Newsletter #193

We’re getting some rather unpleasant rumours about a bid for Kinky from Barcelona. I just hope that they are speculation as losing Gio would just about take the biscuit. There’s a lot of opinion and it’s certainly hardening against Ball. I’m really in a quandry; I’m definitely against the manager-go-round that has marked the last 20 years but then again, I’m not convinced by Ball. Having said that, he’s only had 10 months and I think he will be given two seasons before any ejection: he will have to prove himself a bad manager, unfortunately some will no doubt say!

We also have a Why Blue (please keep sending them in) as well as the usual good contribution from the Platt Lane Correspondent.

The MCIVTA FC practice session is only provisional and is dependent on a successful booking.

Next game, Athlone FC, Friday 19 July 1996


According to a report on CNN Teletext this evening (Thursday), Gio Kinkladze is having talks with Barcelona. More idle speculation or is there something in this?

The Mole


I got this from a friend of mine, who has good contacts in the european transfer market:

After Manchester City were relegated, they are now surely going to lose Georgiou Kinkladze. The Georgian has been linked with many top clubs, Bayern Munich being one of the clubs leading the race for the highly rated Georgian. City are then rumoured to be targeting another former Dinamo Tblisi player, this time Bakhva Tedeyev, a central midfielder now playing for Alania Vladikavkaz, after being recommended by former team mates Kinkladze and Mikhail Kavelashvili. Kinkladze has stated that Tedeyev could be his perfect replacement if he is leaving. Tedeyev, born in Georgia, has played for the Russian national team on several occasions.

I heard later that Gio is having talks with Barcelona…

Tedeyev is 27 years of age and has played 152 games, 39 goals in the domestic championship. He has played with Dinamo Tblisi, Dinamo Moscow and now the champions of Russia – Alania Vladikavkaz.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


It seems that rumours of Ray Kelly’s departure from Maine Road were a little premature. Although he was named in the group of young players released by City on Thursday, he has now apparently been offered a new contract! The 19 year old Irish striker, signed from Athlone in 1994, is regarded as one of the most improved players at Maine Road – he scored a hat-trick in the reserves’ 6-1 victory at Mansfield on Wednesday. Meanwhile, City denied that they’d had an approach from Everton for Uwe Rösler. The bid was rumoured to be in the 2 million pounds region but it now looks like somebody made it up. One of these days there’ll be a rumour that turns out to be true!

Paul Howarth (


I see on the Sky page that Curle is to stay, so I suppose that stops all the rumours about who is captain next season. I suppose this is a good thing especially if lose Symons to Derby.

Jim Walsh (


From your Platt Lane correspondent.

Well the end of the season has arrived. Endsleigh league soccer next season for the 1st team. Pontins Div 2 for the reserves. No A Team, and a crop of good lads emerging from the B Team. Who will be the 14 players promised the chop?

The week began reasonably enough. The 1st Team were down at the Platt Lane Complex. A.B. looked cockily confident and the lads looked pretty eager. In fact, so eager that Lomas almost chopped the legs off Brown in a very late tackle. On Friday there was a full practice match. The team which played on Sunday versus the rest, which was made up of Dibble, the Fronze. Kernaghan, Buster, Kavelashvili, Mazzerelli, Lee Crooks, Whitley, Greenacre, Callaghan and A. N. Other. Needless to say The Rest won 1-0 !! The writing was on the wall if only I could see it! Quinn and Rösler made a mess of several good chances, so what s new?

Saturday morning was the B Team s last game of the season. They beat Preston North End 3-0 and finished 2nd in the Lancashire League Div 2. There are some good propects in the B team – nearly all of them make up the Reserves, some having played over 50 games this season. Callaghan looks a good right full-back. Lee Crooks has already been on the subs’ bench and Whitley is an all action player who can score goals. Lee Crooks’ dad told me that Lee and Greenacre have been told to get the necessary visas ready to accompany the team to China in an end of season tour. I was disappointed to hear that Aled Rowlands has had an altercation with the training staff and his future is unsure. He looks a very good prospect to me.

