Newsletter #209

Still nothing concrete has happened on the transfer front but rumblings still continue to emerge from the Academy. Quinn has publicly spoken out about his relationship (or lack of..) with Ball and it seems that the Lomas deal may be back on. The rumour mill also grinds concerning two Norwegians. Additionally there’s a video review from Paul and a Why Blue. If anyone would like to do any more than send them along to me.

Next game, Athlone Town FC, Friday 19 July 1996


It was reported in the MUEN on Friday that Niall Quinn wants to know his position with regards to his future at the club. He is quoted as saying “When Alan Ball played me last season, it seemed as though it was a hardship for him. If Alan Ball wants me to stay and do a job, he’ll have to give me 100% backing. I don’t want a similar situation to what happened over the last 12 months. I’m really not looking forward to another year of wondering what Alan Ball will think of me. It would be different if he said that I am a big part of his plans instead of constantly avoiding the issue.”

Quinn was opening a sports complex in Dublin when he made these comments. Earlier in the day, Alan Ball had refuted speculation that Niall Quinn was to be sold to Sunderland, describing the rumours as “utter rubbish.” After Quinn’s outburst, Ball said “I don’t really want to comment on what Quinn has been saying. It is an internal matter that I will be taking up with him at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Reserve team coach Les Chapman was relieved of his duties on Friday. No reasons were given, nor any clue as to his possible successor, though Neil McNab must be one of the favourites for the post.

The Mole


Teletext reported (Sunday) they Wimbledon had come in again for Lomas and City had given them permission to reopen negotiations with the player. Ball was reported as saying that he wouldn’t stand in the way of Lomas leaving! Seems like a euphemism for helping him out of the door!



According to a report in the Sunday People (very reliable source – honest)?!

Two Norwegian businessmen are reportedly preparing to make a bid for the control of City. The same two men tried to buy Leeds United last week but their bid of £31 million was turned down.

They are supposed to be football mad and enjoy English football. I have lost the article and I can’t remember their names but they also own Molde Football Club.

It is thought that Franny would want to keep control but would welcome a financial injection.

Tony Farrar, Salford Blue (

Any of our Norwegian subscribes throw any light on this?



Liam Hosie mentioned in MCIVTA 208 a rumour about Michael Brown moving to Middlesbrough for £3 million and wondered if anyone else had heard it. This is quite an old rumour actually and is mentioned in an interview with Brown in Issue 11 of CITY Magazine:

He laughs off newspaper speculation of an approach by Middlesbrough that would take him straight back into the Premiership – “I came back from Toulon and saw that in the papers too I haven’t heard a single thing about it,” he says – and his stated personal target for next season is simple: “I just want to play well enough to stay in the first team.”

With Boro having just forked out £7 million for Italian international Fabrizio Ravanelli, I doubt that a £3 million outlay on Brown is within their budget.

Paul Howarth (


Out of 29 entries no-one managed to get all four of the teams (not altogether unexpected) and only five people managed to get three. I was quite pleased with myself after the group games being the only one to pick all four group winners but the dreaded penalties did for my entry and no-one who had Germany to win (100pts) could manage three scoring teams.

So the £10 cash goes to André Øien in Norway for tipping Italy, Germany, England and France (in that order, which totals 201 points on the scoring system).

Everybody managed to get at least one points scoring team so no-one can be singled out for a special mention.

I have to question why I like football though. It took me ages to get over the disappointment of relegation and then I get more of the same with England losing on penalties.

An important point to note from England’s performance in Euro ’96 is that skill, albeit important, isn’t everything. Venables created the best (IMHO) side in the competition out of a squad which had considerably less individual quality than some of the other teams but played as a team where everyone worked for everyone else. This can never be the case at City while the manager is slagging off the players (I don’t recall Venners saying a bad word about any of his squad even when the press tried to get him to).

Roll on next season.

Jim Egan (


TITLE:          The Official Review of Manchester City - The 1995/96 Season
PUBLISHER:      Visionsport International
                96 High Street
                Bucks SL7 1AQ
RUNNING TIME:   Approx 80 minutes
PRICE:          £13.99


A video for masochists? Not really. The publishers have tried to make this as palatable as possible by not including clips from matches City lost, with the strange exception of the F.A. Cup and Maine Road derby games. Add to this a short section at the end showcasing player-of-the-year Gio Kinkladze’s skills (he’s also the player featured on the cover of this year’s video) and you have quite an upbeat production which almost leaves you wondering how we managed to get relegated. That, for me, is the problem with this video, but more of that later.

