Newsletter #210

The transfer scene is fairly active but has yet to translate into an actual transfer, in or out! It seems likely that City will sign Christian Dailly of Dundee United fairly soon, by some means or other. With this in mind, can any of our Scotland-based subscribers write an article on him and his likely impact at Maine Rd. So far all we know is that he has a record number of U21 caps and that’s about it!

This sisue has loads of rumour/news, both ‘official’ and ‘not-so-official’, as well as opinion, news on MCIVTA FC, a CITY magazine review and a Why Blue from someone who made a major contribution to MCIVTA & the WWW!

Anyone for Manchester City anagrams? Read on…

Next game, Athlone Town FC, Friday 19 July 1996


Former City defender Kevin Bond, son of John, has been appointed reserve team coach, replacing Les Chapman who was relieved of his duties last week. Bond was with Alan Ball during his time as manager of Exeter City.

City are still interested in Christian Dailly but appear to be haggling over the transfer fee (thought to be in the £300k region) as the out-of-contract player would be entitled to a free transfer if he moved abroad.

A snippet from the dark side: British Airways have confirmed that United have reserved a seat in the name “A. Shearer” for their pre-season trip to Italy at the end of the month.

The Mole

P.S. It turns out that the seat reserved for “A. Shearer” on United’s trip was a hoax perpetrated by somebody at the travel agency. The person has been severely reprimanded!


According to GMR Kevin Bond has returned to City as the new reserve team coach. Bond has worked with Alan Ball in the past.

City are apparently having problems agreeing on the fee of Dailly from Dundee Utd. Three other clubs are apparently interested in him, including PSV Eindhoven.

Salford Blue – Tony Farrar (


Rokke and Gjelsten are the two Norwegian fishfood businessmen who tried to buy Leeds Utd. last week, without success. Rumours have it that they now have turned their interest towards City…

They are great fans of football, and as leaders of a multinational cooperation (a successful one) they know how to do business!!

Wasn’t that what we all said about Franny when he took over – hmmmm??

Svenn Hannsen (


The norwgian investors being commented in the latest issue of MCIVTA are ROEKKE & GJELDSTEN, two young investors who got rich after investing in the shipping industry. They are said to have a combined fortune of more than £350 million. They are already involved in football by the Norwegian club MOLDE which they more or less run. They go to Molde’s games by a helicopter, which is quite symbolic of their way of living. Two weeks ago they made a bid for the control of Leeds, but the offer came in too late. According to newspapers over here, they have still not given up the idea of taking over Leeds, as Caspian still haven’t signed any deal. They might have a lot of money, but I presonally think they are not so keen on football as they might want to be. They are the kind of businessmen who have to get new ways to spend (waste?) their money and they’ll give it up after a while. Not really what we need at Maine Road. Though I wouldn’t mind them investing some money in the club, but FL should remain as a chairman.

Tor-Kristian Karlsen (


Hmm, so just why can’t deals involving City sail through instead of suffering all these complications!!

First we have the on-off saga of Lomas’ proposed move to Selhurst Park, which leaves us all on tenterhooks. Now it seems the replacement (?) transfer, in the form of Christian Dailly is also coming unstuck.

Part of the problem is that although Dailly is out of contract and can move to the continent for free thanks to the Bosman case, a fee is still needed to move between England and Scotland (legal experts out there got any ideas why?). City are facing European competition in the form of PSV, Cagliari and Celta Vigo for his signature. However, as Dundee Utd would like some money you can see the obvious course is to try to sell the player to us. The two clubs have reached a stalemate after Dundee Utd rejected City’s offer of £300k. I wouldn’t expect to see Dailly hang around too long if the stalemate continues with the continental teams ready to offer lucrative contracts! AB has been quoted as saying that City aren’t prepared to offer more than £300K for the player, so could we be seeing a player depart elsewhere? (bluddy cheapskates, get the wallet out!!!!) Just as a aside and maybe an explanation as to why Dailly is willing to hang around for the Blues, he turned down the chance to join City as a schoolboy!!!!

Also, Dailly might not be the replacement we first thought, as according to latest reports he plays centre half or midfield, more of a Curle replacement than Lomas?

More news; as we know Les Chapman was ‘relieved’ of his reserve team duties (coach) last week, his replacement is going to be Kevin Bond! Another member of the AB old boys’ network?