Alan Ball said on G.M.R. Radio that “sometimes in life you have to take a step backwards in order to take a step forward.” Sue Mott in the Daily Telegraph comments: “So Alan Ball’s streak of villainous back luck extended to Manchester City yesterday. They became the 5th Club relegated under his management. Blackpool ’81, Portsmouth ’88, Stoke ’90, Exeter ’94 and City ’96”. That to me sounds like 5 steps backward and zero forward for Alan Ball. Another amazing quote from Alan Ball concerns Lomas wasting time near the corner flag. Ball said “I heard a rumour that one of the other teams was losing and I instructed the players to keep possession.” And that, after all Alan Ball said about the gentlemen of the press spreading rumours about discord in the dressing room. The moral is: Don’t listen to rumours Alan.

That’s the lot for 95/96. So turn up in your tens of thousnads next season. Buy your Season Tickets. Support the Blues. We ll do it! We ll do it! In 60 years of supporting City I ve endured 5 relegations and 4 promotions. A promotion season is most envigorating. Thrashing Reading 5-0 makes the mouth water!!

City s share of the Premiership pay out for coming 18th in the league is £147,495. Each place was worth £49,165. Top teams received £983,300.

Neale Hayward-Shott (


With the weather out of my window looking distinctly Summer-like, is there anyone out there who fancies a couple of knackering (outdoor – as the indoor courts are unavailable) games of 5 a side this coming Sunday 19th May at the Armitage centre between the hours of 3pm and 5pm?

Anyone who attended last time will remember how much fun it really was and also who the dangermen (to hack down) are ๐Ÿ˜‰

Apologies for the short notice but the authorities have placed strict booking criteria on the pitches (i.e. up to a week in advance). Please confirm your attendance by email. Joining instructions will follow.

Dan Rigby and Robert Watson (


I’m surprised not to see more comments about the disturbances outside Maine Road on Sunday last. I came up to the game by train from Euston and therefore haven’t been able to check up in the M(u)EN.

I was sat in the lower Kippax near the Liverpool fans and directly in line with the incident that should have given us a first-half penalty. That linesman saw it and could have cost us our entire season. Still, that’s another story…

Prior to Sunday, my experience of Liverpool fans has nearly always been good and I’ve never really known any animosity between the two clubs. However, their fans staying behind to cheer when the official news of our relegation came through was a very cheap thing to do. This caused a lot of resentment and was the root of trouble afterwards.

Filing out of the ground, a few bottles whizzed over my head, aimed at the Liverpool supporters’ coaches. One City fan shouted “F*** OFF!” and was immediately nicked by the biggest copper I have ever seen. We decided to find harbour in a nearby pub for an hour or two but didn’t imagine anything serious would kick off.

Two pints into our crying-in-our-beer session, about 20 coppers came in and enthusiastically evicted us from the pub. Most of them were OK about us but there were a couple of officers who were obviously spoiling for a fight. Outside were more police in full riot gear. One of them shouted at us to go away. As we were surrounded, I asked him which way and this only earned me a hard stare back and it was brown pants time until his mate pointed down the end of one road.

Anyway, we made our escape back to Piccadilly (on a bus!) but the scene was looking and sounding ugly when we left. Several of the police in the pub had told me there was serious trouble at the ground. None of this has been reported in the national press so I was wondering what actually went on.

My impression was that the police again completely mishandled a situation by over-reacting when it was going to blow itself out fairly quickly and they needn’t have used heavy-handed tactics. Either that or I’m a bleeding-heart liberal! ๐Ÿ™‚

Does anyone have a fuller account of what went on? I hope nothing serious did go on. Us Blues have been gaining a bit of a reputation for ourselves over the last two seasons.

James Nash (


To help us through a long close season I thought we might liven things up a bit with a competition on Euro ’96.

I’ll donate £10.00 of my hard earned cash as a prize to the winner. Rather than try to describe it here I’ve put the rules on:

and the list of entries will appear on:

Closing date for entries the end of May.

