

Alan Ball had put Quinn at centre back. With his first call to duty he went for a 40-60 ball and left the Coventry player to go through and tee up a dolly for Dion Dublin. Who said in the last issue that Dublin always scores in the last 5 minutes? With a chance my Granny could have scored with, he managed to spoon the ball over the crossbar. Niall, who I have a lot of time for, was a nightmare in the back 4 and Coventry could have pulled one back when the Brazilian substitute hit the post from 25 yards. After 85 minutes Dublin got a deserved goal for Coventry but City managed to hold on by moving Quinn into midfield.

Question 1 – How can it be a full house apart from the North stand which held about 1000 Coventry fans, and only register 22,000?

Question 2 – I am taking Lynne away on a long weekend, already booked as part of her birthday present. I have a ticket for Sunday, what shall I do?

Kevin Duckworth (


City have turned down a bif of nearly a million pounds from Howard Kendall’s Sheffield United for Niall Quinn. “They’ll have to at least double that offer” said a spokesman.

The Mole


Greetings from a Red Mancunian, thought the following might be of interest to you lot, as the Coton deal does seem a bit strange. Can’t think Coton’s remarks will endear him any further to City fans though. Here’s to a cracking game on Sunday, and good luck staying up (we need those derby games!).

Taken from the MU mailing list:-

Tony Coton

Today I received my copy of Manchester United Magazine. There’s an interview where he tells his story.

He, himself believes that the price of £500,000 was a small fee. He was a bit dissapointed with Alan Ball’s part in the deal. Ball called him, simply told him that United were interested, asked if Tony wanted to talk to ’em. Yes. Then he hung up. Not even wishing him good luck.

He believes that City fans are obsessed with United. And it’s understandable with United’s success rammed down their throats. He thinks that the season is not yet over. March will be the deciding time. Newcastle will start to feel the pressure and United are used to these run-ins for the championship, so we have the advantage (and also the easier programme).

And a qoute:

“This move is the icing on the cake for my career.”

Mike McDonagh (


  1. I read in the papers on Saturday that Coton was complaining because Bally never wished him luck when he left the Academy. Did he really expect AB to wish him luck when he’s moving over to the dark side? He claims he was professional in everything that he did. Well personally I don’t think it’s too professional to go moaning to the tabloids because you can’t get your place back in the team. And he’s shown that he’s really fitted in at the Swamp by having a dig at Bally as soon as he left the club – Is he taking lessons from Ince or what?
  2. The one thing I enjoyed about yesterday’s game was seeing Niall Quinn with a bit of fire in his belly, keep it up. God only knows where that ref. comes from; my guess is Salford. Anyway well done to all our boys who went to the game and sang their hearts out. Remember – Our day will come!!! By the way does anyone know the best way of getting rid of a houseful of Rags without being locked up for 30 odd years cos I’m getting some serious stick at home.

Paul Coleman, Blue & Proud (


Perhaps I’ve simply missed it, but just in case it hasn’t got a mention in MCIVTA yet, I notice that the Carling Net discussion group has been split up into discussion groups for each Premiership club plus another few general ones.

I’ve only had a quick look, but from what I’ve seen, the City Discussion Page only has a few postings at the moment. The ones that are there mention MCIVTA and is full of praise for it, and rightly so, I guess from one of your subscribers.

Nothing much there at the moment, but as it gets more widely used, it could become a very interesting site. You must register to post messages, which will hopefully keep the idiots out, so it might become another good forum for Blues to exchange views and pass on information. It should bring about some further good publicity for MCIVTA as well.

Must go, let’s hope we are smiling on Monday.

Colin Gorman (


First time posting to the list but let me begin by saying that I really enjoy being a part of such a great group of people and fans alike. Been a City fan for only a year thru keeping up to date on games via a wonderful source called WWW. Living in the States grows more and more tiresome due to its obvious lack of sports coverage (i.e. English Football) and so I have yet to see a televised game. So what makes the Blues so appealing? They’re just so damned romantic! If anyone is familiar with american football, our team here in Indianapolis is the Colts who haven’t had a winning season close in comparison to City’s. This season for the Colts was by far the most exciting we have seen since the franchise came here going to the AFC championship against Pittsburgh and falling 1 match short of a super bowl appearance. It is this kind of devotion and passion that makes the Colts, who wear blue and white, so appealing. The same goes for City. They are simply a great team with a lot of excitement. They’re the working class heroes and those who are in that same boat understand that. We’re as tough as they come. We’re survivors! So at long last, I will finally witness my first televised game via satellite TV!!! Go City!!!!!!