Martin Ford (


City’s long-running bid to sign Christian Dailly from Dundee United looks set to continue for some time yet. Dailly, 23, has been the target of bids from PSV Eindhoven, Cagliari, Coventry City and a club in Spain whose name escapes me yet it seems he would prefer to join City despite more lucrative deals being offered from some of the other interested parties. Dailly spent last weekend with City chairman Francis Lee, who is very enthusiastic about signing him as all four of City’s top scouts are agreed that he’s a player we should buy – apparently the first time all four have ever agreed about a player! City have had a bid of £300k turned down by Dundee United, despite the fact that under the Bosman ruling, the selling club would receive nothing if he moved abroad (Dailly is out of contract). City are consulting lawyers to see if the Bosman ruling can be applied to transfers between English and Scottish clubs, though the likelihood of a case being brought to court is very remote. However, Lee reckons that some club will inevitably launch a legal bid to get the Bosman ruling applied to domestic transfers as well as international ones, and that this will happen sooner rather than later. Ironically, Dailly turned down a chance to join City as a youngster, opting for Dundee United instead. City are reluctant to sign him and wait for a tribunal to set a fee as the valuation of a player with a record 34 Scottish U21 caps might well be in excess of a million pounds.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen are thought to be ready to make a £1 million bid for Niall Quinn, who will not have endeared himself to Alan Ball with his comments last week.

The Mole


This morning (Wed 10 July) GMR reported that Quinnino is moving to Aberdeen for one million pounds. Another case of open your mouth and I’ll open to transfer door?

Tony Hulme (



City have rejected two bids for Niall Quinn from Aberdeen. The first is thought to have been £1 million, the second a player exchange involving Scott Booth and an undisclosed cash adjustment. Neither met City’s asking price of £1.5 million.

City have asked for a European Court ruling on whether the Bosman judgement also applies to domestic transfers. If so, no fee will be required for Christian Dailly but more importantly, the domestic transfer market could be thrown into turmoil and many small clubs could go bankrupt if unable to raise money by selling players.

The Mole



Francis Lee announced today that further restructuring is to take place in the City boardroom, with power gradually shifting more to the PLC board. Seven of the old directors are to be phased out over the next twelve months, including vice chairman Freddie Pye and senior director Ian Niven. Onto the PLC board comes David Bernstein (of clothing company French Connection), an avid City fan. City shares have risen recently under heavy trading, though Lee denies having any approach from the Norwegian businessmen said to be interested in the club in the weekend’s papers. He is, as always, ready to listen to genuine offers from anywhere in the world, he says.

Meanwhile, former City ‘keeper Tony Coton has finally left the evil empire without playing a game for them, moving to Sunderland for just under half a million pounds. His new rôle is said to be as player/coach but he may still face competition for a first team place as the Mackems are thought to be chasing Romanian ‘keeper Bogdan Stellea, who played twice in Euro’96.

The Mole
Tony Hulme (


According to GMR Francis Lee is trying to hurry up the change in the structure of the board. It is thought that The chairman/MD? of the clothing firm French Connection is to join the board of Man City PLC. It is also rumoured that within the year certain members of the Man City board will be leaving. The names mentioned are Ian Niven and Freddie Pye.

Tony Farrar (


As a subscriber to the Aberdeen mailing list, I’ve seen a rumour that Aberdeen are putting in a bid for Niall Quinn for £650,000. I’m not sure how reliable a rumour it is, but if Niall is going, I would want him to go to Aberdeen before any other club. What may be of interest to City is that Aberdeen’s central defender, Gary Smith, is out of contract and wants to move. Smith is on the verge of breaking into the Scotland team, and an excellent young prospect. How about a swap deal – Smith would make an excellent replacement for Keith Curle.

Dan Ellingworth (


Given the amount of talk in the papers, there’s not much to be had in the “official news” line. However, here’s what there is:

Steve Lomas and Christian Dailly:

He’s definitely not going anywhere. He’s rejected any deal offered him. The efforts to bring the Dundee United player Christian Dailly should reach a climax later today (Thursday). It’s hoped that he will be signing after the masses of red tape have been cut away.

What about the futures of Curle, Quinn and Rösler:

Well Bally has been heard talking as if they will be in the squad next season. The feeling (and it is just that, nothing concrete) of our contact is that Niall may be moving, Ball wants to keep Rösler but Curle will have no interest in playing (I wonder if Ball has told Uwe and Niall this?).

I asked about the rumours surrounding two Norwegian multi-millionaires who were said to be preparing a bid for control. This it seems is paper talk; I am assured that FHL has not been approached at all, and that if such a move was afoot he would have been. Hmmm.