Jim Egan (


Barry Davies, football commentator on the BBC, came close to showing his true colours today (Friday) when being interviewed on Breakfast News Extra. Mr Davies was talking about the Scousers and the Rags fans going to the Cup final. When asked about his own allegiance he declined to say; his position as a neutral commentator would be compromised he said. He did say however that they (both sets of Red fans) weren’t real supporters. The real supporters are those whose clubs have won nothing for years and have just been relegated. What does he mean? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Steve Bolton (


I can’t remember if it was resolved as to whether he is a City or U****d fan. Well he’s City.

He was on Dave Pearce, Radio 1, Sunday 12th and when asked for a record to play said “anything by Oasis, as they’re City fans like me.” If you want further proof that he’s a nutter (as well as supporting City that is :-)), he even admitted to p*ssing himself during one of his laughing fits whilst commentating on It’s a Knockout. At least it wasn’t during one of his City commentaries on Radio 5 Live.

Kev Hopkins (K.Hopkins@Cs.Nott.AC.UK)


Apparently at the Oasis concert there was a man with a laptop computer in the upper tier of the Kippax testing how much the stand was shaking when everyone was jumping up and down. Does anyone know anything about this? When(!) we secure promotion next season and we jump for joy, will the lower tier be flattened along with everyone in it? I’m glad I forked out the extra few quid for the top tier now!!

I was watching Children’s BBC by chance the other day and saw Take That’s manager’s latest signing (Kavenagh?) talking about United in the FA Cup. He said he was from Manchester and supported United, at which point the bloke interviewing him said “Hold on, all my friends are from Manchester and they support City. Aren’t all you Man Utd fans just glory seekers!” – well done the BBC!!!! Also when the players were walking around the pitch before the Cup Final I saw Tony Coton talking to John Barnes and I’m sure Trevor Brooking was saying he wasn’t sure who the person talking to John Barnes was! Did anyone else hear this?

Geoff St George (


It’s taken me all week to deal with relegation. The facts as I see them are this: City scored the fewest goals in the Premiership. Without an attack you are left playing defensively, which is clearly what Ball tried all season, without success. We ended up going down anyway. The problem I have is that this shows a lack of confidence in the players. Many times in the games I saw City looked like a squad who didn’t want to play hard for their manager. Obviously, many of the players didn’t respect AB. So the issue now is do you clean house and allow Ball to have his own players totally? If this does happen and City continue with their recent track record on finding talent, I think you will end up with a 3-5 year run in the Endsleigh League. If Ball is forced to work with certain players, if Frannie Lee has a plan for the future which is not dependent on any one manager, then I see hope for a rapid return. But these are big if’s, as we say in the States. I think the indicator of which way the club is going will be to see how Niall Quinn ends up, going or staying. If he leaves, I think you can plan for an extended stay in Division One while Ball & Co. retool, and I have zero confidence in that being a success. If Quinn stays it will in my mind show that hard work and loyalty are more important to the club (and Lee) than the passing whimsy of a possibly transient manager. My hope is for the latter.

Just 3 months until the promotion campaign begins! Stay Blue!

Dave Bara (102620.1663@CompuServe.COM)


The worst day of my life as a football supporter, 5th of May 1996. City being relegated, Rags taking the title…

I actually felt like giving up being a football supporter but after some encouraging words from Paul Howarth I am back on my feet again. We have gone down now, I am desperately disappointed. But to be fair, I think we deserved to go down. We can’t blame it on bad luck, it all comes down to the fact that we haven’t played well and gained too few points. Luck evens itself out over a season and I believe the other teams down there had many penalty appeals turned down as well.

I suggested some months back that AB should have got the sack. After losing 0-4 and 0-6 to Liverpool in the same week I understood that AB was not the right man to guide Manchester City. I have followed football for many years, not only English. Based on what I have seen and learnt, I have made up an opinion on how football should be played and how to coach a team. One vital thing in football coaching is to learn from your mistakes and study the opposition. I totally lost my respect for Alan Ball as a football manager after the Liverpool games. Even a coach at the lowest level can understand that you have to change your system when you lose 0-4.

Having seen City play approximately 15 times (14 on TV, one live) this season, I must say I am totally appalled by the way City have played away from home. The team didn’t look organized at all, the players were not disciplined enough. People have put the blame on the lack of effort from the players and not the tactical abilities of Alan Ball. I think this is typical for English football supporters; in England, the tactical aspect of the game is always being forgotten. People are blaming the players… So who’s job is it to motivate the players and make them work? Isn’t that the manager?

After having seen a couple of training sessions with the team (before the Sheffield Wednesday game), I was disappointed to see how Alan Ball was treating the players. He was obviously using his mouth more than his brain, always yelling and shouting at the players. I am not saying that the players shouldn’t be getting a bit of stick from the manager, but everyone with a basic knowledge in psychology will know that yelling and shouting will do more harm than good to the players. A bit of stick can possibly fire up the players for a game but if it keeps on the players will be tired by the shouting and become p**sed off. IMHO it could be the reason why the players were not full of effort against Liverpool. Perhaps they thought; “Never mind if we go down, then we’ll probably get rid of Bally…” I doubt that any player played to save the manager on the day.

AB also had a go at Uwe Rösler in the MEN after the derby. This kind of behaviour is nothing less than stupid from a manager. It’s not only stupid but it’s a sign of bad education and tells us more about AB’s intelligence than anything else. Perhaps it fired up Rösler for a few games but it’s not really a good way to treat a player if you want to keep him in your squad. In my opinion, a manager will have to cope with all types of players. You will also need the ability to be calm and reflected, to learn to know each and every player. AB doesn’t have these abilities. I don’t doubt that AB is working very hard to make things right at Maine Road. He is probably working 20 hours a day to improve the side but sometimes the ideas are simply wrong. The man is not competent to do the job.

Reading some articles in MCIVTA after the relegation, some are saying that we should give AB time to work things out. How can you say that? Isn’t a season enough to prove that you can lead a side? City’s side at the start of the season wasn’t so poor that we were afraid of relegation (at least I wasn’t), so the least to ask for was to stay in the Premiership. IMHO AB hasn’t shown any quality that suggests that he has something going. The “experts” are saying that the best manager is the one who is winning away, meaning a sign of strong tactical abilities. Look at us… two away wins. You can’t complain about bad luck or bad referees then…

Some people are making a point of the fact that Ferguson was nearly sacked at U****d before he got things together; that’s true but U****d were not relegated… Moreover, Ferguson had proved himself in Scotland. AB has only proved that he can relegate teams. There’s also the statement “AB needed time to bring in the players we wanted.” I believe a good manager is the one who can make a good team of the players available; it shouldn’t be neccesary to spend millions to put together a decent side as long as you know how to make players perform for you. I don’t like it but I have to give credit to Ferguson on this point. He has led a team to win the Championship by bringing in many home-grown players.

How can City supporters possibly have faith in a man who has relegated 5 teams? In my opinion, it is due to the fact that we have Gio. People are thinking that relegation isn’t so bad after all as we’ve got Kinky. I think that’s the reason why the City supporters didn’t react in a more severe way to the relegation, because we have got the best player in the country (Europe?). Even though the team was not winning, the supporters were cheered up by Gio’s performance and he kept the supporters proud. Now as Gio will obviously leave, it will be interesting to see how the Manchester based supporters will react… (do any of you remember the Torino supporters’ reactions after they sold Lentini to AC Milan in 1992? Riots in the streets and Torino’s headquarters were put on fire… perhaps a bit over the top..?). FL & AB are staying that Gio will stay, but wait and see until the money is on the table. AB will probably lose even his last supporters when Gio is leaving, as it’s the only bright spot a horrible season has left. Then the blame will be put on the man who derserves it… Alan Ball!

If I should give any credit to AB it must be for signing Kit Symons. Gio was not AB or FL’s merit, they were tipped by an agent (as for the other foreigners). Otherwise he has many strange signings. Immel was alright, so too Hiley and Phillips who can do well in the future. Clough has been a bit up and down but I still think he can do well. Perhaps it would be a good idea to make him captain? I for one think that Frontzeck wasn’t a bad signing. However, AB cannot have seen him before and doesn’t understand that he’s a defensive full back. In Germany the full backs don’t go forward the way they do in England, so it must be quite pathetic to try to adapt a player to a more attacking style when the player is 32..? Frontzeck would have done very well in a 4-4-2 system (with wingers, as with Horton). Can any of you imagine how Andy Hill would be doing as a “wing-back”? Getting the picture? As for Kavelashvili, I think he will do well too. However, when Gio is leaving, I wonder if he is so keen on staying…?

FL is making a mistake by making his position dependent as a chairman on AB. I like FL, I admire him a lot but I don’t think he should waste his good name and popularity by defending AB. If Peter Swales were still the chairman of Manchester City, everybody would have called for AB’s head on a sliver plate with an apple in his mouth. City supporters (me inlcuded) are too afraid to criticize FL after the years with Swales (with all respect). FL might be a very skilled businessman but it doesn’t automatically qualify him to make the right decisions when it comes to football leadership. He has done a lot of great things for the club and given a lot of cash but he must not involve himself in a battle just to keep AB at the club, it’s not worth it! It’s in the interest of all parts that FL stays as a chairman, so he should accept that the other shareholders want a say when it comes to vital questions like who should be the manager. We may not like Boler & Co, but after all they are shareholders so they should have a say.

As for the next season I am not sure that we’ll go straight back to the Premiership. I know from the past that it isn’t a good thing to stick with the same manager after being relegated. The players need somebody to change things around a bit, a new voice in the dressing room. I remember an interview with Dave Bassett on Sky a few weeks back where he spoke about the trouble he had to motivate the Sheffield United players after they went down, it simply didn’t work out for him. The players had lost the confidence in themselves and the manager. Bassett had to resign; recently he’s done quite well with Palace.

I would love to see George Graham take over at Maine Road. He’s a winner and an intelligent man. He’s also a man the players would respect, with his dignified appearance. Graham is perhaps not the ambassador for entertaining football, but he’s a winner and that’s what we need. I don’t care if we are “boring” to watch as long as we win games. A City game is never boring to a City supporter. I remember having watched the 0-0 draw between City and Sheffield United some years back – I wasn’t bored..!

I will be following the debate on MCIVTA throughout the season with great interest. Perhaps it would be an idea to make a poll to check how many who would sack/would not sack AB..?

Blue forever, Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


I have to say I think we are in a real mess now.

I used to be ambivalent about Ball; he wasn’t my first choice for the job but he seemed likely to do as well as anyone else who was prepared to take the job on. Since Sunday my opinion has changed radically and it’s not because we’ve been relegated. What I cannot get over is the Steve Lomas time-wasting incident. How could Ball base his tactical decisions during the last 15 minutes of such a crucial game on rumour and hearsay about the scores elsewhere?

I think he has to go but Lee can’t sack him without shattering his own credibility. I hope the other directors force the issue onto the Board’s agenda and if that means Lee feels his position is untenable then so be it.

Chris Williams (


Well, it’s been about a year since my last contribution and there is nothing like a relegation for some serious City thinking.

I know that many of you will believe that we have to stay with Ball, and that one of our major problems is the turnover rate for our managers – but enough is enough! Other than the thought that I will have to go to work on Monday and face a hoard of London Rags (for they are by far the worst – you know the type, they buy a shirt, have a naff Rags sticker in their car and get to about one game in every five seasons!), bragging about the double (despite the fact that the FA Cup Final was utter crap), we have to think seriously about the future of our club.

Ball lacks vision, personal management skills, and the ability to deal well on the transfer market. Yes, I too wanted Frannie to come in but if the price for an egomaniac at the helm is Alan Ball and a third division championship – then that is far too high.

If we stay with Ball, lose Quinn, Gio and Uwe and continue to buy talentless has-beens, then our stay in the Endsliegh is going to be a lot longer than one season. Ball must do the honourable thing and go. Only the Tory government with a record like Ball’s would stay on at Maine Road. It is time for change – and real long lasting change. Personally I would like to see George Graham in control but I do not think Frannie would allow another ego at Maine Road.