P.S. I have been searching for City merchandise here in the States but haven’t had a bit of luck. Anyone with information on how to order please e-mail me personally. Thanks and cheers!!!!

Rene’ Gonzalez (


I thought some of our subscribers might be interested in the edited highlights of the recent fans’ committee on the goings-on at Maine Road.

Since the Villa home game there have been no problems with away fans mixing with home fans when leaving the ground. The club doesn’t foresee future problems with the exception of the Rags and Newcastle Utd.

The club now have a price for building the corner stand between North and Kippax stands. Finance is available but no decision as to a go ahead date has been made. The stand will be uncovered and used as an overflow for away fans if necessary.

Following completion of the Kippax Stand, the club are looking at ways of bringing more people into Maine Road on non match days. Ideas such as a Heritage centre or Museum with tours hosted by former players are under discussion (perhaps an MCIVTA tour could be organised?)

A testimonial committee is being formed with a view to a game for Paul Lake sometime at the start of the 96/97 season.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


Home grown Talent:

One of the contributors to a recent edition of MCIVTA was wondering about home grown talent emerging at the club. The rumour has it that there will be no “A” Team in the Lancashire League next season- although this is not yet confirmed, but if we are putting 14 on the transfer list then one of the junior teams must go. From my own observations we have a pretty strong youth team this year. They play the next round of the Youth Cup against Hereford United away. Last weekend the “B” team, 95% of whom are eligible for the youth team, beat the Rags 1-0 away.

Players to look out for are Aled Rowlands, a left sided mid-field player who could complement Martin Phillips, and Lee Crooks, both of whom have already been on the 1st team’s subs’ bench – without doubt good prospects. There are two other good prospects – Chris Greenacre at centre forward and Tony Callaghan at right full back. As a note I also liked the look of Scott Thomas – a player who for some inexplicable reason we were prepared to sell to Stockport County (along with Adie Mike) last August.

The “B” Team game against Blackpool last Saturday morning (17th) ended 0-0. Like the 1st team we ought to have scored 5 goals (!!) but the team was weakened by Lee Crooks, in particular, training with the 1st Team squad.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


I’m sure you will have had a lot of notes re yesterday, but just thought I’d add a tale of woe…

If it wasn’t bad enough losing to the rags, I had been told that Australian cable was showing the match, and consequently headed off down to the pub that had assured me they would be showing the match at 2am. When I got there, the pub was closed. Then headed off to a 24 hour pub in the red-light district, where I was assured that the match would be on at 2am. By 3am this was looking pretty unlikely. The screen then came up that highlights only would be shown at 5:30am. I ended up sitting at home, plugged into the net, watching the score slowly change. So today, I’m tired, pissed off and about to phone the cable company to abuse them. But spare a thought for Carl and Nicki Braybrook, who drove three hours form Canberra, paid for a hotel room, stayed up all night and still didn’t get to see the game. True blues…



As I was driving down to Maine Road for my derby ticket on Saturday, I was listening to GMR for any updates on the availability. After about 25 miles I was passing through a dodgy reception area around Chorley. The message I thought I heard was that only fifty tickets remained for 2nd year season ticket holders. I turned round the car at Horwich and drove home. As I parked up outside the house another report came on to say that there were plenty of tickets still available if you got to the ground within the next half hour (I’m an hour away). I swore at myself for relying on a misheard announcement and sulked for the rest of the day.

The match:

There should have been a minute’s silence for the ref. at the end of the game because if the F.A. have any integrity he will not be allowed to officiate ever again. I’m still stunned by that decision and it’s 3 hours since the match finished.

Other points:

  1. We defended far too deeply in the second half. Isn’t Bally getting alittle obsessed with defending and containment?
  2. I was a little bit disappointed by Summerbee’s commitment. I thought hewas badly at fault for the second goal.
  3. Our dalliance with the F.A. Cup may be over but the game on Saturday isten times more important than this was. Especially as QPR and Bolton bothwon on Saturday.
  4. We still have a chance to stuff them in the league.

Ken Foster (


Oh it’s not fair! It’s not fair! It’s not fair. We’ve been done by a biased referee with red spectacles.

Alan Hansen described it as “a disgrace” and even Jimmy Hill said “if the referee gave a penalty each time that happened the penalty spot would be worn out.” My wife, who is an Oldham Athletic fan, described it as “a travesty of justice.”

But what can you do? Nothing; The Scum will probably win the cup now. Pass the whisky bottle.