Kevin Bond has replaced the sacked Les Chapman.

The City store in the Arndale is closed because of the bombing, but an alternative outlet is being sought in the city centre. One potential site is somewhere near Debenhams. This is seen as being important because of the launch of the new shirt.

Christine Haynes ( asked… Do you know when tickets go on sale for the Ipswich match?

Yes; 27 July at 9.30am

I’m sorry about the matter of fact style of this piece but I’m 1/2 hour late for work already.

Steve Bolton (


The MCIVTA match is definitely on on Sunday. The plan is to play 5-a-side (or perhaps six) for an hour. Yet again – it is vitally important that everyone who signed their name in turf turns up. If something unexpected crops up – please contact either myself or Dan (numbers are listed later).

VENUE:          Manchester University's Armitage Centre,
(Indoor at)     Moseley Road,
                ( booking is in the name of Ellington or Rigby )
SHOES:          No nasty black soles please !
DIRECTIONS:     Available on request.
DATE:           Sunday, 14th July 1996
KICK-OFF:       15:00 please NOTE this time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                (note that it reads kick-off NOT assemble)
FINAL WHISTLE:  16:00 where's the bar? UPSTAIRS! You should know by now!
SQUAD:          Steve Bolton, Dave Bowl, Martin Ford*, Tony Hulme,
                Jon Fielding*, Adam Houghton*, Col Surrey, Col Surrey's mate,
                Mark Varley* and Robert Watson*.
KIT:            Please marked * should bring white shirts (in case you were
                wondering these were the first 5 to reply).
BALL:           We need one of these - an indoor one! Anyone any ideas?
LAST WORD:      One last piece of advice whilst you are reading this. If you
                are at work, print this item out NOW so that you have all the
                details to hand.
Robert Watson                 01457 870660
Dan Rigby        0161-226-3912
Armitage Centre                                 0161 224 0404

If anyone else wishes to play, please let me know now! I guess numbers will continue to be low until September when we might even graduate onto a full pitch.

We’ll welcome you back with open arms.

Robert Watson (


Issue 11

I bought this issue at my local newsagent in Chapel-en-le-Frith and, as I handed it over, the newsagent started to talk to me! I paused, waiting for the usual uninformed and hopeless attempt at a witty remark, but was pleasantly surprised when he told me that he was always amazed how many he sold. He assured me that he sells more CITY magazines than all the Rag propaganda vehicles put together. Strange but true!

A rather apprehensive looking Frannie graces the cover of the latest issue and indeed, the major article inside is a ‘frank and fearless’ interview with the man himself. I was pleasantly surprised by many of the questions, and also the Chairman’s answers; no ducking of the issues here, plenty of incisive questions and no dissembling; Frannie would have a short career as a politician! He is unequivocally behind Ball, but he also made it clear that he won’t shrink from his duty as Chairman if the manager’s performance doesn’t live up to expectations.

There’s an excellent article describing all the teams we’re going to be playing next season, written in great style with some wonderful dry wit by Eddie Taylor, anyone know him? Still on the subject of relegation (unsurprisingly), there’s a ‘True Blue Confession’ which is actually a ‘True Maroon Confession’, the story of Domenico Beccaria who supports a team many consider to be City’s twin in Italy – Torino; no prizes for guessing who else got relegated last season!

The major player interview is with Brownie who laughs at speculation that ‘Boro want to sign him. Other articles focus on a Blue policeman, who frequently has duty at the Swamp, and Gary Yates of Lancashire CCC, one of three Blues at Old Trafford (cricket ground).

There is also a piece on the club’s (and Manchester City Council’s) lottery grant: £1.307,377 towards construction of City’s new astrodome training facility at Platt Lane. Steve Anglesey gets the plum job of visiting San Marino with the Welsh squad: excuse being to watch Kit Symons and Aled Rowlands; the latter getting great reviews from other pressmen.

Biggest groan (as far as I was concerned) is a letter from one Paul Starr of Croydon who asks about the existence of a WWW page dedicated to City. Apparently, the best place to start as a City fan is SoccerNet! I actually rang to let ’em know (again) that we have a highly-rated WWW site and it turns out that several people have already appraised them of the error of their ways, thanks!

Biggest cheer is a free poster of Gio which we can gaze longingly at ’til August!



Last Friday I was driving up Highway 101 towards San Francisco when I passed a block of small factories on the left. One of them had in big letters:


After swerving all over the place it then occurred to me that this was not the first stage in United PLC opening up shops around here but was in fact a company that imports things from China!!! But you see what is happening to me.