I do not believe in dropping the boss when things turn bad – but in Ball’s case they have never been anything but bad.

Well, they won’t listen to me, so I suppose it’s time to start getting out the UK road map and finding out where Reading really is. And just to add to my sense of injustice, Luton, Milwall and Watford all went down, meaning that for us London Blues, it’s another season of long home and away trips.

Here’s to another chapter in our great club’s history!

Miles Webber (


I do seem to be in the minority here but I for one cannot support the popular thinking that we should not have yet another change in management. As one who did not agree with the appointment of AB in the first place (as reported to MCIVTA at the start of the season) my view is probably tainted, although nothing at all this season has encouraged me to think otherwise.

I realise that Ball to his credit tries to play a good and entertaining game of football but all is in vain if we have to risk what talents we have to the Endsleigh (if they remain sponsors next season) League. We have all shared the frustrations, upsets and disappointments but I fail to understand why we cannot consistently reproduce the performances we saw against Newcastle and Villa and the first half at OT in the Cup.

I admire FHL in his determination to support AB but he should not be too sensitive to criticism. After all, since the day he appointed his friend to manage the team his ability to achieve success on the field was always to be compromised and certainly open to question if things go wrong. He will do a good job with managing the business but it’s on the field of play where the correct moves are critical. What are the club’s goals, what are we seeking to achieve and how has the progress made so far met those expectations? If we are to continue our support for FHL (and I surely want to) we do need some information/answers. If relegation was budgetted for and AB was aware of this then it hardly promotes positive thinking.

I am not in the slightest bit concerned what happens at Old Trafford; good luck to them, the whole of the business is highly successful and Alex Ferguson deserves the accolades. At the end of the day it is performance and results which count. What makes me really angry is that the Rags have won the double with a lot of home grown talent. The same home grown stuff we used to have in great quantity. What on earth has happened at Maine Road with the development of youngsters or rather the lack of it? I don’t believe we can blame the decline of the youth policy on Swales, so what has gone wrong with it? The youth and reserve teams are a shadow of their former selves.

I can understand the need to have a clear-out, some additions and fresh faces are a necessity, but this is only good if you can put your faith in the manager and his team. AB’s record as a manager is abysmal. Can we really trust his ability to dismantle what we have already and completely rebuild the team? If what AB threatens becomes a realiity do we have the resources to recover if things go wrong? I doubt it and we could be consigned to lower divisions forever. The likes of Quinn and Rösler along with Summerbee are not bad players, they are not being supported sufficiently to be effective. We should follow the lead taken by Frank Clark at Forest and buy a couple of good, key players who can work within the team sufficiently well to come straight back. Certainly a replacement for Curle is essential (why don’t we try Kernaghan for a bit?), let’s have some more wing play with good crosses into the box.

According to the Mail on Sunday, City are still paying out Peter Reid’s contract. It seems a great shame that PR had to do his managerial apprenticeship at City, although I think his failings probably had more to do with the appointment of Sam Ellis who I understand was supposed to be coaching PR rather than the team. I just wonder whether some sort of deal could be done to bring him back, after all I don’t see Sunderland being a stayer in the Premiership, they probably have fewer resources than we do.

At the end of the day, football is all to do with opinions, I just want to get mine off my chest.

Forever Blue, Alan Lingard (100573.1766@CompuServe.COM)


Well, the season is over and it’s time to reflect on what’s happened. In my opinion it has been the worst season I can remember. Let’s just look at the facts :-

  1. Our start to the season is the worst in the club’s history and establishesus as relegation favourites immediately. The rest of the season consists of ustrying (in vain) to avoid the drop. We also sign and then witness the wonderthat is Gerry Creaney.
  2. We are thrashed 4-0 and 6-0 by Liverpool in the space of a week.
  3. 1996 starts with us losing the rare talent of Paul Lake forever – nightmare!
  4. After getting through the third and fourth round of the FA Cup, we aredrawn away to the Rags. We are then cheated out of a place in the quarterfinals by the worst refereeing decision I have seen in my life.
  5. On the final day of the season we are relegated on goal difference aftercoming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool. At the same time the Rags arecrowned Premier League Champions again – nice one Keegan.
  6. A week after witnessing the pain of relegation, us Blues must suffer oncemore as the Rags secure their second League and Cup double by beatingLiverpool in the FA Cup Final – nice one Evans.

Highlight of the season – Kinkladze’s goal against Southampton

What can we look forward to – City coming straight back up to the Premier League as Division One Champions? After a season like the last one things can only get better – or can they, remember this is City we support.

Blue today, Blue tomorrow, Blue forever, Jon Walsh (


If I owned 44% of a massive business and Alan Ball was in charge of the action I’d be worried.

We can all agree that City haven’t had any luck this season – numerous examples have been cited in MCIVTA; getting relegated on goal difference tells its own story. Niall Quinn and Alan Ball are justified in saying that, if a couple of things had gone right for us, we’d be up and the players would be heroes. But this doesn’t mean that AB is the right man for the job – noone seems convinced by him apart from Franny.

And now, in order to prevent a real long-term rot, we have to stick with the manager for more than 1 season. So we’re stuck with AB.

If I could get heretical for a moment. It has been remarked that Horton kept us up for two seasons, in a worse financial climate, with a weaker squad; the mind boggles as to what he might have been able to accomplish if:

  • He hadn’t been convinced that he was going for about 18 months.
  • He’d had Kinkladze.
  • He’d had the money which went on Gerry Creaney.

OK, things were a mess, but on occasion you did get the feeling that everyone was in it together – which is clearly not the case this year. The only area in which AB is clearly better than BH is the derby – and its a cliché that they aren’t really football anyway. What if he’d stayed…? (he said, safe in the knowledge that no one could prove him wrong…)

Roly Allen (


It’s FA Cup final day, approximately 2.30pm and to my disgust, there before me parading around on Wembley’s greenest, is TC. Yes, our TC, “England’s Number One”. Not only did I (we) have to put up with this, but when the final whistle blew, he actually had the nerve to strut across to the Rags’ fans and collect their applause. What for? I ask myself.

Forgive me for sounding very pathetic, but seeing this nearly caused World War 3 (I made a bad mistake by watching the match with the rest of my family – all Rags). Yes – Rags from Manchester!

Was I alone on Saturday or was there any other Blues out there that felt the same?

United’s New Ball Boy deserves a trophy – for the most hard-faced goalie going!

Forever Blue, Raymond Ryba (


So the season has finally drawn to a close in the most humiliating manner; not only are we relegated, but the best club in the world ™ have won an unprecedented second double. Oh the shame, the ignomany, the grief, just how can we cope, in our usual stoical fashion of course. No doubt the real p**s-taking will start in the next few weeks after the euphoria of the double has started to die down.

OK, I know the Rags have done the double, and through gritted teeth you have to admire what they’ve achieved in the past 6 seasons, but personally I’m getting sick and tired of all the media hype and congratulations that is being thrust upon them. Every single paper has put the Rags on front and back covers and is putting them on a pedestal (ok, yes deservedly) but as a Bitter Blue I’ve gotta say the M(u)EN has surpassed itself with the usual fawning headlines. On the front cover of today’s Evening News (Monday 13th) the headlines reads:

The Team Of The Century

Oh for ***ks sake, who writes this cr*p? I mean team of the century, get real. Yes I’d agree team of the decade, but century, who are they trying to kid? Is this just another example of what typifies the current media sensation towards the Rags? OK, yes I’m a Bitter Blue, I’ll hold my hand up and admit it, but are the MuEN for real? We all know where the loyalties lie and when there’s a successful club to write about all very well and good, but this goes beyond belief. I know I’m a sad blue but this has taken the biscuit, I refuse to buy that paper for a few weeks now.

P.S. As a preparation for next season I watched the review of the 88/89 season. Boy did we play some good footie and score some good goals (mind you we also played some pitiful games, nothing new there), so hopefully we can play like this next season and take the league by storm. It brought back some happy memories.

Suggestion to AB, try watching the review of the 94/95 season, you’ll see what goal-scoring and creating is like. The number of goals scored from crosses from the two wingers, Beagrie and Buzzer is a delight to watch.