Tony Edwards (100105,


Having seen the game on TV and being so pissed off by the referee, I simply have to write a few lines to get the anger off my chest. I am too disappointed to write a match report/view, so I leave it with a few thoughts; I remember a few months back after the other derby game at the Swamp, a rag wrote in MCIVTA that he thought it was stupid by us (City supporters) to keep on saying that the rags are always being favoured by the refs at OT. Can you remember that? That must me the greatest rubbish I have ever read! I hope he was present at the game this weekend. I have never ever seen a more rag-minded referee in my entire life. The decision to give the Rags a penalty was appalling. I have never seen anything like that. If that incident qualifies as a penalty, then we should be giving penalties following every corner kick. What Frontzeck did was simply to mark C*****a inside the area. He didn’t put his arms around the bastard’s neck and wrestle him down, the bastard didn’t even make any claims to get the penalty.

I have symapathy for the players (and AB) who after all made a decent effort. Another thing which drives me crazy is the fact that Keane wasn’t sent off. The challenge on Immel was a clear bookable offence (he was already booked)! He went straight into Immel’s chest with his boots; if the name was Dicks or Jones he would be off. But as he has got a red shirt and Ferguson has said that he is the best player in the country, no caution was made. IMHO the Rags are one of the most dirty teams in the Premiership, but they always get away with it. It’s always being played down by every referee and TV-commentator in England, who obviously love the Rags and are using every chance to protect them.

I will stop complaining now. Just wanted to type the injustice down. I am definitely not objective in this argument, but I believe even “non-City” supporters are with me now.

Finally, I think that the team is looking better now than just a few weeks ago. Quality has been brought into the side. It is going to be a tough battle against the drop, but with the help of the supporters we can surely stay up!

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


That ref. was crap. Where did he come from? I’d say he has an extra bit of money in his bank balance.

  1. Why did he not book Cantona for the assault on Brown?
  2. Why did he not send Keane off?
  3. Most of all, where did that stupid penalty come from?
  4. Also, Quinn was being pushed around everywhere and he didn’t get one free.
  5. Lastly, I am glad that Brown stamped on Butt (at last).

Paul Nash (


You go to Old Trafford, no team has won there all season, you take the lead with a well worked goal, you outplay the home team. Your keeper’s only duty is one save from Roy Keane. The award of that penalty, just before half time, was so spirit-sapping, there could only be one subequent outcome. Much of our game is awash with sleaze, and cup runs are a lucrative business. Two completely un-related points that spring randomly to mind.

Paul Lakin (


Just three points I picked up from the Derby we were cheated out of, from unbiased Rangers fans who we were watching the game with up in Stirling.

  1. Q: How many Utd players claimed a foul when Eric was “held” in the area?
    A: None – They all thought City had been given a free kick!
  2. Q: Since when do Jimmy the Chin Hill, Alan Hansen and Des all agree on something?
    A: When the 2nd angle replay was shown at half time they all said No way a pen mate
  3. “Roy Keane is one of the most overrated Premier League players at this present time, he should have walked for a number of fouls”, Quote Rangers fan who sees Gazza get booked for less every week!

At least until we were cheated out of the game Kinky and Cloughie ran the show and Uwe showed Andy Cole (didn`t get a shot on goal!) how to take his chance, what a beauty of a chip!

Sorry to moan guys but it will keep happening to City!

Richard Frost, Stirling Uni (


What more can I say – we wuz robbed!! Once again our cup dreams have been wiped away by the cruel hand of injustice. How many more times must we suffer at the hands of Salford Scum because of some terrible decisions by the referee? The ruling out of Imre Varadi’s goal in 1987 was bad enough, but Sunday’s penalty decision was unbelievable.

It’s now Monday afternoon and I’m still raging about “that” decision. It’s so bloody typical – we get the upper hand in perhaps the most important game for years and what happens, the red scum are gifted a goal. Until the ref’s moment of madness we were totally dominating the game and had them chasing shadows.

There were 15 of us watching the game at a friend’s house – 14 Blues and 1 Red. The whole house erupted with noise when Uwe calmly lifted the ball over the Great White Dope. However, deathly silence greeted the penalty – even the solitary Red in the house was baffled.

The rest, as they say, is history. The only positive aspect of the game for us was the way in which we showed everyone just how well we can play. Let’s hope that we can repeat that form in the remaining league games – if we can, then we can look forward to really getting to grips with the lucky red bastards at Maine Road.

Forever Blue (but extremely pissed off and bitter) Jon Walsh(


Just a note to say, I was proud to be a part of the World’s Best Travelling Support on Sunday. Proud of the team, who displayed some fight at last and proud to be Blue.

Despite a defeat, it augurs well for the real battle to come. Clough really makes it tick, I think.