So what do we get for our money? It mostly consists of highlights shown previously on Match of the Day and/or Sky, goals and near misses. There are also some clips from post-match interviews, again originally from broadcast television, though there were a couple I hadn’t seen before. Included amongst these are Alan Ball’s “he can do that” description of Gio’s wonder goal against Southampton and Niall Quinn’s touching apology to the fans after the final game which saw City relegated. The last few minutes of the programme are dedicated to the skills of Georgiou Kinkladze, showing a variety of clips of him from this season’s games, though unfortunately there’s nothing from the legendary video which apparently inspired City to buy him in the first place.

Another important question is: what do we not get? As most of the defeats are missing, the answer has to be “quite a lot!”. We don’t see Immel’s heroics at Newcastle which kept the score respectable, we don’t see Nick Barmby’s offside goal at Maine Road, nor the ridiculous sendings-off of Ian Brightwell at Forest and Michael Frontzeck at Everton, none of the ten goals scored by Liverpool in their footballing masterclass at Anfield in October (which were a major turning point in the season), and, the most significant omission of the lot, Gio’s first solo spectacular goal at Middlesbrough, which doesn’t even make it into the special section at the end. We also see nothing of the game at Blackburn, which will live long in the memory of all Blues that were there, nor Niall Quinn’s exquisite late volley at Upton Park, nor the defeat at Wimbledon or the draw at Bolton which are really the games which cost us our place in the Premiership. How can a review of the season miss these things out?

Just who is the video aimed at? People wanting an uplifting experience, something to enjoy watching, would be better off with the Lee/Bell/Summerbee video or maybe the 1988/89 promotion campaign video. The reason I buy these videos is to act as a record of the season – the whole season. There has not yet been a season review video which has clips from all first team games (League and both Cup competitions) which is a shame. When I look back at the season, I want a “warts and all” view. I want to see just how bad/unlucky/robbed we were. In future years when City are dominating Europe, nay the world, I want to be able to look back and say “I was there when we were this bad…” It’s not something that this video will help with.

There are one or two other little things I noticed, like some of the highlights being shown out of order. An example is the win at Elland Road, where Uwe is shown hitting the crossbar (first half) after Gerry Creaney had scored the only goal of the game (second half). At least we get a decent commentator this year, with Clive Tyldesley making a good job of sounding like he was at the games. Compare and contrast with Brian Clarke’s monotonic utterances on the 1988/89 promotion video (which is otherwise a fine production).

In summary, if you want a resume of most of the best City highlights of the season and don’t want to be reminded of the bad times, this could well suit you. If you want a comprehensive review of the season, you’ll be disappointed.

Paul Howarth (


I’ve seen and heard a rumour or two over the last few days concerning the Blues and was wondering if anyone (Steve Bolton?) could confirm or deny these bits of gossip.

According to my mate (via the Daily Mirror) he reckons Stevie Lomas has departed the Academy for the glorious pastures of Selhurst Park. However, this deal seems to have gone very quiet? Did Lomas officially reject them at one stage? Would the possibility of the Dundee ‘arab’ Dailly coming to Maine Road hinge on Lomas leaving? I suppose with AB’s mentaility he wouldn’t even consider buying an extra player to strengthen the squad, he’d rather replace a player who’s left!!!!

[This one will be old news as there are some more details on the Web page…]

Also, according to one of the Sundy rags an article suggested that two Norwegian multi-millionaires were interested in buying an English footie club. They were one of the groups bidding for Leeds, but they had a £31 million bid rejected. If they are prepared to invest this sort of money in the Blues then I’d welcome them in with arms wide open. Just how long can FHL survive on his relatively modest fortune; he would be bankrupted if he even tried to pay off the ever growing debt.

Finally, my brother (and another mate) reckons that the Charlton home game, Sat 31st August has been moved back to Sunday 1st Sept, so has anyone heard any news about this fixture move? (I’d be quite happy if it has been moved to accommodate Sky; at least I’ll be able to watch when I’m on my hols in Lanzarote!!!)

If it’s true with the fixtures out only what 2 weeks, we’ve already had 5 games (at least altered), must be heading for some sort of record already, especially if the Blues play well in these Sky games!!

Martin Ford (


Booked my hols – 1 week in Manchester – Stoke and Bolton away then Port Vale home match – wife wants to see a match – kids have joined Junior Blues – joining London branch of Supporters’ Club – all is well with the world.

What do they do: change the fixture at Bolton – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh

Transfer news – I really do not want Lomas to leave – Curle can go but he deserved better treatment – Symons as captain seems a good move (I would have liked to have seen Lomas or Quinn though). My son wanted Gio to be captain until I pointed out he couldn’t speak English (mind you can Symons/Quinn or Lomas?).