I would like to write more about City but I get so depressed reading that very little of positive note is going on at Maine Road. Given that the Premier League is bringing in more and more good players from Europe I worry again about Kinkladze… especially if the season begins slowly. I am delighted about Ravanelli… e has always impressed me.

If we start the season with the same squad of players as we ended (even minus a few) I am not at all optimistic. Is anyone? And if we do begin slowly can Ball possibly last?

Through Portuguese satellite TV I managed to see most of Euro 96. Impressive display by England (and, Sean, a solid display by Scotland) and I hope that the whole game benefits from this. There was an upbeat article in the last Sports Illustrated about the effect of Euro 96 on England. And now bids for 2006 World Cup — I am sure Maine Road will be one of the first grounds to be included… if only so overseas visitors can see how the biggest league ground in England can be reduced to one of the smallest.

Now I have to face a few weeks of showing US athletes winning races in Atlanta… the rest of the world knows this as the Olympic Games.

John Pearson, Stanford University (pearsonj@leland.Stanford.EDU)


Among the debris of the Arndale Centre following the IRA bomb in Manchester are the addresses of many people who have emailed me in response to my comments in MCIVTA. One address I regret losing is that of the United supporter who works for AirServices in Australia. If you’re out there somewhere please contact me on the new email address below.

Haigh’s empirical law regarding United supporters states that lucidity is directly proportional the cube of the distance from Old Trafford (or should that read South London?).

Prediction for 1996/97:

City will gain promotion via the play-offs. Alan Ball will be sacked in November following another appalling start to the season.

I hope I’m wrong on both counts – I’d like to see Ball sacked now and City to have a very successful start, middle and end to the season, gaining promotion as champions.

Roger Haigh (


A number of points. Please stick with it!

I ‘believe’ Chapman was also one of those high wage earners we are trying to shed. Interesting but there it is!

People keep saying that Franny does not have enough money to support City. I don’t think that’s the point. I ‘understand’ that he is trying to make the club stand on its own two feet – financially (therefore no longer at the mercy of players’ demands). If you remember he made quotes such as “we are completely re-structuring the club from top to bottom” and “if we get relegated it will be a disappointment but not a disaster IN THE LIGHT OF what we are trying to achieve at this club.” Consider the wage re-structuring, eliminating the ridiculous £65K licensing deal (now gone thank Christ) and the catering, the restaurants etc. Total re-structuring here. From a company point of view, to make changes like these you have to break what you have, change it and ‘freeze’ it again in the style you want. We are still in the process of breaking it.

Which brings me onto the next point. In any organisation (footy or otherwise) you need to have a boss, leader (whatever) who makes decisions – and stick with him. That’s what F’s doing like it or hate it. Ball has to have complete control and if players exist that, due to contracts, affect the squad and team spirit adversely, they must go. “Don’t worry, Bally will get it right!”, quote on Sky after Arsenal game (that Wrighty extra time thing – damn).

Also, what they are breaking is a stranglehold on this club by people who do not have its best interests at heart, not just with contracts but the whole perception that the club exists to further their aims (either financially or otherwise (eg:- ego)). This goes from backroom staff to players to Board level. Complete re-structuring. And if this makes City a great club again then I am completely behind it 100 per cent.

Sure people may have more money but they would want their own interest served first and not the club’s, Franny is protecting these interests.

So, a new season soon, sure I will buy Chateau Grand Rue (!?) (Large) and wear it with pride here in Chicago. Anyway, isn’t there a certain pleasure in telling people you support City, a real pride, a sort of scar you wear with pride? Got that big one at Anfield!

So just tell people ‘Yes!’ you support the best team in the world, fix a confident stare and carry on – like it’s the most natural thing in the world. And you know what? It is.

As in life you get what you focus on, so …

… Stay Blue and Confident.

P.S. If Lomas wants to go or is not committed than he should go – simple as that. We are about to enter a hugely important season – we can only afford guys who want to play, they’re keeping people out who want to play. There, finished – feel better now. Later.