Mark Kennedy (


What is it with Rösler? Last season he was one of the top scorers in the Premier League, and this season he can`t seem to find the net at all. Should we sell him now, when at least we might be able to get some money for him, or will he eventually find his form? My personal opinion is that the English game is too fast for him and he is better off playing in Germany where he might be able to keep up with the pace of the game.

Barry Foster (


After having noticed several different articles about the lack of atmosphere in the Academy these days, I thought I’d put my tuppence worth in.

I’m a born and bred Kippaxer, I don’t like like sitting at footie grounds and would prefer to stand anyday (even in a howling gale with the rain blowing horizontally into my face), but with the Lord Justice Taylor’s report I’ve had to get used to sitting down, which I now regard as bearable. Anyway I digress.

After spending all of my time as a season ticket holder in the Kippax I was a bit pessimistic as to how I would take to moving into the North Stand (K block I think, lower corner section anyway) for the redevelopment work. The lads I go with decided to sit together in the North stand and all of them like me, do like to sing, shout, cheer and celebrate in the manner we’re used to (I’m not one of these to be quiet and then politely clap upon City scoring a goal), I want to give it a real good celebration, jump up and down, scream and shout (ok, some of you will wonder where my straight jacket is), but that’s how I want to celebrate and most everyone in the Kippax would have felt the same. So I was anxious how people in the North stand would react. Taking my seat at the first game, we were surrounded by everyone imaginable (families, wives, lads, children). I felt restrained, during the game we (the four of us) started a song and to my surprise everyone else joined in and that settled the matter. It was a great laugh with those fans, they accepted us and our ‘wild’ behaviour and never once were we castigated. Everyone joined in the cheering, singing and chanting over the nine months, we openly shared our delights with victories and then after Christmas shared our anxieties over the prospect of relegation and finally a relief that we’d stayed up. Although the season finally finished in mediocrity (again), I’d thoroughly enjoyed my stay in the North Stand, thanks to everyone there.

However, I felt I was returning to my spiritual home when I bought my ticket for this coming season in the Kippax. We’d left it late so we decided from the limited seats available to get in the Upper Tier Block FFU row 52. I was looking forward to returning to my old stomping ground. However this season has turned into a disappointment. The view is excellent, the facilities aren’t as good as I’d hoped (can’t have everything), but the atmosphere absolutely sucks. Where have all the old faces gone, the singing, cheering and general banter has disappeared. Unlike the North Stand were everyone was prepared to join in, it’s like a morgue; no-one wants to sing. We still try, but our enthusiasm is getting slowly eroded. Best instance of what we have have to put up with, was againt QPR. Before we scored we tried to get a song going, but everything fell on deaf ears, nothing, no response. I said ‘Come on, join in, you know the words’ just trying to inject a bit of humour into the day. From a few rows away a muttered response of (something along the line of) ‘why should we, the team’s not playing’ came back. To me that sums up the stiffs that have moved back into Kippax.

I know a couple who’ve got tickets in the lower tier (they were in the same North stand block last season) and they’re quite happy, fans near them sing and back the team. They couldn’t believe the picture we painted of the upper tier, until he swapped tickets for a day; he wasn’t impressed, he doesn’t know how we put up with it. We’ve tried our hardest this season to get the atmosphere back in our little block, but all our efforts have been wasted so far. Although the view is great, we’re all agreed that next season we wanna move. The North stand seems to be the hub of the atmosphere so maybe we’ll be moving back there and turning our backs on the spiritual home of Maine Road; you can only take so much. Either that or we’ll try to get into a block were you know the fans will vocally encourage the team (isn’t a group called NSG calling for fans to do just that next season, and move into the North Stand?)

Where does the blame lie for the lack of atmosphere? Installing seats is the number one reason. During the good old days you could go and stand next to whoever you wanted, you didn’t have to stay put. If there was a group singing you could go and join them (or even move away) but now you’re stuck hoping that others will join in. Seating has invariably split the vocal support into smaller sections, scattered around the ground, so there isn’t a concentrated group to get the atmosphere fired up. We knew it would happen and unfortunately we’ve been proved right, nice one Taylor.

Well that’s that off my chest.

Martin Ford (


Some thoughts on the state of the game as posted in the most recent MCITVA:

One gentlemen mentioned a comparison to American football, where owners just up and move clubs to new cities for more money. That’s a huge problem over here, and we’re going through it with our local club, the Seattle Seahawks, where the owner is trying to move to Los Angeles. Right now he has $3 billion in lawsuits against him, so the betting is he won’t be able to pull it off. But I dare say the idea will come to someone in England soon enough.

From the stateside view, we’ve always found it a bit confusing that clubs are bumped out of the top flight based solely on on-field performance. That’s surely a foreign idea to us. In US pro sports, you have “major league” and “minor league” clubs, based mostly on the size of the city (read: TV market), facilities, owners $, etc.

My thought is, do clubs like City really care about the ability of the Portsmouths, Scunthorpes, and Wigans of the world to make money? Should they? I say not. The Premiership should be restructured to include several “permanent” clubs, clubs that stay in the top flight for say 5 years at a stretch no matter what they do on the field. Since you’re going to ask I’ll name the current Premiership clubs that should be granted permanent status:

City, United, Leeds, Notts Forest, Liverpool, Everton, Blackburn, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Boro, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Wednesday, Southampton, West Ham.

If you counted that’s 16 teams. Why these clubs? Simple. The biggest followings, best grounds, etc. These are the clubs that attract the greatest interest and followings nation-wide.

The remaining 2-4 spots would be promotion/relegation places. These clubs could include the likes of Coventry, Wimbledon, QPR, Bolton, etc. They would go into playoffs every year against the top 2-4 clubs in Premier League 2. Oops! I let the cat out of the bag!

Yes, you heard me right. Get rid of the Endsleigh League and put the top 40 or so clubs into two divisions, Premier League 1 and Premier League 2. The clubs in 2 would still have a chance at glory, a shot at moving to the big time. And clubs with “permanent” status would only have their place in the league “reviewed” every 5 years or so. Retention would be based on support, ground condition and capacity, financial status, and results in all competitions based over 5 years instead of just 1. That way clubs like City could take the time to make a 3-5 year plan without the fear of relegation (and the resulting loss of money) hanging over them every term.

And so the Scunthorpes, Burnleys, and Stockports would be on their own, out of professional football. Or would they? It’s well past time for these clubs to give up the dream of ever making it to the big time. They would be far better off as “minor league” affiliates of the bigger clubs, as in American baseball.

So how would this work? Clubs like City currently carry a first team, reserves, “A” squad and “B” squad, youth teams, etc. That’s too many players for one club to carry. Instead, the P1 and P2 clubs would sign the players to contracts and then assign them to the minor league clubs based on age, ability, etc. The minor league clubs would pay the players’ wages. The parent club would provide all the coaches. A club like City could then carry 20-22 players in first team and reserves, free of the burden of developing younger players, but knowing that they were getting the proper coaching with the minor league club. When a manager wanted to add a player from the minor league club, the parent club would purchase the player’s contract from the affiliate.

The benefit to the minor league clubs would be that they would be getting players who might someday grow to be stars in the game, as opposed to players who mostly don’t have the skills to compete in the top flight. Sure, many of the old pros would be out of a job, but isn’t that the best for the game in the long run?

A radical idea, to be sure. But something to think about from the far side of the Atlantic.

Dave Bara (


Converted from American football:

“Will the lady who left her 11 kids at Maine Road please come pick them up? They’re beating the Blues 2-0 in the first half.”

Sorry. Can be applied to any struggling sports team.

Dave Bara (


Saturday, February 17 1996

CHELSEA                 1-2    WEST HAM UNITED           25,252
MIDDLESBROUGH           1-4    BOLTON WANDERERS          22,442

Sat 17 Feb

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      25     19    3    3     49    20        60
Manchester United     26     15    6    5     47    29        51
Liverpool             26     14    7    5     50    22        49
Aston Villa           25     13    6    6     34    18        45
Tottenham Hotspur     26     11    9    6     33    25        42
Blackburn Rovers      26     12    5    9     40    28        41
Arsenal               26     11    8    7     34    25        41
Everton               26     11    7    8     39    28        40
Nottingham Forest     26     10   10    6     35    35        40
Chelsea               27     10    9    8     31    28        39
Leeds United          25     10    5   10     31    37        35
West Ham United       26     10    5   11     29    36        35
Middlesbrough         27      9    6   12     28    37        33
Sheffield Wednesday   26      7    8   11     36    42        29
Southampton           25      5   10   10     25    36        25
Wimbledon             26      6    6   14     36    52        24
Coventry City         26      5    9   12     33    49        24
Manchester City       26      6    6   14     16    36        24
Queens Park Rangers   27      6    3   18     22    41        21
Bolton Wanderers      27      4    4   19     28    52        16

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Kevin, The Mole, Barry, Mike, Rene, Martin, Colin, Dave, Ken, Tony, Paul (x5), Tor-Kristian, Richard, Jon, Peter, Mark,Neale & Roly.

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 #169