What has happened to Hiley – did we buy him or send him back? What happened to – Guivingilligilli (him from Switzerland)?

On the away strip scene I like red & black stripes it was OK for Tommy Booth at Villa Park, Neil Young at the Cup Final etc. (BOF mode)

BTW this month’s CITY mag recommends the Soccernet page in reply to a letter from someone in Croydon – do they know about the best page?

See you all at Stoke.


Andy Birkin, Crawley Blues (

Yes we did buy Hiley and he’s recovering from his broken foot. As for ‘Cheesy’ Mazzarelli, as far as I know he’s still there but that’s more due to the lack of any news to the contrary.



I think people are being a bit hard on Ball. Has it occurred to anyone that he may not even have anything to do with the Lomas and Curle deals as it is widely known that Franny handles transfers and Ball is nothing more than a trainer.

Personally I’m glad to see the back of Curle, although I’d hoped we could milk a bit more money out of him.

The idea of selling Lomas, though, I’m dead against. We need people with his heart at the club, especially in the Nationwide.

On another note: the best away kit must be the AC Milan rip-off introduced by Mercer. Red and black stripes, black shorts, black socks, and absolutely no white whatsoever! as this completely dilutes the effect (which is to strike fear into the opposition and “make the players look bigger”). As a fanzine once said, “No one ***ks around with a team wearing this kit!”

If, however, you assign one of Umbro’s YTS trainees to redesign it (I’m talking about the ‘Spiderman’ kit) your only advantage may be that the opposition are falling over laughing!

I would also mention the mid 70s away kit: black shorts and socks with white diamond piping, white shirt with red and blue (or was it black?) sash. This one presents a stylishness that the Rags can only dream of.

I think Crystal Palace later used it because Malcolm Allison took it with him.

Andrew Conway (


As we know, we City fans have a great sense of humour (well we have to) and can laugh at our own club, but after England’s penalty defeat against Germany then maybe it’s also a trait that affects England fans as well.

Here’s a coupla of jokes at the expense of poor old Gareth:

As we all know, many people have had problems in the past, Nixon had Watergate, even Ronnie Reagan was affected by Irangate, this time Venables had Southgate ;-))))

So England had three lions on the shirts, pity Southgate’s were cross-eyed!

Smile, it could be worse, you could be a Rag.

Martin Ford (


Well, as it’s the Summer and there’s very little Blue news about, thought I’d get round to writing a ‘Why Blue’

First and foremost, it was no doubt my father’s influence, as he had been a Blue as long as I could remember (although when he first moved to Manchester, like many people at that time, he alternated between Red and Blue each weekend, depending on who was at home. Somehow, he ended up Blue, probably due to the glorious team of the late 60s). As a child, I remember my father coming to tuck me up in bed with an “Up the Blues” and various comments about Bell, Lee and Summerbee!

From what I remember, my first long-awaited match (certainly the 1st I can recollect) was in the 1981 season. And what a start! It was a glorious sunny day and the match was against Norwich in a certain FA Cup run. Two things will remain with me all my life and keep me forever Blue…

  1. Joe Corrigan was signing autographs at half time – and he was myfavourite player as he was the only City player in a game of footballerTop Trumps that I owned (he always won in the ‘height’ category!)
  2. City won 6-0

There have been many comments on how City have this ability to wave a carrot in front of your face until you have no way of refusing your support for them whatever hell they then put you through! Six wonderful goals was enough for me and from that moment I knew there was no way out. It didn’t take long to realise what City were capable of doing to your sanity as it was only a few weeks later that I shed my first tears over City as Tommy Hutch’ became the latest Blue villain.

At least, 15 years later, living in Norwich, I’m still there with the Blues, and I can hold my head up high in a crowd of Canary yellow, and tell of the day they got a caning from the Blues! And I was there!

Andy Lamb (


A song that was forwarded to me. Apologies if I’m massively out of date and you’ve heard it before…

Dedicated to Faustino Asprilla

To the tune of the TV cartoon, ‘Top Cat’.

Top t**t
The indisputable
Top t**t
It’s irrefutable
Geordie b*****ds call him a king
Poor Keith Curle gets whacked in the chin

Top t**t
He’s armed and dangerous
Member of a ‘gang’

He’s a joke
Likes a smoke
And he’s dealing in coke

He is As-pril-la
Top t**t.

Stay Blue and bruised plum or whatever it is

Steve Hinchliffe (


Contributions: Ashley –
Subscriptions: Adam –
Club Questions: Stephen –

Thanks to Paul, Jim, Martin, Andy (x3), The Mole, Tony & Steve.

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 #209