Martin Ford (


Sincere commiseration on the result and subsequent relegation. We’ve all been there before and hopefully it will be a watershed for City who should come back stronger for the lesson. However, one thing puzzles me when I read about City offloading all these players at the end of the season; exactly who is going to be queuing up to buy these losers? I’m assuming Ball is looking to get rid of the deadwood, and not his quality players. I admired Ball as a player, a real fighter whose heart often ruled his head. I have reservations about his man-management techniques as he has said publicly several times recently that he intended an end of season clear-out. This, referring to the same guys he was asking to save the team from relegation… certainly doesn’t make business sense to me.

Enjoy the Summer break and keep dreaming.

P.S. I didn’t get chance to send this earlier and now I’m obviously aware and delighted that my team has done the double. I hope you won’t begrudge me the pleasure I take in our success, even tho’ you are all so disappointed in City’s (temporary) demise. Whatever it is that makes us Red or Blue, we have Manchester in common and to my mind, that is what makes us all great.

Keep dreaming… Leo Fewtrell (


After I emigrated to Manchester from Bradford, a workmate from Salford took me to Old Trafford for a midweek game in the early ’70s. It was Rags vs. Leicester City (Frank Worthington’s début for Leicester and they drew!). As we lived in Elmswood Avenue, off Parkside Road and City were playing Leicester soon after the Old Trafford visit, I went to see the Blues. That was it – FLH’s passion and aggression instantly captured my support and the rest of that team weren’t too bad either. After that conversion (I’d supported Bradford City as a kid – will we see them at Maine Road next season?), my wife and four year old daughter soon became (travelling) Blues supporters. It was comforting to go to Old Trafford and watch Law, playing for us, putting United into the second division (don’t forget that during these times).

After 25 years of hope and optimism, I’m now beginning to suspect the worst for City supporters such as we are: there may be a curse on us. After all, my nearest league club is now Carlisle United – remember them? (and their current Chairman!). My daughter’s nearest is Stevenage Borough, poor sods. Few other football clubs could provide the exquisite memories of a Blues fan: Corrigan’s mistake against Sunderland; Hutchinson’s FA Cup tragedy; selling Hinchcliffe to Everton; and now being identified with a third rate band. See you at Portman Road, Leeds Road, Bramall Lane, Oakwell, The Hawthorns, Vale Park, Prenton Park, Roots Hall (ugh), St. Andrews, Carrow Road, Blundell Park, Boundary Park, Elm Park, Loftus Road, Burnden Park (well where-ever), Molineaux, Fratton Park, County Ground, Manor Ground and Valley Parade? Filbert Street? Meadow Lane? or Gresty Road? Are these all on AutoRoute I wonder? Best wishes for a great 96/7 season.

Peter Birbeck (


I’ve been playing with an anagram generator on the www, and come up with some interesting anagrams. City’s are a bit disappointing as the players just don’t have the right letters in their names!

Ian Brightwell – BEG A THRILL WIN

United are much more interesting:

Gary Neville – GRAVY NELLY
Andy Cole – LADY ONCE
Phil Neville – VILE NIP HELL
Gary Pallister – A PERT SILLY RAG
Denis Irwin – WEIRD IN SIN

Geoff St George (


I don’t know if you have seen this one before but I thought it quite funny.

A man is driving his car quite erratically, and the Police stop him. The officer says that he will have to be breathalysed at which point he pulls out a card saying that he suffers from bad asthma so can’t do that.

The officer then says that he will have to go down to the station and give a blood sample, at which point the man brings out a card saying that he is a haemophiliac so can’t give blood.

At this the officer says that he will have to have a urine sample, at which the man brings out a card which says, ‘This man is a Manchester City supporter….’

Euan Bayliss (


Club Questions:

Thanks to Jim, Dave, James, The Mole, Peter, Chris, Neale, Euan, Tor-Kristian, Paul, Geoff, Jim, Leo, Alan, Jon, Roly, Raymond,Kev, Martin, Dan, Rob & Miles.

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 #193