Mark Kennedy (


So there I was all happy that the fixtures had come out early, sat in front of a travel agent with fixture list firmly in hand. With me obviously making no sense to him muttering Barnsley, Grimsby, Port Vale etc. and by turning down cheaper flights just so I could see some “soccer” games on my annual trip back home. Finally we nailed the dates and I would catch Charlton and Barnsley at home and Bolton away. Then two days later a message on my answer machine, my brother trying to break the news in softly: “err you’ll never believe this… but they’ve err moved the Bolton game” a good old wind up I thought, but it was later confirmed on these very pages. Why release the fixture lists, wait a week and then start chopping and changing them about? Surely they knew about these internationals a week ago?

Oh well, watching two home wins will have to do, maybe the reserves will be at home during my stay? There’s always some action watching the lads train down at Platt Lane… I’ll see you down there Platt Lane Correspondent! Maybe I’ll see first hand AB’s fine man-management!

BTW if they move the Barnsley game a day later, the day I fly home, I won’t be a happy camper!

Stay Blue, Paul Whittaker (


Guardian this morning (Thursday 11th) reports a major shake-up at Maine Road, with many of the old stiffs from the reign of Emperor Peter (call me Caligula) Swales being axed, and one of his buddies already on the board being given the brief of sorting out the financial problems at the Academy.

Did the City shop in the Arndale get damaged in the bomb blast? And is it open again? Not a good time to lose what I imagine to be a reasonable source of income.

Away shirts. Well, no contest – it has to be the red and black stripes of the FA Cup winning era, as other have noted before me. Giants strode the land in those days.

Current issue of ‘442’ has a short article about foreign imports; fairly comprehensive in its list, except for one glaring omission – one Georgiou Kinkladze – has he become a naturalised Manc maybe?

Teletext reports City have turned down an offer from Aberdeen for Big Niall, with Scott Booth being dangled as a possible part-exchange. Why oh why is the club prepared to even listen to offers for Niall – he will be a jewel, and a figure of terror to the opposition in Div 1. Plus, being Irish, he can speak better English than anyone else in the squad.

Roll on the new season.

Jeremy Poynton (


This may have been done before but I was bored and fed the words “Manchester City” into a computer program which came up with some very suitable anagrams:

  • Recent City Sham (after every performance last season)
  • The Scarcity Men (exactly who are we buying this summer?)
  • I Sent My Catcher (Tony Coton?)
  • Recite My Chants (and after all, you’re my…)
  • My Sitter Chance (Uwe missed it)
  • City Means Retch (!!)
  • Men Act Histeric (we all cried after relegation)

and some less suitable but more bizarre ones…

  • Enact Chemistry
  • Synthetic Cream
  • Schematic Entry
  • Chimney Scatter
  • Scratchy Tie Men

and my personal favourite…

  • My Reticent Cash (one for Franny and his mates!)

So now you know!!

James Nash (


Ken with Colin Bell at Platt Lane

I had little or no interest in football until 1966, when I became embroiled in World Cup fever. I was 24-years old by then and had been married for 3 years. As the next few years went by, I became an armchair football fan of no-one in particular via “Match of the Day.” One sunny Saturday afternoon, I was invited by some friends to go to the match with them. Since I live in Bacup (Rossendale Valley), “the match” meant a visit to Burnley F.C., who were then a good side in Division One. I can’t remember who the opposition was, or even who won, but I was hooked! Over the next few years I rarely missed a home game and saw all the big names of the seventies including Lee, Bell & Summerbee etc., and all the great players of the first division.

By then, my eldest son had declared himself a City fan, for reasons he himself will disclose when he does his own “Why Blue”. I had tried to turn him into a Burnley fan by taking him to games, but I failed. As time went by, Burnley faded into relative obscurity and to my shame I deserted them, although in fairness to myself, my work commitments contributed greatly to that.

I was working as a joiner on building sites in and around Manchester, where I met many City and United fans which rekindled my love of football. My eldest son, who by now was at University in Manchester, was and still is, a True Blue. He had by now become a season ticket holder at Maine Road. I went with him on some occasions to some Division Two matches during their promotion push in the late eighties. City gained promotion and by then I had encountered the “biggest club in the world” syndrome from the United fans at work, which only served to cement my leanings towards City. In season 1990-91, I became a season ticket holder in the North Stand along with my wife and two sons. Since then we have had season tickets for the Platt Lane Stand, and now we are established in the upper tier of the Kippax Stand. I suppose it is fair to say that my son “turned” me into a Blue. He succeeded where I failed, but as they say, “converts are the most devout.”

Ken Howarth (c/o


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

Thanks to Ken, John, Mark, The Mole, Tony (x2), Roger, Svenn, Martin, Dan, Paul, Jeremy, Robert, James & Tor-Kristian.

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #210