Newsletter #171

I’ll keep the preamble short in attempt to keep MCIVTA within its boundaries. There are 4 match reports, all well worth reading and loads of opinion. A really great match; suddenly it looks like it’s all coming together.

Next game, Blackburn Rovers at home, Saturday 2nd March.


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday, 24th February 1996

On the way to the ground I had thought that a 1-1 draw was the best that I could expect, after all, the line up of talent facing the Blues today was awesome; at least that is what the popular press would have us believe. However, I was encouraged by the attitude on display against the Rags a few days earlier; with Alan Ball’s motivation, this determination would surely carry through. And it did, in spectacular style. This was the best performance I have seen from a City side for a long time. Right from the first kick, it was clear that the £27m Newcastle side held no psychological advantage; if the Keegan clones had come with any ideas about an easy romp against relegation candidates they were very soon displaced when Rösler found himself in a position to deliver a cross to an advancing Quinn, who was unlucky enough to see the ball float over his head, just too high. Newcastle came back, Asprilla found Ginola on the left, he cut inside and let rip with a shot that just hit Immel’s far post and out of play.

City on the break, Rösler was on the right and tried to cross to a waiting Quinn, it was a bad ball which went out for a goal kick. This goal kick ended up at the feet of Clough, who stroked the ball out to newcomer Scott Hiley; he ran through Asprilla and Barton (I think), cut inside and managed a good pass to Clough who’d run into space just outside the box. Clough fired in a well struck shot along the ground, a deflection from the heel of Quinn and Srnicek was looking at the ball in the back of the net. 1-0 to City (to think that Hiley had never before played at Premiership level, had the skill and confidence to take on the £6.7m Asprilla and to come away with the ball at his feet to deliver a good pass that led to a goal is truly remarkable).

Newcastle came forward, Ginola looked dangerous dodging inside and given enough room to shoot, but the shot was way too high and miles wide. Soon City were on the break; Kinkladze teased the ball from a crowd of closely packed black and white shirts, ran into space and shot. Just over the top. How does he do that? This man has so much skill it’s just unbelievable.

Once again City went on the break, Brown to Kinkladze, right away there were four magpies trying to steal the ball from him but he managed to put Rösler in space. Rösler crossed and there was Geo, a hurried shot on the half volley brushed past the right hand post to go for a goal kick.

Newcastle tried to reply, there was too much room for Ginola who cut inside Lomas and Summerbee; Ginola hit a good shot that saw Immel diving for the save but the ball was swerving so much that it was heading where Immel had come from, forcing the keeper to scoop the ball over for a corner. A good save. Beardsley took the corner but Immel came from his line to claim it.

Newcastle were on the ball again, Albert to Ginola who (again) cut inside Summerbee and shot, forcing another good stop from Immel on his near post. Shortly afterwards Kinkladze was away again on the left, this time to be scythed down by Barton. The free kick saw Ferdinand heading out behind for a corner. The corner come to the head of Quinn who steered it towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal to be met by the hand of Srnicek who pushed it wide for another corner. This was taken short and came to nothing.

Again the Geordies (in name) came forward; Asprilla rode a challenge from Kinkladze and played a good ball over the top of Symons into the path of Albert who hit it with his shin, wrong-footing Immel and finding the net 1-1

Half time.

Soon into the second half, Ginola cut inside again and tried to feed Asprilla; it was a poor ball though and the Columbian couldn’t reach it so Immel collected and fed the ball out. Summerbee took the ball on the right, skinned Ginola and passed to Lomas, who quickly gave it to Kinkladze. A clever backheel from him to Clough, who passed to Quinn. Quinn’s shot was blocked and the ball fell to Kinkladze. What I saw next will live with me for a long time. Kinky ran at goal with five Newcastle players between him and the ‘keeper; he ducked, weaved, cast a spell and seemed to be through only to be denied by Albert kicking out for a corner. Once again the corner came to nothing.

After a short spell of untidiness in midfield Asprilla broke down the left but he was given some very close attention from Curle, whose man marking skills were not to the Newcastle number 11’s liking. Asprilla promptly spat his dummy out and let fly with his elbow into Curle’s face. A deliberate and malicious action right under the nose of the referee, Martin Bodenham. What did the ref do? Nowt (except give a free kick to Newcastle, which was squandered).

More Newcastle pressure was relieved when a clearance found Kinkladze in space on the left. He took the ball to the edge of the box, went inside, then outside the defence before hitting a fierce shot at Srnicek. The ‘keeper couldn’t hold it and the bounce went right back to Kinky who lobbed cleverly over the goalmouth and all the Newcastle shirts for Quinn to head home. Brilliant. 2-1.

Back came the thieving birds from the north east; Ferdinand was holding the ball on the right when in came Hiley with a rash challenge; he was very lucky not to get booked but play went on; Newcastle still had possession. The play went between Beardsley, Beresford and Asprilla who was seen to by Symons (conceding a free kick). Albert hit the free kick well; it was on target but Quinn headed out – that must have given Quinny a headache because it was hit with fearsome force. The ball ended up with Kinkladze who put Rösler through, only to be pulled up for offside (Quinn I think). The Newcastle free kick found Ginola who had moved to a position on the edge of the box. From here he fed to a waiting Albert, whose shot was parried by Immel. An excellent stop but in came Asprilla who pounced on the simple tap in. 2-2.

City carried on applying pressure. Hiley played a 1-2 with Kinkladze and got a good cross in. Quinn headed down to Clough who in turn passed to Lomas. Lomas shot (crossed?) and the ball went across the face of goal to be hoofed into the net by a poaching Rösler. 3-2.

Again Newcastle came back. Again Ginola cut inside to put in a dangerous ball. The attempted clearance went up in the air to be collected by Clark, who pushed the ball right back into the danger area. Ferdinand seemed to let it run for Albert who hit it into the bottom right corner of the net. Immel was rooted to the spot but I think he was unsighted by Quinn. 3-3.

By now it was p…ing down with rain, about 10 minutes to go and Kinkladze set off again, running down the right at the by now awe-struck Newcastle defence. Past 1, past 2, 3, 4, and pull the trigger. Only a fraction too high and just wide. The skills of this man weaving his way through opponents have to be seen to be believed.

More City pressure, Brown won a throw close to the corner flag and delivered a long throw. Quinn flicked on, the ball bounced up and seemed to be controlled by a Newcastle hand (I couldn’t see whose). The roar for a penalty must have been heard in the north east but it seems that, although again right on top of the incident the visually impaired ref saw nothing.

The clearance brought with it the final whistle but most of the players didn’t hear it. Asprilla was again being dealt with by Curle when it got a little physical. The linesman went to tell the combatants that the game was over when Asprilla nutted Curle in the face.

I heard on the radio on the way home that Mr Keegan had seen fit not to see any of Asprilla’s thuggery, and had given him the benefit of the doubt. Well Kev, if you don’t open your eyes you won’t see will you mate? You won’t see that what you got for your (sorry, someone else’s) money is £6.7m worth of gun slinging thug, who throws all his toys out of the pram as soon as he meets a half decent full back (I bet he wishes he’d sent scouts to Georgia).

By the way, are the refs’ facilities at Maine Road s**te or something, because most of them seem to take an instant dislike do they not?

Final score 3-3

Steve Bolton (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday, 24th February 1996

Team: Immel, Summerbee, Hiley, Symons, Curle, Lomas, Brown, Clough, Kinkladze, Rösler, Quinn.
Unused Subs: Phillips, Creaney, Margetson

First time in the new Kippax for me, and although we were over to one side of the upper tier I thought the view was excellent. The only downer being that the Rags’ new meccano set could be seen across the horizon. A full house greeted the teams and as a few latecomers were struggling to their seats, one of them went arse over tit and ended up in a skydiving position across several bemused fans. As I helped him up I got a whiff of wobbly legs potion and he went on his merry way.

The game commenced with 10 to 15 minutes of City domination. Kinkladze was anxious to show he was the most astutely purchased import and was playing as if the ball was attached to his boots by an elastic band. He was clattered by Barton after releasing a pass to Clough. The ref. deemed to ignore it, and fortunately for us, Kinky’s retaliatory kick. The best goalmouth action I can recall early on was when Kinky danced past a couple of defenders and unleashed a shot from about 25 yards which just grazed the bar with Srnicek beaten. Hiley was linking up well with Clough and Kinky down the left and from one of these runs came City’s opener. Hiley beat Barton and crossed to Clough on the edge of the box. Clough’s shot took a deflection off Quinn’s heel and flew in the top corner. Cue mass celebrations (the bloke to the left of my brother embraced him like a long lost relative) and general euphoria.

City continued to dominate although Newcastle were gradually coming back into the game. Their nearest attempt was when the impressive Ginola forced Summerbee onto the back foot, cut inside and curled a long range shot onto Eike’s left hand post and out. City forced a succession of 3 corners with each one looking for Niall’s head. He got a good contact with one and it was cleared off the line with Clough bearing down. Newcastle scored on the break. Asprilla delivered an inch perfect cross, just eluding Symons, and Albert finished it on the volley with Eike helpless.

Barton again brought down Kinky cynically on the edge of the box and wasn’t even cautioned, although 5 minutes earlier Summerbee had won the ball cleanly from Ginola (albeit a tackle from behind) and was yellowed for his trouble. A magpie was fluttering around on the pitch seemingly wingless and when I met Ashley and Paul at half time we wondered who this omen would favour.

The game was on Match of the Day later, but although their coverage was good, this was a match that you just had to witness first hand. Ashley was hoarse at half time and I began to feel the familiar frog throat soon into the second half. I would be writing this report next week if I had to describe all the action. The Asprilla incidents were naïve and most refs would have sent him packing. An elbow on Curle after some 50/50 argy bargying was nasty, and a gentle head butt at the end was silly but I’d prefer to dwell on the good things about the game. Kinkladze came back into the game after about 10 minutes of the second half and his ensuing contribution was probably the nearest thing to Utopia you’ll ever see from someone in a City shirt. He must be the best player in the world by a vast and unnavigable stretch. The things he did were just breathtaking. The 2nd City goal came when Kinky went on a run towards the box, beat two men, and shot. Srnicek blocked the shot but it came straight back to the Maestro who instead of blasting it again (like most players would) he spotted Quinn on the other side of the box and chipped it over for the the Mighty T to head in (Quinn’s nickname is revealed thus in the programme due to his fondness for T-bone steaks). In front again! Surely we could keep our noses in front this time?

Not to be. Newcastle equalised when Eike saved a good shot from that man Albert again but his palmed clearence went straight to the Columbian one who knocked it back from a tight angle and Eike could only knock it into his own net. 2-2. Kinkladze continued to embarrass his more illustrious opponents with his sublime skills. In one instance he beat 5 men on the edge of the box with a series of drag backs, dummies and side steps and had the ball nicked away from him just as his leg was beginning to cock. Another move saw him side step one defender, drift past two more and unleash another 20 yarder just over the bar.

As yet I haven’t mentioned the contribution of Nigel Clough; his tireless work and exceptional vision are giving players like Brown and Lomas the freedom to get wider and both seem to be enjoying their new rôles. Brown, although a bit one paced, was brilliant again and made some timely last ditch tackles and gave us a bit of width on the left which was essential due to the absence of Phillips. Our 3rd goal arrived when Lomas shot/crossed(?) on the edge of the box and the ball landed at the feet of Rösler for a simple tap in. 3-2. 10 minutes to go. Could we hold out?

Ginola taunted Summerbee all afternoon and to be fair to Buzzer I don’t really see what more he could have done apart from try to contain him. A dive in would result in Ginola skipping past him, and backing off (which Summerbee did) meant that he was at liberty to either shoot or cross whenever he got within range. Most of Newcastle’s attacks were channelled through the Frenchman and with Albert pressing forwards as well we looked like cracking. When Albert was given too much room on the edge of the penalty area, his deflected shot nestled in the corner of the net. 3-3. City went looking for the winner. From a corner Kinky’s cross was clearly and blatantly handled by Howey. Everybody in the ground saw it. Everybody in the ground knew it was a penalty. Martin Bodenham from the footballing hotbed of East Looe in Cornwall bottled it and blew for full time.

Final Score: 3-3

Ken Foster (


MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday, 24th February 1996

I had a bad feeling about this game and wondered whether last weekend’s result would see the boys in blue collapse…. may I ask forgiveness now?

New boy Scott Hiley was in for Frontzeck but otherwise this was the team that acquitted themselves admirably over at the Swamp. The ground was sold out and later on there were people phoning into GMR complaining that they had travelled from Prestwich only to find out that there were no tickets left; have they no telephones in North Manchester? There was an average showing of ‘Toon’ fans who had about one third of the North Stand and sang mightily as we have come to expect.

City started off brightly, attacking the North Stand and carving out a few half chances early on, the best one when Rösler broke free down the right and crossed in for Quinn who had run goal-side of Peacock only for the ball to sail disappointingly high over his head.

Newcastle had clearly come for a result and after weathering the initial storm soon found their pattern which seemed, more often than not, to involve Ginola. He has never looked particularly gifted to me but, watching him closely you can easily see that his first touch is brilliant and he always gets his cross in. Within the space of ten minutes he did the same thing three times; he teased Summerbee then cut fractionally inside him, unleashing a shot. One screamed over Eike’s outstretched left hand and thankfully over the bar; another hit the post and the third sent Eike the wrong way but he somehow recovered to palm the ball away with his right hand. Although I now rate Ginola very highly, he was again up to his despicable diving antics. There’s diving for a penalty and there’s diving to get a player booked and Ginola, in my experience, frequently does the latter. He was tackled from behind by Summerbee and fell as if poleaxed, getting Buzzer booked. The City fans chanted “Cheat” although whether this was for the ref. or Ginola I don’t know. I just wonder why a player with such obvious talent feels the need to do this; I’m with Cantona on this one, Ginola is a jerk!

I was labouring under the misapprehension that the gangly awkward git with the flashy red boots was Carlton Palmer. Funny I thought, no-one told me that Newcastle had signed him! A quick glance at the programme informed me that this was one of the world’s most exciting players, one Faustino Asprilla.

City took the lead thanks to the impressive Hiley who neatly skipped past Barton and, when the ball came in, the unmarked Clough chose his spot, the wrong one! Fortunately, the ball went through Quinn’s legs who, as it passed, flicked it with his instep, wrongfooting Srnicek. City easily matched Newcastle and if it wasn’t for our lack of pace up front we would have surely scored again. Kinky did one of his runs, beating about 4 players and unleashing a shot which grazed the bar with Srnicek beaten. City looked dangerous in the air for the first time all season and also had a Quinn header cleared off the line. I glanced at my watch to see it was nearly half time; “here it comes” I thought! Sure enough, Albert brought the ball out of defence, sent Asprilla away to the right and continued his run. Nobody picked him up and Asprilla picked him out with a beautiful ball beyond Symons which was clinically finished by Albert, giving Immel no chance..44mins 49 secs!

We had really played well with Kinky outstanding and Brown playing like a seasoned midfielder. He and Clough put in some excellent tackles, giving Beardsley, Ferdinand and Asprilla a very difficult time.

The second half showed no let up and before we knew it we were one up again; after a beautiful jinking run by Kinky he unleashed a hard shot which Srnicek could only palm back to him; Kinky then lobbed the ball over to Quinn at the far post who headed the ball in from an unbelievably acute angle. The fans went wild with rousing choruses of “You’re not singing anynore” which is what the ‘Toon’ fans had treated us to with their equaliser. After this (I think?) there was a nasty incident when the largely ineffectual Asprilla, who had been superbly marshalled by Curle lost his head. He broke free of Curle on the left and there was a lot of pushing and shoving, probably a foul by Curle but, when it seemed over, Asprilla blatantly elbowed Curley in the face. Now Curley is not of Ginola’s ilk and when he goes down there is usually a reason for it. We didn’t get a clear view but on TV it was crystal clear and Asprilla is going to be in hot water with the FA; a ban I would have thought.

Newcastle once again came back and equalised when an Albert shot was nicely saved at the near post only to rebound to Asprilla who slotted home, though Eike did save it again but couldn’t prevent his own momentum from carrying the ball over the line. Once again we attacked and the ball came to Lomas on the edge of the box who crossed/shot beyond the Newcastle defence for Uwe to slot the ball home at the far post. Could we hang on? The answer was no but once again luck played a part. Albert shot on the edge of the penalty area and looked to have placed the ball beautifully, just beyong Immel. Seeing this again on TV showed it to have taken a substantial deflection off Quinn’s feet, wrongfooting Immel. Surprisingly, we still attacked and in a sublime scene which had Hansen and Brooking singing his praises (on TV), Kinky ran rings round 5 Newcastle players before curling a shot just beyond the upright; it would have been a fantastic goal.

The game was still not finished as a spectacle because there was what looked to be a blatant handball by Newcastle from a cross on their right. I couldn’t see that well but it looked sound enough to me. The ball was booted upfield and the ref. blew for time; Curley and Asprilla were however, still unaware and were tussling away in some kind of mutual wrestling grip. They then realised it was all over and Asprilla quite calmly headbutted Curle! Curley seemed to think about doing a Ginola but thankfully just held his face; the amazing thing was that the linesman was right next to it and seemed to do nothing! Having said that, maybe he’ll be reporting to the ref. afterwards. The replay on TV showed that although the headbutt wasn’t of the full-blooded variety, it was clear and intentional.

To sum up, this was City’s best performance of the season (though Paul tells me that it was at Leeds!) and Newcastle played well; don’t let anyone tell you they were poor. Kinky and Brown were outstanding. Either Asprilla is vastly overrated, had a poor game, or Keith Curle is a brilliant man-marker. Kevin Keegan must be seriously concerned at the wisdom of spending £6.7m on the Columbian; he was very average and should have been off the field for his elbowing and headbutting antics.


Immel (7) No chance with any of the goals and made some fine saves.
Summerbee (6) Got a running from Ginola and a yellow as well.
Hiley (7) Looks a good player to me, slotted in very well and looks like he has been playing for us for a couple of seasons.
Curle (8) Marked Asprilla brilliantly if a little physically, but still felt it necessary to give the ball to the opposition in the most ludicrous circumstances.
Symons (8) Great job, Ferdinand never had a look in.
Brown (8) He looks a tremendous prospect and won the midfield, winning balls and allowing Kinky to do his stuff. He can beat defenders as well.
Lomas (7) Another good performance though not in the same bracket as at the Swamp.
Kinky (9.5) Sublime, worth the admission price alone to see him make Newcastle’s vastly expensive midfielders and defenders look like Sunday afternoon pub players… honest!
Clough (8) What a difference he has made to this side, talks, encourages and don’t let anybody tell me he doesn’t like tackling.
Rösler (7) Good finish but I do wish he could run faster. Maybe he’ll score more as we grow as a team?
Quinn (7) Two goals, the latter a real class finish, maybe we need to give him less to aim at?



MANCHESTER CITY vs. NEWCASTLE UNITED, Saturday, 24th February 1996

This was my first trip to The Academy since our 1-0 win over Bolton, so I was eagerly looking forward to a battle against the Premiership leaders. Set off from Euston with 3 friends (2 Blues and a Geordie) at 7.50am after getting up at the earliest time since my school days! By Watford Junction (8.30) the first of the many beers had been drunk and I was feeling progressively more optimistic about out duel with Newcastle, especially after our battling performance against Stretford the previous Sunday.

Now I must point out to MCIVTA readers that it’s not my usual policy to start downing beers at 8.30 on a Saturday morning but I hadn’t been to Maine Road for a while and I certainly wasn’t going to be out drunk by my Geordie mate! As a result of our on-train antics we arrived in Manchester in extremely good spirits around 11.00 – just in time for the pubs to open! Before nipping off for a pub lunch I thought I’d spend some more of my cash in the City Store. Why is it I feel, on my meagre wages, the need to help out the club financially by buying City souvenirs I can’t really afford? Never mind, I departed with a new City cap, calendar, andmMug (coffee that is!). After a few more beers around a surprisingly damp (not!) Manchester city centre we headed off to The Academy. Unfortunately due to my drunken state my match report may not be entirely accurate in terms of team line-up, stats etc. but hopefully some other match reports may correct any errors I might make!

The game kicked off to a full house and the vocal Geordie support ensured that there would be some atmosphere on the day. Thankfully the City faithful rediscovered their voice too, and it was a much better atmosphere than the one I’d experienced against Bolton. Right from the start both teams made their attacking intentions clear and it was no surprise to me that goals were scored and conceeded with reckless abandon in this match. City were playing with a pride and determination that made me proud to be a Blues fan, though Newcastle looked dangerously good going forward. After having much the better of the opening period City went ahead after new boy Scott Hiley dragged a cross back for Clough to score via a deflection. I found out after the game that Quinninho got the final touch, though the fact that I thought Lomas got the third shows just how p****d I was. Similar to my feelings on Sunday I felt that if we could get to half time without conceding then we’d go on to win. No chance. Asprilla was coming more into the game, and his delightful pass provided an opportunity for the impressive Albert to fire home.

After the break I was pleasantly surprised to see City come out still looking hungry for the win. Kinkladze was having an absolute blinder, making the Geordie midfield look ordinary. If Asprilla’s worth £6.7 million then I hate to think how much Kinky’s worth. After one of his dazzling runs through about 4 Newcastle players he shot hard at Srnicek; the ‘keeper parried well but Kinkladze scooped the rebound to the far post where Quinn headed home. Would we hang on… unfortunately not. City always look vulnerable after they score and Newcastle quickly got back on level terms. A powerful run by Ginola(?) ended with a superb save by Immel. Unfortunately for the Blues Asprilla was on hand to squeeze in the rebound, much to the delight of the travelling Toon Army. Again I was overjoyed as City heads did not drop but continued to search for a winner, and as the rain lashed down Rösler fired home to send Maine Road into delirium. Surely that was it, no chance of a third Geordie comeback? … hey we’re City fans, and I can’t say I was totally surprised when that b*****d Belgian levelled it up with a crisp shot.

With 5 minutes to go both sets of fans seemed uniformly hoping for a winner, yet terrified of a defeat after such an entertaining match. A frantic 5 minutes ended with an Asprilla head butt on Curle. As He’d already elbowed Curle in the face in the first half I was a little surprised the ref. let it go. I’ve heard since that the FA are viewing videos of both incidents and that a suspension for Asprilla is likely. The truth is however, despite what you read in the press, that these incidents were a small event in a match which should be remembered for its brilliant enterprising play. This is the type of English football match that I left New Zealand to see, and I was extremely proud of City’s performance. If we play even half as good as this for the rest of the season then we’ll stay up, no worries. Sure we gave away a lead three times, but with Asprilla, Ferdinand, Ginola, and Beardsley coming at you that’s hardly unforgiveable.

In conclusion I think the entire team deserves praise for an exciting performance, though once again Kinkladze was out of this world. The only negatives of the entire day were: the amount of Geordies in the Kippax which led to some aggro behind me; and the dickhead Charlton fans on the train on the way back to London – what is it with Endsleigh league aggro? Next time I’ll not be so forgiving! And in case you wanted to know, I had a stunner of a hangover the next day! Keep the faith.

Roger – The Blue Kiwi (


GMR today (Friday 23rd Feb) reports Franny saying that there is money left in the Transfer kitty for the right player. When asked what nationality this player was likely to be – he said it could be English or Continental.

City obviously want to strengthen their squad before the transfer deadline arises next month. City will have a few suspensions looming and so this seems wise.

The position that needs strengthening most of all is that of a striker. The name of John Hartson has been mentioned. There is also a possibility that the Georgian striker who is playing in Turkey (Trabzonspor) could be the player to come to Maine Road.

Tony Farrar (


Yes it’s that time of the year again. As usual, there’s a discount for anybody willing to part with their money before the end of March. Current season tickets must be renewed before the end of May or the seat will go on open sale.

Area                                  Price to  Price to  Last Season
                                      31 March   31 May  (to 31 March)
Main Stand Blocks B & C               £280.00   £310.00    £255.00
Main Stand Blocks B & C, Juniors/OAPs £200.00   £230.00    £180.00
Main Stand Blocks A, D, E, F, H & I   £260.00   £285.00    £235.00
A, D, E, F, H & I, Juniors/OAPs       £190.00   £220.00    £170.00
Main Stand Block G (OAPs only)         £95.00    £95.00     N/A
Kippax Upper Tier                     £250.00   £275.00    £220.00
Kippax Upper Tier, Juniors/OAPs       £175.00   £200.00    £160.00
Kippax Lower Tier                     £200.00   £225.00    £170.00
Kippax Lower Tier, Juniors/OAPs       £140.00   £160.00    £125.00
Umbro Stand                           £220.00   £230.00    £200.00
Umbro Stand, Juniors/OAPs             £170.00   £205.00    £155.00
Family Stand                          £150.00   £165.00    £135.00
Family Stand, Juniors/OAPs            £100.00   £125.00     £90.00
North Stand                           £200.00   £215.00    £180.00
North Stand, Juniors/OAPs             £145.00   £150.00    £130.00

So once again prices increase by well over the rate of inflation but they still compare favourably with most other Premiership clubs. Let’s hope we’re still in the Premiership next season!

Paul Howarth (


Interesting piece of news. According to the newspapers here on Saturday, City are take part in a “Twinning” operation with top Irish club Cork City.

Apparently Cork management were in Manchester for talks with FL and AB last Friday. The arrangement will mean young City players coming across the water to be “Blooded” in the League of Ireland and our Irish lads going in the opposite direction for trials with City.

There is already an arrangement like this in the LOI with Dublin side Home Farm linking with Everton to become Home Farm/Everton and seems to be working pretty well.

There has been no cash arrangement made, maybe AB could unearth a new footballing genius?

As there is no cash involved I think this is a pretty good idea as Cork have been one of the top sides in this country for a few years with some fine players. It may also mean that City will probably be crossing the water to play a few pre-season friendlies which is always good news. Viva City!

Paul Coleman (


Twinning boost for the two Cities:

Football League of Ireland team, Cork City, last Friday night agreed a twinning arrangement with Manchester City that will have far-reaching benefits for both clubs next season. Cork City members met with Alan Ball and Francis Lee for over three hours at Maine Road. The upshot is an arrangement whereby Man City will loan players to Cork City and will in turn, take some of the Cork City’s young guns on trial as well.

The initial approach was made by Man City and it was Carl Davenport, the former Man City and Cork Celtic great who got in touch with the League of Ireland club on behalf of Man City.

“This is an idea we have been tossing over in our heads for some time now and, at last, it’s come to fruition. It’s a great move for us because we can look on Cork now as something of a nursery club,” said Alan Ball. “It’s a two-way thing though and there will be plenty of give and take involved between the two clubs next season,” added AB.

One other proviso is that Cork City set up a Youth Training Scheme which will be regularly staffed by Man City coaching staff. Also reported is that the two teams will meet for a pre-season friendly on July 22 next. For those who don’t know or don’t really care Cork City is where such wasters as Keane and Irwin started playing, or as in the case of Keane, brawling.

Dermot Gleeson (
Eugene C Montague (


GMR reported this morning that Keith Curle faces an F.A. misconduct charge following comments he made in the players’ tunnel at the end of the recent game at Everton. You may recall some controversial decisions in that game, notably a penalty early in the second half and the sending-off of Michael Frontzeck just before the end. No wonder Curle’s keeping his mouth shut about the Asprilla incidents on Saturday! Curle is already suspended along with Michael Brown for the next two games; let’s hope that suspension isn’t extended.

The Mole


The F.A. have examined the video of Saturday’s match and have brought two charges of misconduct against Faustino Asprilla and one against Keith Curle (not sure what this relates to but as we know Curley does like to wind his opponents up). Curle already faces a misconduct charge relating to events following the game at Goodison Park a few weeks ago.

The Mole


From The Independent, 26th February.

10 Reasons why Georgi Kinkladze should be the footballer of the year:

  1. It would reward Alan Ball’s courage in signing him unwatched.
  2. He’s the best player English League football has seen since George Best.
  3. It would stop a Newcastle player winning the award.
  4. It would stop a Manchester United player winning it.
  5. It would stop a Blackburn Rovers player winning it.
  6. An acceptance speech by a player who cannot speak English would be better than most recent efforts.
  7. It would stop Alan Ball whining about his players being under-rated.
  8. It might make him more sympathetic to England when he has the chance to run rings around them in World Cup qualifying matches.
  9. It would show that players need to be giants only in skill and not in physique.
  10. Manchester City players win the award only once in a blue moon.

Geoff St George (


On the Oracle viewers’ poll, 83% of those who called thought City were robbed. Doesn’t help much, but nice to know!

Steven Garrod (


Setting the record straight about Munich

I read with interest the article by Mike Edwards in MCIVTA 170, particularly with reference to the bunker attitude developing amongst some City supporters. I have supported City since circa 1938, and I can remember the time when collections had to be taken in factories and offices in the Manchester area to pay the wages of United!

Over the 50 years a great transformation has taken place in the centre of gravity of success – and I won t pursue that particular point. I ponder over some of the reasons and I think that it boils down to enlightened and un-enlightened management and directorship. In the 1930’s, when almost extinct, the fortunes of United were taken over by a man called Gibson. In those days a youth policy was unknown and the reserve team usually contained the old crocks put out to grass. Against normal practice United started a youth team called The Goslings and also encouraged young talent from a Dublin based team, Home Farm. Then came World War II …

When hostilities ended United appointed Matt Busby as manager. This, in my opinion, was the turning point. Busby was an ex-Blue, we had sold him to Liverpool just before the war. As Old Trafford had been bombed United shared Maine Road with City for some five years. I went every week, watching one team or the other, and I still believe that the United team which won the Cup in 1948 was the best team I’ve ever watched; all apart from Delaney were products of youth policy.

I started as a young teacher in 1952. and taught for six years in Hulme, refereeing each Saturday morning on the red rec or on the barracks. Each week United sent the schools a book of free entrance tickets to Old Trafford to watch the reserves. My kids had no money so tickets went like hot cakes. And what about City? – nothing. I was deeply involved in School soccer and one of my boys played for England Schoolboys against Scotland and Germany, another was reserve goalkeeper and another became City’s substitute in the 1969 Final at Wembley. The player who was sub at Wembley was Dave Connor. Dave had a reputation for man-marking, and one of the players he always seemed to mark out of the game was Alan Ball. Dave Connor and Neil Young were transferred to Preston North End where Alan Ball Senior was the manager. Dave left PNE after a disagreement with the manager as to who was the greatest player he ever played against. DC said it was George Best but AB Senior insisted it must have been AB Junior. Enough said… I digress.

Back to the subject of Munich. Only people who were alive at that time can really appreciate the effect the disaster had on the whole of Manchester. The whole city went into deep mourning. City and United fans grieved together. I went to school with Roger Byrne and he died in the crash, as did my schoolboy hero, Frank Swift. When the survivors recovered, the surgeon who had performed the operations came over to Manchester as a guest of the town; his name was Professor Maurer. My father was a printer at Kemsley House (Telegraph, Mirror etc.). Prof. Maurer was given the highest honour printers could give – a Jerry or, to the uninitiated, the banging of metal on metal. It lasted ten minutes. The man was in tears.

I m sure that only a small minority of so called fans would indulge in Munich taunts. Munich was a tragedy which personally affected the lives of many people and like Hillsborough and Bradford should be left alone.

Forty years is a long time.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


I just wanted to make three points that came to mind:

  1. Why not have clapping (as in Italy) to salute a deceased great, so the mindless would not be heard?
  2. I saw the B’burn vs. L’pool match today and Mr Wilkie was the ref.Great penalty appeal for B’burn late on (clearly a handball) but playwas waved on. Hmmm. If that was at O/T what would have happened?
  3. Any chance the photo of the City players around Wilkie could bescanned into the home page? Maybe Eric has one?

Stephen Barlow (


Firstly let me say how much I enjoy MCIVTA. As an exiled Wythenshawe Red who devours the Soccer web, I find this site far and away the best, and a credit to City supporters. I have supported the Reds all my life, but have also had the pleasure of great friendships with City players, officials and supporters over the years since the early seventies. I find that the “success” that United have enjoyed over the years has never been equally shared between the club’s Directors and supporters. ManU have never enjoyed a close relationship such as City have with their fans, thanks to the Junior Blues and the involvement of the club with this association. Considering the huge support the Reds have had over many years, the club’s attitude has been pretty cavalier towards the rank and file fans. Even now with the ground improvements making the stadium a magnificent spectacle, the pricing policy will soon leave the core support outside looking in. United are going further away from the people who initially put them where they are, and they will certainly regret it. When the corporate hospitality boxes are full at the ground they may think they are on to a winner, but this is short term thinking. Football is for the people not the fat cats. When the passion, the fervour and the exhilaration go out of the game then the game begins to die and these same people in their glass boxes move off with their money to other venues. This is one of the reasons that I feel City in the longer term will benefit more than the Reds. In Franny Lee they have a Chairman who cares about the club and the supporters. He has invested his money (not his Dad’s) voluntarily into a very risky business, and it looks as though he is willing to give Alan Ball the time needed to see his plans to fruition. I hope so because if AB is as committed a manager as he was a player then he’s halfway there already.

Finally I’d just say in summary that I think Blues fans are actually closer to their club and can feel more a part of it than we Reds can to our team. I’ve watched the Reds for years, I suffered the agony of Munich as a schoolboy and to this day I can’t read about the crash and the wonderful players and others who died without feeling the intense loss, and yet I dont feel I’m “part” of the Club. So maybe we’ve won a few more games than you, but I do wonder who will win the war… With every best wish for the rest of this season and the future.

The Wythenshawe Exile – Leo Fewtrell (


A prize of a season ticket to the club who wins the ‘Most Excitable Import into English Football’ prize (currently held by La Grand Erique, on a long term basis) will be given to the MCIVTA subscriber who can accumulate (and verify) the largest number of Rodney Marsh references in articles about Asprilla.

For the literary amongst us, you will note that Faustino is the diminutive of ‘Faust’ the character in German literature who sold his soul to the devil in return for reward and success on earth. What can this mean? (note – the current ‘Sold their Soul to the Devil’ award currently resides up the road at our dear friends and neighbours.

Jeremy Poynton (


A pattern always emerges in any relegation battle. Usually in the following form, a doomed for a long time team (Bolton), a valiant struggle followed by relegation (QPR) and a team which always free-falls from mid table; last season it was Norwich, this season it could well be Middlesbrough, or even Leeds.

City fans should consider the fate of Aston Villa from last season, who only escaped relegation two games from the end of the season, got two great players and one mediocre one, but more importantly got inconsistent players playing well week in week out this season; Yorke and Johnson spring to mind. Brian Little developed a team structure to fit in his malcontents, Alan Ball should be working along those lines.

Paul Lakin (


Living in Malaysia for the past five years, it has been difficult to fully assess the progress of City. Television coverage is plentiful, but often too brief, and only since the advent of MCIVTA can you really get a feel on the thinking at the club. Also my annual pilgramages home have been timed so inappropriately that I haven’t seen City win in the flesh since 1990. However, I feel compelled to write to join the fray stimulated by the United game on two fronts: the behaviour of City fans and the real status of the team.

I fully support the views expressed by contributors to MCIVTA who believe the United rivalry is getting out of hand. City fans have always been famed for smart, “gallows” humour in the face of adversity. A unique ability to laugh at themelves and their team which endeared us to the football world. What a load of bollocks that turns out to be as we disrupt Paisley’s minute of silence and extend our wit and repartee to its utmost by singing the Munich song throughout the game. Great, lads.

Fact is the Rags care a lot less about us than we do about them. Because of success? Perhaps. But also because we’ve let this thing get out of hand. I am amazed on my trips back to Manchester at the obsession United have become. Frightening. The focus has to change towards the team’s success per se. Not just with the Rags as the reference point. And all supporter organisations should look to diffuse the situation and publicly castigate those who shamed City around the world through their Derby-day chants.

Pride may be restored on the pitch. While as baffled as many others by AB’s early season manipulations it seems there is a plot after all. There is undoubtedly a nucleus: Symons, Curle, Kinkladze, Flitcroft, Clough, Lomas, Phillips. Quality players.

But let’s face it. Rösler is fat and slow. Quinninho is getting a look of Roger Davis. Summerbee is not Premier League class. There is still a black hole at left back. And neither Immel nor Coton were the answer.

First things first, AB must look for a mobile and speedy front partnership. Phillips in a more central rôle with A.N. Other? Clough, Kinkladze, Lomas want to play balls to feet and get it back. At the moment that is not happening. Rösler’s on his arse and the big man’s got the turning circle of the Ark Royal.

If the master plan comes together perhaps City’s name will return to the headlines in places like Malaysia and other places around the world. Not with “Thugs taint Paisley’s memory” but with something a little more positive.

Tim Parkinson (


I was interested in Paul’s comments regarding the fans’ behaviour at the derby. I tend to view fans at derby games the same way you would the guest of honour at a stag night or 21st birthday party. Occurences that would be frowned upon in everyday life are forgiven and accepted for what they are. It seems ironic also that a few weeks ago City fans at Everton were praised for their behaviour during the minute’s silence there. I believe derby games are what they are and the next day those same loudmouths would be at work with Reds, without violently attacking or ignoring them.

We should be very proud of our following. Especially away. If you counted the amount of fans per trophy won over the last 20 years we must be rated at the very top.

I don’t think we will go down this year, but if we do it will not have as dramatic effect on our following as it would “certain other clubs”. That’s true support and over the years we have shown that our supporters are amongst the most loyal and best behaved anywhere.

Howard Pheby (


As a person who boycotted Maine Road after the Middlesbrough game due to the behaviour of the fans, you may think it inappropriate to defend them.

However, as mentioned in my match report, the minute’s silence was interrupted by a very small minority. At the most 10 out of 8000 i.e. 0.125% No amount of police monitoring could get rid of these idiots. I honestly believe that the authorities should reduce the time to 30 seconds which could be inside the concentration threshold of the below average dickhead.

Secondly, how upset do United fans get when the opposition fans sing the dambusters song? I feel it is looked upon more in contempt than disgust. This was shown on Sunday when after scoring the second goal, the Rags’ fans mimicked the City supporters by their own version of dambusters.

Finally I saw vandalism take place after the game. Again only by a small minority (although greater than the culprits before the start of the game).

I think everything should be placed in perspective and all in all the day went peaceably and 98% of City fans were a credit.

Kevin Duckworth (


Anyone else think he should have been booked for having an offensive moustache? Surely the worst tash in British football, and far more dangerous that Asprilla’s elbow?

Jeremy Poynton (


Well I feel that I can not keep my feelings in any longer. After the diabolical display by the ref last week, we get an equally inept one this week. Are Keegan, the ref and his two linesmen the only people in the ground who did not witness the little Columbian #*!% twice assault Curle and then to go on and score a goal when he should have been in the shower? Admittedly, Curle was not totally blameless, but that sort of baracking goes on on every football pitch around the country, whether it’s professional or not, but the only person you would expect behaviour like that from is C*ntona. If there are any refs reading this, do us a favour and stop being so biased against us. I know this might sound like a case of being a Bitter Blue, but we are just getting really p****d off with your c**p decisions.

Neil 🙁 Pugh (


Just a few thoughts re. the Newcastle match:

  • I thought we were in for a repeat of the glorious 3-2 as well, shameit didn’t come about but I don’t think we can complain overmuchabout our result.
  • It was the featured match on MOTD and Des, Trev & Alan all shottheir load over both teams, and especially Kinkladze. Reminded mestrongly of Kenney Dalglish’s “Where have they been all season?”comment of last year.
  • The suspensions of Brown and Curle are a bugger – but we now haveFlitcroft back. For the first time in yonks we are spoilt for choicein midfield – the Lomas – Clough – Brown; Kinkladze formation hasdone us well but Lomas – Flipper – Clough; Kinkladze will probably bebetter. And if (although it would be disastrous) we were forced toplay without Kinkladze then there’s Phillips instead. And now we havetwo specialist full-backs in Frontzech and Hiley, Summerbee can alsotake up an attacking winger rôle, which he prefers. Hiley’s début was(I thought) very good, and the way he took them on (the run which ledto the first goal) was skilful and robust. AB seems to have donewell on the transfers, again.
  • So, we can afford to lose the odd midfielder to suspension.The centre-back situation, with Curle out, is not so hot – but thenagain, he’ll come back rested after these matches and will then(hopefully) be in for the rest of the season.

Roly Allen (


A friend of mine has been dragged to Sydney by his Aussie girlfriend (yes her name is Kylie) but he knows no-one for beer and football chats. Are there any Blues out there who would be prepared to do the honours? E-mail me (he’s not on-line) and I’ll ring him.

Matt Groarke (


Saturday, February 24 1996

BLACKBURN ROVERS        2-3    LIVERPOOL                 30,895
COVENTRY CITY           0-0    MIDDLESBROUGH             18,810
EVERTON                 3-0    NOTTINGHAM FOREST         33,163
MANCHESTER CITY         3-3    NEWCASTLE UNITED          31,115
SOUTHAMPTON             2-3    CHELSEA                   15,226
WEST HAM UNITED         0-1    ARSENAL                   24,217
WIMBLEDON               3-3    ASTON VILLA               12,193

Sunday, February 25 1996

BOLTON WANDERERS        0-6    MANCHESTER UNITED         21,381

Sun 25 Feb

Team                Played   Won Drawn Lost  For  Against   Points
Newcastle United      27     19    4    4     52    25        61
Manchester United     28     17    6    5     55    29        57
Liverpool             27     15    7    5     53    24        52
Aston Villa           26     13    7    6     37    21        46
Tottenham Hotspur     27     12    9    6     34    25        45
Arsenal               27     12    8    7     35    25        44
Everton               28     12    7    9     42    30        43
Chelsea               28     11    9    8     34    30        42
Blackburn Rovers      27     12    5   10     42    31        41
Nottingham Forest     27     10   10    7     35    38        40
West Ham United       28     11    5   12     31    37        38
Leeds United          25     10    5   10     31    37        35
Middlesbrough         28      9    7   12     28    37        34
Sheffield Wednesday   27      7    8   12     36    43        29
Southampton           26      5   10   11     27    39        25
Wimbledon             27      6    7   14     39    55        25
Coventry City         27      5   10   12     33    49        25
Manchester City       27      6    7   14     19    39        25
Queens Park Rangers   27      6    3   18     22    41        21
Bolton Wanderers      28      4    4   20     28    58        16

With thanks to Soccernet



Thanks to Tony, Paul (x2), Steven, Leo, Matt, Howard, Steven (x2), Kevin, Dave, Ken, Neale, Jeremy, Neil, Roly, Dermot, The Mole,Eugene, Roger & Geoff.

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 #171